Monday, April 20, 2009

Bustin' Sod

More than a year after making my front garden plans, we've finally broken ground. Below is my sketch, which is not drawn remotely to scale. It's more of a vision than an actual plan, and I've already made several changes, but hopefully this will give you a sense of what I'm going for with the herbs and edibles. Our front yard is fairly shallow, sloped, and close to the street, making it relatively useless as yard space. My goal is to eliminate as much of the turf as possible, but I'll be leaving all the paths in grass.

Jim brought the tiller around to break up the bigger areas, but the spiral paths require quite a bit of hand work. We tilled several bales of peat moss into the bed closest to the porch to lower the ph for the blueberries and cranberries. I planted five blueberry bushes there this weekend that I purchased locally—Sunshine blue and Bluehaven, varieties that will stay more compact than most, topping out at around 4 feet. We already have six bushes that I planted along our property line when we moved, so hopefully we'll have plenty of blueberries! I've also started to transplant strawberries for ground cover, and I have four hop vines on order for training up the patio pillars. Up towards the house in between the Hollywood juniper and mugo pine, I planted two ground cherries, pretty flowering shrubs that produce a profusion of sour cherries.

In the bed toward the street, I divided and transplanted several lavender plants, and I ordered some rosa rugosas to fill the area between them. I miss my roses from the old house, and I'm so excited to have some again. I ordered one "new dawn" climber for against the house; two gallicas—"apothecary's rose" and "rosa mundi"; and three "jens munk" rugosas.

We transplanted three of our grapevines that weren't performing well in the kitchen garden out to the front and set in some oregano for ground cover. We'll also be transplanting lots of raspberries and blackberries to create a hedge along the property line. The center of the spirals will feature a sage bush, and I have several starts from last year that I can transplant once I get the soil conditioned. I'll also be spending most of today and tomorrow seeding flats for out front. Tree-wise, I planted a witch hazel this weekend, and I have a weeping mulberry and a dwarf patio peach on order, as well as three varieties of filbert to anchor the front left corner of the yard.

Should keep me busy this year, huh?


Carolyn said...

that is gonna look so cool! Make sure to post more pics!


Christy said...

Wow! Amazing. I can't wait to see pictures when it is done. I'm wanting to get lots planted, but having trouble since nothing is tilled and the beds that are already in are filled with azaleas. The neighbor was supposed to come get them all but his house burned and he is busy. So, I'm feeling stressed about plants.

tansy said...

i love the designs. your gardens are going to be lovely!

el said...

Ooo! It looks pretty darned cool!

Have lots of fun with it. I love that it's such a mix of things too.

Isn't spring great?

Woody said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this design come to life..really cool.

Ren said...

We have yet to break out the rototiller with all the durn rain. Soon, soon.
I can't wait to see your vision come to life, after seeing those plans last year!!:)
Please show the ground cherries as they grow, I read about them in my organic gardening mag and have been thinking about them since!!

Awesome front garden you'll soon have.

mommymommyland said...

I can't wait to see more of this gardens progress, it looks so fancy,aromatic, wistful, and free.

Shari said...

I was beginning to think I was so far behind in my garden/yard work, but now I don't feel so bad. It has been awful wet of late.
We did manage to get the last of our apple and cherry trees planted though. The last 3 Northstar cherries went into the last row and darn if we didn't hit slate about 8 inches down. We put them in anyhow. That should be interesting.
Raspberries have also been planted between the tree rows. I've yet to get my blueberries in. Do you think 4 bushes will be enough for two people? I purchased 'Bluecrop' and 'Blueray'.

Sarah said...

Should keep you busy, but *wow*, how cool!

underthebigbluesky said...

wow. my back aches for you!

we are trying to get the ground dry enough to plant. tilled our little plot twice but just too wet!

meanwhile my dining room table full of seedlings.

what lovely berries you will have!

Tim said...

WOW! Great plans! Your killing me, its been raining so much lately that we have not even been able to think about putting a tiller to work.

jmdines said...

Wow! I just had some sod installed by Evergreen Turf in my back lawn a few weeks ago. You have totally inspired me to add some special characteristics to the lawn to make it stand out from the norm. Considering this heat though, I think I'll wait until the fall for that project!

Danielle said...

Thanks to all for the comments—I'll be sure to post updates as time allows.

Unfortunately, we've had so much rain here lately that I haven't gotten much further on the project. I did get a bunch of stuff transplanted, so the rains are really helping with that. I should be grateful, I guess, but instead I'm feeling antsy!

I'm waiting on the last of the stuff I ordered before spreading the mulch at this point, figuring it will be easier to get the itty-bitty cranberry plants in that way.