Exactly one year has passed since we started our garden from scratch. I thought it would be fun to record the progress of our garden through it all. Click on the slide below and press the play button.

. We had lots of problems to start off with. We live on fairly high land and there wasn’t much good topsoil. When we dug a couple of feet down, we met with hard clay, so hard, it bent our shovels. So we had to make a raised bed which was hard because it was already getting too cold to garden…plus we didn’t really have any money to buy garden soil for such a large area. So we did the best we could, planted out what we could, covered them with a few inches of compost. And week by week, we kept adding soil and compost.

We learned a lot about how important sunlight is. The vegetable plot in the centre was there because it had the most sunlight…we knew that much…so we didn’t have to buy any tomatoes all year and any lettuces all summer.

While we have a great long border garden flanking the vegetable plot, it was in the shade during the three winter months, which made it really hard for some plants to survive. We planted as many hardy trees and shrubs there, and hoped for the best for the few valuable plants we liked like our peonies, dahlias and roses. Many of the plants bloomed but bloomed much later than the same plants in our area, I guess, because their coming out of dormancy was delayed by the lack of sun for three months. A couple of our roses in the shade (Constance Spry and Oklahoma) have done well, but haven’t bloomed yet, maybe because they aren’t getting enough sun.

So for the winter months of the year, one of our border gardens doesn’t get any sun, and for the rest of the year, our garden doesn’t get any shade! The worst problem we’ve had so far was probably the summer’s horrid heat (plus the mosquitoes)…watering by hand was quite a chore then.

We bought new saplings for all of our trees and shrubs, so that’s why it looks a little thin behind along the fences and at the back of the borders. For a few years, we hope the clematises and passionfruit vines will make up for it. But from just three strawberry plants that I grew, we now have close to 50, all of them flowering right now and some fruiting!

We don’t use pesticides except for neem oil on our roses. So we found bees, butterflies and all sorts of insects and birds too in our garden all year long. We didn’t get to eat our cabbages though they grew huge because there were hundreds of caterpillars feasting in each of them! Most of our greens except lettuces got eaten up too.

We haven’t fertilized anything all year except our roses…but that doesn’t seem to have mattered. We moved a few plants around and killed a few plants in the process. We’ve also forgotten where we put alot of last spring’s bulbs, and I think we have planted over many of them! Anyway, it’s terrific…watching things grow in our new garden!

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