For a few years I have tried growing shrubs and bulbs in our front yard, but have had very limited success. The soil quality is not good because it is mostly clay. In addition, there are bugs that are determined to kill almost anything that starts to look as if it might grow to bloom.
In March or April this year, I started some seedlings in our garden shed with a view to planting the peas, beans, carrots, radishes and so on whenever the climate allowed. We have a long winter here, so we need to be ready to plant soon after May 1 if we hope to have a crop before the first freezing night arrives in the fall.
Since the soil is obviously conspiring against me, this year I bought a raised garden bed from a local handyman. I carefully treated the wood with water-resistant sealant then lined the bed with garden fabric. I bought a huge bag of good quality garden starter soil which took a man with a tow truck to deliver, and had the 14-year-old shovel the dirt into the raised bed.
Once this was done it was clear that I had bought far too much soil, so I bought another raised garden bed and painted it with the same sealant, and lined it with the same garden fabric as the first one. Then, the 14-year-old dutifully shovelled the dirt into that one, too.
My daughter-in-law and I went to the garden centre to buy a few more herbs, a tomato plant, and more peas and beans. The peas and beans were planted in the only place that we have a trellis, which meant the front yard with the clay soil. Everything else went into the raised beds. Sadly, the peas and beans do not look well, and their growth is definitely stunted.
Almost as soon as we had everything planted, we had a series of heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms. Right away, it dawned on us that we had placed the first raised bed right underneath the side of the garage that does not have an eavestrough! It bucketed down so hard and fast I thought it would destroy all the plants. A couple of times I covered them with a tarp, but in the end I just let them get soaked. The rain created a deep gulley all along the middle of the bed, but somehow all the plants survived.
So, now we are two months into this enterprise and I can report that the tomato plant and the dill look glorious. We seem to have some radishes and onions, and most of the herbs are looking healthy in a diminutive sort of way, but the cauliflower has died.
Now I am wondering whether all this is worth the effort, but I really enjoy looking at the growing plants. That somehow erases all thoughts of the costs of getting to this point. In any case, that tomato is going to be the most delicious ever tasted. Maybe next year we should only plant tomatoes.