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Happy New Year! It is 2018 and time to start thinking about gardening goals you will be making for the new year. I have several goals that I want to achieve in order to work towards a more tranquil garden that may inspire you to set similar goals.

Garden entranceI took a brief walk through the garden yesterday while it was not raining and there was even some sunshine.

Here is a photo gallery of what I found that I want to focus on in 2018 in terms of gardening projects. Some of these goals require purchases, all require time and some require some research into the best way to accomplish them. I can’t say for sure that I will be able to complete all of them, but I will give it a good try! And likely other stuff will be added to the list over the course of the year.


You can see the bottom of the fence was closed in with just some old boards when my ex-neighbour put up the fence. My plan is to layer the laurel so that it grows sideways to cover up the bottom of the fence. And keep the laurel trimmed to just above those boards so it doesn’t turn into a tall hedge again like it used to be. Ideally the fence should be stained as well, but that is a lower priority.


Greenhouse interior
The greenhouse interior still needs some staining of the new roof rafters I installed last summer. Also have to see about placing the extra water barrel in the foreground better so it is not in the way. A bit of decluttering as well as I have too much stuff. There is also some paneling to be done on the door. And I plan to add some LED lighting to extend the growing season. Little jobs but they do take some time.


Garden shed
Those stakes in my garden shed are not in the right place and hard to remove and store. Will need to find a better way to store them. And perhaps toss some of them as I really don’t need that many!


Garden shed
The inside of the garden shed needs a bit of panel work and paint to brighten it up and make it a bit more weatherproof to protect the tools better from dampness and cold. And it needs a bit of decluttering as some stuff stored in there isn’t really that useful.


2x4 cedar planter
I built this planter with my daughter’s help. It was mainly to document photographically how to build one for a future eBook that I hope to release this year. However seeing as she helped me (giving me screws when I needed them) I’ve decided to give it to her to plant her very own tranquil garden of vegetable plants. Just need to find the right place to put it (maybe it will stay where it is if I can’t find a better place) and to stain it. And of course then to write that ebook!


This bamboo plant needs to be in a better spot. I received this for free from someone and haven’t really decided where to put it. Right now it probably is too heavy to move as it is well watered from all the fall and winter rains.


Zen garden
This area next to my back pond needs a bit of an overhaul. We plan to clean it up, perhaps removing some of the pavers and then putting down a layer of gravel to make a Zen garden.


rose bushes
These rose bushes need to be lifted up onto a berm. In winter this area gets too soggy as the water just sits to the left of the path.


Greenhouse roof
The greenhouse roof, which I redid in summer needs to have some trim added just above the gutter. And the planter you see in the back needs to have some trim added on top to hide the sewer pipe “containers”.


Deck railings
The deck railings and stairs need to be cleaned with some oxygenated bleach and then restained. I did the tops of the rails already in summer, just didn’t get to the rest. And that pergola needs a gutter to divert water to my rain barrels.


Under the deck
This is going to be the biggest job. Underneath that deck is a huge mess! Old lumber from my old compost bins and raised beds that needs to dry out and then be cut into firewood. Some stuff just needs to be tossed. And the white siding is to go on the right plywood wall that you see which is the outside wall of my garden shed. I haven’t completed decided what to do with this area once it is cleaned up. Would make a great seating area or perhaps for a hottub!


And my firewood pile under the deck stairs. The tree branches need to be cut to length and in general the area cleaned up and perhaps moved as it is not a watertight area.


Garden entrance
This is the entrance to my tranquil garden. Other than the sign, not that welcoming. I had to also extend the gate and put up deer fencing as I had issues with deer jumping through the hole. I have some ideas for a cedar fence with a gate.


South side path
Once you enter that gate you go by the left side of the garage. On the right out of the photo are my raspberries. To the left is some miscanthus grass, a fern or two and some flowers. It needs a good cleaning up and possibly the fence could use a cleaning and repainting, maybe in a brown to replace the faded blue.


Front lawn
The lawn from the katsura tree to the house doesn’t get much sunlight as the tree blocks a lot of light in summer time, so the grass is not in great shape. Maybe better to remove it, plant a few more rhododendrons and azaleas and mulch it. And in the shot you can see a couple of garden lights – I have some extras that I want to add as this is along the path to our front door. And replace the bulbs with LED bulbs.


Raised bed paths
The paths around my new vegetable raised beds needs something other than wood mulch. It breaks down too fast in our climate and the raccoons were busy digging around in it over the summer in search of bugs. I’m thinking this time of using gravel, but will need quite a bit and have to have it delivered. Anyone offering to help out moving the gravel from the driveway to the backyard?


Main flower bed
This is the main flower bed in the backyard and just needs a cleanup and a bit more perennials added. It also needs a good layer of mulch in the spring. Also you might be able to see some sprinkler pipes sticking up. I have a full irrigation system but not happy with it spraying water everywhere. Drip irrigation would be better to save water but it is a big job that I’ll have to do a small section at a time.


Brush pile
Finally my huge brush pile. I had a new chipper/shredder but broke the belt that drives the blade. I’ve been waiting for over 6 months for a replacement motor assembly or a replacement shredder. Not sure what I’ll do, really need to shred this pile into mulch. Oh, and now that I see it, I could use a new trommel for sifting my compost (it is just to the left of the apple tree).



Well, now that I’m done with the list, I can see that there is more to do than I thought. I’ll have to prioritize as I don’t think I can get all of it done this year. But who knows, if I don’t procrastinate about these projects and just go out and do them, I might be able to tackle most of these. Wish me luck!

If you enjoyed this article, have something to add or have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Wishing you all the best!

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Marc Thoma

Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead, Victoria, BC


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Marc Thoma

Marc is the founder of Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead. He has more than 15 years gardening experience and is working steadily on creating his own urban homestead, trying to be more self-sufficient by growing most of his own vegetables and fruit.

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