We have been asked several times about the layout of our landscape, and the overall plan for our urban lot. Questions like: Are you planning to turn your whole yard into a vegetable garden in attempts to grow 2000 pounds of food? Or: Where will you fit all your fruit trees? will be addressed over the next couple days. Without photos or drawings it's hard to explain what it looks like today and what we hope it will one day become. The next three posts will cover this topic with lots of photos and drawings.
We live on a bluff above the Mississippi river overlooking the downtown of St. Paul, MN. When the city planners platted out our block back in the late 1800's they threw uniformity out the window, and as a result our property boarders five other houses. When we decided to get chickens we needed the support of our neighbors within 150 feet which ended up being 12 households. The drawing below highlights our property. Across the street from our house to the left and top is the Cherokee Regional Park which is part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service. Besides having a good sized lot, living in an urban area adjacent to such an extensive park system was one of the major reasons we decided to settle into our neighborhood.
The ariel photo below corresponds well to the drawing above and more clearly depicts our house and property. This photo was taken in 2008 a few months before we purchased the house. In the front yard it is a little hard to tell in the photo but our house sits about 10 feet above the street and as a result there is a hill from the sidewalk to our front lawn. This also means we have stairs from the sidewalk up to the house. In the backyard we Changed the Landscape quite a bit removing the concrete sidewalk and most of the existing trees. Today there is a Brick Walk in place of the concrete one, and a large Raised Bed Garden.
Tomorrow we'll go into more detail about our backyard edible landscaping plans and then the next day well detail our plans for the front-yard. Stay tuned and you'll see how we can fit over 30 fruiting trees into a city lot while still having space for 3 patios!