Every year I try to improve or expand the garden and landscaping from the previous year. The front yard landscaping will be a huge endeavor this spring. I left it fallow over the summer and winter because I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in. I did buy a few perennials on clearance over the summer. They’ve since died back or gone dormant so spring will see whether they come back to life or not.
I plan to move slowly for the front yard. It’s very expensive to landscape that big an area. I need a focal point, but I’ve been waffling on what exactly that should be. I know what I want. A statue. But that’s big $$$.
A fountain would be my second choice, though I’m not sure I would pump water into it. There are trees nearby that will shed their leaves over the area and I’m not crazy about fishing out leaves from the basin(s).
Other options would be to create a center stage raised bed in stone or pavers. We priced the pavers last year and it’s even more expensive than a fountain.
Landscaping is such a personal thing. I want it to relate to the style of the house, which is on the formal side, but I also want it to have a carefree cottage feel. This includes having an edible garden as well as a flower garden.
It would be easy if I liked the typical formal landscape with foundation shrubs and trees, but I really prefer to soften the look of the formal house.
I like a casual garden dotted with stone and relics. Aside from me and Greg, we’re the only relics on site. It’s a head-scratcher on what to choose because whatever I choose will have to be permanent. I want it to last for as long as I live here.
My other big project this year is the vegetable garden. This project is a little more straightforward because the foundation work is done. My job this year is to improve the existing garden. I have 22 beds, all of them with varying degrees of good (or bad) soil.
My goal is to refresh all the beds with fresh soil, compost, and manure. It’s a huge job especially with this bum shoulder, but I think if I do one bed every couple of days (weather permitting) I should have it done by planting season.
About the shoulder: The nurse practitioner I saw thinks it might be a pulled or torn tendon. She says pulled tendons take weeks (if not months) to heal. If it’s not better by March, I’ll go in and get some pictures taken.
Before I get started on the garden I want to test it for ph and nutrients. I took samples from every single bed, but was only able to test a few beds before I realized the test for potassium wasn’t working. (It was an old kit.) I’m waiting for my new soil test kit to arrive.
The only thing I’m not looking forward to working on are the beds where the sweet potatoes, sunflowers, and corn grew. The sweet potato bed is soft and friable, but it has thousands of little roots tying up everything in a web. It’s going to be a lot of work to get it root-free again.
The corn and sunflower beds have become compacted. I foresee having to remove a lot of old soil and replacing it with more compost and fresh soil. I don’t have enough homemade compost ready for 22 beds, so I’m afraid I might have to buy it. It’s never as good as homemade, but it’s either that or leave those beds fallow until next fall.
We’ll see how far I get.
Soil gets used up if you don’t feed it. I’ve been remiss about that the last couple of years. That’s enough to put me in the Gardener’s Hall of Shame. I should know better.
Maria wants to know…
Do you feed your soil and/or plants? Do you plan to start a garden this year?
How does your front (or back) yard look? Are there any focal points or specimen trees (or plants) in your yard? Have you ever thought about changing it?