Since deciding to have a ‘less is more’ approach this year (and being further encouraged on that path by seeds rotting in the soil and later by slugs), I’ve not felt overwhelmed by the garden this year and it’s given me the mental space to make bigger picture/longer term plans too. Both good things.
I keep finding myself having epiphanies about How It Should Be or eureka moments, when a number of different ‘problems’ click together into a pattern to solve them all. Mostly just little things like spotting the perfect place for a much wanted extra fruit tree, figuring out what to do with some of the surplus of lavender plants (two self-watering window boxes on the balcony, under the living room window – will smell fab!) or realising that it makes sense to put my not-totally-hardy herbs in my not-totally-hardy (terracotta) pots, since I’d have to protect them in a harsh winter anyway.
The latter decision led to a bit of a cascade – if the herbs are going in there, what will happen to the lingonberry and cranberry bushes that are already in there? Well, the lingonberry is a nice shape and would look good as a full stop at the end of the ground-level bed – I’d just been wondering what to put there. And I thought the long-fronded cranberry would look good tumbling off a raised stone-walled bed – I’ve got some scrap stone and thought I’d make a new small bed between two existing ones just for it, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon … then I realised if the herbs were going in the pots, there was now a space in the ‘herb’ bed which is conveniently at the top of a tumbledown-able wall… Perfect!
The best thing is that nearly all the stuff I’m doing at the moment is with perennials so I won’t need to do it again next year. Trying to plant a few garden with annual veggies each year has been too much for grasshopper-minded me. The biggest ‘bigger picture’ decision I’ve made is to have all the beds in the garden, bar two raised ones, filled with herbs or fruit bushes so if I don’t do any annuals veggies one year, we’ll still have a productive, and well-stocked, garden. This year, because of the “less is more” and the slugs, we’ve got quite a few empty containers but I’m that not bothered because they can be stacked out of the way and the planning/perennial planting gains have been worth the smaller harvest. And if I can be bothered, there are still some thing I could sow now to fill in the empty spots anyway.
Basically, in short, I’m really glad I decided to have an easy growing year this year because it should make future years easier too.
Have you done anything different with your garden this year?