Spring Garden Plan 2015

After months of thinking about it, ordering seeds, ruminating on sun and shade, and changing things around several times, I've finally got a working plan for my spring planting.

First, I downloaded some graph paper and printed it out. Then I drew a very simple outline of the raised beds. Then I had Tom scan my drawing and save it for me, so I won't have to redraw it twice a year. My simple drawing does not include any of the fruit trees, bushes, vines, or canes; nor does it include the herbs in the spiral. It also doesn't show any perennial plantings or large trees. This is just a plan for the raised beds. So I will tell you that I am planning to put artichokes behind the chicken coop. No one walks around back there, and they can grow as large and pokey as they'd like.

So, here's the plan for this spring:

North Garden

South Garden

List of plant varieties

I've decided I have to call the two gardens something, as Tom and I kept saying "the garden near the coop" or "the garden by the shed." And North and South is where they are on our property. If you picture a long rectangle with North at the top (makes sense), our house is just between the North and South gardens. On the East side we have the Top Bar Hive, the asparagus patch, four small Chinese Pistache trees, a Toyon, a Manzanita, a California Buckeye, two blueberry bushes, a small strawberry patch, and a flowering currant (Ribes). On the West side of the property, everything is dominated by a large Brazilian Pepper tree, and there is dappled shade. That's where I planted the Woodland Garden, and also that's the front of our house. To the northwest is our driveway and a strip along it that is shaded by a Valley Oak, but each side of the strip gets shade at different times of the day. The side that gets morning sun has my original worm/compost bin, lemon verbena, spirea, a few old fashioned roses, the six new raspberry canes, some bog salvia and daffodils. The side that gets afternoon sun holds the herb spiral, checkerbloom, lavender, and some other things that I've forgotten the names of!

The South Garden is the one we started last winter. I used to garden on the East side, but the pistache trees got too large, so that's why we decided to sheet mulch the lawn and plant over in the South area. It gets plenty of sun and everything does fine there, but there is one large Chitalpa tree that provides just enough shade that I felt some things could have done even better, like melons. So that was the impetus for the North Garden, where it's all sun all the time. So vegetables who can take a little shade, like peas or potatoes, will go in the South Garden, and things like tomatoes and peppers will go in the North Garden.  There is one area of the South Garden that gets full sun all day, and so that will house the melons after garlic and shallots are harvested. That's also where the strawberry wall is, and the pollinator garden. The six new blueberries are also in the South Garden, in a spot that gets morning sun but afternoon shade, since it seems that's how blueberries like it in my garden.

I should also say that the fruit trees (apple, peach, fig) are on the borders of the North Garden. I'm hoping to add a dwarf lemon to a little area next to the house that gets part shade.

I'm excited to get planting, but first we need to build the raised beds in the North Garden. That's a project for Spring Break, which is (thankfully) coming up. First we have to finish the sprinkler project and the fence project.

We got a sprinkling of rain today, so I seeded more red clover into what is left of our lawn. There are several bare spots, and I won't mind more clover for both the bees and for it's tolerance of dryness.

The rain made the wildflowers on my walks today look wonderful.

And a neighbor's ornamental apple tree is looking so gorgeous, I just want to live under it.