The tea room garden is a big project that needs to be done in stages, as time and funds allow. It would be so easy to go overboard planning garden projects, especially in the dead of winter when cabin fever strikes. But since the garden is a publicly visible part of the business, we can't start big projects and then let them languish for weeks or months unfinished.
The long-term goal is to create a walking garden, with interesting architectural elements, outdoor dining spaces, flowers that bloom throughout the growing season and attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other native pollinators, and trees, shrubs and annuals that produce fruits and vegetables for the kitchen.
We've already partially fenced the perimeter of the garden and built flower beds around the foundation of the tea room. Along the way, we've placed bird baths, arbors and a couple of small patios. We've also planted dwarf fruit trees, flowering shrubs, climbing roses, and Spring-and Summer-flowering bulbs.
In 2020, the two biggest goals are to build arbors for the established climbing roses (despite the best intentions, we do sometimes put the cart before the horse), and install a fountain in the front garden. If time and funds allow, we'd also like to plant more climbing roses (in raised beds, with arbors) replace the grass in the front garden with rustic pavers, build a gazebo in the back garden from salvaged porch railings, finish installing the perimeter fencing, and begin laying out the walking paths. Odds are that time and funds won't allow for most of these projects, but life is filled with surprises.
We watch Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, thrift stores, auctions, salvage yards and yard sales for materials to complete our garden projects. Building from new materials just isn't in the budget, and we gain a lot of satisfaction in finding creative ways to re-use things that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Thrift shopping is an activity that our whole family enjoys.