After playing basketball for the past 45 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my knees are much better off gardening than they are playing basketball. With this realization in mind, and with the kids pretty much grown and done playing basketball, I now have a 30’ by 35’ concrete slab in the backyard that I need to find a new use for. Rather than looking at this as a negative, I decided to get creative and make the most of it. It’s time to start my new landscaping project, The “Court”-Yard Garden.
The project has several key features that I want to incorporate:
My current garden has 10 (4’x 4’) raised beds in which I utilize the square foot gardening technique. For my family of four, this just barely produces enough produce to eat as it’s harvested. It does not yield anywhere near enough to can, or freeze for use over the winter months. I plan on having about 17 or 18 raised beds in the “Court”-Yard Garden, placed around the outside edge of the plan.
Incorporate Vertical Features
To avoid having a huge area with nothing but 6” high raised beds on it, I plan on incorporating several types of vertical features to add interest and help define the space. A 6’ tall by 4’ wide trellis, made of a cedar 2”x 4” frame with a cattle panel insert, will be attached to the outside edge of each raised bed to allow for vertical growing and to act as a barrier. Several arbors made of cedar and cattle panel will be placed between beds and over walkways for growing grapes.
Enclose the Area
As my dog views running through a raised bed full of vegetables the same way he views running through the grass, the entire area needs to be enclosed to keep him out. The area between each trellis will be fitted with a fence section. These 4’ high sections will be also be made of the same cedar 2” x 4” frames with cattle panel inserts.
Incorporate a seating area, with a Pergola, in the center of the area to give the feel of an outdoor room. Include some industrial string lights in this area to add night time ambiance.
Leave space on the plan to add a greenhouse, a chicken coop, and a chicken pen at a future date. I’ve never raised chickens before but would like to start in the next few years.
Here is a rough sketch of the master plan for my “Court”-Yard Garden. I’ll be working on this project over the next few months and will have regular posts on the progress, along with specific how-to tips on the various elements of the plan.
I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me but I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll keep you posted.