This post is basically the exact opposite of Green Bean's post where she included all those amazing pictures of her yard. Here's Green Bean's yard. Here's mine:
We just moved into this house two months ago, and although we're renting, our wonderful landlords said, "Go right ahead," when we asked if we could plant a garden. I'm a serious plan-ahead kind of girl, so okay, okay, I know its months away from Spring, but I've got to be ready!
A Few Things to Consider
Since we're renting, our housing situation is not permanent. We're not planning on moving for at least five years, but there's no guarantee our landlords won't decide to sell the place out from under us. And I can't say for sure that our own plans are set in stone. (Remember, we've already moved six times in seven years.)
So that puts some limits on our landscaping plans. I read a fabulous book called Landscaping with Fruit that suggested using blueberry bushes in a foundation planting (the area in front of a house by the front door). Great idea!...Until I discovered how many years it takes before blueberry bushes produce fruit. I need to stick with fruits and vegetables that produce within a season.
Also because we're renters, we don't want to invest too much money on the landscaping. I admit that because I love landscaping and gardening, we will probably end up spending more on the yard than smart spenders would recommend. But I'm going to try to keep it within reason.
We have the smallest yard in the history of backyards. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by far. Our lot is .09 acres, and most of that is taken up by the house. I want to have a pretty sizable garden, but I also need to leave space in the backyard for the boys to play.
The top picture is where I plan to put the garden beds because it's the sunniest part of our lot. I'm thinking three beds that measure 2' X 8' - is two feet too narrow? I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but our backyard is a small hill, so the beds will have to be terraced with space between for standing. I can also put in some plants close to the fence, but that spot gets a little less sun because of the shade from the fence.
There's a lot of space on the front steps for some containers, and I could add some hooks to the porch roof for hanging plants. Has anyone tried those Topsy Turvy tomatoes?
I thought this side yard would make a good spot for a fruit bed, but it's a secondary priority to getting the backyard garden in. Our landlords used this spot for extra parking space, so I'm sure the soil needs lots of work.
This is the other side of our backyard. It gets less sun because of two trees in our neighbor's yard that pleasantly shade the house. I'm thinking flowers and grasses around the porch, but this is also less of a priority than the garden beds.
Okay, all you gardeners out there. Please help! If this was your yard, what would you do? What plants would you choose? Where would you put them? How can I make my yard pretty but still functional?
I need your guidance!