babyhood / life on thomas run / out and about

In progress: the four square garden

With every year we spend in our house, Dan tries to focus on a new gardening project each Spring. One year it was the vegetable garden, then it was supposed to be flower beds. But it turned out the vegetable garden needed more tweaking. And it still does. Gardening is such a continual learning experience. Trial and error. Jump in. See what works. Try again. 

But this year we're finally breaking ground on one project that has been continually shoved to the back burner.

my grandmother's four square garden

P1010037.JPG

We're finally putting in what we all refer to as "the four square garden". It is inspired by (though it will never be as wonderful as) "the four square garden" at my grandparents' farm, above. It is one of my favorite spots at my grandparents' home. A spot that was backdrop to many a family photograph (15 original children + their children + their children's children), a wedding photo session, my girls' favorite place to play when we lived on the farm, and it's the path everyone walks through on their way down to the swimming pool. 

Our four square will never have quite the grandeur of my grandmother's but it is the inspiration for the one we are putting in. 

And while this is a whole other train of thought…things are changing dramatically at my grandparents' place and I'm forced to let go of what was. I'm learning that I must bring those memories and experiences and plant them in my own life, and in my own home, and for my own children. No amount of change changes that.

in progress

For now, Dan has begun to rip out and level out an existing garden that is where the four square will go. A big mounded up thing that we found out (from our neighbor who grew up in our house) was a dumping ground for the ashes from their coal stove. The garden had some pretty elements, but mostly it was overrun by bind weed–(which I'm convinced comes straight from the hand of the devil) and thistle (a farmer's foe). We moved as many plants as we could and are using the remaining bush as a central point. 

The fencing around is both because we love it, but also because we have serious chicken problems without it. Our free-range girls get around and love to pick and dig and nibble on flower heads and buds. 

Eventually, there will be four plots in each corner. And hopefully a pea gravel path in between each. 

I envision the pickets weathering to a nice grey finish. And viney things winding and wrapping their way around and through the boards. And herbs. And interesting plant varieties. 

Photo
This weekend, we made a trek to a place I have been begging to go to since I heard about it over a year ago– Terrain

People. Seriously. Terrain is my heaven on earth. One of those stores where you walk in and every. single. thing. fits perfectly with your style and esthetic and vision of what look you'd like in your home. 

And your garden. 

Photo (2)
We went for inspiration. I was hoping to bring home a few plants that might get us going. At the very least, we were ready to put in a row of plants on the outside of the fence. 

But Dan and I were both a bit overwhelmed by the experience. 

So we came home empty-handed but with a better vision for what we want to do. I have notes scribbled down on a piece of paper and photos snapped on my phone. 

Photo (1)
We'll definitely go back when we're a little more advanced in our project. 

This weekend, the fence was finished (except for a gate) and the tiller was repaired. (Thanks to Birdy, of course.) 

Photo (3)
This week, a row of day lilies will go in a row along the outside of the fence. 

We're making progress. Slowly. A labor of love and nostalgia. 

I'll keep you updated with photos as we move along. But I'd love to hear what's going on in your gardens. Flowers? Vegetables? New plans? Container gardens? I'd love to hear from you.

With every year we spend in our house, Dan tries to focus on a new gardening project each Spring. One year it was the vegetable garden, then it was supposed to be flower beds. But it turned out the vegetable garden needed more tweaking. And it still does. Gardening is such a continual learning experience. Trial and error. Jump in. See what works. Try again. 

But this year we're finally breaking ground on one project that has been continually shoved to the back burner.

my grandmother's four square garden

P1010037.JPG

We're finally putting in what we all refer to as "the four square garden". It is inspired by (though it will never be as wonderful as) "the four square garden" at my grandparents' farm, above. It is one of my favorite spots at my grandparents' home. A spot that was backdrop to many a family photograph (15 original children + their children + their children's children), a wedding photo session, my girls' favorite place to play when we lived on the farm, and it's the path everyone walks through on their way down to the swimming pool. 

Our four square will never have quite the grandeur of my grandmother's but it is the inspiration for the one we are putting in. 

And while this is a whole other train of thought…things are changing dramatically at my grandparents' place and I'm forced to let go of what was. I'm learning that I must bring those memories and experiences and plant them in my own life, and in my own home, and for my own children. No amount of change changes that.

in progress

For now, Dan has begun to rip out and level out an existing garden that is where the four square will go. A big mounded up thing that we found out (from our neighbor who grew up in our house) was a dumping ground for the ashes from their coal stove. The garden had some pretty elements, but mostly it was overrun by bind weed–(which I'm convinced comes straight from the hand of the devil) and thistle (a farmer's foe). We moved as many plants as we could and are using the remaining bush as a central point. 

The fencing around is both because we love it, but also because we have serious chicken problems without it. Our free-range girls get around and love to pick and dig and nibble on flower heads and buds. 

