Over the hills and far away…

About My Gardens

front garden as pictured from above our house

My gardens are located just north of Rogers, Arkansas, right in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. As seems to be true with most of the rest of this region, our soil is plagued with rocks and clay! Of course, I’ve gotten lucky with a pretty fertile soil, however not without its rocks. Although we’ve even seen snow into the first half of May before, the usual last frost dates for this area tend to be sometime in the latter half of April. We have a moderate growing season that normally lasts until October.

Our backyard in Jan., 2017
raised bed garden in late July, 2017

Living on a hill, it’s a given that our yard is terraced. I have 3 garden areas, including the “top garden” (about 575 sq. ft.), the raised bed area (two 30×3′ beds), and the “back garden” (a 15×20′ plot). Both the top garden and the raised bed gardens are located in our front yard, the raised bed area below a terraced step that our neighbor dug out a couple years ago to improve drainage and flooding rate on our front porch. The top garden is named so because it is located above that terraced step! Both the top garden and the back garden are in-ground garden spaces.

Tomato harvest from the top garden in summer, 2018
These are my tomato vines after the deer raided them of all green tomatoes in June, 2018!
Beefsteak tomatoes catching the last glimpse of evening sun…

Just south of the raised bed area and below that before-mentioned terraced step, one would find our “cottage garden.” This garden is a real work in progress, having originally been 2-3″ of raised soil depth on top of sheet rock! As I’ve worked and worked the soil over the last couple years, I’ve now built this area to a 6-8″ loamy soil depth, and more plants are beginning to thrive. We always plant dahlia tubers (dug up every fall for winter storage) in this area, but I suppose that whatever else we plant just depends on whatever we feel suits it best for that particular year.

cottage garden in 2017

As with every garden, my garden has its challenges. To be more specific, my primary challenges tend to be shade from a southern tree line and varmints from the forest! We have removed a few trees since moving here around 6 years ago as of 2019; consequently, my garden receives plenty enough sunshine for most of the year (except for the partially shaded back garden) until fall when the sun sinks below the trees. Despite all of this, I’m still able to raise quite a lot of food during the spring and summer, and I look forward to be documenting more of this process through this website.

About My Website

The name for this website is a peculiar one. See, after the Civil War and well into the 20th century, this region of the country was renowned for its beautiful apple orchards. In fact, these extensive orchards were crucial to the very health of our rural economy! Consequently, the region was most commonly advertised as the “Land of the Big Red Apple” to the Scottish/Irish immigrants seeking to move here from the Midwest. I figure that the name can pertain somewhat to agriculture, which is primarily what this blog is about, and it obviously refers to this very unique, beautiful part of the country. Although the name hasn’t really stuck into modern times, it still fits.

About Me

As to myself, I’m just a 16 y/o boy who enjoys to garden. I’ve lived in the Ozarks most of my (short) life now, having initially grown up in south/central Missouri. We have a moderately large flock of chickens including 33 birds. I’ve been gardening for some 3 years now, not including some minor experience with both my parents’ and my grandparents’ gardens in the past. My cat, Harold, and I mostly run the gardens, and I suppose this website is more of a way for me to easily record my progress in order to help me remember and apply the experience in future years. Farming is a growing dream of mine, and I’m sure this will be reflected throughout my posts. I do sincerely hope you enjoy the blog.

No gardener is without a helper!
Tall phlox in my grandmother’s garden, summer, 2018

 

 

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