We still have flakes of snow in the air here on the shores of Lake Erie, but we have seen just enough spikes in temperature and breaks in the clouds to get me and my three youngest daughters excited about this summer’s backyard garden.
Each year, we sit down and take a look at what worked well the year before (very successful carrot crop--as in too successful) and what didn’t work as well (we seem to be the only people in the world who can’t grow a good crop of zucchini). We make changes, try to learn from our mistakes and try again.
This year we’re going to add a blueberry hedge along our back property line, start a raspberry patch near the tree house and experiment with building an arbor for our peas.
There’s also discussion about using a “vining” tomato near the front porch, but Mom isn’t keen on the idea of having her view of the street—and all the dumb stuff our kids are doing in it—blocked, so that idea is still under discussion.
Having just reviewed the spring issue of LAB (Landscape Architect Business), including Linda Schneider’s feature on edible landscaping and Tim Reed’s article on the sustainable landscape design, I now have a couple of other ideas to pass by the kids.
Regardless of what we ultimately decide, the real fun begins when we get outside and get to work on our small plots of soil. I love watching my five-year-old twins pull weeds, dig huge holes to plant lettuce seeds and then trample all over the yard spilling vegetable seeds from torn packages in random places.
Weeks later, it’s even more fun to try and guess exactly what vegetable is popping up next to the swingset and if it’s different than the one that’s starting to grow by the tree house.
To my knowledge, this garden design technique is not endorsed by any of the professionals who make an appearance in this months' issue, but I’m not sure they would completely disapprove. After all, designing gardens and growing plants is supposed to be fun.
With that in mind, here’s to an enjoyable spring full of creative ideas, new designs and cooperative clients.
I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. If you do, or don’t, please send us a note and let us know how we’re doing. We love to hear from you.
Till next month…
Rodney J. Auth