Thursday, May 03, 2012

Creating a Garden from Scratch!

Our yard was a mess.  Weeds. Weeds. Weeds. And 2 boxwoods.  In the front we don't have much of a yard.  Erensto and I dug up all the weeds and then covered it with a heavy plastic for a week to kill everything.  Here was our blank slate.
I know I should probably put some bushes here (like most people do in Atlanta) instead of a high maintenance garden, but I just love my mom's garden filled with flowering perennials and wanted to fill my little plot with some of the same. 
If you saw my facebook updates around Easter, you know that I brought 5 Rubbermaid tubs of plants [via air] from my mom's garden to transplant into mine.
 The soil here is BAD! Hard. Red clay.  It's going to be a huge difference for these compost spoiled plants from Ohio.  We did amend the soil with a bunch of manure and nicer topsoil, so we will see what happens.  Here is the garden right after I planted everything.
Ignore that pile of rocks to the left.  This is what we dug up, and that is just the bigger rocks.  We had an even bigger pile of smaller rocks.  All the plants are feeling a bit sparse and hodge-podge right now, but I'm hoping once they get established, they will fill in the space nicely.  I just had to get them in the ground quickly as it had been 4 days since they were dug up in Ohio.

Here they are a few weeks later and looking a bit more established.  I still need to put newspaper down and then mulch.
 The sedum that I planted may be the only reliable plants this year.  These are hard to kill.
 They are planted along the edge and will eventually spill onto the sidewalk.

For the back yard, we have beautiful plan in our heads which includes a stone patio covered with a pergola,  a fireplace and grill, a grassy area, and garden beds in one corner running up the side of the house.   All of this will not be happening this year of course, but we will do what we can.

Currently, there are two ugly trees overrun with kudzu and a bunch of weeds.  One challenge I have is to clear all of that out without hurting the few beautiful wisteria vines.  I need to save them for the future pergola.

First things first.  I needed a vegetable garden!  With the horrible clay soil/drought conditions here, I knew a raised bed would be our best bet.  We recycled some wood found across the street, added 10 bags of top soil along with a bunch of manure (picked up free from Craigslist)

I now have it planted with tomatoes, jalapeƱo & serrano chiles, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant and parsley and cilantro.  (pole beans will be planted up a bamboo teepee to the side)
 Everything seems to be happy and growing fast.  The soil is so good, Im hoping that makes all the difference for a big harvest.  I have already noticed that it does not dry out too fast, which is great because there have been only a few "spring showers."
Our deck is small and square. And because we don't have a garage/shed [yet], we will need to store things under it.  Yes, very trashy looking, I know.

After Ernesto did such a great job with the raised vege bed, I convinced him to build a raised bed all around the base of the deck and attach lattice so I can grow vines on it creating a wall of green. (thus hiding all the stuff under the deck)

He got started right away and had they took shape in no time.
My dad helped with the final steps of leveling the beds and attaching the lattice.  I am extremely happy with how it turned out. We found free fill dirt on Craigslist (surprise surprise!) and added the rest of the manure.  I can't wait to plant these!

I definitely want to cover the lattice with vines though,  Im not a big fan of plain lattice.  Imagine, if you will, the lattice covered in this star jasmine.
It is evergreen in GA and the blooms smell ridiculous!  It is supposed to be a fast grower too, so I will be planting asap! I will post updates as things progress.  Have you guys planted a garden this year?

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