Weina, a silent follower of this blog recently wrote an email seeking suggestions for her side and front garden. She just shifted to a house. The previous owner left behind a few ornamental plants in the ground and some healthy bamboo.
My field of expertise is civil engineering, gardening is something else I am very passionate about, beating golf by a whisker. ... it may not be easy to suggest without actually looking at the place. So my initial suggestion would be general in nature. I manage to come up with a few sketches for illustration.
|Weina Garden: The layout|
|Weina Garden: The description|
To start with, there should be adequate lawn to walk, enjoy, bask and roll around. Lawn always become a lot greener whenever vegetables are grown. Possibly the excess fertiliser goes to the grass as well. Then you may want to decide where to grow your veggies and other plants, in some manageable layout. I would suggest the front garden, being a little bit small is reserved solely to flowering and ornamental plants. Side garden is definitely large enough for you to experiment with vegetable growing. I am suggesting some patterns or concept to put veggies in. A neat layout sometimes is able to conceal a little bit of failure with vegetables.
Pattern of Vegetable Bed.
- Rows - plants are grown in rows.
- Layered - Combining tall and short plants.
- Circular - An excellent element to break off the monotonous rows of vegetables. You may want to try out the Legend of Three Sisters!
- Sunken Garden - Scoop out a few inches of soil. The place will be a lot wetter than the rest. An excellent site for pandan, and other water loving plants. You can even grow rice!!
Plants are unique, that seeds from the same mother plant may not grow uniformly. They differ on size and health level.., just like us. They have tantrums too, reacting aggressively if their needs are not met. They need fair amount of sunlight, water and nutrients. If grown in the ground, the soil has to be fairly loose for roots to spread and anchor, and sip nutrients. Meeting their natural needs, they will become friendly and very generous with lovely flowers, and leaves.
Dear Weina, give it a thought and plan out. If you really enjoy vegetable gardening, I would suggest, go for simple and flexible approach, and be pragmatic about it, unless you wish to engage a contractor and pay a handsome sum. Gardening is developmental and progressive in nature. Both the gardener and the garden get better as time goes. As parting remark, No Garden is Ever "Done"!
Who knows, some readers may want to add, to help Weina out, and Weina gets in to be less silent. Cheers.
bangchik and kakdah
Tanah Merah, Kelantan, Malaysia