For several weeks this fall I would pause outside my garden and try to visualize how to change it.  A harsh assessment of this past summer’s harvest led to my decision to make some big changes. I was working hard and not seeing results. I was tied to my garden as even a weekend camping trip during hot weather resulted in dead or severely dehydrated veggies no matter how much mulch and shade cloth I used.

A couple of small changes had already been undertaken in late summer. Blueberries, after five years of producing next to nothing, had been moved into large pots.  Rhubard, of which I had only one or two cuttings each of the last two years, likewise were moved into a spot with good shoulder sun but less summer sun. We’ll see how these moves work. But the big picture still loomed in front of me. What to do. Any sort of significant change seemed like it would be a lot of work!

So, I started by making a list:

1) What didn’t grow well in my garden and possibly why.
2) What veggies/fruit were most important to me, how much of each did I want and how many square feet of planting space did that require.
3) What layout would accommodate a fully integrated timed irrigation system with the ability to regulate flow individually to the raised beds.
4) The garden must look good.

I got through 1 and 2 easily enough but the next two items required knowing the shape of the future potager. Still I hesitated making that first move not sure I was up to committing to the task, but one day I walked into the garden with the dolly and started hauling out the stones from the big stone key bed. Then with the wheelbarrow, hauled out the soil to a temporary spot outside the garden. And over the course of a couple of months tackled one bed after another. Now the lower level of the garden is more or less cleared.  But how to rebuild the raised beds is going to be a challenge given how much the tree roots have invaded many of the beds.

Kitchen garden in mid summer

The kitchen garden in late spring a couple of years ago. Lavenders in a bed outside the fence.

kitchen garden devoid of raised beds

Kitchen garden today. So sad to see it all gone. The lavenders will shortly be lifted.

roots in the raised beds

I tried a few years ago to put in a barrier against the roots, but obviously failed.

Reluctantly, I am also removing one side of the garden fencing and will re-fence a slightly smaller space. Tough decision but I need a bit more driveway room. Not for the cars, but for my dog and our agility exercises which usually take place on the driveway. Even though we have almost an acre of property, the land has so many levels with boulders and bedrock protruding everywhere that room to set up agility equipment is at a premium. The garden area is as flat as it gets around my house. I am going to claim some of it.

kappi jumping through tire

We need a place to train.


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