Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wasted Opportunities--A Trailer Park Homestead update & dreams for the future

When people encounter my "jungle" of a garden, either in person or via video tour, they seem to tend to notice the amble vegetation that dominates my modest-sized landscape.  I, on the other hand, tend to be ever critical and notice the areas that I could have planted something, but didn't for whatever reason.  To be fair, with this being the first year I've gardened at this location, and actually my first time gardening in the ground as well as in raised beds and containers, I wasn't sure about the spacing of some things, so may have erred on the side of caution this year, plus, when I started in the spring, the area behind the house was dominated by a gianormous evergreen of some sort and a wild compost bin.  Since the tree was taken out, I've cleaned up the area (and found some stay basil growing, which I relocated to basil-designated locations) considerably, but haven't really taken advantage of the new land available.

We haven't decided yet whether we'll be renewing our lease here for next year (so if someone knows of a better property we could rent with 20 minutes or so of Howell, Michigan for about $550 a month or less, let me know!), but I'm kind of keeping in mind what I might do for next year if we do decide to stay.  Here are some of those ideas:

In a perfect world, I'd probably either keep bees back here, or have a wonderful, relaxing oasis with a park bench for resting after a hard day in the garden next to a water feature that would include tilapia that we could then eat.  However, I'm pretty sure I couldn't get away with either of those things here, even if I did put up a privacy fence to separate it from the neighbor's yard (you can see the corner of their garage in the top of the picture to see how close that is).  Since the park manager said they'd "prefer" my large raised bed up front to be in the back, I'll probably move it back here for next year after I finish this year's harvest.
I left this area outside the back door intentionally clear as a children's play area, but they don't really use it.  No knowing this, I'd like to cover it with something edible.  Sweet potatoes, maybe?
This expanse of skirting in the front of the house looks rather nekkid to me.  I'm thinking of either extending the row of potted plants to go all the way across or dig out an actual narrow garden bed and plant sunflowers or something in it.  Sunflowers would definitely be cool there.  And no, that is not a green ball in the front yard.  That is a watermelon.

My idea for flowers in these mini-beds to camouflage the renegade veggies (and fruit) in the front yard.  They never grew big enough to hide anything and no one has had an issue with what's growing in the front yard (yet?), so I'll probably pull them and put something I like that is more useful.  Pansies, maybe?
I feel like I'm not utilizing this area to its full potential, probably because I can still see dirt in places.  That may change though, since not everything in here has reached full size.  I do like the tomatoes in there around the lamppost and the back of the bed.  I've read that tomatoes don't mind being in the same spot more than one year in a row, so that is an idea I might keep!
It probably wasn't the most efficient use of space to dedicate an entire garden bed to a "mystery plant" that, as it turns out, I'm pretty sure I don't need.  If it is what I'm 99.9% sure it is, I have plenty more of this growing elsewhere in the yard.  It would have been much more responsible, although probably not as much fun, to plant something I knew I could use here.
I know I wasted a lot of potential here too (don't mind the garden hose).  I'm thinking something nearly zero maintenance, yet extremely useful should go here--like maybe catnip.
The ground here was supposed to be covered with vining things like squashes, but they haven't been faring very well.  I think maybe winter squash just doesn't like being started indoors and so they were doomed from the beginning.  I'll probably plant a short growing crop here after this stuff is harvested this fall and try again with the same idea next year.

1 comment:

  1. Love everything you've got going on there! If I could have gotten away with taking out that much of the lawn at our old place(trailer park) I would have.

    I want to plant more fruit trees,but hubby won't let me plant any edible trees in the front or side yard because he doesn't want the "extra work" of cleaning up around them. :(

    I might sneak some in next spring and say "oops that's not what it was supposed to be" :)

    We plan on expanding the garden a little more next year,as we really like squash,but it takes up so much away with more grass and in with more garden space. :)

    I'm going to leave some open area,for future use when the village officials decide to allow chickens....keeping my fingers crossed.We might try pasturing the rabbits too.