Changes to the garden in 2016

The view of the garden from the driveway.
The 2016 garden, waiting.

This is my most impatient time of the year.

Sure, there are seeds sprouting inside, and I’m trying to get a jump on some early peas. The garlic I planted in October is poking up through the soil. But I am restless, eager for the sun to come out and the soil to warm so we can really get going in the soil.

To give myself something to do while I wait (not to mention fulfill this year’s goal of expanding the veggie garden), I’ve been busy making some changes.

You can see here where we put in three raised beds and carved out a tiny section of lawn for gardening last year.

This year, we went a step farther, encroaching even more onto the lawn. (Less to mow = happy Kate!) The bed might look awkward, sticking out into the grass, but I keep reminding myself that it’s part of abigger plan. Someday, I hope to install a patio in the back of the yard, and then the veggie garden will butt up against it.

Plastic landscape edging carves out a section of lawn where the expanded vegetable bed will go.
Vegetable bed expansion in progress. Forgive the photo from my phone, taken after a long day of working.

After roping off the new bed with some plastic landscape edging, I heaped the doomed lawn with several inches of soil and several inches of compost. I’m crossing my fingers that will be enough to smother the grass and create nice, fertile soil. It might not be perfect this year, but I think next year’s garden will be in great shape. I’m trying to remember that I’m in it for the long haul, now that we’ll be here for a while.

A small strip of soil against the south fence is edged and mulched with compost.
Tiny strip of land against the south fence. More herbs, flowers and maybe leafy greens will go here this year.

While I was at it, I also edged the strip of land next to our driveway, against the south fence. These herbs flourished last year, which convinced me that it was worth trying to plant more there. Wherever I can snatch up a few extra inches of soil!

A photograph of my garden, with changes labeled.
A closer look at the changes for this year.

This year, I’m also hoping to get more cut flowers in the ground. I added compost to a couple of neglected beds in the back corner of the yard and along the opposite fence and finished them off with some mulch. These beds are too close to questionable neighbor gardening tactics (and neighbors working on cars) to make me comfortable about growing edibles there, but I’m hoping to fill them with flowers and get a grip on the weeds that tend to take over by July.

View of the garden from the west, standing at the back of the yard and looking toward the house.
A view of the garden from my imaginary future patio.

How are you passing the time in the garden early in the season?

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