Monday, March 22, 2010

Harvest Monday - 22 March 2010

Once again my harvests haven't started yet. I've been extremely busy but not in a gardening sense. Though it will really impact our garden. Today we are signing the final offer to buy a new house. And I do mean new. The builder is almost finished with it. We close on April 30th.

If things go well I'll get all the spring vegetables into my current garden and the summer ones into the new garden. The house is a townhouse with two units on one lot in East Arlington. It is just a few blocks away from several friends of mine. And the other unit is being purchased by my best friends. We are even putting a door between the units. They don't garden, but they are really happy with me putting in vegetable gardens in any of the sunny spots. They are happy to start composting and having compost bins in the back yard. The yard isn't big. I'm guessing about 7000 square feet (for both townhouses). There really aren't any big lots in East Arlington as it is more urban and less suburban. But if I garden in most of the available spots I think I will have about as much space as before. I haven't measured it out and designed it yet, but I'll get to it. And you will get to see the process I'm sure. At least if I have time. I didn't even have time to read any of your blogs this weekend. I hope to maybe today between the two real estate agents that show up, the plumber, the handyman, and two contractors. And the myriad of calls that I have to place. Life is crazy.

Also the new yard will affect my yearly tally. I'm not talking about not being able to harvest all the veggies - though that may well be true. But it will change the cost. The yard is not landscaped and part of the deal with the builder was that he didn't have to do any of it. The odds were we would rip it out anyway. In the two houses I've owned so far, I have always ripped out the landscaping and replaced it. I don't know why people put in boring yews that want to grow to 10' as the foundation plantings in the front of yards. Yes they are unkillable and cheap but really? And one side yard and over half of the back will be in raised beds anyway. I'll keep a tally of what it costs to put in the raised beds and compost piles and such. I don't think I will add the hardscape since I would put some in anyway, but just not like I'm going to do it. I'll have a brick path to the back door from the driveway and through the garden. If I didn't have a veggie garden I'd probably have a back patio for a table and chairs and that would cost just as much. The funny thing is some of the plants would just be ornamentals, but instead will be things like blueberries and dwarf peach and apple trees, but if it is an edible I'll add it in to the tally. So this year it will be how much an new garden costs, not really a year to year cost.

If you would like to join Harvest Monday with a tally, a harvest or how you are using it, put your name and URL into Mr. Linky below.


  1. Wow, congrats, Daphne! Amazing news, how exciting to get to start from scratch. Too bad you can't harvest the lovely soil in your current garden to us in your new raised beds.

    I'm sure there are a million and one decisions to be made these days, but happy ones for the most part I hope.

  2. Sweet! Congratulations on your new home! Lots to do ... but I'm sure you'll have lots of intesting stories to share! All the best with your move and new gardening!

  3. Daphne - A big congratulations is in order! How exciting. I'm sure you will make the most out of your limited space. I actually love the intimate and lush look that you can achieve from an intensively grown urban garden.

    And it must be nice to be living so close to your good friends. Hopefully, they will develop the gardening bug with you around.

  4. First with Monday harvest!

    I’m looking forward to see layout of your new garden.

  5. I'm sure you will be happy in your new home. The best of luck to you and your family...

  6. Congrats, Arlington is very nice. We do similar things with our attached neighbors and the yard here as well. You have a blank slate, have fun!

  7. Congratulations on your new home, looking forward to your new garden design and harvests.

  8. WOOHOO! Very exciting news! Did you scope out the sun availibility in the yard? Starting from scratch where it really is a blank slate can be a lot of fun. No tearing out things - just creating. I am looking forward to following your progress in in the months to come.

  9. I wish you good luck with your move! We did that in 2007, and I wound up with a small garden in two different places. It all worked out in the end, and I'm sure it will for you too.

    It is always neat to start a new garden spot. And I'm sooo with you on the boring foundation plantings. Someone put full size Euonymus AND yews around ours. Better to do it yourself the first time and do it right!