Eventually, there will be four plots in each corner. And hopefully a pea gravel path in between each. 

I envision the pickets weathering to a nice grey finish. And viney things winding and wrapping their way around and through the boards. And herbs. And interesting plant varieties. 

Photo
This weekend, we made a trek to a place I have been begging to go to since I heard about it over a year ago– Terrain

People. Seriously. Terrain is my heaven on earth. One of those stores where you walk in and every. single. thing. fits perfectly with your style and esthetic and vision of what look you'd like in your home. 

And your garden. 

Photo (2)
We went for inspiration. I was hoping to bring home a few plants that might get us going. At the very least, we were ready to put in a row of plants on the outside of the fence. 

But Dan and I were both a bit overwhelmed by the experience. 

So we came home empty-handed but with a better vision for what we want to do. I have notes scribbled down on a piece of paper and photos snapped on my phone. 

Photo (1)
We'll definitely go back when we're a little more advanced in our project. 

This weekend, the fence was finished (except for a gate) and the tiller was repaired. (Thanks to Birdy, of course.) 

Photo (3)
This week, a row of day lilies will go in a row along the outside of the fence. 

We're making progress. Slowly. A labor of love and nostalgia. 

I'll keep you updated with photos as we move along. But I'd love to hear what's going on in your gardens. Flowers? Vegetables? New plans? Container gardens? I'd love to hear from you.

11 comments on “In progress: the four square garden”

  1. Ah, mostly vegetables this year. Rebuilding a few of our raised beds on which the frames rotted. Tucking in perennials here and there that kind friends have shared. Celebrating the return of baby plants from years past– and always making schemes for more!

  2. This is my first year in a house with a yard (albeit a small one) and I’m so excited to get our first veggies and flowers in. So far we’ve torn up all the old grass (ahem: weeds) and put down seed which is just starting to sprout (after a second attempt and a LOT more water haha). We also built a 9 X 7 raised bed that needs to be filled with dirt, and we’re clearing out the flower beds out front to get ready for planting. I’m so excited and a little anxious to get started. But here in New Jersey, they keep telling me I have to wait until May 15th…and since I don’t know any beter..May 15th it is lol.

  3. My husband and I moved into a little town home with space for a small garden in front and back. It was a major selling point of the house! After a spectacular failure of a container garden last year, I’m excited to try to redeem myself. So far I’ve got lettuces, spinach, carrots, radishes, basil (indoors), two kinds of onions, and THREE types of peas in the ground and coming up already.

  4. Herbs in containers…lettuces and spinach is up and happy looking in raised beds…onions and potatoes and garlic…and building 2 more square foot beds. Soon, roma tomatoes!

  5. This weekend my husband built three raised beds for me and is in the process of making a nice wooden pathway for in between. I can’t wait to start planting.

  6. Living in a rented home that does not allow me to plant a garden, I’ve resorted to planting in containers in front and back of my house. So far I’ve got slicer tomato, cherry tomato, green bell pepper, peas, cucumber, basil and oregano sprouting already. My flowers are coming up nicely as well (although, I can’t even tell you what kind they are..I’m not a flower person but my son wanted to plant some). I’m hoping to plant some lettuce and maybe carrots in a month or two (I live in Florida, we can pretty much garden year round).

  7. Putting a garden post up tomorrow 🙂 Lots of moving plants going on right now, preparing flower beds, gotta fill those garden boxes full of dirt… So many projects, and it feels awesome to have our hands in the soil again 🙂

  8. A picket fence for the front yard, taking out the weedy grass along the broadway & plantingHydrangea & lilacs. The vegetable garden will have squash, basil and other herbs, cucumbers, chiles, and 12 (or 16) heirloom tomato plants. Pumpkins will be planted around the flower beds for decoration in the fall. Snap peas, carrots, kale, & beets are already in and growing. Freesia, lilies, dahlias in the flower beds, our rose garden (16 bushes that came with the property) mulched and ready for a first feed. In the Pacific NW one never knows if it will be a cold and wet summer or hot and dry. We just have to plan big and hope for the best.

  9. This year will be our first year with a full vegetable garden. We have done the initial tilling and soil testing and are ready to till again, hopefully this week if the rain holds out for an afternoon. We shall see how it goes, I am excited but cautious. We ‘rented’ at the church down the street last year and that went pretty well. We had a good tomato crop, broccoli, melons, corn and peppers. Now a few animals harvested before we did. But we also did not spend as much time there as was needed, but we had a newborn last June so it was as to be expected. This year the hurdle will be to keep the kids from picking/eating what isn’t ready, bunnies and squirrels and weather. But I am excited just to teach the kids about growing your own food! We already have a worm garden and compost started Yeah!!! Yours sounds lovely and your other gardening tales always inspire me.

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