Less Noise, More Green: My gardening split personality

Monday, November 10, 2014

My gardening split personality

Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscape Project, November 2014
What does your garden and gardening style reveal about you? I have been cleaning up and prepping my beds for their New England winter sleep and thinking about my gardening plans for next year: what crops will I grow again, where will I plant them and what new plants do I want to add?  As I'm working, it strikes me how different my thought process is regarding planning for my front and back gardens. I have two gardens and two completely different gardening styles, resulting in sort of a mullet haircut in reverse with a party in the front and all business in the back!


Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscape Project November 2014
The right side of my front garden. Even with a lot of dead plant material removed, it still looks good!


Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscape Project November 2014
The left side of the front garden. i love those pink Swiss chard stalks!

This summer, I planted a new garden in the front of the house consisting of mostly edible plants. Plant placement in this garden is fun and colorful, dramatic and welcoming. While the garden has been productive, I've been excited by the design possibilities and have been formulating a list of new exotic edibles to try next year. I'm looking for the WOW factor! I've enjoyed watching this garden develop and have been slow to remove plants or cross them off the list for next year. I'm excited to see where this garden takes me as a gardener.

Less Noise, More Green, back yard garden November 2014
My backyard garden is now half empty with only fall and winter crops remaining.
My garden in the back, however, is where the serious food production happens. I have six traditional beds where I grow nothing but vegetables and a few perennials (strawberries, rhubarb and two blueberry bushes). Each year, I try a couple of new plants to see how they like growing in my little micro climate. This year, I tried tomatillos and ground cherries. I also grew peanuts for the second year.

Less Noise, More Green, back yard garden November 2014
As I'm clearing out the beds I'm adding compost, then I'll be covering the beds with mulch to protect the top soil over the winter.
In this garden, I 'm looking for production and efficiency of space. If a plant spreads out too far or doesn't produce a descent crop,  it doesn't make it back into the next year's rotation. If half way through the season a plant just isn't working I'll rip it out. In fact, this will be the last year for peanuts ( half a cup of peanut butter from 1/3 of a bed of peanuts), tomatillos and ground cherries. Next year, I think I'm going back to basics, focusing on the veggies we eat all year long and preserve for the winter: potatoes; sweet potatoes; carrots; beans and peas; winter squashes; Brussels sprouts; cauliflower and cabbage; leeks; beets; garlic; turnips; parsnips and tomatoes. No WOW factor here, although I think the beds are beautiful!

I guess these gardens fire different sides of my brain - creative and analytical, because I find them equally rewarding and satisfying!

Do you have different gardening styles for your gardens?

Sue






3 comments:

  1. I am a avid gardener too. I just finished canning my home grown Olives a few months ago am in the process of freezing all the excess Citrus . Living in the southern part we don't get snow at all but the temperatures dip significantly. Any tips on the citrus ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Samira, I am not an expert on citrus trees but my understanding is your trees should be OK unless the temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch the weather and if a really cold spell is forecast, water your trees well and wrap protective fabric around the trunks. Lemons and L\limes are the most vulnerable to frost. I would suggest seeking out advice from your local cooperative extension which will part of your state university. Good Luck!

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