Ceri Shaw



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A Kitchen Garden In The Backyard

user image 2017-09-29
By: Ceri Shaw
Posted in: Lifestyle


One of our Western Hemlocks in the backyard recently suffered a catastrophic 'cascade failure' and we were forced to remove two trees that were threatening to collapse on the house. We did this with a heavy heart since neither of us wanted to see them go. You can see the havoc they wrought in this post .

On the plus side, however, we now have a lot more room and less shade so we thought we would develop a 'kitchen garden'. We have four growing areas and they are listed below together with a description of our current plans for them. 

Basically we are seeking ideas for crops that are easy to grow. Also, since we are new to this, we are wondering what proportion of our grocery bill we might realistically expect to save. What kind of crop yields are possible in an area like this given the soil quality (poor to medium) and shade (full and partial).

growing area partial shade.jpg


We are dividing this area into six rows. You can see the first two in the photo above). The soil here is of reasonable quality but needs enriching. The rows nearest the camera in the above view will have sunlight for most of the afternoon and early evening. The ones further away, nearer the shed, will have shade for most of the day. What might grow well here? Are there any shade loving food crops?

growing area poor soil shaded.jpg


Our potato towers will be set up to the right and at the end of the path in the above view. The area nearest us in the picture has poor, and very thin, soil and is in the shade for most of the day. How might we work/improve this are soil wise and, given that we can't knock the house down to increase the sunlight exposure, what might we grow here?

backyard terrace.jpg


'The Terrace'. We will be planting two trees here (probably Filberts) and as many fruit bushes as we can fit in. Given that we only want to plant native species does anyone have any suggestions for fruit crops that might grow well here?

bees and butterflies.jpg


This is our 'conservation' area. Basically we want  plants that will attract bees, butterflies and humming birds. Thus far we have Oregon Grape, Salvias, Fuchsia and Gallardia. Any suggestions for colorful and tempting additions?

Ceri Shaw
10/01/17 08:48:23PM @ceri-shaw:

As a reward for my Herculean labours in the backyard Gaabriel bought me a present. It is of course a reproduction of an early Celtic Giraffe Kettle found at Iron Age archaeological sites in many parts of Wales.

celtic giraffe.jpg