Garden Harvest: 2021

We had quite the bounty this year. The new tomato trellis on the front yard worked phenomenally. Despite the drought that Minnesota was experiencing, my garden was thriving. I think it helped that the new garden is on the eastern side of the house. So, it receives excellent morning and midday light, but then is shadowed a bit for the late evening heat. This likely kept the soil nice and moist. Conversely, the backyard garden became very desert-like during the drought. I tried to avoid watering both gardens, hoping that the natural resilience of my design would work as expected. And to that point, the native flower-garden portion of the back yard was fine during the drought, it was only the annual vegetables that seemed to suffer with out water from their ambivalent caretaker.

Summer Begins! (2020)

The solstice has come and summer begins in the garden. I love watching the transition from the early Spring plants and flowers, with their vibrant greens and fresh new growth, over to the flowers and colors of Summer, brighter colors and yellow-green foliage.

Summer also brings the fruits and vegetables!

May Garden Update

The garden is in the midst of the Spring time bloom.

The acidic garden has all of its plants in place. We added a back row of acid-loving azaleas and hydrangeas. Then a row of blueberries, followed by a row of perennial flowers.

Acid Garden

The 2020 garden season has begun. We are all under the stay-at-home guidelines for COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped me from preparing our front yard for the new garden beds.

Our vision for the front yard has changed since I originally drew out the plans. We still plan on the northend sporting a blueberry and azalea patch, but most of the yard we intend to leave open and grassy for our new pup.

I did what I always do when preparing a bed. First, I double-dug the soil and flipped the sod to help fluff the compacted soil.

Next, I added a layer of garden compost and manure to help fertilize the soil. I then watered the area thoroughly to ensure it was soaked in. Then I covered the new bed with a thick layer of newspaper.

I did my best to preserve our large tulip garden from last year. We hope to extend those tulips all the way to the end of the garden bed.

I soaked the newspaper as I went to keep it from blowing away. Last, I covered the area with 2-inches of mulch.

Then I soaked the whole collection until sopping wet. And the new bed is ready.

If the fence seems surprising, check out that project here:
http://arboreantears.com/2020/04/26/the-circuitous-fence/

Garden (2019): Expansion

It was March and we still had snow on the ground. I was very eager to start the new gardening season. I had lots of plans and more designs I wanted to execute.

Over the Winter, I had set up a small growing area with some LED lights. It provided us with fresh greens and herbs throughout the winter. I added an auto-watering system, making the whole set-up almost self-sufficient.

April

It was a colder and harsher April in 2019 compared to the previous year. I was quite eager to get started, but there was nothing to do yet while the ground was hard. I did enjoy watching the star magnolia tree blossom.

May

Two weeks later and it was a different world. All the tulips, daffodils, and crocuses I planted last fall were popping up. My wife and I prepared for our annual Kentucky Derby party. Spring had finally sprung.

June

This year I was working towards adding garden infrastructure. I added some trellises (thanks to my new woodworking hobby). I added a bunch more plants to fill in gaps. We added some beautiful flagstone paths to the south-side garden and put in a bunch of perennial flowers and bushes. The Russian comfrey plants were the star of the show, with their large soft-textured leaves and beautiful compact violet flowers.

July

August

August was bringing in beautiful summer flowers for us to enjoy. Our house was full of vases with clippings.

September

Unfortunately, I had to remove the fruit trees I had planted the previous year. I had learned the hard way about ensuring winter critters are unable to chew up the bark of the young trees. So, I put in two new apple trees on the back end of the yard near the garage, along with more perennials, forming a nice flower bed. I decided to forgo putting in new pear trees for now. One of the spots I had chosen didn’t quite get as much sun as I had predicted.