Today we will detail the design of our backyard space. Everything in the backyard will either be edible or produce edible fruit, with the exception of a wisteria vine growing on a trellis near our garage. At the Vickery family farm in Pennsylvania where Daniel grew up there were two beautiful Wisteria vines that grew on old cloths-line poles. The wisteria earned it's place in our urban yard as a reminder of Daniel's childhood home. To start out this is a sketch of what the yard looks like currently:
The dark shaded area at the bottom is our house with the other shaded areas depicting brick walkways. The rectangular area in the upper right side is our main raised bed garden with a small patio in the center. Beyond it is another garden bed. Beyond that is our garage and compost pile, but they did not fit onto the drawing while keeping a scale of one square = 2 feet. To the left of the garden in the upper left corner of the property is our chicken coop and run, with a blueberry bed surrounding it. In the lower right corner is our grilling area with herb beds flanking the grill on either side. The circle near the grilling area depicts a semi-dwarf Bali Cherry tree we planted last year. The other larger tree near the garden bed is a Mulberry that was on the property when we purchased the house.
This spring we will be planting 28 fruiting trees in addition to adding another vegetable garden bed, two raspberry beds, and a second asparagus bed. The edible landscaping plan for our backyard looks like this (click on it to enlarge for more detail):
Fourteen of the fruiting trees will make up the espalier design along the fence-line from house to the mulberry tree. We discussed each of those trees in the Urban Orchard post. Flanking either side of the mulberry tree will be two weeping mulberry trees with a mature height between 6 and 8 feet. The other trees depicted in the drawing will all be semi-dwarf trees having mature heights from 8 to 12 feet depending on the variety. The numbers on drawing enclosed with a rectangle correspond to the following plants:
1. Peach - Contender (8-10 ft mature)
3. Plum - Nichols (10-12 ft mature)
4. Apricot - Moorpark (8-10 ft mature)
5. Plum - De Montfort (10-12 ft mature)
6. Cherry - Bali (10-12 ft mature)
7. Cherry - Danube (8-10 ft mature)
8. Cherry - Jubileum (8-10 ft mature)
9. Mulberry - Contorted (8-12 ft mature)
10. Weeping Mulberry (6-8 ft mature)
11. Weeping Mulberry (6-8 ft mature)
12. Mulberry (25-35 ft mature)
The two raspberry beds will each have 3 types of raspberries providing red, yellow, and purple colored fruits throughout the season. In front of the raspberries will be low-bush cranberries. Below the 40 foot long espaliered tree line will be strawberry beds providing both fruit and a ground cover under the trees. We will plant 4 variates of strawberry for all season long harvests. Beyond the main garden bed and Side Bed A are two asparagus beds one with a green variety and one that will have a purple variety. On the other side of the asparagus beds not pictured is our three bin compost setup and a future site of cold hardy kiwi's.
The numbers enclosed with circles on the layout indicate plants that will have a trained form. This includes the espalier trees, grapes and a couple red currents as follows:
1. Pear - Orcas
2. Apple - Newton Pippin
3. Apple - Scarlet Suprise
4. Apple - Ashmead's Kernal
5. Apple - Cox's Orange Pippin
6. Apple - Karmijn De Sonnaville
7. Apple - Spitzenberg
8. Apple - Ellision's Orange
9. Apple - Connell Red
10. Apple - Zestar!
11. Apple - Spartan
12. Apple - Braeburn
13. Apple - Liberty
14. Pear - Ubileen
15. Apple, Columner - North Pole
16. Apple, Columner - Scarlet Sentinel
17. Apple, Columner - North Pole
18. Apple, Columner - Scarlet Sentinel
19. Grape - Concord
20. Grape - Frontenac
21. Grape - St. Croix
22. Grape - Cayuga and Reliance
23. Currant - Rovada Red
24. Currant - Rovada Red
On the left side of the walk is a future plan for putting in a circular patio partly enclosed by large stones that will also serve as benches. Additionally, we would like to build a brick oven fireplace tied in with the patio. We currently don't have a timetable for actually installing the patio, or brick oven but wanted them designed into our landscape before we started planting trees.
Looking at the design for our backyard one can hopefully see the marriage of form, function, and food production. Despite our extensive plans we have kept a section of yard as grass for relaxation and play but we wont maintain a huge lawn that goes mostly unused.
This year will be doing a lot of digging to plant all these trees. Most everything is on order as dormant bare root plants. They start arriving in April and will hopefully all be in the ground before mid May. It will be 3-4 years before most of the fruiting trees start producing large crops, but once they do we'll bet reaching the Urban Ton won't be too hard!