A New Obsession: Gardening

This time last year I was planting Karl Foerster and Little Bluestem around the perimeter of the house, and in the front boulevard. My planting was not lacking imagination – rather, lacking confidence – and I was comfortable staying pretty minimal; I also planted a 5’x5′ vegetable garden that quickly spilled out of it’s wood panel confines. I wanted to stay small for practice, until I knew I could go big. I summoned the courage over the winter months, and come the first peek of sustainable 50 degree weather, I made my plan: tree in the front, trees in the back; large vegetable garden and perennial flower garden by the back fence; new patio furniture and sitting areas in the yard to read. We “broke ground” two weeks ago, and I have neglected nearly everything (including this blog) until today. Yesterday was the last of the big overhaul days, though there is always more to do. As I found today.

Over my lunch break, I went to Home Depot for some metal hoops, a mesh drain thing and some fertilizer. I found myself in the flower seed and bulb section for nearly half an hour, inspired by memories of my mother’s garden. I was fortunate to grow up around her green thumb, and beautiful landscape of crawling morning glories, leafy trees and ornamental bushes, the towering gladiolas and delicate bleeding hearts. I walked away with another bulk of projects to last me through the week, slowly picking away at planting in the evenings. The snapdragons, gladiolas and cala lilies I picked up make me feel like I can finally create a landscape for the front yard that will feel as much like my home as the interior, and a backyard that after work I will putter around in or sit down and admire.

My body is sore, and covered in crazy welt-like bug bites and long scratches from trees, but it’s been a good two weeks to look back at. While there’s always more to do, here’s a good recap:

Vegetable Garden

Planted from starter plants: jalapeno, habanero, banana, green and yellow peppers; sweet onion and garlic; broccoli and cauliflower; basil (lots, and lots of basil); roma, big boy, early girl, beefsteak and sweet 100 tomatoes. From seed: mixed and bibb lettuces, green beans, snow peas, cucumber. Along the fence is an old grape vine that starts to flower in June – it creates an unbelievable barrier between yards.

Perennial Bed

Planted from starter pots: Yellow Lupine, Siberian Iris, Elfin Pink Penstemon, White Gloria Astilbe, Strawberry Candy Daylily, Eveline Salvia, Visions Astilbe. Snapdragons line the edging.

Fire Prarie Tree

Also planted a white blossom Magnolia and Mulberry tree in back (!)

Little Bluestem on the boulevard

I will be planting Calla Lily and tall Snapdragon-like flowers throughout the grasses in the front. Won’t bloom for quite a while, but I’ll update with images. Hoping for some good results, to cut and bring inside.


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