Our new house is awesome. I’m dying to show you all photos. We did so much work on it over the last six weeks or so, and it is truly transformed. I have some fun before and after photos, but unfortunately they are housed on a computer that is still packed away in a box somewhere in our basement.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been doing outside. I’m really into gardening right now. I’ve been growing veggies for a few years, but now that we have our own home, I can do some actual landscaping with flowers and edibles. This is thrilling.
I really enjoy learning new things, which I guess is why I love complex pasttimes like gardening and garment sewing. There’s always new stuff to learn, new things to try. A garden is never complete. It’s constantly evolving, always challenging you to learn more.
First of all… PEONIES! I was thrilled to discover that the little shoots we saw a couple months ago were actually peony bushes. We have three of them, and this gorgeous giant feathery scarlet one is the first to bloom. The other two are still buds, and look much smaller. I can’t wait to see what they look like.
And at the other end of the spectrum, we have rhododendrons. I really don’t like rhodies. I guess they just remind me of suburban office parks or something. And this color doesn’t thrill me, though in the photo above I do admit that they look sort of pretty and tropical and summery. And I also like their foliage. But the flowers just don’t do it for me.
Now, while I have some big plans for landscaping the backyard and transforming it into a pretty & productive kitchen garden, it’s definitely not happening right this second. Since we moved in right at the start of the growing season, I knew I had to get something thrown together quickly. My tomato seedlings were already getting pretty huge.
For reference, here is the back garden before. The thing in the middle is a water feature. To be fair, this photo was taken in February, so of course it didn’t look its best yet anyway.
And here is my temporary plot. Kenn pulled out the water feature, including tons of tons of gravel. I weeded like crazy, pulled up some of the lawn (I plan to get rid of all of it eventually), installed our small raised beds, added soil amendments and worked them into the heavily compacted soil, laid down mulch to control some of the weeds, and scattered some paving stones around to define walking areas so the soil isn’t further compacted.
Also… wow. Have you ever torn up sod with a shovel? It is back breaking work. I thought it would be fine to do manually since it was such a small patch, but I didn’t expect quite that level of labor. Now I know.
I love my bean teepee. I grow runner beans on it every year.
I put in the tomato seedlings I started in March! I’m growing six types: Pineapple tomatoes, green zebra, cherokee purple, black heirloom, beaverlodge (an ultra-early variety), and yellow pear. YUM. I marked them with these nifty copper tags.
I also plan to grow some squash in the remaining patch, some herbs, nasturtiums, and perhaps some fennel, lemon cucumbers, and/or beets if I can find spots for them.
It’s a small utilitarian garden, hastily thrown together, and not at all the garden I dream of creating someday. But I love it.