Author Topic: New House, New Gardener  (Read 3251 times)

CommonCents

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New House, New Gardener
« on: November 26, 2013, 08:03:44 AM »
I am closing on a house at the end of the month, very exciting.  One thing I'm particularly looking forward to doing is gardening.  I'd like to start to garden immediately next year, and I'm looking for some advice where to start, what to plant, any books or blogs I should read, etc.

1. We will live on a pond!  This means that we can't put any non-NE native species within 25 feet of it.  There is space between that line and the house though for other plants.
2. We have some trees overhanging the yard.  I'm not sure how sunny it'll end up being.  I can post some pictures from the listing if that would be helpful.
3. I'm looking for plants that are somewhat easy, because excited as I am right now, I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.  I've only kept an aloe plant and a violet in my apartment to date.  (And a basil plant for most of one winter.)
4. There's some wildlife around here.  We've seen pictures of various animals, but we don't know how old those photos are, so I'm a bit concerned the animals could eat it up.
5. It'll be Boston area.  So Zone 5 or 6 I think when I looked it up once.

ETA: I'm more interested in a productive vegetable garden initially, although I will probably want a bit decorative.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 08:34:58 AM by CommonCents »

MissStache

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 08:26:24 AM »
There are several GREAT New England based gardening blogs that I read religiously when I lived in Mass.  I can't link to any of them because I'm at work, but here are a few of my favorites. 

1. Skippy's Vegetable Garden
2. Plants and Stones (address is something like stonewallgarden.com)
3. Daphne's Dandelions (I can't remember exactly where she is located, but I think it is Massachusetts)

They tend to focus a little more on veggie gardeing, but they also plant lots of decorative stuff and are just generally awesome about gardening tips for that region.

Enjoy!  Nothing quite as much fun as a blank yard to fill up :)

CommonCents

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 08:38:30 AM »
Thanks!  I edited above to show I'm actually initially more interested in getting a productive garden going.  Both of our families have stories of gardens that fed families.  My grandfather's huge garden (to me) was actually him *cutting back* from my great grandfather's and picking ones that are easier to take care of.  DH's grandfather had a large garden that fed a family of 8, and his dad apparently had a reasonable sized one before the divorce (his mom turned it into a very small flower garden).

I don't anticipate it feeding us all of our veggies, but I enjoy our CSA and would love to just be able to go to the garden for some fresh veggies.  We'd eat more of them for one.  :)

MissStache

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 09:01:35 AM »
Great- then you will REALLY like those blogs!

I also frequently turn to The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch.  It is an excellent reference book!  She and her partner, Elliot Coleman, run Four Seasons Farm in Maine (or Vermont?) so they are awesome resources on cold-weather gardening and extending the seasons.  All of their books are great.

And if you haven't read it, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is hands down the most inspirational, hilarious, encouraging book about gardening ever written. 

CommonCents

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 09:14:28 AM »
Those blogs are great, thanks.  We are only a few minutes from the big garden center...I think this does not bode so well for me...

ZiziPB

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 10:41:20 AM »
Don't count on being able to have a vegetable garden unless you have a sunny backyard.  Based on your description, it sounds like you will have a lot shade once the trees have leaves. I would suggest you wait until next summer to asses how much sunlight you get and what the best location for your garden would be.

CommonCents

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 11:00:41 AM »
Here you go, some pics from the listing of the yard.  House is northwest of the yard, so there's southern exposure.

ETA: I don't know when these pictures were taken but based on the direction of shadows, I think the afternoon.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 11:08:13 AM by CommonCents »

frugaldrummer

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 11:13:01 AM »
For flowers, plant perennials, not annuals (MUCH less work).  You may be able to start plants from cuttings or get bulbs from friends and neighbors who are thinning their perennials. 

Jamesqf

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 11:34:58 AM »
Looks like you have enough sun for a lot of things.  If your primary interest is food, you need to look at 1) what does well in your area - things with a long growing season, or which need heat, are probably out; 2) What you really like - there's no point to growing 50 lbs of tomatos if you don't like tomatos; 3) What's much better fresh than store-bought, or not readily available in stores.

I live in a much different climate, but for veggies I grow a lot of peas (because I love fresh peas, and they're not often available in stores), lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, and some oddball things like fennel.

I'd also suggest putting in some fruit trees & berry bushes.  In a good year, I'll have tons of apples, pears, and grapes (planted by the former owner), and am starting to get good crops of cherries, peaches, plums, and quince.  Next few years should with luck see mulberries, blackberries & raspberries, hazelnuts & walnuts, and more.

CommonCents

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Re: New House, New Gardener
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 11:51:35 AM »
Oh, I'd *love* some fruit trees!  We have some friends that apparently planted a ton of fruit trees/berry bushes in their yard 2 hrs north, I should ask them for tips.  I know they have strawberries, pears, apples, peaches, but can't remember what else.