LAZY Gardening - Gardening with nature

I grew up in the north, Faro Yukon.  My dad was a gardener, learning it from his parents in Newfoundland.  Summer was short, we grew mostly potato and cabbage, or at least that's what I remember!

6 yrs ago in fall I decided to go after the life I wanted, after all, I'm in charge of me!  I uprooted my family from our 7 year old custom built 'dream home' in the 'city' with its postage-stamp-sized yard where I was growing my veggie gardening in rubbermaid totes.  Within 2 months of starting our search we moved into a 35yo home that needed lots of lipstick, with a weedy sloped acre surrounded by trees and backed by 200 acres of forest.  My friends & family thought I had truly lost my mind.

The transformation began!  Turns out the house was a nightmare purchase, which I've since ripped apart and put much of it back together.  I'll share some of those stories, it's quite incredible!

When spring rolled around I couldn't wait to tackle the yard.  I was dismayed to discover it was mostly clay filled with rocks.  Digging a hole for just one plant was challenging.  What did I get myself into?  A painstaking process with lots of hired labor!

Right, so I call it lazy gardening!  Doing the initial work is not lazy, that's serious labor!  I hired fantastic labor from Facebook groups and had people do the digging etc while I worked.  I know how to use my time & money wisely!


Maintenance is where I take a proactive approach to the common repetitive tasks.  Pest control, Thinning, Weeding, Irrigating, Soil supplementation / fertilizing, prepping soil in spring, tearing the garden down in fall, planting annuals (hello self-seeding!).  I'll share details on those processes in my blog & link them here once written. You can also search the blog using the Gardening category.

My garden:
🐝 is significantly focused on food for birds, bees and humans
💪🏽is heavily companion planted for lazy pest control
🌸 has flowers and veg interplanted in a flowing landscape way
💦 has gutter creeks running through the start of my food forest
🥬 has an inground greenhouse for year-round growing and harvesting (yes, even in Canada)
💧 Has a 3 level retaining wall pond with food hydroponics
💪🏽Focuses heavily on reusing items in my environment
🐔 has a chicken garden with both food for the chickens & helpful pest repellent herbs
💦 Is watered by 1/4" drip irrigation despite having no in-ground sprinkler system

🧱 Uses unique plantings and structures as privacy screens
😄 Has a super fun squash & hammock arbor


The most common questions I get are: 'did you have this vision when you started' & 'What did you do each year to end up like this'.  I totally DID NOT have this vision when I started.  Each year another piece of it came into play.  I knew I wanted certain things although I didn't have this clear picture of what that would look like, I'm often pleasantly surprised when I step out on my back deck and look down!

Summer 1 - 2014:  we hired an excavator to dig us 2 fruit tree holes & a 60' raspberry trench.  I painstakingly dug out the soil to make garden beds along the path.  That was one hard summer!  Planted the Plum, a Nectarine and the raspberries.  Added a shade screen in side yard. Added a chicken wire fence to the side yard to keep chickens outs.  Added garden beds along fence line and one by shade screen.

Summer 2 - 2015:  Path changed from sharp rocks to soil /stones with plantings & mini rocks.  Planted a dozen clumps of daylilies and tall white phlox.   Removed planter & lawn at front entry & re-did into paths with plantings.

Summer 2 - 2016:  One heck of a year!!  Back 'parking lot' tire retaining wall built, Walapini dug, back lawn retaining wall, privacy screen/ grapes arbour, Butterfly/Bee/Dragonfly Garden.  Rhubarb planted & Haskap planted, near dead.  Path redone with step down to new lawn.  Add pool deck.  Removed collapsing retaining wall.

Summer 3 - 2017:  Spring Gutter Creeks dug.   1/2 of summer away.    First year growing in Walapini!  FIRE & Evacuation - many food crops wiped out  Late summer Pool blowout and re-line. Add canopy to Walapini.

Summer 4 - 2018:  Walapini roof changed.  Front yard overhaul with rocks.  June - Tree falls on coop.  July: Remove 100' feet of landscape ties from the office to the driveway.  Plant Thyme springs along the rock/garden bed line.   Aug: Pond Reno  Sept; Path to Office redone (third times the charm!)

Summer 5 - 2019:  Added Asparagus bed, Clover Lawn, Squash Arbor, Major prune back out front with trees and juniper, added Driveway self-seed garden.  Finally finished pool deck rails & cedar skirt

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DANA KAYAL    |    SPICELADY@DANAKAYAL.COM    |    250-681-3262   |    KELOWNA, BC     |    NORTH AMERICA