Monday, September 27, 2010

A garden is dynamic

Its been a while since my last post, in part because I've taken some time to do some work in the garden.
A garden is never done.
From time to time it is nice to redo parts of the garden. Perhaps it is because I am never satisfied, or maybe it is just that I like gardening, but more likely it is because the garden is always in a state of change. Unlike interior decorating or architecture, plants grow and conversely they die, or becomes senescent, which sounds better sometimes.
The garden changes, and how you look at the garden changes too. Plans change, the way you use your garden changes, and your tastes and aesthetics change over time. As a result, there is always change, and a garden is dynamic. Embrace this- it s part of the fun. Plan for it, if you are good.

Here is a link to an older post of mine that will give you an idea of the continued change in our garden (Time Series and Change)

This year I put together a list of garden projects, these are always fun to make and a great reason for keeping a garden journal (or a blog).
So this is a little recap of some of those projects, but also a reminder that a garden is not static, or stuck in some level of size, growth, etc... The more plasticity you can incorporate into your garden, the more you will probably enjoy the process of gardening.

I finally got rid of the last vestiges of lawn (see photo at the beginning of the post and below). In both cases our lawn had been reduced to a couple of patches of open space, but mainly they were used as paths and as places to gather. Frankly, neither option was a really good use for lawn. These little lawn remnant patches would typically get worn down and trampled. Also, since we had so little lawn, the lawn began to look out of place. So rather than fight it, I dug it all up, and replaced it with urbanite, hills and ultimately more native plants (here is a past post on working with urbanite). The native flowers will come from where I placed new raised beds (see blow).

I also added more raised beds to the garden for vegetables like this new garlic bed in front of the greenhouse,
Or the new onion bed in the foreground next to the grape arbor. All these beds are covered with my cat guard/ trellis system, in case you were wondering what the grids were all about. They also triple there utility as planting grids for garlic and onions since I plant all those with about 6" spacing.
The aspen grove is now decadent- but we did not loose aspen, we gained some sangs. And as aspen are wont to do, we did not actually loose any aspen, they are just in different places, and we now have more aspen, or above ground aspen, anyway.
We got a good decade out of the aspen grove, and frankly I am excited to rework it- while using the snag as a prominent feature.
Throughout these projects was the theme of adding more and more seating.

Cheap gardening.
Like that law of physics, matter is never really lost or gained nor was it lost in these projects- all the elements were just rearranged. I moved plants from one area to the next, moved compost from our compost bins into the new raised garden boxes, moved a hill from one place to another, and ultimately spent nothing, other than a trip to Home ReSource, which, by the way, is having its Grand Opening on Sat. Nov. 6th, to scavenge some urbanite from their take pile.

There are always going to be some places in the garden that just don't work, and that is also part of the fun and challenge. This summer I changed a couple of spots that I thought I fixed last year, or the year before. Some years I do nothing in the garden but enjoy it- enjoy it but secretly plan some changes. Sometimes I think my wife dreads when I say, things like "I'd like to move this or that or put a hill there or take that hill away". Again, this is all part of the fun, that is, thinking about how to change things and solve problems, not annoying my wife.

In a couple of years, the changes I made this summer, I might undo, and I look forward to it.