Friday, March 11, 2016

Garden and Fence

After a year of not planting any vegetables, we are putting in a new, small vegetable garden on the front lawn! I had been sure that we could live without it - that we would go to the local farmers’ markets and also buy fresh produce at our Co-op and so we wouldn’t miss having a garden at all. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. With a new puppy and the dear grandchildren we made it to only one market, where I unhappily paid $4 for a head of lettuce, and didn’t go grocery shopping nearly as often as I meant to. But most of all, we missed walking out the door and picking a tomato whenever we felt like it. We’ve been pondering all winter where to put the new garden. It just needed to be big enough to put in a few tomato plants, lettuce, parsley, basil, spinach, and yellow beans.


And then, voila! I got an idea, which gives us a garden area and solves a fencing/gate problem we’ve faced for several months. When Tom first began building our new fence in 2014, replacing the falling-down picket we’d had for many years, he put it in the same spot. 


But then we began to think it might be nice to move it over toward the terrace so that any dogs we might have could go out the front door and be completely enclosed. So, he did it. 



What we didn’t reckon into the equation was the Houdini dog we got last summer by the name of Lucy. She can open latches with ease. Tom tried different ideas to keep the gate shut to no avail until he came up with the idea of a carabiner. 


Even Lucy cannot open it. In fact, I can barely open it, and therein lies the problem. It is a real drag to have to go through such a rigamarole just to get in and out of the yard. When Tom is trying to carry in a crate of fresh milk from the local farm, he must put the crate down, open the gate, pick it up, put it down inside the fence, lock the gate, and then go in the house. And the poor UPS and Fed Ex fellows have braved the carabiner with nary a complaint. We try to meet them so they don’t have to come in but sometimes we aren’t home. 

The hassle of opening the gate was one problem. The other problem with Lucy in that part of the yard was that she was ruining my precious flower gardens that border the patio. This corner is where she stands to do her major job around here - that of being snoop dog. 


Margaret, Matthew, and Hazel live just down the road, and she is worse than any neighbor peeking out through curtains or using a telescope. She watches for them. She gets all excited when they drive in their yard, or she hears their voices or their dogs barking. And of course tramples the flowers in the process. I ended up fencing them, but felt badly for her because she so enjoys her ‘work.’ I thought we’d just transplant the whole bed in the spring. But now I won’t have to. With our new plan, I get my garden back. 

So, we are returning to the old way. Lucy will go out the kitchen door and have the freedom of most of the yard (which opens into a big field) and we will have the freedom of coming and going in the front door with no hindrances. The new garden will be right beside the patio. There will be a section of fence dividing it from the rest of the yard. It’s going to be wonderful, and we are so excited. I’ll post pictures as we move along on the project.  

32 comments:

  1. Wonderful! I wandered down to my community garden plot earlier this week and hope to spend some time clearing out the beds this weekend. I can't wait to get planting!

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    1. I'd love to hear more about this. Like allotments in England and Europe?

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  2. We are going to try planting some vegetables in a horse trough, made into elevated planter< this summer. We'll see how that works. Good luck to you.

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    1. What a terrific idea! I want to see photographs, please!!

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  3. Glad to hear you are planting a garden this year. Your solution to the fencing sounds great. I have seeds sprouting in my living room right now, and I'm getting so excited for spring!

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    1. I'll probably plant some seeds the end of the month. I bet your living room looks beautiful. No cats or dogs bother them??

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  4. I look forward to seeing the garden and progress. Love th photos of the dogs. You have inspired me to post some of our garden progress now!

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    1. Yes, do post! I love garden photos!!

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  5. How exciting. I would miss not having a little patch of veggies. I too go to the market for things that take up a lot of space to grow but I do enjoy getting my own tomatoes and herbs from the garden. Dogs always run the perimeter of the fence line. It doesn't matter what you do. They check the further out of their boundaries. I didn't know that when I planted some shrubs. I have learned that over the years and plant accordingly. I can imagine her excitement in hearing her play mates down the lane. Ever hopeful for a romp no doubt. Can't wait to see the rest of the story.

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    1. Yes, they do! The new perimeter will be fine - it was just that little area where we came in that was getting destroyed. She'll be fine, and I'll be happy, happy! She is 'ever hopeful for a romp.' Matt has a four-wheeler and he takes his dog Lexi and our Lucy and they run fast as the wind up the hill.

