The clean up in my garden has been done for quite some time and I have been slowly planting bulbs. Where ever I would like a splash of spring colour, I have added bulbs. In many places I have done a mass planting of 7 bulbs or more. The bonus is that once they have flowered, I can plant other things there…being careful of course not to disturb the bulbs too much.
It is now time to start planting the vegetables from seed. I am careful to check and make sure of which ones are ready to be planted from seed at this time of year using my planting chart from West Coast Seeds. They have taken the guess work out and also sell non-GMO organic seeds of every kind, including organic heirloom seeds and with over 800 varieties they will have every seed you want. This year alone they have added over 150 new varieties of seeds. Their planting chart also includes zone information for your planting convenience. Their website is a wealth of knowledge and they have retail partners all over Vancouver Island to make it more convenient. So the next time you are out shopping stop at Art Knapps, Buckerfields or Dinter’s….just to mention a few. There are dozens of places island wide to buy their seed or order it online. Whatever is easier. Check their website for more locations. See you in the garden or the garden centre! 🙂
One of the culprits in my garden stealing bulbs! Squirrels have to eat too…just not my bulbs! 🙂
In total now, we have spent 20 hours doing clean up and planting some spring bulbs. I still have over 100 bulbs to plant which I will get done this week. The snow last week put a temporary hold on planting but I will go forward this week and continue on the clean up and the planting. As I mentioned earlier in a post when you plant bulbs (especially tulips) cover with chicken wire to protect from the critters….squirrels, deer, raccoon, etc… I did not heed my own advice and the robbers came in the night and helped themselves. 🙁 Note to myself to take my own advice. My gardens are up high surrounded by a retaining wall but that did not stop the thieves from coming. So be aware that barriers such as mine are not thief proof!
After making the commitment to create my own edible garden. I decided to get right to the clean up. As I mentioned in an earlier post…having just moved back into Ladysmith BC, I decided I wanted my new gardens in order. What a challenge (which I love) just to get the gardens workable. The gardens have been let go for some years now and it is long overdue. I can see that at one point these gardens were something…and they will be again…only better and edible! 🙂
Often times as a self-employed business owner, I neglect my own gardens in the busyness of running my business and my life! 🙂 It is often discussed among landscapers that we tend to avoid our own gardens and some have joked that we should hire each other to get ours done…and I am one of those people.
So this winter I have made a commitment to my own garden design. Here I shall design and create my own edible dream garden! Well almost all edible…the existing trees and shrubs are mostly not edible. So I shall work with them. A recent move into downtown Ladysmith, with existing gardens that give considerable privacy on all sides…save one… is a great basis to create this garden of Eden. I shall continue to design and develop the existing gardens with the concept of more privacy and planting mostly edible plants, trees and shrubs that will bear at different times of the year to enjoy a variety of edibles most of the year.
As I have learned, this design will change and evolve as I go. A great Garden Design is not set in stone so to speak, but rather evolves with the landscape as it is created!
Step By Step
- Take pictures of the existing garden and consider amount of light (for each season)and space available.
- Sketch the garden…either by hand (which is what I do) or on a computer program. I find that the garden becomes much more real when I sketch it out and helps me to place the RIGHT PLANT in THE RIGHT PLACE!
- Keep a log or journal of my research and results of everything I do so I can refer to every detail to ensure success in the garden design.
- Test the soil in the existing gardens and amend as required.
- Choose sustainable edible plants (trees, shrubs, ground cover, herbs, etc… that will thrive and correlate together to become an edible independent ecosystem.
- The plants must be drought tolerant.
- Research each plant and place in the best location with other plants that will thrive together.
- For each plant, I will need to research its characteristics. That is, size (look at length of time and size at maturity) location, soil preference, light preference, drought tolerant, which plants it thrives with, when it comes to maturity, amount of bounty, and texture and colour of plants..to start!
- Continue to take pictures of the garden I am creating as it develops and continue to develop the sketches of the garden design as I go along.
- Make a list of the organic nutrients needed for the garden.