It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season. – Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden
Each year we’ve been at our little VA farmhouse, we’ve added a bit to our garden! The first year, we did nothing except manage what the previous owner had planted. We had hydrangea bushes, some roses, a peony bush planted in part sun (so it never thrived), and a few other random plants here and there. I love our hydrangeas, and they are currently in bloom, and will usually bloom through August and early September! Our second year in our home, we added a small vegetable garden, with two strawberry plants, a few tomato plants, some patti-pan squash, and some peppers. The tomatoes literally took over our garden and we were harvesting through October…it was glorious! This year, we tackled the side garden (it originally had a strange little fish pond that we filled in) that was severely neglected. I added a wildflower section, and we planted two butterfly bushes, mock orange, baptisia, and added lots of mulch. How I love mulch! 😉 We also doubled the size of our vegetable garden (I have plans to double it in size again next year!). We also planted a few more shrubs and bushes along the back side of our home.
Our vegetable garden is thriving right now. We have sunflowers (burgundy, peach, and white), cosmos, nasturtium, kale, swiss chard, summer squash, cucumbers, TONS of tomatoes about to ripen, herbs (summer savory, lavender, Thai basil, red basil, green basil, thyme, rosemary), and [had] snap peas. AND the coolest part of our garden is our strawberry patch. Last year’s measly two plants propagated and became 30+ plants! We had so many strawberries this Spring, and it was lovely!
When I was young and living at my parents’ home, we had about 3 acres and had never-ending gardens. The weeding and watering and planting were also never-ending. I pretty much dreaded gardening (and unfortunately for me, I was the best weeder so that was ALWAYS my job); the only thing that made it tolerable was wearing a bikini top and the smallest shorts I could find and frying my body in the sun, sans-sunscreen. I hated mowing the grass because my dad always wanted us to wear tennis shoes (instead of flip flops or going barefoot) to protect our feet, and I hated tan lines of any kind. Oh how the times have changed…(I still hate tans lines though…)
These days, I love being outside in our garden beds. It’s so satisfying to know that if you tend to the garden, and keep pests away as best you can, you’ll have gorgeous fruits and vegetables and flowers. And my favorite part of gardening has been teaching our girls (or, trying to teach them) about where fruits and vegetables come from and about hard work! Zoe planted all our seeds with me, and she helps weed (as best she can). She LOVES watering the plants (what kid doesn’t love spraying with the hose & pouring a watering can?). Naomi usually just sits and munches on kale. Walking out to our garden each evening to see what’s ripe is usually the highlight of Zoe’s day! During strawberry season, chances were she was outside lifting strawberry leaves, hunting for ripe, red berries! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have a garden! I’ll show you photos of our little side flower garden (with my magical fairy wildflower patch) next!
It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional. – Robert Brault
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