Thursday, 17 November 2011

Where It All Began...

Two years ago, September 2009, we moved to rural Nanaimo, on lovely Vancouver Island. The acreage was completely un-landscaped, just a house in the woods, clay soil, solid hard-pan, rocks, boulders, pesky Alder trees and weeds.
Slowly we began to chip away at the raw land, making the house into a home...

First to go up, spring 2010, was a 7.5' fence around the back acre or two. As we live smack dab in the middle of the woods, literally, it was important to have this garden area protected from deer, bears, porcupines, and other animals.

Hubby then built 23 raised beds to create a true potager garden. The beds are 6'x6' squares or 12'x6' rectangles that house our veggies, annuals, strawberries, asparagus, rhubarbs, a few roses and perennials. As Vancouver Island is one big rock, our ground, aka native, natural 'soil' consists of rock and hard-pan, so we garden 'above' ground, as opposed to 'in' ground. 

This fenced in haven is where we safely grow our small fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, black currants... ), veggie's, and fruit trees (apples, pears, plums, cherries). A large border garden is home to deer tasty trees, shrubs and perennials, like Japanese maples, hydrangeas, and roses.

This spring, in March of 2011, we put in the front yard, an amoeba-shaped lawn encircled by a 6' wide garden bed.

This unfenced area serves as both family yard and trial garden, a testing ground for the deer proof-ness (hmm, is there such a word?) of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials.

Some of the test plants in this garden...

1st Row - Gaura, Forest Pansy Cercis, Feverfew, Brunnera
2nd Row - Rhododendron, deciduous Rhododendron, Bleeding Heart, Magnolia
3rd Row - Annual Verbena/Geranium baskets, Rudbeckia, Asst dwarf evergreens, Rugosa rose.

The small greenhouse/nursery business where I grow and sell annuals, perennials, roses... for my own yard-scaping purposes and for re-sale. I focus on deer proof plants, mainly out of necessity. It seems prudent <smile>.

The nursery is fenced with 4' high invisible deer fencing. To date, this has worked really well for us. The premise is this... the deer can feel the fence (bump it with their noses...) but cannot see it, therefore they are afraid to try to jump the fence, not knowing how high it actually goes.

Here is just one of the many, many heaps we had trucked in, much to Delilah's delight.

Certainly, we have made a few bad purchases and had some oopsies along the way, however, for the most part... all has gone well at our new island home.  
We continue to dream, garden, build, prep, and amend. Will see what 2012 brings...

May Garden Ramblings

Well, here we are, it is finally the month of May... the busiest planting month of the year. This is when everything happens! We will a...