Thursday, October 22, 2015
And I'm back from a long blogging break! The last time this happened I was experiencing really bad morning sickness. Not so this time. I just spilt curry on our computer keyboard, and we had to send it off for repairs. <face-palm>
Today in an effort to be better about sharing all stages of projects I begin, I'm posting about the end of my porch garden season. It doesn't look nearly as nice as I would have liked, but I think there was some joy to be found in it even in its imperfection.
I started the season off with gusto, but with having Theo in mid June, the garden really didn't stand a chance this summer. Between spending my extra energy on my baby and making half hearted attempts to clean our apartment, I severely neglected the garden. Pedro and Diego tried to make up for my lack of effort, but their gardening attempts usually involve eating lots of dirt and green tomatoes. Even in these dire circumstances, some of my nasturtiums bloomed, the oregano survived a couple of weeks of no watering (oops), I harvested a cucumber, and the wildflower mix gave me a couple of flowers.
Pedro, the gardening beagle. Notice the lack of lettuce growing in the bed behind him. That's what happens when beagles try to garden. Eating dirt > letting lettuce grow.
Maybe next year we'll do better porch garden.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Oh my lovely porch garden. I took these photos before going on vacation last week, and I'm so glad I did because when I came back half my plants were dead. Between the heat, no rain, and some knocks from the beagle boys some of my plants didn't stand a chance. Luckily I have these photos to remember how nice everything looked right at the end of July. And who knows, some of the "dead" plants might perk up, and I could have some more photos to share of my garden at the end of August. I'm hoping that I can actually harvest some of the tomatoes, squash, nasturtium, or cucumbers I've been growing all summer - but if not, at least I got to watch them grow. Which every gardener knows is the next best thing to actually eating your veggies.
<petunias, nasturtium, daisies, rosemary, lavender, marigold, squash>
Saturday, July 18, 2015
A great thing about visiting St. Louis in the summer is seeing my mom's garden. I snapped a few photos of her flowers, vegetables, and pots yesterday before it got too hot. That's the other thing about visiting Milwaukee in the summer: plenty of heat and humidity. But I prefer this weather to the cold and snow hands down. These photos help explain why.
<sun gold cherry tomatoes>
<Duke the puppy>
More photos of mom's garden here.
Monday, July 6, 2015
I knew this garden season wouldn't be a stellar one because of that little guy in the stroller above. Having a baby mid-season really cuts into time you can spend at the garden. But I still rented my usual plot just to have a place I could eventually take Baby T to and to stay connected to all my gardening buddies.
Luckily I've had some help with my plot, and I think this bit of help has managed to keep most of my veggies alive. Success!!
The biggest help came from my mom and brother who were in town last week to visit Baby T. I blame my gardening fever on my mom, so it only made sense that she would be the one to help me transition my plot from late spring to early summer. My brother just got roped into the deal because all helpers were given custard upon finishing.
They were total rockstars: they pulled all my lettuce, thinned my carrots and kale, and planted my tomato plants and nasturtium seeds.
And then my brother watered everything. He liked this a lot better than planting seeds.
It's tough to see in this picture because of the lighting, but I have beets, carrots, onions, swiss chard, and kale planted in the overflowing part of the garden. Tomatoes and nasturtium seeds in the back.
And growing in the herb circle: lots of borage and chamomile! And unfortunately also lots of thistle. When will we ever be rid of all that dang thistle?!
Speaking on behalf of my family, this was a great little outing for all of us. Baby T hung out in the stroller most of the time, but I could tell he was excited for his first time at the garden. It'll be fun to see him toddling around the garden this time next year! Oh my gosh, I can't even believe how big he'll be by then. Be still my mama heart.
Friday, May 22, 2015
It's that time of year again, when I can share community garden updates! I planted seeds several weeks ago at our first community garden work day, and they're all starting to pop up! Saying that "I" planted them is not exactly true. What really happened was that friends of mine were kind enough to plant all my seeds for me as I directed where I'd like them. But it was still a surprise to see where all the seedlings popped up. I still have no idea what and when I'll be able to harvest things with the baby coming, but I still love any chance I have to watch things grow.
First, several varieties of carrots. A carnival blend, some yellow ones, some white ones, and some beautiful dark orange ones. I don't remember any of the actual names of the varieties, but I have the packages to remind myself when it comes time to harvest.
Second, lots of beets! Again, several varieties none of which I really remember. I know there's an early variety, an old French variety, some dark purple ones, and of course, lots of golden beets.
Third, a section of kale and swiss chard. These will have to be thinned pretty soon to allow room for growth. All the sprouts will go on a nice egg salad sandwich. YUM.
A view of all my (vegetable) babies. You can beets in the immediate foreground, my onions, carrots, kale, and lots and lots of lettuce and some radishes in the background.
This sage is from our community garden herb circle. I'm always pleasantly surprised when perennials come back after a hard winter.
And this little strawberry flower is from our strawberry bed. I'm going to be keeping my eye on this plot a lot in the coming weeks. Because those strawberries need to be in my belly, not the squirrels'.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Late Spring is one of my favorite times of year. It brings with it rebirth, constantly changing colors, and the beginning of the garden season!! This year, I stepped down as the community garden leader and am just serving kind of part time on the community garden committee. I'll still have a plot but I have lots of people ready to step in to water and harvest after the baby is born.
We had our first work day of the season this past weekend. And even though I can't carry heavy objects and can barely bend, I couldn't resist helping at least a bit - mostly with weeding and moral support.
We got all our beds weeded and prepped for the season. Plus we shared a delicious potluck lunch and had fun catching up after our winter hibernations.
This picture cracks me up! How many guys does it take to fill a bed?
The mostly finished plots! Nothing's happening here now, but it will be exploding in a couple of months! I'm really hoping I'll get to enjoy it a bit this summer with our new baby.
Friday, May 1, 2015
It doesn't look like much now, but in a short time, this porch space will be a beautiful urban oasis. I loved spending time on the porch last summer, and I plan on doing much of the same this summer. The major difference is that this summer I'll have a small baby to keep me and pups company.
Diego's pretty excited.
The pots have all been moved up from the basement and are staying safe on the porch table until I can figure out a way to keep the dogs from eating all the soil out of them. Yes, in addition to bones and library books, my beagles also love to eat dirt out of my garden pots. It affected plant growth last year, so hopefully this year, some chicken wire will discourage any digging.
Some pots will be filled with some plants I started inside a few weeks ago. They'll come outside when threat of frost is gone (hopefully not too much longer). My mom has promised me a few tomato plants, and I'll plant the rest of the pots will small starter plants. I really liked having different herbs (like lavender, mint, basil, and rosemary) easily accessible last summer, so most of those will be bought at nurseries before the baby comes.
The long planter is going to be a home for my lettuce supply.
I planted about six different varieties of lettuce, and they've all since sprouted (these pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago).
This planter looks totally different now. It's full of baby lettuces and all the names have worn off the markers.
So who do you think will win this summer? Mary and plants and the chicken wire? Or Diego and Pedro and their persistent beagle nature? For my post-baby sanity I really hope that me and the plants pull out ahead.