Among the things I have been unable to attend to properly as of late (list includes blogging, email, bills, homeschool, house-cleaning, etc…); there is the garden. We had our first garden experience last year and our entire family enjoyed the fun and fruits of our labor. Thankfully we live in Texas where the climate is pretty forgiving and the growing season long. Our first whirl at gardening provided us with a cup full of black eyed peas, some inedible smallish corn (planted way past the growing season), huge cucumbers that got bitter as they got bigger, and a December watermelon. We had a handful of other veggies and herbs as well, but nothing to prevent us from making trips to the grocery store. It was an expensive season of learning (we pressed our luck by not following suggested planting times).
The photo above is a picture of the only two viable plants we have in the garden right now… unless you want to count the carrot seedlings or the chocolate mint that has nearly taken over our entire flower bed (mint makes a superb ground cover). You would think by looking at the photo that we had a lush landscape of green surrounding us. Macro photography is such a trickster. Most all we have in our spring garden are empty raised garden beds and ‘shoulda-coulda-wouldas’: seeds that should have been planted, dirt that would have been bought to fill the beds if we had the money, and weeds that could have been pulled if we weren’t busy taking care of baby.
Besides our edible plants, we have quite a few in the landscaping variety. Our yard ‘pets’ are the trees: Red Oak, Montezuma Cypress, Leland Cypress, Desert Willow, Texas Chaste and Ash. Kevin has taken to fertilizing them every week with his magical concoction that makes them bud and grow faster than normal. He also is killing our pocketbook watering them twice a week. I hate letting go of the money, but you can certainly see the difference in our trees as compared to the other trees on our street. Quite a few trees in our neighborhood died last year because we have been in a drought, but ours are doing great and much taller and more full. It is amazing to see how much they have grown! I can’t wait to post before and after shots of them in here this summer. Already our little 3 foot potted Chaste Trees are above my head! Other than trees, we have berry bushes, cacti (I’ve always wanted to use that word on my blog), Mexican Sage, Orange Bulbines, and some bush with yellow flowers that is growing really fast out front.
Our wildflowers didn’t come up that we planted, but there are some purple flowers in the front flower bed that I am in love with. They look like little big, fancy, geometric purple buttons. Our roses and flowers will have to remain nameless. I’m not great with horticultural names; I tend to plant and forget after the little plastic stakes have melted in to the mulch and are not visible any longer. I’ve always been fond of roses. We have a tea rose bush in the back of the yard that is exploding in fuchsia, and there’s this little rose bush we brought home from Sam’s Club one day a few months ago:
This is the first bud it has put out for the growing season. Can’t wait to see the color in full bloom. Hope there are plenty more where that came from. After Kevin gets the coffee grinds and fertilizer after it, I’m sure it will be popping out colorful (and hopefully fragrant) goodness all year long.
So, while the last few weeks of Texas spring vanish in to the nineties (and I’m not talking about decades, but rather degrees), I thought I would post these two garden shots that Morgan took. Yes, my ten year old knows how to utilize the ‘rule of thirds’ and takes great pictures with mama’s camera. I enjoyed playing with her photos and enhancing them since I had to sit inside with baby and Boppy while everyone else was out in the sunshine. Her pictures inspire me to get out in the dirt and plant again… before the summer heat takes its toll on the vegetation. There’s just something about the green of spring that woos the world out of doors. Reminds me of that scene in Amazing Grace where William Wilberforce says, “I have 10,000 engagements of state today but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at… bloody spider’s webs.”
Between the garden, the bills, the baby and homeschooling, I’m really finding blogging to be more scarce than I would like. I guess that’s just part of life… the garden has its empty season, too. There are seasons where your beds are green and robust; teeming with busy shoots and lush produce. Then there is winter: cold, dry dirt, and bare branches reaching to heaven as they rest. There are good things about resting for a time. Growth requires rest. The blooms that come after a period of rest are ever so sweet.
Building the Raised Garden Beds
Building the Garden, Part II
Peak Growing Season
Friends in my Garden
And More Garden Friends…
Harvesting the Veggies
Herbs Still Growing at Christmas
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