Elliot and I balance each other out like two peas in a pod. I like to dream up ideas and he likes to make them happen! ??
I have always been interested in veggie gardening, but to date I’ve been pretty flexible to what that has looked like. We’ve done container gardening on balcony patios, participated in a community garden, and had a couple raised beds.
In our vision of what island life could be, we imagined fruit trees, berry bushes and growing our own food (at least for the summer months!). So this past winter we brainstormed about if it was possible to add a larger garden on our property.
We have a fair amount of space (1/3 acre), but our property is heavily treed on one side. Elliot went to work examining every inch of our property and came back with a plan. We would convert part of the driveway into a garden (!!!). He was pretty sure it would be sunny enough and we both loved the idea of creating functional space.
He spent most weekends in March and April clearing and levelling the land, digging fence post holes, building raised beds, and bringing the garden to life.
Here’s what he did:
- Cleared the land (removed a juniper tree, parking pad and pond)
- Levelled the ground
- Mapped out perimeter of garden and marked fence post holes
- Dug fence post holes (10 of them!)
- Installed fence posts
- Installed deer fencing
- Built and installed gate
- Re-shaped 2 existing garden flower beds
- Built a greenhouse pad
- Built raised beds
- Levelled and installed each raised bed
- Filled raised beds with soil
- Built trellis’ for vertical gardening
- Built grape arbor
- Planted seeds
The previous driveway space is now a 500sqft fenced garden with 11 raised beds, a squash arch trellis, a grape arbor and a greenhouse pad! We couldn’t be more thrilled.
This summer we experimented with growing all sorts of veggies and went about 4 months without buying radishes, greens, tomatoes, cabbage or beets. We also have potatoes, onions and garlic to take us into the winter months. Not bad for our first year!
As much as gardens are a lot of hard work (…for Elliot ?), they are also very good for the soul. It is very empowering to grow your own food and on many dark days this year, it’s been a joy to walk through the garden and soak it all up.
This winter Elliot plans to add a greenhouse (thank you mom!), and next year we’ll look at adding a rainwater catchment and irrigation system. That guy, eh. <3
So how much did this all cost? Well we saved a ton by building it ourselves (as you do), but the wood was pretty pricey (ended up costing ~ $1200). We grew pretty much all our veggie from seed, so that cost was minimal. The only other costs were deer fencing and soil. We also scoured our local buy & sell and were lucky to get all the wire for our DIY trellis’, extra deer fencing, pavers, plant pots and a little bistro patio set for free. We built the greenhouse pad from leftover bricks found on our property.
PS: Big love to Graham and Doug the Drone for coming over and capturing the garden magic.