See you back here soon!
Now that we are getting (barely) settled in to our new house, Ellison and I want to plant a garden. And not just a flower garden, either. We want a garden complete with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. But, we've never had anything more than a few flowerpots on the porch and this type of garden (one that actually grows and produces food) is kind of a stretch. However, as you know, Ellison and I are not ones to be thrown off by little things like an almost complete lack of knowledge or experience, so we are moving right ahead with our plans. Luckily, Trevor knows what he's doing.
The ability to have a garden and grow some of our own food was definitely one of the main reasons we moved and while our house doesn't have a big expanse of grass, it does have a courtyard that is just right for planting fruit trees and growing vegetables. Below is a picture of what we have to work with. As you can see, the actual growing room is small and we are going to have to get creative with spacing, but I think when it's finished it will serve (hopefully) as a good example of what you can do with a limited area.
Once it was determined what it was possible to grow in our zone (8b) , we then had to figure out what it was possible to grow in our space and from there find a nursery that carried the specific varieties we wanted. Luckily, this wasn't too much of a problem. (If you live in the South and are looking for growers that carry native plants, then Chestnut Hill Tree Farm is a great option. They were super helpful and went out of their way to make sure we had just what we wanted. They have a helpful list already prepared of the types of trees that work well in Florida.)
Here is a list of what is being planted. While the berries will produce this summer, it will take a few years for the trees to start bearing fruit. It will also take about that long for them to start looking like anything other than sticks in the ground. But, this is designed to be a productive space and, despite our best efforts to maintain its attractiveness, some aesthetic value had to be sacrificed.
Here it is with everything in the ground. Let's just say that looks can be deceiving - this seemingly tiny space took days of hard work to get it into shape. We're going to have to create a raised bed for the vegetables and herbs (next weekend's project), but the trees are in and the blackberry and blueberry bushes have been planted. The nice thing about the courtyard is that it is walled in so rabbits and squirrels aren't going to continuously tear up the garden. Or at least Ellison and I hope they don't.
I know, it's hard to see the trees or bushes in this picture. They're tiny little twigs poking out of the ground. It's so sad, like a row of barely-there Charlie Brown Christmas trees. But, gardening by its very nature is an exercise in optimism, so we are going to have to have faith that with the proper attention and nutrients these plants will grow quickly. If not, we'll try to find varieties that will. Or maybe just plant some flowers instead. If nothing else, this will reinforce (for the whole family) the need for patience as well as the idea that you reap what you sow.
See you back here soon!
My family and I love to get outside and explore every chance we get. My daughter and I started this blog as a way to chronicle not only the places we have visited, but also as a way to preserve our time together. We hope you enjoy it and will make a little time for a hike with friends!