The Earthly Gardener by Bobbi A. Chukran
March 15, 2007
Some person yesterday commented to me that anybody could be a good gardener if they had seven acres to play on. LOL. Well, that’s not the case here. Yes, we have seven acres, but it’s almost solid rock and rubble covered by scrub and thousands of junipers. I got around that by enclosing a small area in the front of my house where the garage and house make an “L” shape and fencing it in. We have horrible deer problems out here, and lots of resident wild critters, so we had to make the fence at least 7-feet high.
As for the garden itself, raised beds to the rescue! I built a series of small raised beds, some perimeter beds and two larger ones. The small ones are built from untreated 2×12″ cedar boards that have lasted for over ten years so far. The larger beds are simple, inexpensive concrete blocks laid on the ground in a rectangle. The perimeter beds are simply rocks that I gathered from the property and stacked around the edge of the fence. I filled all the planting areas with a mixture of top soil, compost that I either made or purchased, a few loads of good garden dirt from Gardenville in Austin, and whatever else I could scrape up to include. We have almost no topsoil here, either. Did I mention that?
I thought you might enjoy this photo of one end of the garden, the one closest to my office. To the left, you can see one of the rock beds, at the far back you can see the deer fence where I’m growing a grapevine. To the right you can see a few of the raised cedar beds.
That whole area is around the size of a small suburban backyard, and most of the veggies I grow fit in that space. So you see, you don’t need lots and lots of acreage to have a garden. I actually prefer gardening in small spaces. It gives me a sense of an enclosure, a garden wall, secluded and safe. AND it’s more manageable. So far, the fence has kept the deer out. The squirrels are another matter!
Spring IS coming, I promise!
Copyright ©2007 by Bobbi A. Chukran