The garden at Northbrook has been put to bed by now, of course. A few of the perennial herbs were moved into their new homes in the outer beds. Against all advice from the gardening books I also moved the asparagus to an outer bed. Before I planted last spring the books told me to choose the spot for asparagus carefully because it shouldn’t be moved. Guess what? I wasn’t careful enough and I really hated where I had put it. So I’ve taken my chances and if I have to start again next year, so be it. The garlic was planted in October – about 150 cloves from two different growers. Mulch has been applied where necessary. And now come the delightful months of planning for next year.
If I had to sum up in one word what I’d do differently next year, having learned a lot from my first year of the Garden Obsession – that word would be MORE. Sure, we had plenty of bounty from the garden – we happily ate lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, potatoes, leeks, peas, chard, kale, spinach, scallions, zucchini and herbs all summer long. Oh, but I want so much more. It turns out I’m a horribly greedy gardener. I want a cornucopia of produce – pounds upon pounds of it. I want so much bounty from the garden that I have to leave it in the dead of night on the doorsteps of my unsuspecting friends and family members. I want to can and preserve things until my hands threaten to fall off from the scalding water. I want bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer next fall. Oh but that’s not all. No. I want masses of bright flowers in the garden – flowers spilling into the vegetables in every colour imaginable. I’m dreaming of zinnias and larkspurs and cosmos and that’s right…more.
This terrible greed comes, I regret, from way too much time looking at other people’s gardens online. Surely you’ll understand when I show you this:
and this, which has me imagining my one-day greenhouse:
The above pictures come from the Meadowbrook Farm blog, where I’ve been lurking lately. I hope they wouldn’t mind me sharing the photos – they are just too beautiful not too. The work they’ve done on their farm is stunning and inspiring.
And then there’s this the Edible Landscaping blog I’m loving which has me wanting to grow vegetables everywhere in the city as well as at the farm. Friends – be warned: if you’re not careful I’m going to start planting chard and lettuce in your front yard when I come to visit.
And, when I’m not envying other people’s gardens online, I’m at web sites like this one and this one, where I daydream about what Northbrook could have been in a different life.
I find myself dreaming of vacations that involve farms like these – doesn’t it sound lovely? Regrettably, it also sounds spency!
So, as you can tell – there’s no shortage of farm inspiration swirling around in my already-full brain. But then, what are the cold months of winter for if not for reading, planning and imagining what next year’s garden will bring? In just a few days, I’ll be sipping tea next to the wood stove and up to my eyeballs in gardening books and seed catalogs. I hope to spend many of this winter’s weekends this way. I can’t wait.