Creating a Backyard Paradise


My home is my sanctuary, and I’m sure most people feel that way about their home.  It’s one thing to manicure your property, and another to develop it and fill it with life and love.  When you imagine what that sanctuary would be, what do you see?  For me it’s a yard full of life.

Garden Beds

I don’t like blank space, so I would have as much space as possible filled with garden beds.  Gardens are a must have for me on a few levels; the obvious one being growing my own food.  Gardens take some work to maintain, but for me that work is very relaxing and helps to remove tension.

Growing food can be a very fulfilling experience, and you may be surprised how much you can actually yield with even minimal effort.  Some crops are great if you want a plentiful bounty.  I have grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplants; all of which produce an exceptional amount of offerings.  With some clever canning you enjoy them throughout the winter as well.

Bushes, Berries, and Trees

Bushes and berries kind of go together in this sense.  Berry bushes are an easy thing to cultivate, and they can produce quite a lot of fruit as well.  Blackberries need to be given a trellis to attach to, and watched closely as they can dominate an area quite quickly. Any vines that head back towards the ground need to be reattached or trimmed back, otherwise they will spread.

Strawberries and raspberries are a colorful addition to the backyard paradise as well.  Raspberries are quite an indestructible species as many gardeners can testify to.  They seem to just grow and grow.  I have found many in the wild around upstate NY, and all I did was take some cuttings, put them in water for a day, and then plant them with fruit coming in the same season.

I prefer apple trees for the backyard, there are varying rootstocks (seedlings) that produce different size trees, yet do not affect fruit production.  Apple trees take approximately 3 years to start producing fruit and will reach full maturity in about 8 years.  All the while you need to be pruning and manicuring its environment to maximize its potential.

Garden Ponds

Garden ponds add a very quaint ambiance to your backyard and the opportunity to have a great gathering place within your plentiful paradise.  Garden ponds allow you to keep fish, and by virtue installing it many other creatures will come to call it home as well.
A garden pond will most definitely require a pond pump to allow the fish to flourish.  Aeration is important for aquatic life, and the fish will thank you for it.  Depending on how plush your pond is and what you surround it with, you can expect frogs, chipmunks, salamanders, and turtles to all become a part of your sanctuary.

Where to Begin

I always recommend organic seeds for your vegetable garden and using organic compost for fertilizer; in my experience they produce a superior final product.  Try finding recycled wood for the garden beds, construction waste on site is a good place to start looking.  For berries you can ask around for some cuttings, or do a local search for wild berries; you can always buy seedlings too.  The apple trees and garden pond equipment will have to be purchased, but are well worth the costs.

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