You may be looking at some of our more recent photo galleries and thinking, "There is no way I could ever do something like that". Well, we are here to tell you that yes, you can. It also didn't happen for us overnight. We started on a condo balcony where we got a couple good years of practice in before buying our home. The first summer we dug out a space and have expanded little by little ever since. If you're just getting started, it's best to start small and make sure you can keep up before going any bigger. We probably started a little too big but we do tend to go overboard with this whole gardening thing. Check out the photos below to see how our garden has evolved over the years.
Apparently 2014 was not a great year for pictures. We did have a 2 year old with a baby on the way so that may explain it. You can see the additions have begun with a 2nd garden (a pumpkin patch) behind the original. This was the year we decided to try squash, which as you can see not only climbed up the ladder but choked out half the garden and escaped over the fence on the other side. Despite that lesson learned it looks like it was a great year for tomatoes and eggplant, as well as various herbs we planted around the edges. In the picture Mike can be seen tying up a cherry tomato plant taller than him while a curious observer in diapers looks on
Now we're starting to step our game up. The 2 separate gardens were a real pain to mow and weed-whack between so we dug out the entire thing to make one huge garden. We have started to perfect the wide raised bed method. We now have a compost pit built into the garden where the pallet of flowers is sticking out of. The huge posts in the middle are pine trees we used to support the tomato plants. You tie twine across and weave the plants through as they grow up. We ended up abandoning this method after this year because once the plants had lots of heavy fruits on them they became difficult to support.
Here is where we begin to take a more artistic approach to our garden. We have now added a few trellis' on the edges including a new saloon door entrance and and arch made from forsythia branches. We have started incorporating more flowers which add color and more importantly attract pollinators. We have gone back to supporting tomatoes on individual stakes made from branches which line the back corner of the garden.
This was the year we upgraded the fence from plastic garden fencing to chicken wire. The plastic worked for a few years but all of a sudden the rabbits became more aggressive and started chewing their way through it. We would patch up the hole and they would just make a new one somewhere else. As fun as it was chasing them to find their secret entrances it was time to step up security. We expanded the trellis' in both directions making those part of the fence structure itself. We also created the squash hut in the middle which has it's own photo gallery here.
At this point we have pretty much maximized the main garden space and for the first time in a few years dug out a new plot somewhere else. We fell in love with eating our own organic popcorn the winter before so we decided to plant an entire separate garden which is now the designated "corn field". It was a busy year for construction once again with the addition of a brick patio and a huge trellis with a roof that would become known as the "squash tunnel". This was the year of the rogue flower with amaranths, borage, and sunflowers popping up everywhere from seeds left behind the year before. We decided to leave them in some spots which ended up being a bit of a mistake where a few amaranths grew like small trees crowding out some of what we intended to eat. Overall though it was a Bob Ross-like happy mistake that made the garden more beautiful than it would have been without them.