  10. How exciting - a really busy time for you. It will be fun for a bit to be a two-garden family. I hate leaving them behind, and I moved a lot until this house. I hope you have massive amounts of sun in your new place. It will be fun to watch the new garden take place.

  11. Here in the South they use Chinese hollies as foundation plants. They grow into 25 foot tall trees if they aren't pruned. And they come back from the tiniest little pieces of root for YEARS after you rip them out!
    Have fun, I can't wait to see the pics!

  12. Congratulations! Good luck in everything. I can't wait to follow the new garden progress. How exciting.

  13. I read Rebecca's comments (on her blog) before reading this one, and I thought she must have you mixed up with someone else...'cause Daphne's not moving! How embarrassed she would be when she found out. Then I come here and read that you ARE moving! How wonderful for you, as I know you've been looking forward to this. What a challenge it will be to start all over, but a fun challenge, and one I'm sure you will meet head on and excel at.

  14. Oh, wow, congratulations on your new digs. We'll all enjoy watching the progress on your new yard and garden.

  15. Congratulations on the new place, I'm excited to watch your progress from the beginning stages. I've always loved reading and seeing your current garden! I've been reading for about a year! Good luck!

  16. Oooh how exciting! Starting a new garden from scratch, although I hope the builders don't leave too much rubble buried in the soil. Never buy a new house that's the last one to be completed, as the builders bury everything they've got left over... well in the UK they do anyway!

  17. Congratulations on the new move, and looking forward to seeing the new garden built from the ground up. Our house came with 2 yews out front. 12 years later, and wish I had cut them down significantly or removed them earlier on!

  18. Congrats on the new house and the planting privledges in your neighbor's yard. I have been known to rip out 'foundation' planting too to replace with more productive plants.

  19. WOW! How fun to have a "new" home and a new garden too! Good thing that you won't lose your spring harvest!

  20. Congrats, you finally found a place! It's going to be fun to watch you build a garden from scratch. I hope it becomes everything you want it to be.

  21. This sounds really exciting. I hope all is going well for you. Now that spring is here, I have been really busy preparing for a great season. Happy gardening!

  22. How exciting for you, Daphne! Congratulations! And how cool is it that you'll be living next door to a friend? I'd be thrilled.

    I'll look forward to hearing about how you put a veggie garden into a "blank slate" yard as we did so with zero experience of the task where we are now (learning as we went), and we'll likely be moving in August or September and need to do so again next year. Hopefully you can give us some tips and wisdom. :)

  23. Fantastic news ! Congrats !
    And you already know the neighbors !
    Can't wait to see the new place. *WooT*

  24. Daphne,

    Congrats on finding a new house. I guess we'll both be starting over this year. I'm finding that moving tasks are taking precedence over garden ones and that I'll have to be happy with whatever ends up this year.

    Hope all goes well in the next month!

  25. Wow I tried to answer you all in the same message and found that there is a 4096 character limit. I guess I'll break it up into multiple posts. Hopefully the cutting and pasting doesn't miss anything.

    Ali, Oh how I wish I could take the soil with me. 19 years of amending it really makes it fabulous. Now I have to start all over from scratch.

    kiwi gnomes, thanks.

    Thomas, I like the intensively grown urban gardens too. One of them loves his fruit bushes that were planted. He has currents and was making jam.

    vrtlarica, I've asked to get the large plans of the yard so I can do the planning. I can't wait to start.

    EG, thanks

    The Mom, it is nice when you have neighbors that don't mind your obsessions and even encourage them. I know mine are looking forward to some fresh vegetables from the yard.

    Mac, thanks

    kitsapFG, I did look at the sun availability. The backyard faces south east. And in that direction there are no tall trees just our 6' fence (which does have a lot of shade at this time of year. The neighbors to the southwest do have a tall tree. Luckily it is not right on the property like but closer to the other side of the yard. I'm sure there will be a bit of shade to deal with there but not too much. The front is shaded by the three story house. I might be able to get some fruit trees right near the road there, but who knows. I'll watch the sun as the season progresses. I'm guessing shade in the winter and early spring is good since they won't flower prematurely just like a north facing slope.

    villager, I'm sure it will work and if I find it doesn't then the Arlington community garden is within half a mile of my house (though no water there and I hate the strict rules, but still close).

