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Side Yard Garden Evolution

Updated: May 7

We came across some old photos from 2019 when we first moved here and it was such a nice reminder of how far we've come. When we bought our little 100-year-old farmhouse, the inspector called us adventurous and told us he hopes we like projects. That didn't scare us away though. We were thrilled to have a house like this to love on, and as soon as it was ours, we got to work right away on our long list of things. There was much to do! Like...everything.

But since we're gardeners, we started there. We arrived with a literal u-haul of plants and a hodge podge of herbs from our old place and tucked many of them into the ground near the house where we could tend to them more easily. It's funny to reflect on this time and we always laugh when we tell people that we had a garden before we had a proper restroom. Hah. It's true though. Priorities. We've been putting heaps of work into the farm house, but we've had a pretty decent garden since day one.

We started with a little patch near the back door, mainly of perennial herbs we brought with us when we moved (rosemary, oregano, mexican mint marigold, yarrow, artemisia, heartleaf skullcap, rue, lemongrass).

And then we couldn't stop. We started replacing the lawn with a garden ecosystem bit by bit.

The garden expanded and expanded, slowly and organically. And with each growing season, we got a chance to observe the elements that affect our space, learn what worked and what didn't, make changes as needed, and tuck little plants in wherever they fit.

About a year and a half in, the garden looked like this. We had groupings of plants living in community, each helping to support each other in various ways. And as a result, the whole system was more resilient.

We're now about five years in. We got a new roof in preparation for rainwater harvesting, a catio, a fence to protect our garden from armadillos and deer, and some arch trellises to grow more food and a shadier microclimate below.

It's starting to evolve into a pretty magical scene over here. The volunteer redbuds have filled in beautifully to offer dappled shade and abundant edible blooms, we have a bird bath that's bustling year-round with a variety of bird friends (our primary pest control patrol), and our garden is full of pollinator-attracting plants that self-seed every year (arugula, cilantro, poppies, sunflowers, nigella, borage, among others).

This succession of photos is our way of documenting what this process has looked like for us thus far. We'll continue to to post updates and you can follow us on instagram for observations and discoveries as we go.


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