The growth of a garden

As I was putting together Friday’s post, I started looking through old photos of the turnaround garden. It was amazing to me to see how far it’s come–even though I’ve been here for all of it. I had to share it with all of you.

The turnaround started out as mountain goat territory. Rocks, mounds of dirt and weeds made a very unattractive scene right outside our front door.

Turnaround garden before

Allow me to illustrate the scale of our “mountains.” (And the pile of crap at the old firepit in the background. Ugh.)

Turnaround garden before

We did nothing to it the whole first year we lived here. Finally, in spring 2013, our farmer came by with his big tractor and flattened things out for us. Hello, Easter.

Turnaround garden before

I enriched the soil with lots and lots of manure.

Kioti CS2410 towing a trailer full of manure

And my parents helped with mixing it into the soil and picking out rocks.

Rototilling a garden

Wiley, Matt, Easter and I dug out a path across the turnaround.

Digging the pathway

Then I laid a herringbone brick path.

Herring bone brick pathway

And Baxter joined the family in time to be part of the project, helping to fill the joints with sand.

Baxter helping with the brick path

Then things got a little weedy (a lot weedy). The turnaround is huge–the size of a suburban backyard. I just couldn’t keep up with it.

Weeds on the turnaround

At the beginning of spring 2014, I had given up on half the turnaround. Matt mowed the weeds. The other half was still weedy at the beginning of May, but I went to work.

Weedy flower garden

By the end of May, the turnaround was planted (half of it, at least).

Turnaround garden in May 2014

And this year, it looks like an actual garden. (And I’m already starting to think about the other half).

Turnaround garden in July 2015

I am amazed how much the plants have filled out in just one year. Everything in the garden, including the bench, the birdbath and the brick path, came from the farm or from family (except for the plants you saw on Friday). Transplanting and splitting–and a lot of hard work–have made this huge garden come together nearly for free.

The most important element of gardening in my opinion though is patience. Gardens take time to grow. But the payoff is huge. I’m so glad that I’m able to take a look back and realize how far we’ve come.

Evolution of the turnaround flower garden

Do you keep track of your garden’s progress through the years? Who else has a garden that’s taken awhile to come together?


9 thoughts on “The growth of a garden

  1. Wow, what a difference, it sure looks great. You have a nice selection of different plants in your bed too.

    We keep track of our gardens with photos taken every year. It is amazing to see the changes over time. We have had to make several bigger as time goes on. It seems

  2. Wow! You have a done a great job! And good for you for breaking it down and doing a section at a time. Eventhough I know that would be a better idea, I usually try to do it all at once and can’t keep up and then none of it looks good! But once you get a section established it will be a lot less work and you can move on to the next section.

  3. Wow, what a difference! You’ve beautified it immensely, and probably added lots of equity at the same time.
    We’re working away on our huge garden. It’s not really ours since we’re renting, but it’s got wonderful bones (on a hill, curved stone steps, split rail fence around part of it) and it’s impossible not to want to take it from naturally pretty to absolutely beautiful. We’re not there yet, but it’s lots better. The yard is HUGE, so we also work in sections. It’s so satisfying!

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