Sunday, September 16, 2007

Next Year's Kitchen Garden

It's been my plan for some time to revamp the garden that surrounds our pool to create a Kitchen Garden. The flower beds have gotten away from from me -- year by year, the Bermuda grass has gotten more ingrained until I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle every time I set foot in that garden.

This spring, we tore out a small deck and added our new beautiful back porch, which was finished in July. To complete the project we are ripping out the wooden fence that is 6" from the concrete pool decking and replacing it with hurricane fencing set back about 12'. We've never liked the fact that there is no room to grow anything inside the pool fence, and we're about to change that.

I'm the gardener in the family, and my husband is the engineer and builder. So, he's designing the fence and the water flow, and I'm designing the new garden. My basic plan is to move the plants I want to save and then Round-up the area repeatedly until every sprig of Bermuda has been eliminated. Then we'll lay out beds that I can reach across to weed and put in paths between them. There will be room for my garden bench and flowers to attract my beloved hummingbirds. We'll have mostly vegetables, but two beds will be for strawberries. I'm moving those out of The Berry Patch so that they can be easily covered with netting while they're bearing. We'll also have a few flowers and herbs mixed in, and I'm planning to put hardy kiwi on part of the fence. I can hardly wait.

And I have begun preliminary work. Love says the old fence will be coming down in about three weeks, so it's time to start moving plants. Thankfully, the weather has cooled enough to make working long weekend hours in the gardens pleasant and to be kinder to the plants that are uprooted from their longtime homes. So, yesterday I moved a stand of Siberian irises to The Cottage Garden beneath our bedroom window. Today I moved 24 volunteer maples out of the vegetable patch and into The Woodlot. Right now, I'm pretty tired. Tomorrow, it's back to work at my second home (the library), but I plan to get in an hour or so in the garden after hours. Next spring, The Kitchen Garden will exist in the backyard, not just in my mind!

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