Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pre- Garden Planning: Bones

Robin from the Gardener of Eden post about garden planning really inspired me this weekend.  The first thing I do when I begin my planning is to get a picture in mid winter of the gardens bones.

The area that I'm concentrating on is shown above.  The paved area is the foundation from a falling down shed that was there when we moved in.  It's a 10' x 10' square that we don't use as it is too hot for seating.  The back right is the Postage Stamp Potager.  The dayliles and iris it's foreground are slated for removal this spring.  The area to the right contains daylilies that are crying to be divided.  The bottom left show the stump to one of my much loved Burning Bushes.

The bones for this area would be the ornamental grass, butterfly bush, dappled willow, three arborvitae, concrete pad and the fence.  When viewed from the deck I get a better perspective on the vertical needs for the PSP.  This year I am GOING to use the fence for vining crops.  Other vertical elements will be bamboo teepee's and inverted V trellises for pole beans.  Cherry tomatoes will be trained up 6ft bamboo poles and severely pruned. 

The PSP in it's current condition.  The 'Broadway' rose in the center bed is going to be kept.  Despite having to compete with the yearly jungle, it gets better and better each year.  The paths will need to be rethought and redefined this year.

The front area containing the jungle of daylilies, iris and perennial weeds I can't easily remove, this will give me an additional 54- 72 sq ft- that's at least a 1/3 increase in space! 

I'm thinking of a container garden for the pad.  The back row would be 3- 18" pots, the middle row would be 3- 16" pots and the front row would be 4- 14" pots.  This would give me great place to try new varieties and combinations.

Now that I've got a handle on the areas bones, I can start translating the ideas from my head to the actual plans.


  1. I'm going to take advantage of my back fence for vertical growing this year, too. I think I'll cover it in pole beans, and use most of my kennel garden for your Grandpa Ott morning glories. I'll have to remove the old whiskey barrels to make room for the beans, but they haven't given me much success as planting spots anyway.

  2. One of my favorite things about winter is being able to see the bareness of my garden. It really helps with the planning. I just created a post about garden bones about a week ago that you might find enjoyable. It's called The Invertebrate Approach to Gardening. Have fun designing! Have you thought about breaking up the concrete pad for more garden space? It would be perfect for a pond.

  3. Granny, I'm planning on using the fence for pole beans, cucumbers and cucuzzi if I can find seeds.
    Plant 'Grandpa Ott' where you will want it forever! It reseeds and grows like a weed!

    Casa Mariposa, I'll definately have to read that post. Hopefully you have will have thought of something that I haven't.

  4. Well Ed I too am busy uncovering bones. My garden was taking to brambly thicket and I am in mid slash and burn to uncover my skeleton for Dog Blogger read Catharine Howard Gardens!