Monday, February 28, 2011

My Dream Garden: The Beginning

My Dream Garden

After nearly 7 years of home ownership I am determined to turn our sad, brown backyard into an exciting place for our family. I know little to nothing about plants, gardening or landscaping. Our budget is small but my ideas are BIG.

Here is what I want in a garden:

1. A safe and magical place for the children to play.
2. Plants and activities that stimulate all 5 senses.
3. Learning opportunities: science, math, art, music, reading, writing and loads of FUN!

I am committed to exploring the most kid- and earth-friendly options as we construct and build our garden. We will be reusing and recycling found objects in a variety of exciting ways.

Here's what we have to start with:

Built by the previous owners, this was a treehouse on stilts. We cut the legs off and converted it to a palatial dog house for Abe & Frida.

My goal is the repaint the exterior with whimsical colors and make make sure the rough interior is baby and preschooler friendly. I also imagine the house with a colorful flag or pinwheel!

Our backyard is shaped like a piece of pie with a very long stretch of boring privacy fence. We've had these 3 raised beds for several years with nothing but leaves in them.

My goal is to fill these beds with plants that appeal to a preschooler's sensibilities: pumpkins, radishes, cherry tomatoes, gourds, sunflowers, lavender and more.

Between the raised beds I want to construct a cave or teepee armature that will eventually be covered in climbing vines of morning glories and beans. I'm not sure what material would work best for this (strong yet earth-friendly and inexpensive). Rebar...? Wood...? Suggestions are appreciated!

Our first steps:

1. Fill the raised beds with soil
2. Start seasonally appropriate seeds indoors. We will be repurposing food containers for this purpose.

I will be documenting our progress as we work in the garden. Progress will be slow but I am determined to take back our yard from our pups! Please join us on our journey and share your ideas, suggestions and comments!

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