Saturday, June 11, 2016

Map of the garden

The back garden
Presenting the basic map of my back garden (front garden not shown).  I'm growing vegetables in the beds surrounding the patio nearest my house (brown on the map).  As you can see, it's not a big space.  I can't extend these beds much more, as the two big trees at the back cast shade over most of the lawn.  I could probably convert another foot or two of lawn to beds, but no more.

My next best place to grow vegetables is the beds surrounding the pond.  I gardened here for many years, but found I prefer my vegetable garden to be as close to the back door as possible--less of an effort to get to, so I'm more likely to make that effort!  Right now there are some shrubs (edible and ornamental) and a lot of weeds--or chicken food as I like to call them.  I'm trying to get asparagus to grow here, and artichoke.  There's already some strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb.  Did I mention the weeds? 

The chickens have their permanent area under those two big trees at the back.  It's good shelter from rain and wind, and there is a very deep pile of mulch in the middle, for them to scratch to their hearts' content.  They are very rarely confined to just their permanent yard, however;  we rotate them through the lawn and back beds regularly.

On the patio next to the house is my collection of containers growing various things, from trees and vegetables, to herbs and seedlings.   I grow carrots in planters here, to protect from slugs and carrot fly.  I take advantage of the favorable microclimate to grow tomatoes and other heat-loving vegetables right next to the house. 

There are plenty of fruit trees and bushes scattered about.  All of the fruit trees are dwarfs, and I keep them pruned to within my reach for ease of harvesting;  this generally means light pruning in summer, and possibly in winter, too.  They are all positioned so as not to cast too much shade on growing areas--sunshine is at a premium on this rainy, rainy island.

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