In the winter time when it is often too wet or too cold on Vancouver Island to do full days in landscaping, there is time to design new gardens or re-design existing gardens. Quite often I have several garden projects on the go simultaneously. This garden design is a new garden and is in my yard. This is the beginning of my garden of eden. I have based my design on what I have learned over the years I have landscaped and it has also been strongly influenced by dozens of videos online about organic gardening. http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/paul-gautschi.html I have found the videos full of useful information and knowledge. Much of what is discussed reinforces what I have already learned and adds to my knowledge and information. I am excited about my new gardens and will keep you posted as the seasons turn. My greatest challenge is time, as many of my garden plans are new…I have a blank slate to work with throughout most of my outdoor space and look forward to learning and creating as I go. My commitment is to grow as much of my own food as possible, and create a balanced ecosystem using organic matter and sustainable garden practices. Here are the beginning photos of my new garden design and the steps I have taken to create it.
1.Photos of my garden before and during the process
2. Using a natural covering for the ground to prepare the garden beds.
3. Layering newspaper first on the area that is to be the garden.
4. Sifting organic matter from my compost bins to lay over the newspaper for the natural covering.
5. Returning any large compost back to the compost bins to continue to break down.
6. I also have a large pile of organic matter saved from the yard clean up in the fall, including, sticks, twigs, pine needles and leaves. I have layered it on top of the newspaper and then added an organic layer from my compost bins on top of it.
My Garden Beds Complete
Garden Cover used from sifting my compost bins.
The covering has been down one week. Now it is a matter of waiting until the weeds and grass underneath have broken down enough to plant and then cover with wood chips.
Happy Gardening…see you in the garden or the garden centre! 🙂
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.