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SUMMER Garden: the beauty, the failures and the things we will change for next season.

Oh Saturday, how I've been looking forward to you all week! Do you ever do that? Live for your weekends? If you're a gardener, I know you do. Because that means it's time to get into the gardens, weed those beds you've been neglecting, drink your morning cup of love (ehem, COFFEE people), and enjoy the cool summer air before the heat of the day rises.

The gardens this year are.. well, a work in progress. They're beautiful, don't get me wrong, but as any gardener would know, a garden is never finished. There is always work to be done, perennials to be moved, and things to be reworked. I like to call this year, for our gardens, a practice year if you will. I'm still very much a new gardener and in taking on all that we did, I knew it wouldn't all go as planned. We've had some good success (which I will talk to you about in just a second) but we've also had some incredible failures (which of course, I will also share with you because HELLO, this is real life people!).

To start, we put in four new gardens this year on our farm.

  • the Market garden - for food production for our family to be preserved, canned and stored for the winter months

  • the Flower Cutting garden- for our flower business, Lake Farm Florals. To grow cutting flowers to be used in bouquets and arrangements for weddings and events

  • the Potager garden - the upper level of our backyard where we will someday add a patio off of our house and a pond. This will be where we sit after a long day's work or host friends and family for an outdoor farm to table dinner. I have big dreams for this space and I am filled with excitement at the idea of hosting loved ones here

  • the Kitchen garden - this is the newest idea I've come up with. This very small garden sits right in front of our house and can be seen from the kitchen window. It will be a combination of perennial flowers and herbs, to be used in food recipes and to be a beautiful sight to see while washing dishes or planning a menu. Once this garden is finished and beautiful (probably next summer), I will be very excited to share the before and after photos

Quite a bit going on, eh? And these are just the gardens. That doesn't include the 150 strawberry plants we added to our new strawberry patch, the 50+ raspberry vines, the rabbits we purchased and are using for our rabbit breeding program (to be used for meat for our family), the meat chickens we raised and butchered for our family, the egg layers we added, the PUPPIES we had from our German Shepherds... oh and of course regular life of full time jobs, running a business and surviving the adventure of COVID 19.


Anyway, back to the point. Each garden has had it successes while also having some major failures. Turns out, you can't just plant a zone friendly perennial and expect it to grow perfectly! Gardens take a lot of work, and when you're starting a garden in soil that hasn't been worked in DECADES, I promise, you will face some challenges. Our biggest challenges this year have been soil, water and weeds. Like I said before, this soil hasn't been worked in decades, which for us means that we have to get the soil tested, make the necessary amendments, improve our water situation & take care of those weeds. This garden has been all grass so the grass and seeds are prolific, making it very difficult to get rid of during the growing season. So, as much as I want this garden to look natural, the weed tarp will go down, the mulch and compost will be added, and next year we will (hopefully) see the fruits of our labor.