August 28, 2016

Starting the Garden

Back in February I talked about what kind of gardens I was considering and what I wanted to put in first. Well...

In May, we bought a house. We have been dealing with packing moving, unpacking, getting work done, perpetually mowing the lawn, and otherwise dealing with the basics of homeownership and the summer growing season. On the other hand, I now have definitive space I can make plans for and start bringing my garden into being!

The space that will become the herber garden.
It so happens we have a good, relatively square space in front of the house that will make a great garden quad. The house faces south, so it gets great light during the day. I've already put in fruit trees as a border on one side, and I've started a berry hedge that will eventually extend all the way up to the house on another side.

Half berry hedge on right, fruit trees along road.
Before I can really get down to ripping out the grass and planting things, we have to replace the front walkway. It was concrete with slate flagstones set in the top. This composition did not respond well to freeze-thaw cycles and had already started crumbling, so we spent this weekend demolishing it for removal.

Flag tape to tell people they should not attempt to walk here. Because liability.
Jackhammers are apparently pretty useful. But also heavy.
The good news is we can use all the pieces! The flagstones make a nice border for the hedges and, eventually, other plants. The small gravel-sized concrete bits will be part of the gravel layer under the new walk. And the large chunks of concrete can be used as filler in the turf seats we plant to put in the back yard.

Elderberries lookin' classy with their new border stones.
The blueberries concur.
The new walk will be brick, and it will extend straight from the house to the center of the garden square. There will be a small brick patio there with walks extending from each side, one of which will go to the driveway. Thus, we will have paths that divide up the garden into four sections, and they will also serve the function of a walkway to the front door. Yay!

Once the walkway is in place, major planting can begin. I haven't mapped out exactly where groups of plants are going to go yet; I have an idea of where I want the major players to go, but I will probably fill the rest in bit by bit as I do more research and acquire more specimens. I would dearly love to have a place to sit by a fountain under a couple of quince "trees" like the beautifully trained ones at the Cloisters, but I'll have to see what I can get. I plan to document as I go, and make little portable potted specimens for the plants that will tolerate it so I have a traveling A&S display. I hope to have lots to show people at Events!