Less Noise, More Green: Rethink of the Front Garden Redo and Other Happenings

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rethink of the Front Garden Redo and Other Happenings

Bakewell Tart Squares, British Food
Bakewell Tart Squares

Last weekend almost felt like Spring, here in Rhode Island. I took advantage of the weather and dug up all the remaining hostas in the front yard. It only took me five hours. Let me tell you, those plants did not want to come out!! I also removed a dead hydrangea and an invasive barberry. Lots of work still remains though, including pruning and the removal of a yew tree to make room for two elderberry bushes.

Before (last summer)

  The bed on the left will have peas and then pumpkins.


My husband and I (I sound like the Queen) spent some time thinking about our plans for the front. In the end we decided to rethink the original design I posted here. Gone is the tree and pumpkin patch. Instead, we will dig up all the grass and plant a free form garden, consisting of a mix of perennial and annual edible plants. I'll plant the pumpkins in the side bed, where they can climb up the teepees once the peas are over.

I am very excited about this redesign. It leaves lots of room for experimentation, is a place for me to plant the excess vegetable plants I always grow and is much more in line with my original idea of an edible landscaping project.  All we need now is consistent weather so we can turn the soil and add compost.

Another storm is forecast for the middle of the week, dropping more snow. I had planned to start planting outside next weekend. It's not looking good! I fear we are looking at a non existent spring, going straight into summer heat.

Egplant seedlings, grow lights
Eggplant seedlings growing on a heat mat.

Sage Seedling, grow lights
Sage and rosemary

Black Eyed Susan Seedlings, grow lights
Black Eyed Susans

Leek Seedlings, grow lights
Inside, I continue to plant seeds and pot growing seedlings. Some of my broccoli, cabbage and geraniums are out of their starter cells now and with a little squirt of fish emulsion, are happy in their larger homes.

Peppers, eggplant, sage, thyme, rosemary, bee balm, Black-Eyed Susans and leeks are all not far behind. I'm on my second try to germinate lavender. Any tips from any successful growers out there?

Finally, I made a decent Bakewell Tart this weekend, baking it in an eight inch square pan and cutting it into squares. I put short crust pastry just on the bottom of the pan to create uniform treats. You can find the recipe I used  at  BBC Food. Delicious!!! I used icing, but not the sliced almonds on top because Computer Boy doesn't like them. What we do for our kids!

So, it looks like another frustrating gardening week lies ahead. Maybe the storm will pass us by - lets cross our fingers! Are you planting outside yet?


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