Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Aesthetically Pleasing Place

You may've thought I gave up, and you'd be right, but, only for a while. My yearning to have a garden space I love has kept me going. Although, I may not be very talented, is no reason for me not be able to produce some things and enjoy the space.

I have reacquainted myself with the nursery. As a gardener, I have found a home. I knew it when I walked through the tables of blooming flowers and gorgeous hanging baskets.

Now, I got off to great start with my seeds. Transplanting them disheartened me with the sight of my dead little seedlings. But, I am determined to figure this out, and I am set on having a beautiful and somewhat productive little piece of land, here. Potager still lingers in my thoughts...

I've always loved clay pots. The plain old ones, nothing fancy, they just look so clean and wholesome. So, I got some clay pots. Notice the inevitable paw in the background.

I beautified my front porch with this lovely hanging basket and the whiskey barrel, so welcoming here in the mountains. Below the hanging basket is an eyesore of a shrub...planning on getting that sucker out of there by the weekend - spiders love it, so it must go! A pretty flower bed coming soon!

The Dukester must find a way to get in there! Gotta love that whiskey barrel - it just says home.

In the sideyard, the peas are coming up! WHoooPeeee! I can grow peas! I love the little curly-q's. These little guys are doing just great. Plenty of water and sunshine and watch them grow!

When I thought my seeds had all died, I tossed the soil, still containing seeds....and Voila! I think I have some lettuce growing amongst a heap of twigs and dead leaves. Who woulda thunk, huh?

I have to remind myself, I'm new at this and it won't happen overnight. I am thoroughly intrigued by gardening. Mixing soil, composting, weeding - all things I need to learn more about, but will take time. This may not be my ideal...but I will learn how to make it work and make it be a space to enjoy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Gardening Skills...Pretty Much Suck

I'm not very inspired by my gardening skills. In fact, I think I blew it. I've had visions of a little Poteger made just by me and it becoming so charming, so quaint and abundant with beautiful heirloom vegetables.

Hell's bell's, who am I to talk? I'm not a gardener, that's for sure. I think I killed all of my little seedlings that I grew so carefully inside on my kitchen counter. I saw other gardens beautifully laid out, so I decided it was time to plant. Lo and behold, I was shot down. Maybe it was too cold. Maybe the soil wasn't right. Maybe my visions of grandeur were just too big. All the weeds seem to be growing just fine - all friggin over the place.

So, what do I do now? Try to salvage what I can. Hope for the best. Probably join the local CSA.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 1

I know this is just the beginning, and it's pretty funny to me, but my kitchen counter is full of plants!
I was seriously thinking about transplanting some of the seedlings today, but after checking the temperature/planting guide online, I think I'll wait another week or two. We will be having some days in the 40's in the next couple of weeks, and I don't want to ruin all my hard work.

See other garden pics online, I know it's going to get even crazier! Some of these plants will be 5' tall - pretty close to my size!

In sectioning my garden for planting, I've learned that it probably won't be all planted in neat little rows. Some plants need mounds like squash. As the plants grow, I'll need stakes and wires for beans and tomato plants. Considering what I've been through to get the soil ready, this sounds like a piece of cake - I can't wait to see these plants in the middle of summer!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Work in Progress

Hard work and lots of it! To reap the rewards of summer's bounty, there is first some work.

I've gotten pretty far this weekend. And I discovered bark mulch, it cleans things up nicely, keeps the weeds down and smells lovely. It's not expensive, but then I don't have a very large area, just a messy one.

It's a nice little sunny spot. I surrounded the area with bark mulch which will make it easier to manage once all this Spring work is done. I'm hoe-ing my rows today, and think I might be ready to plant some seedlings I have growing on my counter. LOL -  I have discovered a whole new meaning to the word hoe! And it has nothing to do with the t-shirt my sister gave me...

Burgundy heirloom beans sprouting in egg crates on my kitchen counter!

Lettuce was the first to sprout, leaning to the sun like an audience at a rock concert.

It's going to be a sweet little, abundant (yessss) garden very soon.

Economically speaking a small garden like this will be able to off-set food costs. Stocking up the excess either by freezing or canning for the winter months will contribute to my food budget big time. I am really looking forward to seeing all the benefits of gardening for myself. I know in my heart, hard work pays off plus the feeling of accomplishment from seeing the seeds come to life as real food - Wow! I'm trudging along right now, but this is going to be an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's a Lawn & Leaf Bag?

It was almost 70 degrees today. That meant that when I got off work, I had yard work to do. This morning I had taken matters into my own hands and called the trash company. I told the lady about my leaf problem. She said the cheapest way to handle it would be to get the lawn and leaf bags and set them out and it was $2.50 a bag to pick up with my trash.
Lawn and leaf bags?
I felt like Ralphie in the Christmas Story, when he was sitting on Santa's lap. Football? What's a football?
Leaf bag? What's a leaf bag?
Those black garbage bags...
Stoppppp! Ohhh, those black moving bags, you mean they're not just for moving shit when you're moving.
Knock me over with a feather.
So, after work I bought a big box of them, and they do work. You fill them with leaves and tie it up and it really does work. I've filled four bags already, and I probably have 10+ more to go. This part of the garden...oh me gosh, I could do without it. It's looking really nice, though, nice green stuff growing underneath.
And make sure you get the flex bags or you'll be pissed, there's lots of sticks mixed up in the leaves.
Seriously, I have to have a shower tonight before I go to bed. Ibuprofen, too.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gardening 101

Plants are supposed to just grow. Not much to it. So, I hear. And I really do want to see how easy or how hard it can really be. What's worth it to me and what's not?

I suppose the worst part of it is getting the land - lol, my little plot - ready for the seeds and the plants. Oh, the fun stuff: Raking leaves, evening out the area. A chore's a chore and this part of gardening does not smell like a bed of roses. So far. I've started small. Just small enough for me to manage. I've been trying real hard today to get the sarcastic city girl out of me. She keeps me laughing. I stopped way too many times from raking to look at what I had got done, and how far I had to go. I still have a lot of work ahead of me - this is just my first day at it! Seriously, I raked up enough leaves to hide four dead bodies! How do you get rid of the dead leaves?

It's still chilly out; way too cold for planting. Duke and Mollie were absolutely no help at all. The raking irritated Mollie, so she went in and went to sleep on a stool, with one eye open on me. When I'd stop raking for a while, she'd come back out to see what I'd done. Duke stood in the doorway or on the step probably wondering what in the world was going on. We're all from the city.

Last week I got my seeds. After perusing online and finding out how much shipping was going to be, I went locally to King's. I spent $26.78 on seeds and a bag of soil for starting the seeds indoors. At the building thrift store I got 20 cement bricks to set my garden - he gave them to me for $10.60. To me it seems expensive to start a garden. I was able to borrow all the tools from my landlord - a huge savings.

The promise of Spring!!
Oh, joy, my little plot of land! The leaves by the fence are still stuck to ice. I'm doing a sort of raised bed garden. It may turn out that the bricks just keep it in line. There really is a lot of room for plants out there. I'm hoping it will look like it's an overflowing little cottage garden with flowers and herbs mixed with an abundance of fresh vegetables. I think I may be dreaming heavily with this vision.

Although, it looks dismal at the moment, there are lots of planting opportunities all around the house.

One of many!! What am I supposed to do with all this!?!?