Category Archives: Garden Teepee

Love is a Battlefield

Maybe Pat Benatar was half-right. A garden battlefield…

To Battle!

To Battle!

Burning small piles of leaves in the garden.

Burning small piles of leaves in the garden.

While we worked we kept joking that it looked like there was quite a battle in the garden today!

The dogs know all about the art of warfare.

The dogs know all about the art of warfare.

Baby watching the action.

Baby watching the action.

The Teepee

The Teepee

The "back nine" of the garden About halfway done turning everything over.

The “back nine” of the garden About halfway done turning everything over.

After the smoke cleared…

The fingers of the dead...

The fingers of the dead…

emerged to seek revenge. AHHH!H!!!! Zombies!

emerged to seek revenge. AHHH!H!!!! Zombies!

Whew! Just asparagus.

Whew! Just asparagus.

The asparagus patch (did not turn that over as it would disturb the asparagus crowns)

The asparagus patch (did not turn that over as it would disturb the asparagus crowns)

A beautiful, chilly spring day.

A beautiful, chilly spring day.

Facing South

Facing South

Facing West

Facing West

Seedlings and Sculpture

Normally around this time of year I start planting tons of seeds: in paper cups, plastic cups and containers, coffee cans. Then said containers were unceremoniously placed in drafty windowsills, covering the Spy’s dresser and desk. I’ve relied on south-facing windows (the Spy has two) to provide light. I’ve never really had a proper seed starting set up…

Until now!

Until now!

Smoochie built it this weekend. It’s pretty simple, but a MAJOR improvement! Like I said, I used to take over the Spy’s room with the seedlings, but this year Baby has offered up the top of her dressers for the little seedlings and supplies (thanks Baby!) If you want a really proper list of seed starting supplies and instructions check out this post on sweetdomesticity. My basic list includes…

DSC_6823 (500x299)

Seeds, water in a spray bottle, white duct tape and a sharpie (for labeling), dirt (potting soil) and containers. I find that having the seeds in a location that I frequent (i.e. Baby’s room) ensures I won’t neglect watering them (or miss watching them sprout!). Plus it is toasty warm and in front of a south facing window AND Baby gets to closely watch the process too.

I had this tray leftover from last year.

I had this tray leftover from last year.

So far we’ve started eggplants and sweet peppers (I’ll write about the different varieties in a future post). I think they’ll do well in these smaller sized sections (they take a long time to germinate), but for the tomatoes I will use something larger (like plastic cups) because I like the tomato seedlings to get pretty big before transplanting. There’s lots of room left for more plants.

In even MORE exciting garden news…The new plot is complete!

The Spy thinks it is shaped like a big whistle.

I have to agree.

I have to agree.

It was 77 degrees today (!)

An open window!

An open window!

…and it was a lovely afternoon of digging.

The Spy in the shade of a tree trunk.

The Spy in the shade of a tree trunk.

Ahhhhhh! Bliss!

Ahhhhhh! Bliss!

I had...

I had…

...lots of help!

…lots of help!

Little Diggers (Maggie was digging with her teeth! See the big clod of dirt in her mouth?!)

Little Diggers (Maggie was digging with her teeth! See the big clod of dirt in her mouth?!)

Another view of the expansion (facing north)

Another view of the expansion (facing north)

We just have to move the fence and the expansion is complete!

Fits right in!

Fits right in!

We are planning to plant pumpkins in this new plot. Not sure which kind yet (we have three types of seeds: Jarrahdale, Giant Atlantic and Rouge Vif D’Etampes).

My favorite earth sculpture, Spy Garden

My favorite earth sculpture, Spy Garden

A Brand New Garden!

Even though I’ve started a new job as a nurse,

with quite a lovely commute

with quite a lovely commute,

There’s still plenty of time for gardening.

In fact, there’s time for an entirely NEW garden!

Baby is attending a new school on an eleven acre campus.

11 acres for Babyzilla to explore!

11 acres for Babyzilla to explore! Plan by D2G landscape design.

The playground is au natural, the property is wooded, there will be meadows…The school is working with individuals from the Missouri Department of Conservation to establish proper native meadow habitats (think Shaw Nature Preserve on a smaller scale).

The best part, of course, is…a brand new garden! And I am the Garden CEO! Woooo!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

We walked the site last Sunday to scout it out to create a garden plan.

The Spy checking out the construction progress inside the building.

The Spy checking out the construction progress inside the building.

He attended this same preschool (at a smaller campus), and is excited for his sister to attend the new and improved school!

View of the building from the garden

View of the building from the garden

Can you spot the Spy in the picture above? He had a great time walking the site even if…

It was a little bit muddy.

It was a little bit muddy.

I am a big believer that in order to create inviting garden spaces (especially that are inviting to kids) you need to abandon the typical rectangular raised beds and create raised beds with lovely curves that mimic and enhance the landscape surrounding the garden. I am also opposed to using materials (wood/stone/etc.) as borders for raised beds because it really limits you when you want to expand/change the shapes/size of the beds. To see how I begin this process of raised beds without “typical” borders/rectangles see the post on How to Dig. To read more about why I believe in “thinking beyond the rectangle” check out this post from when I planted our garlic in a spiral: Garlic Planting.

After very thorough…

Scouting...

Scouting…

Photographing...

Photographing…

Looking...

Looking…

thinking…

and looking some more...

and looking some more…

I came up with this plan:

Garden Plan (500x388)

Even though the plan is not exactly drawn to scale, the diameter of the teepee will be at least ten feet (it needs to accommodate lots of little preschoolers!) The area outside the teepee will serve as a gathering/meeting area for important garden talks!

What all will be planted in each of the plots?

Hold your horses! We’ve got to dig the thing first! Loads of seedlings can be started on/before March 1st and by the time they are ready to go in the ground mid-March (through mid-May) we’ll have their destinations mapped out!

Here are some more notable features/explanations of the plan:

  • All of the numbered plots are the raised beds. They will be raised beds without wood borders (so just an edged out border created by digging them as I mentioned). They will be numbered to enable more organized approach to garden duties (as the kids/parents/teachers will be working in the garden)
  • The teepee will have a roughly 10’ diameter, so though the drawing isn’t exactly to scale, that measurement on the plan can be used to gauge the rough sizes of the beds. Beds #5-9 would be roughly 3’ x 10’ rectangles. Plenty of room between them to make them wider in coming years/seasons (and/or longer).
  • Lots of open grass space at the entry way of the garden. More plots could be added there in later seasons/years.
  • Room for a kid-sized produce stand (basically a long, low table with a sun-shade above) (somewhere near the entrance in the large grassy area)
  • Gathering area outside the teepee will be a large grassy area and will feel enclosed because of the teepee and the plot surrounding it.
  • All the ground around the plots is grass (as is)
  • The sloped hill is too steep to be worked in by the kids (at least until summer when it is not so slippery/muddy) so it is a perfect place to just let pumpkins grow wild, which should do great sprawling down the hill.
  • Front arbor entry gate will have a sign posted/some type of waterproof plastic board feature to post garden news/to-dos/etc.
  • The path to the garden runs along the big rock retaining wall and swings wide around the muddy “sledding” hill. This was the least steep point of entry to the garden and will avoid cutting through the big sledding hill.

DSC_5949 (500x393)

If you have any suggestions or tips for a preschool garden, please post a comment, I’d love to hear feedback on this plan! I may be the CEO, but I’m no dictator! hahahah

DSC_5947 (500x287)