Owlcroft House: the Garden and Mini-Orchard

Owlcroft House: entrance to the garden area.
This is looking south along the west wall of Owlcroft House to the entrance gate to the garden and orchard area; the gravel is a termination of the incoming driveway, providing a spare "guest-parking" space beside the garage.

The plants outside the garden area, up against the west wall of the house, are various dwarf citrus trees: they are taken indoors in the winter, where they serve as comfy beds for cats. The drum-like structure is a double-chamber compost-maker. The fencing is essential, as this is deer country, and Bambi and her friends can strip a garden bare in a night or two. You can see one of the raised-bed planters in this view. (The garden is all vegetables--no flowers except the edible sorts, like nasturtiums.)


Owlcroft House: looking east in the garden area.

This is inside the garden area, looking slightly south of east. The 16 feet out from the south (windowed) wall of the house are gravelled, with the outer edge secured and marked by used railroad ties. The area with the low wood box around it is the strawberry patch--the box has netting to keep birds out. The concrete-block structures are raised-bed vegetable planters--the one with all the stakes in it is the year's pea bed. The two long ones in the background are the bush-bean beds. The metal posts support large-mesh fencing (invisible in this view) up which such climbing plants as cucumbers, pole beans, summer squash, and the like are supposed to twine. The sloped bricks inset into the gravel are a sloped way for the garden cart to be rolled into the planter area. In the left center area is a birdbath, surrounded by a few pseudo-terra-cotta planter boxes for bulbs (we try to grow our own saffron from saffron crocuses--saffron is pound for pound more valuable than gold). The rainbow-colored thing near mid-picture is a "wind spinner" that looks quite nice in even a modest breeze.


Owlcroft House: looking south in the garden area.

Here we are looking pretty much due south in the garden area: the brick ramp is about the center of the planter area. To the left of the ramp is the strawberry bed seen better in the prior photo; to the right is the raspberry bed, still being developed (eventually, it will be wire-caged, to keep birds out). The ten-tree mini-orchard (apples, pears, cherries, peach, and paw-paws) is virtually invisible, as all are but one- to two-year-old saplings so far.

To the far right is one of the two asparagus trenches (25 feet each).


Owlcroft House: some garden produce.
Our results with the garden have so far been mediocre, largely because we have been rushed and consequently have been planting at the wrong dates. We only moved in our first year on April 1st (yes, All Fools' Day, of course), so were very late getting anything done. The next year, through sheer lack of attention, we didn't get started until late in the season (well, we did decide we had to rebuld the planters we had been using--awful cockups of old tin roofing--into the things shown in the photos). Next year we hope to do a lot better. But, as you see, this season was not entirely a lost cause!

Those interested in vegetable gardening might visit our separate vegetable-garden website.


That's about where we are now; but, if you are still with us, let's also take a peek at some pix from Owlcroft House under construction.

Interested in house design? We have a house-design bookshop you can look into.
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