The Long View

May 23rd, 2011

This is how the kitchen garden looks from the road.

View from the driveway

View from the driveway

But walk a little further down our driveway, and this is how it looks.

Kitchen Garden, 22 May 2011

Kitchen Garden

I don’t show very many long views of the garden because I’ve been embarrassed by its appearance the last couple years. We started with good intentions to have a nice-looking kitchen garden, not just a rectangular patch of dirt. But after a year or two, our wood-chip paths got weedy; as we added additional beds, they were crooked and misaligned; the rustic trellis rotted and fell down; planting became haphazard, and on and on. We’re trying to fix it all this year. I think it will always be a work in progress, but one of these years I hope to be enough ahead of the game that we’re not doing construction and planting and maintenance all at the same time.

But maybe I’m too impatient. We really have come a long way in four years. This is how it looked in May of 2007.

The first year those dug-up patches held tomatoes and a few herbs; now they’re the herb/flower garden at the center of the much larger garden You can see the same two Virginia red cedar trees in the background as in the second photo in this post. I can’t believe how much they’ve grown.

Kitchen Garden

The sundial sits at the center of the section that was begun in 2007.

Forward to today. We measured the edges of the garden a couple of weeks ago. It’s 75 feet by 42 feet. I would guess it’s about half paths and half beds and half imagined beds. Oh, wait, that’s too many halves. But we’re working on straightening up the edges, and in the process of digging more beds to do that.

Annotated Kitchen Garden

Annotated Kitchen Garden

It looks like a working thing though, not a viewing thing. Something’s always being dug up, cut down, planted again. Row covers are ugly, but a necessity. There’s a jumble of materials used for mulch and paths and supports – there are two types of tomato cages and neither one resembles the pea trellis, which doesn’t resemble the potato bins, which don’t resemble the rustic trellis for the coral honeysuckle.

I plan to continue this series of long views throughout this growing season, if for nothing else than to serve as a record of what went wrong. 🙂

And I’m trying out a new method of recordkeeping. I’ve compiled a more-or-less permanent list of what’s growing in the kitchen garden this year with a few short notes about each. And I started yet another garden journal – this time in a calendar format – for short memory-jogging notes. Both of those can be found in the sidebar, under Kitchen Garden 2011 and Garden Journal.

7 Responses to “The Long View”

  1. What an amazing gardening space!!

  2. Wendy says:

    oooh!! It’s huge and beautiful and open and sunny! I’m so jealous. I’m glad you showed us the long view. Love the sundial in the middle.

    • entangled says:

      Well, it is huge and open and sunny. I feel very fortunate to have a space like this, especially coming from 20 years of a wooded lot in the suburbs. I’m working on beautiful 😉

  3. Wendy says:

    oooh!! It’s huge and beautiful and open and sunny! I’m so jealous. I’m glad you showed us the long view. Love the sundial in the middle.

  4. A wooded lot in the suburbs is what I have, so Wow, Entangled! It seems enormous! Your garden has come a long way in a few years. Does all that openness make you feel a little like pioneers or Little House in Virginia?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    • entangled says:

      I’m starting to wonder if it might be too enormous. We’re not getting any younger. 😉

      But it isn’t quite as isolated as it looks in those photos. If you turned and faced the other way, you’d see our next-door neighbors’ very suburban-looking house. Our little house is secluded further down the driveway in the woods. I like the trees, but being from the midwest, I miss not having the wide open horizon.

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