2009 Garden

A Room With a View

View from the room upstairs.

The 2009 growing season was cool and wet. Though I love the moisture and hate to complain about it, there is a threshold for most plants. We lost the majority of the strawberry crop because the berries would rot before they ripened-too much water, not enough sun and heat. Additionally, the tomato harvest was less than expected due to this phenomen, and the sweet potatoes wanted nothing to do with it. Otherwise it was a productive year. The biggest surprise was how well the lima beans faired. Onions, garlic, green and lima beans, beets, sweet corn, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and a volunteer mellon all performed exceptionally well. I decided to try to take an aerial view of the gardens from the upstairs window now that we have windows which actually work. I love seeing things from a new and different angle-"O Captain! My Captain!".

Early summer garden.

Though I decided in 2008 that cinder block raised beds would be the way of the future for my gardens, I did not take the plunge. Instead I mulched, mulched, and mulched some more. The makeshift fence line was taken over by weeds (which incidentally made an impenetrable barrier for chickens, rabbits, etc...), but otherwise the gardens were lovely. The fence was made of plastic landscape netting supported by bamboo poles I weaved through it and stuck into the ground. It is destroyed by weed eaters so I simply mowed along the outside of it and left it to the weeds. By the end of the season the landscape netting was spent. It fell apart when we dismantled the fencing at the end of the growing season!

Reclaimed herb garden.
Blue bird house.

In the herb garden I grew frustrated with the invasive mints-primarily peppermint. I removed the fence, transplanted the herbs to pots, and put down cardboard as an initial layer of mulch to try (operative word here) to maintain some modicum of control. (I understand why herb gardens are planted in rocky outcroppings now.) I also dug the old wash basin out of the basement, plugged the hole in the bottom, begged an appropriate sized hole be dug by my husband; then inserted the wash basin, filled it with water, and added a floating fountain. I love it!! All of the chickens, cats, and dogs now use it as their "watering hole". What a delight. I've still got high hopes for that water garden in the future, and in fact plans are growing and changing the more I learn. I would love a water effect in the herb garden as well as a larger water garden on the east side of the main vegetable garden and a natural swimming pool! I've got my eye on one of these small waterfall gardens in a box from Ultimate Pond Products. For the water garden on the east sice of the main garden we are planning to employ the assistance of Swan's Water Gardens, and though it will be many years down the road, we dream of having a natural swimming pool. I was amazed to find the Natural Habitat company right here in the KC metro area!

We have several bird houses here at Fieldstone, all made from salvaged wood. The very first birdhouse that we ever put up is on the south east side of the garden. This year, we were blessed with a family of bluebirds. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time we have ever had bluebirds here. They were too shy for a photo shoot, but this is the abode they chose. Perhaps it had a good view.....

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