Welcome to the Fridley Farm. In case you’re new here, it’s not actually a farm, just a typical .22 acre city lot with a 50′s rambler on it. Fridley Farmer sounded better than Fridley City Dweller With a Garden though, so that’s what you get. One day I’ll need to break out the tape measure to make a scale drawing of our garden layouts. For now this will give you a sense of how things are situated and you can look at the photos below to judge the scale for yourself. So come with me on a short tour around the yard!
Our main garden is in the south east corner of the yard. It is roughly 25×25 feet square. It has a three foot wire fence (two feet above ground, 1 foot under ground) to keep rabbits out. The outer perimeter of the garden is used for growing things that like to stretch, like pumpkins and squash. You can see one apple tree at the right of the photo.
Our south fence will hopefully eventually be covered in raspberries, but we started 14 canes in 2010. These three photos show the entire southern fence.
Continuing with the tour in the back yard, this is the raised bed next to the house. The 3×3 square in the right corner is Ryan’s garden (age 5). You can also see the ferns planted by the north east corner of the house.
The northern fence has a short strip of garden, a rose bush and three grape plants. I will have to add photos of the rose bush and grape vines later.
Against the eastern fence is a row of lilacs. Just in front of the lilacs I have added a mound of dirt to try making a butterfly garden. I have sown it fairly heavily with wildflowers including milkweed, so hopefully we’ll attract some fun bugs for the kids to chase.
In the front yard we removed a whole bunch of ugly landscaping rocks to put in dirt on either side of the driveway and along the sidewalk to the door. These is supposed to be our strawberry beds, but you can see just how successful the strawberries have been. The bushy plants parallel to the house are Winona strawberries, as are the ones at the end of the driveway, and have done the best. The big bare patches could be because I shoveled too much of the insulating snow off of the berries during the winter, or it could be that the varieties we got weren’t hearty enough. We have some more berries en route, and we’ll probably keep trying until we get it right.
Across the front yard we have a small flower bed and several day lilies. Eventually the lilies will form the back line of a flower bed that goes to the street (probably). Vegetables have higher priority though, so we haven’t worried about that too much yet.
Against the front of the house and wrapping around to the north side is a raised bed. We have wild strawberries planted in the outer foot and a half, and we’ll be planting black berries up against the house.
On the north side of the house we have our rhubarb. The bigger rhubarb plant I started from seed in 2010. The other two were cheap-o plants at Home Depot, but they seem like they’ll probably survive after all. Chives and cilantro are growing in the bed with the two smaller rhubarb plants. I will probably try to add some more herbs, but it seems that most herbs like sunlight, and the north side of our house doesn’t get too much, of course.
And that’s the grand tour!
We have carved out quite a bit of the back yard to make space for gardening, but there is still plenty of space for our 3 kids to play with their friends. I know that kids aren’t careful and that only the plants and if they ruin them on accident, well, that’s just what happens. At least the plants in the main (fenced in) garden are relatively safe.