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.
🐝 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