I always find it helpful and enjoyable to look back at the gardening season and see what we have accomplished, the projects we've tackled, new varieties we have found, and of course the projects that didn't get accomplished. There are always some of the latter, we never stop coming up with new ideas! Looking back puts one in the perfect place for planning the next season's garden.
2019 Garden Highlights
Once you have looked back on your previous years garden you can determine what is the next best step for your next garden season.
Here are some things to consider:
Natural Rock Raised Garden Bed Border
This was the very first project we tackled. We didn't get the entire garden complete but I knew going into it that that wasn't going to happen with our baby due on May 7th. We worked really hard to get as much done as possible before the baby came and then did the tunnel latter in the summer after I had healed up. You can read more about the process and the shenanigans we went through collecting all the rocks in this post.
Wagon Wheel Garden Art
Can you tell that they are wagon wheels? It isn't a new idea to use wagon wheels in the garden however I do think that my take on it is new. I haven't seen them used like this before and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.
This seating area is a bit of a mess in this picture but I couldn't find another picture showing all three of the wagon wheels in this island. So here it is mess and all.
We have an apple tree planted behind the pink table but is got winter kill. We planted a hyacinth bean at the base and let it grow up the tree to make a hyacinth bean tree. It worked great and looked nice. You would never know that it was growing up a half dead tree. Ha Ha!
The plan was to hang the chandelier from the tree once it grew big enough. I know that will be a while even if the tree hadn't winter killed. I actually made two solar light chandeliers before I ever knew where I was going to put them. When you find two chandeliers at the second hand store for $5 each that are perfect for a project you know you want to do, you go for it. So there hangs one of them from the wagon wheel until we find a better place.
It does look pretty cool at night.
Growing New Things
We grew a lot of new things in 2019. A good deal of the group are tropicals that may never fruit here but we do have fun growing them just the same. We would like to have an attached greenhouse off of our dinning room one day so we are collecting plants now. Maybe a wee bit backward but it's quite fun to see what you can grow.
We found a wonderful watermelon, the Golden Midget watermelon. It turns yellow when ripe. The ones in the picture aren't quite 100% ripe but we were picking everything before the frost. They finished ripening inside and were fabulous. We will be growing them again.
On the right we have chicory which I got in a seed swap. It is kind of a funky little plant with it's tall stem that hold the blooms. The bees and other pollinators love them.
In the greenhouse we grew several tropicals which we brought inside once the temps started dipping low. From top left clockwise - fig, guava, passion fruit vine from a seed swap, and mulberry.
Rooted and Planted Grape Cuttings
How easy it is to grow grapevines from cuttings! We took multiple cuttings of the grapes in the spring, rooted them and planted them along the fence in the Tunnel garden and in the Greenhouse garden. The vines rooted really well. We will be taking more cuttings this spring and I will do a full post on the process then.
I'm so grateful we did this. It was something we had talked about and so it felt great to finally do it and they will be a wonderful addition to the gardens.
Built 2 Washing Tables
What a blessing these outdoor veggie washing tables are! The mess stays outside, the washing water can be reused to water in the garden, and it makes it so easy to wash our garden harvests. If you do not have one I highly recommend building one, or two! I used reclaimed wood and spent about $50 total for the both of them together.
I will be making at least 1 more to go behind our living gazebo. The washing water will feed a dry creek bed that the willows are planted in. Which solves the problem of getting those water loving willows enough water in our dry climate.
If you would like to see the process you can find all the details in this blog post.
Created Area for Living Gazebo
We have had this garden for several years but I haven't really done much for design in it except for raised flower beds at the two gates. It actually was an extension onto a garden we already had. However, they were separated by fences. We took a third of the fence out and that is where the gazebo is going. There are raised flower beds around the perimeter and three entrances. On the back will be a large window.
OK, wait, let me back up a bit in case you are unfamiliar with what a living gazebo is.
Living gazebos are gazebos that are created from living plants. We will be using willows planted into a dry creek bed. The creek bed will be fed by the washing water from the washing table that will sit at the back side of the gazebo, under the window. As the willows grow we will be weaving them together and then joining them at the top once they have grown tall enough. The window will be created by directing the willows branches to the sides, then up, then back together. I hope that makes sense. I will document the process and share it with you as it all comes together.
Here is what it looks like so far.
The window will be over the lavender bench. It is hard to see the raised beds in the picture. Our next step is to add a border around them. We started several willows from cuttings and went ahead and planted them. We will be starting more next spring as well as planted some that we have purchased with our fruit trees.
Paved Walkways in Terrace Garden
I do have a full post about this process as well but I had to be included. It worked out so well. I am looking forward to all the weeds I will not be picking in these paths in the future. The paths really clean things up and are such a nice contrast with the flower beds.
You can find the post about this easy process here.
I felt so good looking back on our 2019 season. I think we don't always remember what we have accomplished. I purposefully chose not to push anything too hard during the 2019 garden season so that I could enjoy our new baby. I felt like I was really doing the bare minimum in the garden to keep it going so we still had fresh veggies to eat and process for the winter. Looking back I can see that I actually did accomplish quite a bit. All those accomplishments are a super bonus, new baby is totally enough! I also have to thank God for sending all the rain. Rain that was completely abnormal for us. God was so sweet to keep the gardens watered for us this year. So much time saved and freed up to allow us to enjoy baby and accomplish other projects.
I am really looking forward to digging into garden projects in the 2020 season.
Have you looked back on last year's garden season to see what you accomplished? I encourage you to do so. Be grateful for what you did accomplish and learn even if it was less than you had wanted. Now, what are you going to do this year to meet your goals and finish your projects?
If you are ready to take your garden to the next level and meet all your gardening goals then grab yourself my Ultimate Garden Planner and Journal instant download. It is filled with guides, worksheets, and full planner to keep you on track, keep good records (it makes all the difference in gardening), and stay organized. I'm pretty sure you'll love it.
I hope that you are having a wonderful time planning your next garden,
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Hello, I'm Jaci. I love wandering around in my gardens admiring God's creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming and homestead adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!