Undaunted by the 26 degree temperatures for last night, I sat and drew out plans for the garden expansion.
We have two hoop houses near the house, and they have served the rotation of winter plants, chickens and this spring, bottle lambs. The hoop house that bordered the garden has been my source of winter herbs. I had an enormous rosemary plant, lemon thyme and sage that I could enjoy all winter. Until this brutal winter at least, when even under their protection the plants succumbed to the bitter cold.
I have decided to relocate that hoop house and add that area to the existing permaculture garden. The family enjoys this garden so much, and its maintenance is so easy, that expanding it seems like a wonderful way to add to it, diversify the plants even further, and add some movement to it – the movement is water! A pond with a waterfall! Hopefully, this will bring more birds and frogs, which will help with insect populations. The garden has also become so enjoyable that we want a place where we can sit and appreciate it.
It’s best to put ideas into a plan, so with glass of wine in one hand and pen in the other, I sat last night and started drawing. This sketch is not to scale, but you can recognize the maze-like elements of the existing garden. The goal is to add growing area for plants, a pond, and a sitting area. It would also be a plus to add a small tool shed.
Here is a picture of the garden edge with the hoop house being dismantled. You can see the abrupt end and the bean stakes from last year. we are going to move these and extend the path. Here is the current state, and in the next picture I have marked the approximate area where we will place the future pond. A pond is not merely ornamental. It provides water for bees and birds. It also becomes the place for mosquitoes to place their larvae, which are promptly eaten by foraging Koi and goldfish. Despite living in a very remote location with several ponds, we have no mosquitoes!
The garden slopes gradually downhill, which is perfect in order to make a cascading waterfall.
Here is the inside of the hoop house as it is being taken apart.
You can make out the remains of some of the herbs that were destroyed by the excessively cold winter. This will all be incorporated into the garden. The middle of this hoop house will become a small patio for a bistro set.
We have selected our pond and it is on hold at Lowes. Here is a link to it. Pond Liner It is a large, 270 gallon capacity pond. Its dimensions are approximately 7’x7′, which should fit neatly into the area I have designated for it.
Surrounding the pond will be perennial vegetables such as asparagus (they have lovely ferns most of the year) and rhubarb, which some would actually call a fruit. I will also transplant banana trees from the conservatory each year to give the sitting area a tropical feel as well as some shade.
I will keep you posted on the progress with photos and instructions, especially for seating the pond liner correctly, and for installing the waterfall/cascade effect.