Urban Backyard Gardening

 My mom always said the real reason she was a gardener was because she found a bit of peace when she was working the soil.  As one of the main reasons why she needed to find some peace, I didn’t get it the whole peace thing until I was in my twenties and had a wee patch of grass that I laughingly called my plantation.

My mom and dad’s garden in Vancouver BC. Only a tiny portion of their huge backyard oasis.

I started creating my Patch of Peace with shrubs, perennials and annuals for colour. Every year I would pour over gardening books for new ideas.  The water hungry grass was replaced with bricks in a patchwork mish mash. The shrubs grew and created more of a shade garden. I added a tree, a mini deck and a fountain. Every year my mini garden took on a new look as I created my own personal Secret Garden.

My Secret Garden – its very rustic and wild

Although I still have patches of colour from my perennials; herbs and vegetables have replaced most my flowers pots, and I now have a  kitchen garden. Need some basil or a grape tomato for that salad? I just walk right out the door with my snippers and snip a few leaves or pick a couple of tomatoes. It doesn’t get much fresher than that.

If I need a grape tomato, I just walk outside my kitchen door and pick one.

Planting my kitchen garden (May 2013)

As a fan of all leafy greens I plant arugula every year. Here are my tips on planting a perfect patch of heart healthy greens. Every year I plant different vegetables. I have had great success with beets, carrots and beans.  And I always plant basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and oregano.

Step 1
Your vegetables are only as good as your soil. Start off with rich soil, add bone meal, compost and mix in well.


Step 2
After you have mixed the soil well, Lightly water it.
Then sprinkle the seeds to the depth suggested on the package.
Lightly tap down the soil so the seeds are in contact with it.
Tip – open the seed package from the bottom so when you place it in the garden to mark the area it will be right side up.


Step 3
Make sure you lightly tap down the soil so the seeds will make contact with the soil.
To prevent squirrels or other animals from rooting around your precious seeds place some type of screening over top and anchor with sticks.
Label what you planted.
Don’t let the soil dry out and wait for Mother Nature to do her thing.
If it gets dry, water but don’t drown the seeds.





2 thoughts on “Urban Backyard Gardening”

  1. Hi Mairlyn,

    Thanks for the info- great as always! I’m planting for the second season and am always looking for info.

    Ps. Adore your Joi de vive!

    1. *insert* big smile! Fellow gardeners unite! Hope your garden rocks this year, I’m off to plant my beets.
      Peace, love and fibre,

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