2019 Garden Plans

Last week, I wrote about my dreams for my 2019 garden. In my mind they are pretty grand. Because Todd said he would help me with the hardscaping and remodeling of the garden…my imagination took off with big ideas. Now that we’ve talked more, and I’ve gotten my head out of the clouds, I feel like my plans are maybe not super exciting, but within in reach.

So…some of the basic plans:

  • Create a “holding bed” with good soil and good drainage while better permanent beds are made
  • Paint my existing shed, add better shelves inside
  • Move plants from the “Big Bed” to holding bed, and dismantle “Big Bed”
  • Replace the Big Bed with space/pad for new shed (coming in 2020?) and two new 8×8 square beds flanking each side
  • Replace existing raised beds with better quality materials, refreshed soil, and good drainage
  • Add two large 8×15 spaces with landscape timbers and mulch as pads for my grow bags
  • Add large row for cut flowers in front of the garden
  • The most expensive but the most important addition will be the privacy fence. It will probably the big project of the year
  • Pour cement for new patio slab (this is all Todd)
  • Extend and clean up the rock area along the backside of the house

All of these plans concern our backyard, I have some thoughts on the front of the house, but I haven’t really put any on paper, yet. Our biggest constraint is budget. This little house has been quite the ‘fixer upper’ and we are still working on the inside. Not to mention, this year we hope to replace the doors and windows, and get the fireplace working again. It leaves very little money to throw into the yard. Fortunately, most of our work will be rearranging. I have to remind myself, we are going into our 4th Summer here, and all great gardens take time. I’ve also focused this year’s garden plan to mostly the large backyard garden. I hope to eventually add a lot more beds along the fence lines, but will wait for the fence to be built.  I am sure there will be plenty of amendments to the plan and some final measurements need to be made too. Below is my basic plan for the year, some of last year’s map, and my garden sign hope to add at the front!

Aside from the practical and basic layout, I’ve been thinking about the aesthetics too. Todd and I sat down and tried to figure out what my garden style is. I have no idea how to pin it down…except for tons of pins on Pinterest! Above all, I like gardens that look like they’ve existed a long time. Old gardens are the best. Some are kind of wild, nothing overly shiny and new which is perfect. I like structure and neat lines, but nothing sterile or overly-suburban-cookie-cutter-landscaped. I love color and texture too with bright flowers and soft grasses.

I am of the belief that you should decorate with things you love, no matter if the styles conflict…so long as you like it and don’t cram a million things in, most things will balance out. I feel the same way about gardens.

Here are a handful of my favorite inspiration photos. All of these images and the links to their content and credit can be found on my shamefully huge Farm & Garden Pinterest board. 

The Renovation: During

Two years ago, Todd and I moved all of our belongings into our uninhabitable house and realized it would still be awhile before we could live there. Our lease on our apartment was up at the end of May. June 1st, we had a problem.

Fortunately, railroaders are pretty generous folks (well, most of them). At some point, I would say at least half of all railroaders are in need of a place to crash for a while. This time it wasn’t just Todd, but me, Robin (our cat), and Boxy (our turtle). Our friend, and fellow railroader, Joe, offered us his place. So, for about a month, we lived in a room in the basement.

During April and May when we were spending countless hours on the house, we didn’t have a bathroom. I got over my fear of public bathrooms pretty quick. I’m also pretty sure the people at Kwik Trip thought we were homeless for as many times as we used their restrooms and ate our meals from there.

I should note, Todd was working on the house during all of his weekends and some times while waiting to go into work. I was up by 5:00 every morning and at the house by 6:00. I had until about 8:40 before I needed to leave for work. We had no electricity turned on. So, I would paint, lay floor, sweep, pull nails, etc. I would usually stop by after work too and work on things, until it started getting too dark.

When we did finally move into the house, we were still without a kitchen and shower. I spent my 30th birthday helping Todd put in our shower. During the so many days we didn’t have a shower… I washed my hair and our dishes in the backyard.

It was Thanksgiving before we had counter-tops and a kitchen sink.

The “during” portion of the renovation was pretty intense. We took out all the flooring, all cabinets, gutted the entire bathroom. We also ripped up 3 layers of sub flooring in the back two rooms. Oddly enough, there was more than one layer of dry-wall in several places as well. We also had a lot of electrical redone and all of the plumbing.

I’m getting anxious just writing about this. It was quite the ordeal.

Below are some of our “deconstruction/construction stage” photos. Including…when I broke the chandelier (and cut my head open), when the cat decided to break into the food we had stashed in the basement, and all our belongings crammed into the living room.

I promise I will get some of the garden before and after posts up asap! Maybe even in the next few days.