Garden Bed Evolution

My fascination with gardens started when I was at grade school. Every time we went to my Grandparent's house, it was a Paradise to me. I remember a huge apricot tree that supplied several families. A raspberry patch where you could try all different colors and kinds of berries, with my favorite being a sweet yellow variety. Rows of tomatoes, potatoes, onions and radishes. Couple of apple and sour cherry trees. And walkway lined with red, white and black currants. It was a garden of my dreams! Unfortunately, we were only able to visit my grandparents couple times a year.
My family and I lived in Ukraine, on a 4th floor of 5 story apartment building with no space for growing anything other then couple houseplants. So all the gardens I was planning to grow were mostly in my head. Until...Until I grew up, moved to US, got married and we bought our first house in Utah. It was a new development area and the most common plant there was a Tumbleweed :). With a help of my wonderful husband, who promptly built some raised beds for me, I was able to start my "Dream Garden".

It wasn't a smooth process - I had to get used to unexpected frosts in the middle of May, when just the day before it was so hot. However I was able to buy some currant and gooseberry bushes, plant some fruit trees and get some stable crops of tomatoes and of course zucchini! We moved to a more "inhabited" area after four years, and even as I was happy to be closer to "civilization" - shops, schools, movie theatres and restaurants, I was sad to leave my garden behind.

To our new place, which had much bigger yard, I was able to bring some red and black currant cuttings from the old house, but other wise we had to start from scratch again - building raised beds and planting fruit trees.

Gradually, over about five years I was able (with a LOT of help from my wonderful husband) to build six garden beds with the crop rotations, couple beds for perennial crops like asparagus, rhubarb, currants, gooseberries and raspberries. I also had a round strawberry bed with mostly ever bearing varieties, which we enjoyed from late June into November. I had several fruit trees growing and maturing nicely. At the front of the house a Mulberry tree grew from a foot long stick to a seven feet tree, bearing fruit in the summer that fed us and the birds. In the back yard I planted a Japanese plum tree, Rainier Cherry tree and several years later triple hybrid of each - apple and pear.

My garden was doing better every year as the soil improved and more beds gave me an opportunity to rotate my crops regularly. 
However at that point of our lives we came to the decision to expand our living space. For many personal reasons, one of which included expanded family members, we simply needed a different living arrangements. We looked for the bigger house here and there...The prices were high and the neighborhoods were ours. Yep, we decided that we loved our own neighborhood so much that instead of buying a new house we should make the one that we already have bigger! Addition was a great solution, except... It went right where my garden space was. Once again I had to say goodbye to my beloved garden and years of work. I wasn't sure if the plan would even leave me with any space for garden beds. I replanted my Gooseberries, Currants, Rhubarb and sorrel once again to the new place. This time right against our west fence line, with the hope that they will survive.

Two years later I finally found a good new location and energy to start on my gardening adventure again! With a help of my, ever so patient, husband and also my Dad who was staying with us at the time, I was able to get 3 garden beds started and my new round strawberry bed.

The bags by the wall were the "Potatoes" bags. I read somewhere, in fact in several articles, that potatoes grow better in the tall "grow" bags or crates where you suppose to gradually add soil and straw as potato plants grow. So it was an experiment of that year.
Other than potatoes (I blame to much rain and cold snaps) that didn't survive last spring, everything else turned out fine on the new spaces. We got a good crop of all kind of berries and cherries.

Later in the season, our new garden dutifully provided us with aplenty of cucumbers and squash, three different kinds of tasty tomatoes and a lot of carrots.

 I hope someday it will turn into my "Dream Garden".  Thank you for visiting this page and sharing my love for gardening.

Middle of July 2016

My Garden beds are thriving. Every time I visit my heart is full of joy. Such peace and beauty it brings me to see the garden grow. Tomatoes that are taller than me, new Cucumbers and Squash appearing on the vines every day, abundance of Kale and Swiss Chard, my plants make my cooking time more pleasant and healthier too!

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