The garden was one of our most talked about ideas when we were planning for cabin life. The idea was to grow a 50/50 mix of herbs and vegetables to get a feel for gardening. It would be our first real project together! We agreed on the following criteria – we would grow vegetables, herbs and flowers that would last one year. We obviously had a tonne of questions but the main ones were:
- How do we keep away hungry creatures from eating everything?
- How often do we need to water the garden?
- What about fertilising?
- What do we need to get started?
Supplies were relatively easy to procure. Planks used for the herb garden were leftovers from a build project, rocks were collected from the beach and plastic pots were found at a nearby trash station. We had to find soil and plants. Soil was 99% horse poop from Jenny’s grandmother (tack Kickan!) who has a fantastic garden herself and we added some kelp fertiliser from our beach to the mix. We also ended up purchasing a few sacks of garden soil and mixed that in with the horse manure and kelp. As for water, we reserved a barrel of rainwater for the garden which was perfect.
The build was relatively straightforward and hastily done. The important thing was that it would hold its contents! We had thought about covering the box with netting to deter the animals from eating the plants but ultimately decided to leave it as is.
Alot of research was done on what plants we wanted to try growing and we decided to focus on a deer and rabbit resistant selection of herbs as well as flowers. One of the gardeners at the greenhouse gave us a bag of untreated sheep’s wool to try out as a deer deterrent and funnily enough, it worked…until late autumn when the parsley bush mysteriously dwindled in size overnight! We presume the wool has a very powerful smell that deters other animals. Whatever it does, it works and we will be using it next year again for sure.
The final selection of herbs included thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. The flowers were a mix of colours and shapes and we even managed to transplant some wild strawberry plants and orpines.
Funnily enough, the day we built the garden was the same day that we had our first proper encounter with our garden’s biggest threat: the deer! Perhaps it was curious about the garden (and future food possibilities) or perhaps it was passing through the neighbourhood…either way, we had never seen it this close before and it didn’t appear to be very nervous with our presence. Lets see how it goes…