Garden Love

I never thought I would enjoy gardening. If you’d asked me a few years ago if I could ever see myself on a Sunday afternoon pulling weeds for four hours, I probably would have called you crazy, right after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing too hard. But now I find myself spending at least a few minutes in the garden every day, pulling a weed or two (or twenty). And it’s been a warm Summer here in Portland so watering has been a daily necessity. Honestly, once you start, it’s hard to stop. Who knew gardening could be like a drug? A very healthy drug, but just as addictive.

In truth, the hardest part of the garden project was completed a couple of years ago – and my husband dealt with most of that. He created a gravel pad for our new shed, built raised garden beds for the vegetables and laid a paved patio. I came in later to add the drama – it’s what I do best. 🙂

On the first year, I focused on the veggie garden. Year two was all about adding some color and wonderful scents with lavender (LOTS of lavender) and other flowering plants. This year I’m filling in the gaps left by the plants that sadly didn’t make it (R.I.P.) and working on maintaining my little paradise while I enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I’ll take you on a quick tour – but first a look back at where we began.

Five years ago…

Last year…

And now…

I always wanted lavender in my garden so, last year, I planted three different types. I may have overcompensated but the bees LOVE it. We have so many bees in our yard now that I’m tempted to start asking local bee keepers for a kickback.

 

After a failed attempt at growing strawberries in my hanging baskets, I decided to plant some colorful annuals this year. They don’t quite look like the beautiful arrangements that you find at the nursery but I think they have their own charm. I planted these little orange trumpet like flowers that the Hummingbirds enjoy so I consider that a win over conventional standards of beauty. In fact, one day as I was watering the garden, a hummingbird came and took a shower in the spray from the garden hose. He just hovered there for about 30 seconds and looked at me while he enjoyed the water. I told Kei about it and he called it my “Snow White moment.” The other birds like to use the basket material to build their nests which is probably why a pigeon decided our roof would be a nice place to set up home.

The lettuce is way over grown now but it looks cool. That’s Kale to the left. We have a love/hate relationship that can only be fixed with a green drink smoothie every morning. That’s the only way I have been able to keep it from taking over my garden.

Ahhh, the cucumbers. I learned not to plant Zucchini after the great zucchini overdose of 2011. Instead I decided to plant cucumbers and, right now, we have about 15 that are just waiting to be picked. I’ve been drinking a half a cucumber in my smoothie every day but it might be time to hand some out to friends. People are excited to receive cucumbers – zucchini, not so much.

These peas are a tried and true favorite. I plant them every year and they never fail to disappoint. I also have a healthy herb garden with basil, sage, mint, rosemary, thyme, parsley and majoram. Side note: If anyone has any idea what I can do with majoram then please let me know in the comments.

Also not photographed – Spinach, pak choi, arugula and chard. I manage to squeeze a lot into this little space.

The daisies are new and I love them. I bought some random plants through a plant sale at the school – which is a great way to fill the garden if you have trouble making a decision when faced with the thousands of options at the nursery. I’m speaking from experience, of course. I would never have picked daisies on my own.

This one also came with the plant sale. I have no idea what it’s called (my problem remembering names extends to flora), but the leaves are amazing.

And, finally, my pride and joy.

Eight foot tall sunflowers and healthy gardens make me happy.

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