I love my garden this time of year, when all the beds are full and everything is growing like crazy. Awhile ago, I did a tour of my studio and figured this would be the perfect time to give a tour of my garden.
I’ll start with the front yard, since that is where the majority of the beds are. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good “before” pictures of my front yard. When I bought the house in 2007, there was just one raised bed, by the front fence line, and it was all overgrown. The rest was all lawn.
Over the years we have added to the garden slowly. One year, we added a couple of feed troughs, the next year, two more raised beds, the year after that, cold frames. Slowly, the lawn disappeared.
There are still more things we want to add to the garden. Our next big project will be to replace the chain link fence with cattle panel fencing. While we’re at it, we’ll probably build trellises for hops as well. I say “we”, but it’s really Matt, he does all the hardscaping.
I found these great “before” pictures of the back yard.
Man, it’s come a long way!
We spend a lot of time out here in the Summer and have spent countless evenings grilling, playing cribbage and sitting by the fire, with friends or just the two of us! The dogs love lounging out here with us too (note the dog dish in the photo above).
I had always wanted a porch swing and last year, Matt rebuilt the roof over the side porch so that it was strong enough for one. We found the swing itself at Bay Hay on Bainbridge Island. I plan on sewing some cushions for it, so that Mickey can sit with me (it’s currently too hard for his little bum).
The back yard is a good example of container gardening and edible landscaping.
Last but not least, is the chicken coop. These chickens are 7 years old now, so this was one of the first additions to my little urban farm. At the time, I had no idea how much room chickens really needed, so this coop has been added on to over the years. We started calling it the “Egg McMansion” after Matt built the run to the left. When the chickens were still fighting and picking at each other, he constructed the run to the right. Thus “Cannibal Run”. Yes, it’s open air, but we lock them up at night and have never had a problem.
My urban farm tour wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the dudes, who often “help” me in the garden, by eating compost and sticks, barking at things, pooping and peeing everywhere and knocking over plants (Wyatt).
But seriously, these outdoor spaces that Matt and I have created give me so much happiness. Gardening adds a rewarding structure to my life in so many ways. I may not feel like shoveling a yard of compost into the garden every Spring, but it’s so worth it. Getting out in the yard and getting my hands in the soil is a huge stress reliever for me. It relaxes me, gives me time to think or simply takes my mind off of things. My hard work pays off when I taste that first sungold tomato of the season or when I’m collecting eggs and harvesting pounds of potatoes. I take great pride in showing off my garden and love watching people eat snap peas straight off the vine. Being able to share something I grew with family and friends is so gratifying. I now associate annual events, like birthdays and holidays, with harvest times. The years have a rhythm to them that I enjoy, so hopefully this will be something I can do for years to come!