Thank you for sharing your stories and your words of encouragement on Monday’s post. We are hanging in there together. The days are a little rough, but thankfully I’ve got a good man by my side that is ready to embrace it all when he gets home – even after long days at work. So, yep, I’m doing a lot of holding right now, but when I’m not holding (and sometimes when I am holding), I’m planning a beautiful yard.
Our property is long, narrow, and void of just about anything other than random toys and grass. Growing up my next door neighbor had the most amazing cottage garden. Flowers, vines, plants gorgeously covering every inch of everything. Beautiful flower chaos. When they’d go out of town, they’d hire my sister and I to water. It took a long time, but was one of my very favorite jobs growing up. I could get lost in that garden. Every turn had a new surprise. I dreamed of owning that house one day, just for the garden.
Eventually they moved and new owners cut back everything for a more orderly yard and garden. I still get grumpy when I visit my parents’ house and remember the way things used to be next door.
Anyway…I have a big flat field that I am bound and determined to transform.
I don’t have a lot of ideas of how to actually make this dream happen.
Painting walls is so much easier than turning a field into a cottage garden.
Nonetheless, I am going to try.
I’m starting with this: chickens ~ raised garden bed ~ temporary compost bin/site ~ wood chips & more coming (Back to Eden, anyone?) ~ mini fruit & nut orchard ~ lots of space
That is a train passing in the background of the picture above. I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned we live right by train tracks. It is kind of awesome. Someday when the kids are grown and I’m not a responsible adult, I’d like to jump on a empty car and ride a while down the track. I’ll pack a picnic, some boots, a good hat and sunglasses. It will be a fine day.
But it is illegal and dangerous, so I won’t…probably.
I’ve been pouring over all my old Cottage Living magazines. Tearing out pages and jotting notes of the plants that will work for what I am hoping to achieve. I’m dreaming of vegetables mixed in with flowers….berries climbing fences….trees ripe with fruit…a little oasis in the middle of this wide openness. Problem is I am just trying to figure it out as I go. I wish I had a landscaping degree, it would come in handy now.
My friend recommended the book Free Range Chicken Gardens. It has been perfect for me as I begin to plan out our garden and how chickens can be a huge asset, not hindrance to gardening. My dad is helping us with building the coop. He can build anything and thankfully I think it is hard for him to turn me down when I ask for his help. I’ll pay him off with eggs one day.
So….I’m reading, watching videos, planning out fences and paths and plants. But I am bound to make a bunch of mistakes. The plan right now is to spend the next few months getting loads of wood chips, putting up fencing and laying out the framework for the whole area. Maybe we’ll plant some bulbs and shrubs in the fall and the heavy planting next spring. So, wonderful wise blog readers, I know some of you are pros at this. Here are my questions:
- Anyone want to just come do this all for me? I’m joking. No, I’m not.
- What are your favorite plants?
- What do you wish you had done differently in your own cottage/potager garden?
- Any non-overwhelming advice for someone just getting ready to do a total makeover on a yard?
- Any favorite websites?
Well, today is supposed to be warm so I will be working on digging the coop stem wall. We have a lot of chicken predators around here, so the coop has to be extra beefy. I already dug the stem wall once, then we decided to enlarge the coop so it is back to work for me. That is assuming Little One will let me!