There’s been just enough sunshine in the last few days to raise my hopes that spring really is just around the corner. That and the bulbs that are still trying to push up through the frozen ground at the front of the house. The next few days are supposed to be unseasonably warm (yay!) and I’m planning to check out the Stratford Garden Festival with my mama, so I guarantee by the end of this weekend I’ll be itching uncontrollably to get my hands into the ground.
Chris and I have been debating what to do about this place. Without getting into great detail, we’re its caretakers for the time being, but not its owners, and we’ve been talking about buying a house for the last year – a different house, because of the previously ridiculous prices of our neighborhood. But with the housing market in something of a free fall of late, things are even more uncertain. We know this house has a limited lifespan, in that probably 85% of the ones like it in this area have been demolished to make way for ridiculously large and in our opinion, poorly constructed ‘McMansions’. Ours is an old war-time bungalow, and while Chris has taken excellent care of the place it is just big enough for two people, and there are a few major repairs looming. We know that investing money in this place is really only for our own comfort, not to enhance the value of the property. You can probably see the crumbling porch stairs in the above photo – that’s the most pressing of the problems, and this winter hasn’t been kind to those concrete stairs.
All this to say that as spring approaches I’m never really sure what to expect will happen with that poor old porch, or whether we’ll do something about it (and hence, cause great strain on my garden, which wraps entirely around the porch on all sides). But this year Chris and I have an excellent idea. We’re going to build raised beds on the front lawn!
Our front lawn is pretty large. We’re on a 40 foot lot, but it’s basically just a lawn with a big scraggly hedge bush in the middle. It’s kind of ugly but again, doing much about it hasn’t been top priority given the probable future of the property. But it’s the sunniest spot we have and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to maximize my veggie garden. Our neighbourhood is big on appearances – nearly everyone has manicured landscaping. On mornings in the summertime you can watch the nannies and the gardeners decend on our street, and then watch them all leave again in the afternoon. So I’ve been a bit apprehensive about being labeled ‘essentric’ if I start ripping up the lawn and planting zucchinis. Not that I really care what most of our neighbours think, but still. Veggie gardens aren’t usually botanical works of art.
I realized this year that raised beds would work beautifully. They will look less scrappy than beds dug directly into the lawn, and I can add a few annuals for colour and interest. I think we’re going to do two 4×6 foot beds. This also takes the pressure of the side garden, which would allow us to do the work on the porch that just can’t be ignored further. Some of my perennials might take a beating but I can live with that. I’d be much more upset if I couldn’t grow any veggies, or if I had grown them and they got trampled.