Tuesday, May 28, 2013

veggies & herbs of 2013

Fourth vegetable garden! Wow, time flies.

This wasn't the year to add raised beds to the backyard since I'm still figuring out what I'm going to do with the back patio and some trees. So I just planned veggies and herbs for the spots I've used previously: the strip between the patio and fence, and a few pots and in-ground areas by the back door. 

In the ground this year:
  • tomatoes (two varieties - Early Girl and Yellow Pear)
  • salsa peppers 
  • broccoli
  • swiss chard
  • lemon cucumbers
  • lettuce
  • kale
  • beets
  • brussels sprouts
  • basil
  • sage
  • lemon verbena
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • spearmint
  • lavender

The big makeover, if there was one this year, is that I'm using the window boxes on the back of the garage for lettuce this year. We'll see how it goes ... it's pretty shaded over there, but at least they'll be protected from the bunnies.



So, the brussels sprouts and beets are new for me this year. Anyone have good tips? :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm back!

Back from China. Back in house mode. And for the first time in my adult life, home for an entire Memorial Day Weekend. No weddings and no graduations ... just me and my projects. Amazing.

So during my hiatus I've been thinking about this blog and how much I love documenting the progress of my house and sharing stories with you, readers, but also how much guilt I feel when I don't write posts as often as I'd like. And I don't say "can't write posts," because I have the app on my phone and could write them on even the busiest of days. I just haven't been inspired enough to make it a priority lately. It is what it is. I'm not closing it down, but I am committing to writing more this summer. Garden updates, decorating vignettes as I finish the upstairs bedrooms, and lots of recipes. So that's what you have to look forward to, if you want to stick around :)

As for this weekend, it's now Sunday night and I've spent the better part of the last two days outside or running errands. Not in the "lounging by the lake" kind of way. We're talking sweatshirts, boots and 55-degree cloudy days for this year's holiday weekend.

Perfect for .... planting! Back in January I decided this would be a good year to invest in some new perennials for the front and back gardens. I'm not traveling as much as I have the last three summers, and I've been in the house long enough to sort of figure out what should go where. Which led to this little excursion to Bachman's (a great garden store here in Minneapolis):

My overarching goal is to fill in some bare spots in the backyard gardens, mostly in shaded areas, with low-maintenance, colorful perennials. My other priority is adding some perennials and annuals to the front yard, especially in the bed I created last summer to bring the front yard garden around the big tree.

I picked up begonias at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market again this year, which I loved having in the front yard last year. The orange and pink begonias in the side yard will help fill out that bed as the tulips fade:

And, of course, one of the most fun parts was picking out plants for the whiskey barrel by my front door:

My legs feel like rubber from all the work I've done in the yard this weekend, but I think it'll be worth it.

Coming soon: a map of varieties in the gardens, including existing plants and seeds.