Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Kitchen Garden Begins

Finally, the Kitchen Garden is more than a dream in my head and a sketch on paper. I first knew that I wanted a Kitchen Garden to surround our pool last summer when I read Jennifer Bartley's Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook. I planned the garden in my head, then put it on paper. At the time, we were adding our lovely back porch and rethinking what we wanted around the pool. I advocated for the Kitchen Garden, and it is slowly becoming a reality -- more slowly than I hoped back in September.

The ground is cleared. I moved everything I wanted to keep, gave lots of plants away, and put even more on the compost pile. The bermuda grass is gone -- there is a time and place for Roundup in my life. The perennial border that sat where the new Kitchen Garden will be had been overrun by Bermuda, which got its foot in the door when Skye was a baby and has been waging war and gaining ground ever since.

Love has tilled the ground. I have picked up rocks. Love is searching for topsoil to have hauled in to build the beds up. My perfectly symmetrical but impractical raised beds on paper have morphed to fit the new layout, and Love has made me a beautiful drawing using his cad program. I have actually purchased my own copy of Designing the New Kitchen Garden -- the public library will be so glad. When Dickson Street Bookshop didn't turn up a copy, I ordered it from Nightbird Books. (I really am trying to buy local more.)

There are more rocks to pick up, more tilling to be done, beds to build, soil to ammend and work, a fence to install, plants to set out and seeds to plant. My brother in Texas has promised to share his asparagus. The strawberry plants that are too close to the blueberry bushes will have a new home. Two roses in the holding bed (the very weedy holding bed) are looking for a new home. And this time next year, they will have one, and we here at the Realm will be enjoying more than just tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and berries. We'll be enjoying the beauty and bounty right outside our kitchen door.

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