Saturday, October 31, 2009

More planning

I have had a whole week away, and it's been nice to come home with fresh eyes and look around.  Because of the weather, it's easy to identify microclimates like this one-

This is the area just beside the front door, and it's one of the least appealing views around the house.  I'm not ready to do all the work the house will need to make it look nice from this side, but we can plant things to make it look a bit better.

Interestingly, even though this area gets just a few hours of sun and has some northern exposure, it's one of the only spots that still has green grass.  Almost everywhere else the grass has already been thoroughly frosted.  The asparagus and black raspberries in the bed against the wall of the garage still look quite good.

So, my idea here is to give that one bed completely over to the raspberries and asparagus.  With weeding, asparagus are supposed to be quite happy, and the black raspberries should be willing to grow just about anywhere on this property.  I just want to keep the black ones separate because supposedly if they are interplanted with red, you will get only red raspberries.

The area on the other side of the walk will be some highly tended bed.  I'm so early in my learning curve, I have not quite decided what that will mean.  One common suggestion is to put herb beds close to houses in just this sort of spot, but I do not need huge areas of herbs, and the west facing side seems a better choice for that.  Because I want it to be pretty as well as functional, I might make this a flower and salad bed.  We could add nasturtiums and violets to the calendula and bachelor buttons for edible flowers that look pretty for most of the growing season and then work in our various salad greens, like arugula, spinach, butter lettuce, etc.

By putting these things close to the house, we can have salad easily without going all the way to the garden, and we can be sure it stays weeded.

The work that needs to be done for that to happen, as far as I know is this:
  • I will go ahead and till up the area I want for a bed while trying to plan so that I never till it again.  
  • I will cut the oleander back so it does not dwarf the smaller plantings I want in this spot. 
  • I will try to shape the bed so that feet more easily miss what I've planted.  
  • I will have an eye toward where I want the steps to be eventually, as well.  
  • I will need to figure out what to do to keep the lilacs where I want them instead of them creeping farther and farther into my planned garden area.

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