Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The East Garden

This past weekend, we started work on an area of our property I'm calling the East garden.  It runs along our driveway and is on a slight slope, but has some of the best sun exposure - which is partly why I'm growing my apple trees here (top).  This area sits to one side of our farmhouse and is also the mid-point between our front lawn and our backyard. 

Because this area is slightly sloped (downward from left to right in this picture) and irregularly shaped, I had a rather difficult time trying to come up with a design scheme for this garden.   One thing we did decide upon early on was that we wanted these raised beds to be square-shaped instead of rectangular.  After we had six of them built, we started to arrange them into different patterns.  In the end, this is the one we chose.  I have to admit that I'm quite taken with it and can't imagine it any other way. 

Like the West garden (which currently only consists of four 4' x 8' x 20" raised beds), the soil here is rather poor with little to no top soil.  But unlike the West garden, I didn't think that extra-tall raised beds suited the space.  As a result, the beds here are only 4' x 4' x 10" tall.   Hopefully, our vegetables will still thrive here.  I also decided to save my back and not remove the sod.  Instead, I added a layer of dried leaves to help smother it before dumping our soil mix into each box.  Nature tends to take her time, but in the end, she usually gets the job done. 

Ultimately in the middle of this space, I'd like to put in a large rectangular bed that I'll line with either dwarf boxwood or lavender and will contain most of our herbs.  I'd also like to lay pea gravel over the paths to tidy things up a bit.  As you can see, grass does not thrive here.  So the more of it I can eliminate, the better. 

Finally, this area also provides us with a nice view of our neighbor's expansive lawn, which is looking particularly nice this time of year. 


  1. It looks lovely. And it is a very pretty view. It must be so fun (and backbreaking) to be making a new garden.

  2. That pattern of beds is fantastic - I love the way the corners butt up to each other. That is a lot of soil to move - we are finding it a bit more challenging than normal to fill our beds as the soil that has been sitting on our driveway is pretty wet & heavy from all the rain we had last week, even though it was completely covered with a tarp. I'm looking forward to seeing your beds all planted up - how exciting!

  3. Hi, Thomas, your East Garden looks quite pretty with the design of square boxes. What kind of soil mix have you put into these squares?

    1. I get my soil mix from a local landscaping company that delivers it. It's a mix of loam, compost and horse manure. So far it's worked well for me but I'm hoping that one day, I'll be able create enough topsoil from my own compost and not have to depend on any outside sources.