The Beginning of a New Garden

It may not look like much now but just wait and see what it turns into. This is the way most of my gardens start, one small little spot in the yard that projects an image into my mind. Can you see what this might turn into?

Maybe not but I don't blame you,

right now all that is there is a teeny maple tree (who incidentally would be five times as tall if it were not for deer and rabbits) and three little Russian sage plants I made from hardwood cuttings.

This is how most of my gardens start, small. Small plants and small areas. The reason is simple and twofold, time and money. In the long range plan I have this garden will play an important part in our backyard landscape but for now I have too many other areas to concentrate on growing. The border garden, the corner shade garden, the front garden, the back garden, the vegetable garden (maybe one day I'll be more creative and come up with better names but descriptions make it easier to see the locations), etc. Each of these previously established areas needs weeded, tended, watered, and planted and there are only so many hours in the day to start new gardens.

This small garden was easy to put together. The maple was planted in the fall 2007, (yes that's right 2007 and it's still that small, thanks to the deer), it was one of several Arbor Day trees that I got through the mail. The Russian sage plants were completely free since they were produced from cuttings. They are small but will grow quickly and hopefully will be in bloom by August. I planted them very close together mostly because I suspected at least one would be accidentally eaten by a rabbit before they realized they didn't like Russian sage. No bites have been taken as of yet. If the need should arise I'll transplant one or two in the spring.

To prepare the garden area I gathered grass clippings and piled them around to smother the grass underneath. Then I waited a couple weeks and planted the Russian sage plants. They grew a few inches then I added some compost to top dress the grass clippings and covered with hardwood mulch. I didn't do any real digging or even use newspapers this time, the grass clippings were enough to smother the grass. I spent time on it when I had opportunities to work.

Over time I'll enlarge the bed and it will start to become a defining border between out lawn area and a large shade area, that all depends if the deer let my trees grow! How do you start you gardens? Do you start small and build your garden gradually or do you complete the garden right from the start?

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