Spring is finally here up where I am in Canada. The tulips are pushing up leaves and the grass is turning green, and the snow is gone! Finally at last! It was a very long winter. Last week was the first week I began to rummage through the garden and clean it out. I find it always to be quite satisfying work while it lasts. And as I clear away the dead leaves and reveal the soil where nothing is growing and if filled with annuals I am starting to plan which of my plants that I have started indoors will be planted there.
This year my plan is to take a page out of Alys Fowler’s book (mainly The Edible Garden) and really attempt polyculture.
This means to have both a a beautiful and useful garden. Very Arts and Craft Movement in my mind. For Alys this means to have beautiful vegetables planted in with flowers for pollinators, and other beautiful plants all in the same garden. So not having the flower garden and vegetable garden separate essentially. For me this would differ slightly. I want to plant lot’s of architectural vegetables in the flower garden this year, like corn, artichokes and kale, as they would provide height as well as interesting shapes to my otherwise relatively low and flat garden. But I also use a lot of flowers as tools in the garden for natural dyes. So I will be making sure to grow my essential dye plants as well.
I also have some other new plans for this year! I want to maximize how much I can grow in my yard and on my property. So the side of the house will be put to use this year. Up until now that space has been left for the weeds with a few intentional plants that were planted there long ago and have thrived ever since, like monkshood, lily of the valley, and another white flowered plant that grows new wood every year and flowers like a mayday (hopefully by the end of the summer I will have it identified). But this will be more relevant in a month, as for now I will just be cleaning up the space and preparing for planting. Let’s go onto the plants now!
I have started a lot of flowers and vegetables inside, and am waiting to plant them out. This might sound terrible but my vegetables have been doing much better than my flowers this year. I think the universe might know that I really want to push vegetables this year… But the flowers are not a complete failure. Just the ones I actually had a lot of success with last year ironically, which were the snapdragons and zinnias. This year they barely germinated and then died. But I have started someone ones now that seem to be doing better. It was just slightly disappointing since the snapdragons are something that I use for natural dyeing and the zinnias were really just lovely flowers that I enjoyed immensely. I can’t always have my cake and eat it too I suppose. On the bright side I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with and my cotton and Job’s Tears are growing well.
I will start hardening off my indoor plants in about two weeks. I am very excited for that!
Another plan that I have is to plant up the area of the garden that has become quite sparse. It has never been a part of the garden that has had a lot of plants but over the years some of the perennials got overgrown and were more weed-like than anything else, so those were dug up. Also last year nothing new was planted in there since the plot is under some windows that got replaced, and I did not want the plants to get squashed. So for years this has been a neglected part of the garden and has gotten more and more bare. And this year the plan is to put it back to use! I have already transplanted an iris in that we had inherited from another yard, and a patch of thyme that has overgrown in another part of the garden. I hope to plant more irises that need dividing later in the year and to put some tomato plants in since it is a warm sunny spot! And eventually plant a peach coloured rose!
The last plan I have for the garden this year is to really maximize the space in the vegetable garden. I want to plant as much as I can in there without overcrowding and add pollinator plants around the boarders. Does that sound like a good plan? As well as hopefully figure out the ultimate way for me to grow lettuce. I want to get serious about growing lettuce and get more than just one salad out of it all summer. Right now I have them started in plugs that I plan to prick out and separate to have individually healthy plants. Hopefully this plan works and I create a good space to plant them in.
That is it for my garden plans so far for this year. I just tried to sum up the larger projects. Hopefully I have some successes. Fingers crossed. Until next time!