Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garden Design Continued

On a homesteading forum I read, someone asked about organizing a small acreage - namely 1 (4047 m2).  One of the suggestions referred to The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan, which I confess I haven´t read.  She includes 2 layouts - one for 1/10th of an acre and the other for 1/2 an acre.

Basically, the difference seems to be adding pasture.  Now we have approximately a half an acre, but I alternate between despair that it will never be enough and feeling overwhelmed that we´ll never be able to keep up with it.

Does her plan seem optimistic?

My latest version is this (take with a grain of salt because I have no way of knowing what scale it´s in):

There´s a potager for the salad, herbs, medicinals, flowers and dye plants - raised beds.  The orchard will be nuts and fruits (almonds, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, lemons, limes).  I may be being optimistic, but with climate change well underway I figure why not.  Where can I find a pecan tree over here?  There is an existing motley hedge along the southern border which needs beefing up to be productive, stock proof, or an effective screen. 

The southeast corner of the barn seemed a logical place to plan a future greenhouse (hopefully out of recycled windows) for starting seeds, extending the growing season and protecting tender stuff in the depths of winter.  Row crops would be potatoes, roots, brassicas, corn, tomatoes, peppers, etc.  There´s only 2 of us, so I´m not sure how much space to allocate there.  Compost and chickens are well away from the house, and chooks will probably be put into tractors on grass.

We´d like to rebuild the oven and add a barbecue space there for entertaining.  Some flower beds, cold frames and wood storage will be placed close to the house/patio.  I´d like to have quite a few water tanks for rainwater also.

Longer term there´s a good sized patch there that could have goats or pigs, I suppose, but would require additional housing/fencing.  I certainly don´t want to be either mowing or cultivating it.  Turkeys and ducks will be added as time/budget permits.  If I can arrange to lease pasture in the future, I´d love a few sheep. 

I ran across this smallholding called ¨Hangman´s Cottage¨ .

How fabulous is that?  They have a self-sufficiency blog, which I haven´t investigated yet.  I was just so delighted by that shot of their home acre. 

Still to be accommodated - grapes!  Maybe along the eastern wall bordering the neighbors in the potager.   I think I´ll have hops on arbors.  I must have wisteria and climbing roses somewhere - a pergola over the barbecue? 

Now, where to put the laundry line?


  1. Hi Coco,

    In my experience the biggest problem is trying to do too much too soon, If you pace yourself and do one job at a time you can build up to something amazing without getting down hearted. Of course we are not there yet, but we will be!

  2. I keep telling myself we have the rest of our lives to tinker with the place. :) But it´s hard to try to be realistic.

    You´ve been doing a great job on your place! How´s the garden shaping up this year?

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