Back Ground


I gave this garden to Fran for Mothers day in 2006.  In fits and starts it has grown to take over half the back yard.  At first it was just “The Garden”.  Then, being ironical about the tiny size of it, I called it “The Plantation”, “The Ponderosa”, the economic upheaval beginning in 2008 prompted a new name.  It is now, (drum roll),  “Fran’s Victory Garden” in honor and imitation of the “Can Do” spirit of the “Greatest Generation” who lived thru depression and war.  Hey, what are we whining about?


For the first four years it was quarter of a circle, a pie shaped wedge in the sunny corner of the yard.  I put roses across the front and filled the “pie” with peppers, tomatoes, radishes, herbs, and strawberries.  Since we have a very small property, the garden is tiny and know it all that I am, thought I could squeeze the planting tighter than recommended, of course chaos prevailed.  There were no paths, only stepping stones scattered about strategically, chaos.  Preventing the garden from coming to full flower, in the second spring, my Mother moved out of her house of forty-five years into a retirement community selling her house.  I was the Handyman for this move.  The fourth year, my Mother passed away, I didn’t feel much like gardening.

The fifth year was a rebirth.  I discovered Mel Bartholomew’s book . “Square Foot Gardening”.   Me, being a computer programmer fell in love with the grids, rows, columns, and the system.  Eureka, Epiphany, I have seen the light, chaos was banned, a Genesis.  The garden was expanded and redesigned to be basically rectangular with 24 in walkways.  The site of the garden is gently sloping away to the far north most corner of the property.  Where the ground fell away, I lifted it with pavers creating a raised bed.  Near to the house I excavated the site nearly a foot into the ground for an in ground garden.  I’ll admit to some Square Foot Garden (SFG) heresies tho.  I use 4xWhatEver “plots” and I found the 12”x12” squares too tight.

I give peppers 16”x16” squares, etc.