We did it! We've managed to squeeze it all into our tiny suburban lot.
Yes, it's a little tight, and it has been called 'cosy'...but I love it.
(early spring 2011)
If you've visited here before, then you are aware that this is an ongoing process.
Working when finances will allow. So far, six summers and counting.
Challenged with a tight budget and close property lines.
Oh, how I would love to have more money and soil to work with!
(my first apple tree- cortland )
(my first pumpkin!)
Ironically, I feel like all the constraints we've had has made this garden even more special to us.
Click on picture to take you to some before photos of my garden.
(herbs, veggies, flowers and a pool)
(view from patio)
Nestling into this home nicely, with no plans to move, we were prepared for serious sweat equity. Making sacrifices to our household budget to get the projects done. It's not complete yet, there is always room for more changes, at the moment I am eyeing up our side yard. Currently, the side yard is used as a parking lot, but I see a fruit tree and some three sisters plantings. Not this year though, I will enjoy and dream....and work on a plan.
Here are a few points that I followed over the years. They have helped when I was feeling discouraged and sore.
1. Make a plan
Decide how much time and money you want to spend on your outdoor space.
Will this be your address for awhile? Or do you know it will be short term.
Draw up a rough copy of your yard, what stays and what goes. Add in your wish list. This is when Pinterest, you-tube, blogs and all those glossy magazines are so helpful. Now go ahead and dream big, this is when it's easy to make big changes.
What do you want the most...flowers, play area, food, privacy, relaxation?
Privacy and grass. They were number one on my list.
With three girls that loved to pass a soccer ball and having a dog, a fence went up and grass was laid.
Shortly after that I carved small corner beds for young trees to get their roots in the ground. That first year was heavy on the sweat equity. Agghh, who am I kidding, every year is heavy on the sweat equity!
3. Break it up into bite size pieces
Even though I wanted a lot more then grass and trees that first year, I knew I didn't have the energy, money or time to take on any more. Having a prioritized plan in place reminded me that it was going to eventually happen, just not at that moment. Sometimes the priority list changes but that is completely up to you. The water feature jumped up quickly after experiencing the tranquility in my sister's garden and that moved the front yard project down a few years.
Click on image to see our xeriscaped front garden.
Work with what you have; a lovely old lilac, a messy path way of pavers, a pile of rocks, broken furniture or toys. All of which can be repaired, reinvented or relocated.
Compost! Compost! Compost! Nothing repairs the soil like compost. It's free.
Start seeds, divide your perennials, plant exchange with friends, visit year end nursery sales.
Thrift stores and garage sales can be great resource for flower pots, garden tables or garden art. Be creative.
5. Get busy
Try your best to get each job done before you begin another. Making sure to give yourself time to take a break and enjoy.
After all is said and done, the dream may change, and that's ok. In fact it's wonderful.
My tastes have changed and my direction has swayed, making this even more personal then before.
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