Friday, April 15, 2016

The Garden

 I realize I have been ever so slightly melancholy in tone in my writings as of late. Just a smidge. ;) My days are filled with ups and downs but for whatever reason, the downs are what draw me to the keyboard. But today, I wanted to share just a snippet of my the beauty that surrounds our home. Other than the MAJOR drainage issues, our yard is LOVELY and all the spring time activity in it fills my heart with such joy.
I know when I last wrote about my garden, things were less than positive with the whole trellis ordeal. I wish I could say that all the drama has blown over (some of it has) but the real fate of my trellises will be determined at an upcoming meeting on April 28th. In the meantime, I'm doing my best to embrace my beautiful plot and be kind and friendly to any passing neighbors.
 Some days, it feels like I have done very little with my yard. But when I really sit and think about it, I realize all the progress we have made toward having a landscape that is candy for both the eyes AND mouth. In our short time here, I've incorporated quite a few of my fruit dreams: 2 apple trees, a fig tree (pictured further down in post), plenty of strawberries, 2 barrels of raspberries, a Meyer lemon tree and 5 blueberry bushes. My appetite for fruit trees isn't yet satiated and I hope to add some sort of stone fruit tree in the months ahead. 
 Last year, a large number of my crops came from purchased starts due to the late "approval" of my raised garden beds. This year, I've converted my office desk to a "greenhouse" and have trays upon trays of my own hand-grown starts. So far all my squash varietals have been the most successful (Raven zucchini, Trombocino vining squash for my trellis, butternut and pumpkins). I'm also trying my hand at growing peppers from seed (including my personal favorite the Padron), as well as eggplant and a number of herbs. So far the none-squash types they haven't been too pleased with their accommodations and my attempts at upgrading them to large pots appear to have resulted in plant murder.
 Most of the previously-existing landscaping in our yard consisted of ornamental shrubs. We have LOTS of rhododendrons and azealeas (though many are dying off due to our flood-like soil situation). I don't really care much for either of those plants but I DO love the 3 camellia plants that are just finishing their blooming cycle (above). They have been a real treat to stare at.

Hark! It appears we will have a harvest of at least 6 figs from our baby tree this year! I bought the tree at the end of the season last year so only time will tell how much fruit it will bear but I've already dog-eared plenty of fig recipes just in case and I was so giddy to see little buds appearing over the past couple weeks. I didn't kill it!!!
Recently, I pawned off to the neighbors, some of the ginormous "decorative" (?) rocks that were strewn throughout our landscaping. Doing so freed up a nice little patch of dirt for me to convert into a little herb garden a few steps outside my front door. Last year I had all my herbs in my raised beds but we use a LOT of them so I decided to move them elsewhere in the yard to free up more space in the raised beds for other crops. Of course I couldn't resist these gorgeous ranunculus and intermixed them with the herbs in my patch.
 I planted nearly 25 dahlia bulbs around the yard so I'm hoping those pop up and bless us with plenty of cut flowers this summer. Next on my must-have list is a lilac bush. I've always wanted one and my heart literally starts skipping beats when it sinks in that I HAVE A YARD NOW AND CAN ACTUALLY GET ONE!!! Yippee!
A few of the crops I planted in the fall are doing rather well now. These include swiss chard, beets, kale, carrots, arugula, broccoli rabe (which I already harvested), collard greens and lettuce. I've done most of my spring planting already and can't wait to start picking carrots, spinach, snap peas, lettuces, arugula and radishes.
I hope my glee over this whole gardening thing is apparent in these pictures and the text in between. Having a yard is so much work but one of my biggest dreams come true! 

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posted by kelsie