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  6. Always love seeing pictures from your house, Nan. Good luck with the new garden location!

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    1. Thanks, Kay. I can't wait to begin.

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  7. Sounds like a happy gardening time ahead! Good for you! We do container gardening - nice big barrels -plastic, but they hold up so well - of tomatoes and herbs. I've managed to keep my rosemary plant alive through the winter, keeping it in our side utility area in a partially sunny spot and putting it outside on warm days.
    Finished reading "Heroic Measures" the other day - one of your recommendations, :-) and enjoyed it so much. Here's one for you - "The Gift of Rain" by Tan Twan Eng. A beautiful book! Check it out.
    Mary

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    1. I have never had any luck with containers. I tried tomatoes and herbs and flowers, and for whatever reason they did.not.work. Lucky you to have a rosemary plant! Does it smell as you walk by it? I'm happy you liked HM. I will look for The Gift of Rain. Thank you!

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  8. There is always something new to do on an acreage like you two have! (It reminds me so much of our daughter and SIL who are always changing things up at their place.) You are going to love having those fresh tomatoes and the flowers that don't get trampled on. And Lucy will be so happy too. She needs optimal working conditions in order to do her important job!!!

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    1. Thanks! And when I see something that isn't working, I try and find a solution!

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  9. It sounds lovely, and I look forward to pictures as you make progress. I miss my container tomatoes I used to grow but I gave up on tomatoes in Santa Barbara. My tiny back "yard" doesn't get enough sun and some Santa Barbara summers are cool. Too cool for tomatoes.

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    1. I can't believe it is too cool for tomatoes. I thought California was warm/hot!

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    2. California is mostly warm and hot but it is a big state. Along the coast, you can have overcast and fog all summer, or a large part of the summer days, ending up with not enough sun or heat. And the Santa Barbara area has a lot of small microclimates, plus our condo is near enough to the coast to get a lot of the fog. I love the climate but some people go crazy without the sun in the summer. It is variable though, you never know what to expect.

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    3. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and tell me. I knew SF could be cool and cloudy. Fascinating about the 'microclimates.' I am fond of foggy climates as well. Thanks again!

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  10. You've come up with a solution that takes everything and everyone into account, congratulations! I am looking forward to seeing your new garden take shape.

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  11. So good to visit to your hill farm again and I love the new header. Just finished 'The Intern', I loved it, thank you for the recommendation. x

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    1. I knew you'd love the movie! Too bad we didn't live closer.

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  12. I'm so glad you'll have a vegetable garden again. When you decided to stop, I wondered if you would miss it! What fun you'll have harvesting all the goodies with your little helper. :) Can't wait to see photos as things progress!

    P.S. Lucy is such a beautiful (and smart!) dog.

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    1. Lucy thanks you. ;<) And yes, I did think about Hazel. Her folks grow some things, and it will be fun for her to have a garden up here as well.

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  13. Last year was the end of my gardening
    oh
    some things in pots
    but am missing already what I did in the past
    Love reading about your life and grandchildren...

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    1. I thought it was the end for me, too. Perhaps you will begin to feel better, and may continue in a smaller way. I'm so pleased you took the time to come by, and for your last sentence. It means so much to me.

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  14. I am envious of your vegetable garden. After a year back in the house we are finally getting around to doing the yard. Unfortunately, the only places with good enough sun, are in places we don't want vegetables. At least I am getting an herb garden.

    Our Lucy has learned how to climb over the fence that our friends have on their farm in Pennsylvania. It's fun to watch her do it (she wants to be closer to the chicken coop) but a pain in the but to keep an eye on her.

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    1. I'm quite fond of the cottage-y notion of vegetables and flowers in the same space. Maybe you could pop a tomato plant amongst the zinnias. ;<) That must be a low fence? I don't suppose the farm is Hortulus by any chance??

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  15. Nan, did you ever solve the gate latch question? What about a trigger snap or a single-end snap instead of a carabiner? At least then maybe you and the delivery guys could use just one hand for it.

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    1. I have a post planned about this! I hope to write soon with pictures! Thank you for your comment.

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