As a child I remember my mum and dad working in the garden on I guess what must have been the weekends. My brother and I would play in the garden as children do, while my parents would be building ponds and digging up trees… one tree, I seem to remember, I didn’t want them to remove because it was “mine.” I didn’t plant it and I am pretty sure it was older than me since I was all of 8 years old at the time, but in my head it was mine. My mum also had a vegetable garden down the side of our last house. I think there was one in the garden before that (along with a pond, see a theme?), but all I remember of that house was making mud pies for my brother to eat… These vegetable gardens (and ponds) were also present in grandparents yards (both maternal and paternal… well my maternal had a local duck pond, that’s sorta similar… right?). Maybe it’s an English thing, whatever it is, when my husband and I moved into our house I decided that I wanted a beautiful garden with a vegetable patch.
Here come the problems…
We live in a condo with an association (I am not even going to touch that drama, that’s for another time and place!) and we both work “9-5” jobs… so how on earth was my garden going to be born when I am in the office more than my house? Plus my husband, bless him, has no real desire to put in a garden, he just wants to look at it. So I was, for the most part, on my own.
I won’t lie, getting my garden up and running took the better part of a year; however, it was done in bits and pieces since I wasn’t able to spend day after day working on it nor did we have the money to buy all the plants I wants… and I want lots! I decided upon three things:
1. Destroy and rebuild my back garden (putting in grass)
2. Destroy and rebuild my front garden (including helping the grass along)
3. Create a vegetable garden
I mentioned that I live in a condo right? Well, although we have a back garden, it is mostly a concrete patio with a small area of dirt. You might be wondering where on earth I was planning on putting a vegetable garden. Ah, that is a fun little question. My husband and I built one on the concrete (never say you don’t have enough room, vegetable gardens can be made in raised beds build on top of concrete, pots on patios, and even inside your home! That is for another day however).
The first project (although I should mention that I often switched between them once I got one a little bit along the way) was the back garden. The back fence was covered in ivy (and spiders) and the dirt area was filled in with dead grass and cat litter… they joys of home ownership (and buying a short sale).
|So it’s not the best picture… imagine that the people aren’t sitting there and you are just looking at the ivy…|
My mum and I (but mostly my mum, there were spiders remember) removed all the ivy, the metal trellis, and the cat litter (as much as we could without digging the whole thing, bit by bit remember). We then decided to plant some canna’s and iris’ from my mother’s garden (free is the best kind of plant, plus they are pretty and still doing amazing!) and as they perennials they just keep popping up year after year. That is one of the secrets to a pretty garden on a “9-5” – use plants that need little to no maintenance once established, cuts down on your time in the yard without a drink in your hand! That’s where we stopped on the back garden and started on the front.