I’ve had such fun seeing how much garden I can fit into this tiny back yard of ours! (The answer: quite a bit) I now have a total of 6 raspberry canes, 5 tomato plants, four peppers, four strawberry plants (Julianna had to have strawberries!), three cilantro plants, two cucumbers, and one watermelon plant. Oh, and mint. I have two tiny baby mint plants. See?
Instead of planting everything together, I chose to spread things out. I love the idea of fruit and flowers growing all together. Here you can see my cilantro in with my flowers.
I’m not quite sure how the part-sunny places in the yard will do for the tomatoes, so I decided to try them out in a few different places.
Here’s the bed against the house– it gets tons of morning sun, but is shaded by 2 PM or so. I put a couple strawberries in this bed along with tomatoes and flowers. Hoping I don’t kill the azalea in the middle.
I majorly splurged on the two big tomato plants in this bed. Bought HUGE ones in April, which is why I already have half a dozen or so green tomatoes. My dollar/tomato ratio is terrible at this point, but I’m hoping good yields all summer will eventually justify that $15/plant (eek) cost. Maybe.
Since this bed against the house doesn’t have sprinklers in it, I added a soaker hose on a timer. For a couple minutes John and I were puzzling over what to do with the bit of soaker hose that was hanging over the concrete next to the spigot, not really wanting a big puddle there. But then we thought to put the pet water dish under it. Now the cats and dog get a fresh refill twice a day. The dog loves it, and runs to get a fresh drink each time she hears it turn on.
And just in case you’re wondering about the writing on the wall in that previous photo, here’s a shot of my husband’s latest project– a shed addition built onto the side of the house. He is a woodworker and since we’ve moved in has had tarps covering his woodworking materials, since there’s not enough garage space to house it all. No more– all that wood is safely under cover now, and he has a good place to work on projects as well. He is looking forward to the arrival of the siding so it will start looking like part of the house instead of an add-on.
This week he also built the little fence you see in the photo, to separate the ‘working’ part of the yard from the entertaining space. It also gives us a place to put the dog when we’re entertaining, so she won’t continually have her nose four inches from guests’ plates, begging for bites of their burgers. I am planning on whitewashing that new bit of fence so that it will match the gate. (Do you remember that gate from our old house? We couldn’t stand to leave it.)
I think the plant below is called a spirea. I am excited to see all the buds that mean flowers are coming soon!
On the south end of the yard (the far end in this photo– you can’t really see it in this photo, but it’s there) I planted bamboo, intermixed with more strawberries.
The tall fence next to it give it continual shade, which I am hoping will help the bamboo thrive. The variety I chose is called Fargesia rufa, which is a clumping type which means it is less invasive than some other types, and is supposedly an evergreen in Idaho. I am excited to see how it will do. Hopefully I won’t kill it.
Then here are some photos of the main portion of my garden. I’ve sheltered it against the fence behind the firepit area so that pets and kids are less likely to run through it.
Here’s the east ‘leg’ of it, with freshly planted tomatoes and sweet peppers. I opted to give cages even to the peppers, since our cats tend to lie down in fresh plantings.
As you can see, I am doing landscape fabric and bark to decrease the weeding time. This first year I’ve spend a fair bit of time establishing all these new beds, but I am trying to lay it all out so that it will be reasonably easy care all summer long. Love, love, love the fact that this yard has in-ground sprinklers. A simple thing to most people, but something that we didn’t have at our other place, and when I hear those sprinklers go on, I can’t help but smile. Ahhhhhh…..
Here’s one last shot of the garden. This is the north side of the yard. It gets sun almost all day long, and here I’ve planted a watermelon, a jalapeno, two tomatoes and two cucumbers. Once again, I protected almost everything that’s small with tomato racks or bamboo stakes– our cats just love to lounge wherever I’ve just been working.
Here I’ve also planted a few flowers and a pampas that is supposed to get 10 feet tall. (Eeek!) If it really gets that big it may overwhelm the space. But I am hoping for a nice sheltered feeling to the firepit area. I will try to update you later in the summer when things have had awhile to grow!