Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 18, 2011

I was just inspired by KitsapFG's post about her garden area and the pros and cons about it, so instead of immediately responding to her post, I decided to come here and steal the idea and post it here first. Thanks!

Like Laura, I too did not pick my house for it's garden potential, though I do find myself looking at houses that way now, especially those for sale.  Also like my good friend, my house has many pros and cons for gardening, not all real estate related.

  • I had a great southern exposure fenced in area with a large reflective wall at the north end that I wasn't using for anything.
  • I have other areas in my secluded back yard that also have amazing southern exposure, perfect for container gardening.  Some folks, like my brother, have their front yard facing south, forcing them to create neighbor beds.
  • My garden area gets plenty of full sun to grow just about anything this climate will allow... 8-10 hours a day during the growing season.
  • What the wonderful Pacific Northwet doesn't provide us directly in rainfall, I have access in my garden area to a torrent of rain to fill my rain barrels (project still to be completed).
  • If I want to create some neighbor beds, I have access to about a 20'x20' area where I could expand in front.
  • My garden area is severely limited, though maximized at about 150 SF including containers, just over 10% what Laura has to work with.  Even with intensive gardening techniques, I just don't have the space to put up much for the winter.
  • My lot, though sizable at 1/4 acre, is pie shaped with the small tip in the back yard where my garden is, and a great deal of shaded space in the front yard.
  • Though I could technically expand my garden in my back yard, I have 7 and 4 year old boys that need a place to play, and their childhood takes priority over my garden.  The potential for my side front yard to be used by the kids as they grow is why I haven't expanded to that 20x20 area.
  • I too have very tall trees along the property line to the south that block the low winter sun from my garden for most of the day, limiting the potential for year-round gardening, though it hasn't stopped me from trying.
So, just like Laura, my home is not ideal, and I'm constantly drooling over homes in the area with better gardening potential.  However, we bought this house specifically for the size, location, and availability of two identical rooms above the garage for our two kids. I'm not moving until they're out of the house, and maybe never.

So, in keeping with Laura's concept of what makes your garden good or bad, feel free to let me know!  And if you're not a reader of Kitsap Freedom Gardener's blog, it's amazing and beats the pants of mine.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Thanks for the kind words Sinfonian - right back at ya!

    I think it is very appropriate that you reserve that great space in the back for the boys. They are only children for a while and having a safe place to be outside and really play and use imagination and get some exercise out of doors is so worth living with a lesser growing space for a while. There will come a day though when they get bigger and are not interested in such things - that you will have an opportunity to expand your garden into that useful area. In the meantime, enjoy those boys!

  2. You have a nice layout here Rich, I like the background. Are you switching over here for good now? I've added this page to my blogroll, not sure if I should keep the other page on too?

  3. Dan, for now I'm only posting here, even though I'm told it was a glitch related to spam that caused the site to do go down. I am weighing the pros and cons of leaving the other site. Mostly, I get tons of traffic there on my potato page. It's here to but all links point there. I think I like this new setup better though.