Friday, May 9, 2014

Landscaping....The Blank Slate

The Grand Plan
March 2014

And it begins....the great thing about building a house on a new acreage is the landscaping is a blank slate.  The bad thing about building a house on a new acreage is the landscaping is a blank slate.  We have nothing but a lot of dirt, some miscellaneous piles of gravel and cement left by the construction crews, and alfalfa, chewy.

Here's our starting point.

And the back.   It's a little like House on the Prairie; we need just a little less prairie and a little more garden.

 Here's what were we working with folks.  It's mostly alfalfa, some weeds, a tiny bit of grass and some ground squirrels and a lot of clay soil.  We do have the alfalfa on our side as this land as been an alfalfa field for years, so we should have quite a bit of nitrogen in the soil (alfalfa is a nitrogen-fixing plant, remember 7th grade science).

So the grand plan:

A whole of experiments...

First thing, a windbreak.  A hedge row and trees to go around the property to stop everything from ending up in Kansas.  And as a bonus we are using some edibles as hedges.

A dry river bed that crosses the front yard.  It's called a rain garden, we divert the water from the house rain gutters into this "riverbed" landscaped with various flowers, bushes, ornamental grasses, and ground covers.

Ornamental flowers around the front porch with various pathways.

Some potted plants for the front porch.

Hedges, bushes, and trees to add height and contrast.

And a mix of no/low mow grasses and groundcovers to fill in the rest.

And for the back yard

 low mow grass/flower mix for a "yard", yep we are going to attempt starting a lawn from seed. 
 Then a large vegetable and fruit garden.  We will be experimenting with a bunch of types of gardening

 the traditional, just plant it in the ground
 square foot gardening
Earth Tainer
the gutter system
wicking beds
pallet gardening
container gardening
an African gardening method called keyhole gardening
and maybe even some aquaponics.

 Add an orchard comprised of compact high density fruit trees ( more on this later).  A compost area, fire pit and then maybe later we'll throw in some egg laying chickens to the mix.  That should keep me busy for a while.