Two months after sharing our first post about our Garden of Dreams, it has become a reality. But as is often the case with best-laid plans, the final incarnation is much different than the original proposal.
Yes, it is true: we got carried away! We got so caught up in the excitement of having our very own, slow home garden this summer, that we neglected to realize that our initial plan of 10’x10’ raised planter beds was waaaay too ambitious for citiots like ourselves. In addition to it being too large and requiring serious fencing, it was too far from our water supply and would have required massive amounts of bending. So we went back to the drawing board and our wonderful neighbor Jeanne, who is collaborating with us on this venture, came up with an alternate plan. She found Western Red Cedar tool-free assembly elevated garden beds made by Gronomics and we purchased two from our local garden store along with a simple gardening book that explained how to prepare the planting beds.
We initially planned on placing the beds, which measure 34” x 48” each, in front of our shed, but after waiting patiently and unsuccessfully for days and days and days AND days for the sun to make an appearance so that we could ascertain if the location was indeed sunny enough, we decided to plant them in our driveway, where we were sure that six hours of daily sun would not be a problem.
So this past weekend, in between the thunder, lightening and soaking rain, we assembled the beds and planted the garden.
Thanks to Jeanne’s diligence and research, we filled the beds with a mixture composed of:
1/3 Peat Moss
1/3 Compost mixing three kinds including organic compost, a compost/humus mix and compost Jeanne had accumulated last year.
We began by spreading a tarp and combined the mixture for each bed separately so that it would be more manageable. Then our youngest son shoveled it into the beds where we continued to mix it and water it so that it was well blended and moist.
the perfect blend
We planted one bed with plants including two kinds of lettuce, two kinds of mint, arugula, spinach, jalapeno peppers, red peppers and thyme and the second bed with seeds for carrots, cucumbers and radishes along with several kinds of beet plants. We are planning on filling in with other herb plants this coming weekend and are still discussing how best to house tomato plants.
Separating the arugula
For now, both beds are covered with bird netting to discourage the deer, possibly the only animals that can reach the comfortable height of 32 inches.
There is something so wonderfully rewarding about getting your hands dirty and planting food to harvest that we all, including our youngest, were swept up in the excitement. We were so thrilled with our initial planting, we ran back to the farm store for more plants!
And this is just the beginning. If we are successful with these two raised beds this season, we will plant the larger raised beds we had originally planned, next year and use these two raised beds for herbs. And there I go again, getting ahead of myself, but it is almost impossible not to.
The simple pleasure of this modern take on ancient agrarian farming has really inspired us and the possibilities are endless. With our Garden of Dreams taking shape, can Alpacas be far behind?
So, as you begin your holiday weekend, think about building your own Garden of Dreams, however small. The results will be magical!
And here is the proof: Our first radish sprouts popped up yesterday, just three days after planting the seeds.