My kids are on spring break this week and the first two days of the week were sunny, so we spent most of it outdoors. (Today as I sit to write this blog post, it’s cloudy and rainy… but that’s April in Western Washington for you!)
Thankfully, I know not to waste a nice day out so I worked, worked, worked outside, cleaning up and weeding and even managing a lunch al fresco. I thought I’d provide a few updates on our garden preparations and my ever-evolving gardening philosophy.
But first, I’d like to introduce you to our yard pet, Bun Bun. He’s called our yard pet because he stays in the yard. He (or she, I really don’t know!) loves to much on the grass and weeds in the front yard, much to our Shih Tzu’s enjoyment from the window. One time I took the dog out to use the bathroom and he chased Bun Bun clear into the neighbor’s yard. This upset my son, so he came flying out of the front door. I felt like we were in some sort of cartoon – the dog chasing the bunny, my son chasing the dog, and me chasing my son! (In case you’re wondering, the dog never caught the bunny and Bun Bun smugly came back to the yard to resume his eating about an hour later.)
Regarding my philosophy on gardening (at least for this year)… I want gardening to bring a sense of calm to my life. I want it to be a place where I can come and sit and enjoy. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and not everything out there has to be edible.
In recent years, I’ve made more of an effort to incorporate flowers (of all kinds) into my garden. Flowers scent the air to the garden, attract pollinators and beneficial insects and just make it all look so pleasing. I used to poo-poo flowers when I started my garden. Everything had to be edible! We had to be able to eat everything!
But I’ve come to really, really enjoy flowers in my ripe old age. (OK, I’m 38… and that’s not super old yet, right?)
The gooseberries are starting to form already! These are actually quite tasty.
I found the nettle trying to pose as mint. I know mint gets a bad rap, but I really do love it. I love a container full of it. I love picking the leaves or crushing them in tea or water or a mojito. Mostly, a mojito.
We took out a couple of our raised beds a couple years ago to build a small outdoor shed. (It’s OK, guys – my husband is giving me a good chunk of land in our backyard for me to grow a mini orchard in the future, so it will more than even out!) As a result, I needed to transplant my raspberries. I was successful in moving them, however they did not fruit last year. Hoping for better results in 2017.
Besides flowers, I love planting herbs of all kinds in my garden. I have found that so many herbs are perennial or will readily come back on their own. This parsley plant over-wintered quite nicely. It looks like there are seed pods bulging on the stems so it might go to seed this spring or summer. (In my past experience, bees LOVE the flowers parsley puts out!)
My daughter made our plant stakes this year using leftover craft sticks from our Bored Jar project. Easy peasy. Plus, I think her handwriting is super cute.
Here’s how the garden is looking right now. It may still look a bit unkempt to you, but you should’ve seen it before! The beds were quite weedy, the rocks were littered with pine cones and off to the back right were all kinds of construction materials (bricks, pallets, fence posts) that I ended up getting a workout moving and tidying up. Once the seeds take off and I add a few flowers, this place will look tip top.
A few ideas I have to “cuten” this space up I’d love your opinion on:
- I’d like to add a giant wind sculpture – kind of like the ones you find at Costco. Maybe put it towards the back of the garden, near the shed?
- I’m thinking the shed is a dreary color and I’d love to paint it (if I can convince my husband!). What color would you paint it?
- I’m hoping to add some more gnomes and maybe birdhouses.
- I’ve thought about adding some solar lighting somehow back there – maybe in the boxes themselves. Thoughts?
- I’m not a fan of the beige chairs. Is there any kind of spray paint I could use to change them up? It seems like most spray paint wouldn’t work on plastic. Help me, crafters!
- Other ideas for how you’d make this space look cute?
For more gardening posts (there are lots!), see my Gardening Page.
Now it’s your turn: have you done any gardening yet this spring? What are you hoping to grow this year?