Pictures of My Small Backyard Garden

Pictures of my small, backyard garden space.

Although I have almost an acre of land, most of it is low-lying forest and wetlands.   My backyard is a narrow strip, with the sun hitting part of it only 6-7 hours a day.  I do my best, trying to plant crops in the space that gets the most sun.  It’s a challenge when I have to rotate plantings each year.  The photo below was taken last summer (2014).  That is pretty much my entire backyard. I plant flowers and vegetables along the edge of a slope, which drops off to woods beyond.  Only the part near my deck gets enough sun for good vegetable growth.  I concentrate my plantings there.

backyard garden
My Narrow Backyard

Photo Above: See my new propagated hydrangea there in the front?
I’ve added raised fabric beds to the area, which has been a great help.  Last fall I planted my garlic bulbs, and they are doing very well – better than any garlic I’ve ever attempted to grow.  I hope the bulbs will end up being nice and big.

summer garden zucchini
Zucchini and Garlic Growing in Fabric Pots

What begins as lots of space, quickly fills in when the plants grow and expand. The tomatoes grew great last year (picture below) right up until they all died of late blight! It was depressing.

tomato bushes
Full Tomato Bushes
blackberries
Blackberry ? or Black Raspberry Bushes

It’s a constant battle with the black raspberry plants (or are they blackberries?) that threaten to overrun the yard. They grow upwards from the slope, where I think they were purposely planted to hold the earth in place.  It’s one of the few berries I dislike.  It figures that I have tons of them!  They are eaten by the chipmunks and birds, when my cats are not around.

Raspberries grow at the side on my house, and I can find many wild strawberries in the yard.  The strawberries I planted have become overrun by weeds, and I didn’t have enough space for a proper strawberry field.  Occasionally I find a few nice ripe berries to munch while I survey my garden.  The sunflowers are volunteers that sprout wherever they choose.  The seeds self-plant from when I feed the birds in winter.

I sometimes wish I had acres of land to roam and plant, but I’m content with what I have. It takes a lot of time to garden, and especially when you do it all alone.

Lush Garden Foliage
Lush Garden Foliage

Fabric Bag Gardening in a Small Backyard

small backyard
Small backyard space

Having a small backyard means facing some challenges when planning a garden. Throw in tall trees bordering the property taking away sunny patches, and it adds to headache. That is why I tried my hand at fabric bag / pot gardening.
My backyard is small and narrow. The picture I’ve added is one I took before I closed on my house. The slider was taped off so one would try to go out where there were no steps. Who would? Anyway… those are the old, wooden steps sitting out back at the edge of my small backyard. Although I have an acre of land, the usable part of my backyard stops right there. So the space I can use now (with a small deck that I added) is long and narrow with spotty areas of good sun.
Last summer I had planned to dig up a couple of new areas back there that tend to get pretty good sunshine, but that is so much work. I really didn’t want to have to dig and then add amendments and all that. Plus I didn’t have the time. I needed an alternative to the traditional way of gardening. So I decided to try container gardening.  But instead of regular pots I used fabric bags, in various sizes, filled with good dirt.
black fabric raised bed large bag
This large fabric bag held tomatoes, basil, radishes and some herbs. There was no digging involved, but I did buy a truckload of good loam and had to wheelbarrow it over to fill the bag. I planted my small seedlings and they took off.
I also used smaller fabric bags to plant potatoes, green beans, and carrots. I learned a few things from using these bags, and some things I will do differently this season, but all in all I was happy with them.
I wondered if I could save the bags and re-use them, so we’ll see how well they hold up when I try that this spring.