    Stefaneener, I'm hoping the drive back and forth all the time for the two gardens won't drive me crazy. I don't have massive amounts of sun, but I think enough. My current garden has some shade issues too, so I'm used to it.

    Rebecca, wow 25' tall foundation plantings would be hard to deal with. You let it go one year and it is out of control. I like what I put in my yard now. I have nothing that needs clipping every year. I do have to cut back my hollies (short ones) every four years or so. They don't get tall, but they tend to get a bit too wide. If I had known they got that wide I would have put them another foot from the door and it would have been perfect.

  26. Ribbit, thanks

    Annie's Granny, lol well I did talk about looking for a house. We were looking for a year and a half. Finding a place that I can actually garden in East Arlington is a real challenge.

    Lou Murray, thanks

    Megan, thanks, I'm going to have a good time writing about the progress. I just hope I have time. I think after I get my current house fixed up and on the market, things will calm down for a bit, then when we close on the new place it will get crazy again. In between I might have some breathing room.

    Jan, well it is almost finished right now, and very little left lying around. The house is the only new one in the area and surrounded by 100 year old homes. It was a little farm and garden before. Sadly the original soil isn't there. It is obviously fill.

    Sally, getting yews out is so hard too. We were trying to cut off all the roots we could find, but still had to bring in a truck to rip it out (and had trouble with it even then).

    Ottawa Gardener, I'm hoping for a lot of nice edibles where ever there is enough sun for them to produce.

    A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui, I might miss the pea harvest if I get an offer quickly, but hopefully I'll get all the quick Asian greens.

    Michelle, thanks

    Simple Organic Gardening, thanks

    Meredith, I'm so happy to be moving next to friends. And I love the blank slate. I'm a little nervous though. The whole garden is on me. What if they don't like it? I really think they are like my husband though. As long as they don't have to deal with it they are happy. And good luck on your new house.

    Miss M, Woot :>

    Emily, everyone expects the garden will get in by next spring sometime. Part will go up this year and parts next year. We will see. I'd love to get it up this year (fall might have a lot of plantings going in too).

  27. My whole lot, house and garage footprint included, is under 7000 sq. ft. You will find lots of places to tuck in veggies. Like a lotline row of potatoes. Or heck, a foundation planting.

    Speaking of foundation plantings, what is with arborvitaes also. I had mine ripped out (resorted to a giant machine), and now my neighbor planted some in front of his house.

  28. Excellent news! Can't wait to see the new veggie digs. The home should be an investment that pays well in a few years as well.

  29. How cool that you get to share with your best friends! My wife and I have best friends too and we'd love to live in a big ol' commune someday. Best of luck in the new place and new garden!

  30. Karen Anne, I'm probably going to put dwarf fruit bushes or trees all along the foundation area. Anything with sun, but we will keep one spot in lawn so we can have a table outside. Though it might be patio (on their side of the yard).

    Dan, I can't wait to start planning. We've asked the builder for the big plot plans so I can do it right.

    composting, we were looking at the cohousing in the area. We thought that was a really neat idea (definitely not a commune, but some communal living and space), but units in the area just don't come up much and my husband doesn't want to move more urban where they are located.

  31. Quite an adventure Daphne, I hope it all goes off without a hitch for you this week!

  32. Best of luck in your new garden! I hope you have even more success in the new location.

    I'm wondering if you have tried to start any Sungold F3 seeds. I tried to start about 25 of them that I saved from my best plant last year. But they appear to be sterile. This is too bad because I had high hopes for establishing a Sungold-type non-hybrid.

  33. Congratulations Daphne!!! I've always thought it would be great to live on a big place with lots of little cottages for my friends and maybe one bigger house so everybody could get together to eat and enjoy each others' company. There are several old church camps around here that fill that bill nicely! Maybe some day. Meanwhile, like everybody else, I can't wait to see your new garden come together!