Since I've been slowly accumulating a stash of seeds for our "side garden" and working on adding a new flower bed over there, I thought I'd go back and look at a few of my old pictures from warmer times. The "side yard" as we call it, is probably the warmest part of our yard. It faces west and is usually 5 - 10 degrees warmer than rest of our yard. It's where I go on those spring days that it looks a lot warmer than it actually is. Those days that you're just sure you don't need a jacket because the sun is out, only to find it's only about 55 degrees. So, this is where I go to warm up and putter around.
When we moved to our home almost 10 years ago the previous owners told us they grew tomatoes there. Hard to believe for us though, since it was full of garbage, plastic and old rebar. As we emptied it out we discovered the ground was very hard clay. A "moonscape" as my husband put it. How could we waste the sunniest part of our yard and not plant there?!
I found a picture in a Sunset magazine that was just what I thought would work.
My husband built 4 raised planters, varying from 3'x3' and one long 12'x3'.
Every year new soil is added, as well as amending the soil with compost. Now tomatoes do actually grow there, as well as strawberries, blueberries, a fig tree, many herbs and flowers. I've also planted clematis to grow along the fence, and am currently digging out a new flower bed. Last summer a row of Lemon Queen sunflowers grew along the end of the yard in front of the fence.
This is one of my gardeners posing with the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor.
After this picture was taken last summer the whiskey barrel was removed and now I'm working on a new flower bed. Always making space for some new plants!