This is that time of year when summer is so close I can almost feel the heat. Almost. So it's the time of year I start hashing out big (some husbands might say unreasonable) plans for how fantastic our backyard is going to be! Granted, several of these things were also on my first plan from 2012 but there are some fun new ideas, too (thank you pinterest). And they definitely will not all happen this year so lets all put on our patient pants before we get started. Got 'em on? Ready to dream big? Good. Here's what I'm thinking:
Over on the top/middle left we have our existing garden. Last year it was totally neglected and used for digging with dump trucks. But this year we already have seeds started to make it better than ever! Our section of strawberries & asparagus will stay the same (but we may finish boxing it in, that never got done last year) but the rest of our garden will need to be expanded to fit more goodies. I'm thinking adding a few more raised beds somewhere in the yard might be our best bet. The right side of our yard is shaded by a big tree so it would have to be back by the driveway or up where we have the random bush of uselessness (and the fruit trees I drew in, but it turns out we have power lines running over there so these would be better suited back where I drew the garden beds. oops.) Besides our new array of veggies, we're also going to need to step up the design to keep the critters out. Our first time around most of our plant were eaten by furry little scavengers. We definitely want to keep some of that food for ourselves this time! We haven't decided on an exact plan but we have a few ideas. One option is to build a removable frame like in the book Square Foot Gardening. The seem fairly easy and cheap to make, the only thing is that I would have to drag them off to get to the foodie goodness. Which led me to the idea of a totally fenced in garden so we can just open the gate to come and go.
I love the simple open look of that one and would be great for keeping out bunnies. However. Oh, however. We have an insane number of squirrels and I'm suspicious that they do far more damage that the few little bunnies hopping around. And a fence like that would not do much to stop them. Boo. So if we did a fenced in garden it would have to be something could have a roof, more like this:
This next idea isn't drawn in the layout, but I also would love to have some kind of greenhouse for year-round veggies. I love these cool window greenhouses, but I'm thinking of doing something more practical like covered boxes along the south side of the house (you can read more about it in Four-Season Harvest). The other ideas I want to keep in mind for our garden are space-saving trellises for viney plants and I want to try newspaper instead of landscaping fabric under our raised beds.