Saturday, July 16, 2011

::how I got my cottage garden::

The cottage garden started with three square foot gardening boxes - then a 4ft/8ft bed for tomatoes was added - and then it exploded.  With tons of technical/construction help from my Josh I got to bring my little cottage garden to life.

I looked through many garden magazines and I was always drawn to the English cottage gardens, sometimes called potager gardens.  I loved the idea of paths and arbors and all kinds of plants mixed together.  The concept of straight row, just didn't appeal to me.  I want a canvas to paint.     
 And Josh agreed.  He started by putting in corner and fence posts.  

Then the frames for the beds got made.  We moved the one 4/8 and three 4/4 beds we already had into the design.  Josh braced the longer beds with shorter boards that would be hidden under dirt, but would keep the beds from bowing.
Josh also screwed my handmade arbor (from fallen timber) into the gate posts so it wouldn't fall or move.  
The lumber was around $200 and the other supplies got the grand total to $350.  I felt like that was expensive, but it would last a long time.       

 Once the frames were in we put  weed mat in the beds and used the tractor to fill the beds.  We knew to make them heaping full, because they would settle.  

Josh added the high tensile fence around the garden.  It's not to keep out animals - just to define the boards and give a visual stop to kids and dogs.  But I didn't want it to block the view.  Plants can grow up it too.  After a little training of dogs and kids this has actually worked well.  

I carefully read and tried hard to come up with a plan to make the best use of the space in my new little baby.  And it basically worked.  I knew the strawberries would take some time to come in, but the first little attempt was going pretty well.  

One thing that needed to me changed was the front beds.  The logs I had found were ok, but more down timber made the front flower beds just right.  (The red cups were an attempt to grow daisies that didn't work out - put they looked kind of cute.)

 Another issue I was having was the aisle ways were weedy and muddy.  I put down new weed mat and bought a whole lot of mulch to spruce it up.  

 And that really improved the whole thing.  

 When fall rolled around (we are in zone five-so we get four full seasons) I covered the beds with a full foot of leaves and let them sit, except the strawberries got straw.  Then the snow showed up and really covered it all.  Meanwhile I started making design layouts and dreaming about seeds.     
Then the spring rolled around and last years horse/goat/cow poop was this years compost.  I raked off the layer of leaves and we added a few tractor scoops.  Then the leaves went back on to block out the weeds. 

I also came across the idea of added a bean frame.
Wait till you see how wonderful this thing is turning in.  LOVE IT. 

I planted and planted and planted.  It started off so little and cute.
And then it got so crazy (and still cute).
But it is trucking along wonderfully.  
Can't wait to see it!

If you want to see more click here to go to my gardening label. 

1 comment:

  1. The garden looks awesome. How fun to see all the pictures from a whole year of working on it. Some time I will have something like it too. My dad was trying real hard this year to get things to grow, but all the little mouses ate everything. He had traps all over the place for them, but even though he would catch up to 15 a day, it still didn't work.



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