Taking Shape - Windermere Studios

Taking Shape

Despite saying I was going to wait and see how much work was needed to care for the raised beds, by mid summer we were already planning the build of more veggie gardens. The area between garage and raised beds is relatively flat so it would have been possible to build almost any type of garden. Daryl decided he wanted the challenge of a semi circle. So, a sod cutter was rented, the help of a strong son enlisted, and off we went. While we had the sod cutter here we used it to remove strips of sod by the fence for the fruit shrubs and a polygon of sod south of the veggies, around the existing ninebarks.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Alex picked up the sod and moved it for us, dug the needed holes for the large trees we'd bought, and filled the new veggie plots with soil when the time came. These projects would have taken much longer, and possibly wouldn't yet have been finished without his help. 

Turns out that figuring out the angles needed for the 'curves' was more of a challenge than expected. None the less, it did get figured out and they look amazing. They're all ready for growing season 2020. 

By mid summer I was already regretting not planting potatoes and onions, and had clearly learned that you need more than a square foot per squash plant (even though Square Foot Garden designs say you don't!). You can see the squash here, planning their domination of the yard. 

We'd laid the heavy landscape barrier after removing sod, but cut it out of the polygons before adding layers of cardboard, wood mulch and garden mix.We left the barrier on the paths, which we also covered with wood mulch. It might be necessary to add gravel over the paths in the future. Or maybe let clover grow :D.

The second garden became a perennial bed anchored by the three ninebarks already here. We brought rose bushes, clematis, day lily and anything else we thought might survive the move from Windermere and planted those into this bed. I planted the west perimeter with iris, lavendar and day lily and the east with the roses. I don't have any confidence that the four roses will survive the move, unfortunately. I also planted the gooseberry that I bought from the Botanic Garden plant sale and the currents that were part of the spring sapling delivery here. 

We bought two apples (a honeycrisp and a multi) and they're planted in this garden too. 

In the fall we were gifted perennials by a Rotary friend and lilies and a few other things from Sheila's garden. They are all here for now. In the fall I added 50 Rotary tulips, and rings of daffodils around the apples. 

One of the ways to help a new landscape to look mature is to overplant, and I've certainly done so here. But there will be more garden beds to come, and the excess here can be split and moved over time. 

Great progress was made in the yard in 2019. We still need to sort out the utility area in the corner between house and garage, and I suspect that there will be small changes made to the row of saskatoons and haskaps with time. The area that hasn't become garden in this corner is easily mowed with our push mower. We've removed (given away) 10 of the spruce that were planted along the east property line, and the fruit shrubs and a half dozen dogwoods have replaced them. Removing shade producers and moisture hogs and replacing them with native shrubs that produce food for wildlife is a big win in my book. 

We've yet to decide which part of the yard we'll enrich this way summer 2020. I have some grand ideas for adding more showy trees in the south east corner. But we've both become totally enchanted with the area we call the 'north west quarter' aka mushroom meadows. That area begs to be turned into a naturalized meadow of sorts. It already has a good start of native species thriving in the under growth of aspens, and I can envision it becoming a lovely spot for photography and forest bathing. ;-)

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