Friday, June 18, 2010

Brown thumb turns Green

This year when planning my gardening repertoire, I decided that I would create a front lawn veggie garden. My thinking: lots of sunshine would definitely yield to a successful crop. Last year, I tried to plant a series of veggies and herbs (tomato, pumpkin, raspberry, onions, garlic, mint, celery) in the backyard but with two tall and leafy trees casting shade and shadows over our yard, nothing came to fruition, except 3 little raspberries and some mint.

This is what our backyard garden looked like in May 2009:

This is our back yard garden now in June 2010:

See how dark and shady the backyard is...
it's great for keeping the house cool in the summer though.

There are still some veggies in the backyard. I thought I'd give the tomato idea another run and planted three of them, directly under a sunny spot where tree branches had been trimmed back. There are also two pepper plants in a pot, a hot one and a mild one. They too, are strategically placed under a sunny spot. There are also garlic shoots, raspberry plants, spring onions, mint (which is resilient and grows like weeds) and more basil in planters, as I love the stuff and plan to make basil ice cream one day!

Planting a front lawn veggie garden did come with resistance. My husband was against the idea as he didn't want our house to look like a Greek - Italian immigrants front lawn with sticks supporting tall tomato plants and a smorgasborg of miscellaneous, unruly crops. He likes order, symmetry, neatness, and colour. So I struck a deal with him. I suggested an herb garden. He agreed and so I (we) set off deciding what to plant in the front lawn.

This is what our front lawn looked like before:

This is sand by the way, which is under everybody's lawn.

We removed the sand and mixed some of it with nutrient rich compost soil.

And this is what our herb garden looks like now:

Big rock in lower corner is covering the city water main valve.

Some of the plants in my herb garden include: basil, purple basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender, sage and cilantro.

I've already dipped into my basil, rosemary and oregano yesterday to add to my pizza toppings. The cilantro is taking a bit longer as it was planted from seed. The other herbs were planted from plants that were already grown.

There is no doubt in my mind that this herb garden will be a success unless "Orange" the neighbourhood tom cat pees on it, or if neighbours run off with my herbs. The intense sunlight of about 6 to 8 hours worth is perfect for herbs on the front lawn. Notice in one of the photos that the grass is brown? That's because the intense sunlight fries the grass, which generally requires watering everyday. Such a waste of water for something as completely useless as lawn grass.

Ultimately, my husband has huge dreams of tearing out all the discoloured lawn grass and turning our front lawn into a urban oasis - haha - but maybe that's just wishful thinking...only time will tell.


kickpleat said...

I'm not a fan of front lawns, so I'm always excited to see urban front gardens...especially food ones. My friends have a huge one with lots & lots of veggies and it looks nice and hippy (which is a look that I'm a fan of). Hooray, looks like you'll get lots of herbs this year.

Bijoux said...

kickpleat, I love lush, green and abundant front lawn gardens full of perennial flowers, herbs, some veggies and rocks. No grass! I'd like to get rid of all the grass eventually and fill up the front lawn with all kinds of plants. It is a costly landscaping job however, to remove the grass, dispose of it and replace it with compost and plants. That little square we did for the herbs took us a full weekend, a car rental and $100-$150 for the bricks, stones, compost soil, plants - Oy!

cserdan said...

I'm not a grass fan either. And the sound of a lawn mower...don't get me started!

Looks great! I've never had any luck with basil. Each year I plant it and it withers away. sigh

Bijoux said...

Charlene, I felt the same way about basil. In the past, I'd keep it in a pot in the house. This year, I think the nutrient rich soil, direct sunlight and the regular watering has made a huge difference in the survival of my 4 basil plants!