One (Wo)Man’s Trash…

Visited my parents over spring break and took the kids to the farm to explore. The barn is likely going to be razed this summer, so I went in search of old storm windows. Luckily, my dad is a packrat so even these weren’t the ones I was looking for, they’ll do. I loaded up the back of the fan with them and can’t wait to get started on the fun project I have in mind. More to come.

Haven’t been in the barn in 20 years but the smell is forever burned in my brain. Old wood + hay, + straw + dust. Thankfully animals haven’t used it in 35 years so no animal smells. 

And so it begins…

It makes me so happy to plant seeds for the garden. Most of these will have to wait at least seven weeks before they can be planted outside, but there’s something about the potential of all of these seed trays that lifts my spirit.

Starting a mix of tried-and-true seeds along with some new things this year.

12 Broccoli (Sun King*, Bonanza*)
12 Brussels Sprouts (Octia*)
12 Kale (Dwarf Blue Curled, Ornamental*)
24 Hot Peppers (Habanero, Jalapeno, Anaheim, Cayenne)
12 Sweet Peppers (Cabernet Hybrid)
6 Tomatillos Gigante
42 Tomatoes (Sweet Aroma, Early Treat, Super Tasty, Gladiator*)
18 Basil (Thai, Sweet, Pesto Party*)
12 Sesame*
6 Spinach (Baby’s Leaf*)
6 Chives (Garlic*)
12 Bachelor’s Buttons (Blue Boy*)
12 Zinia (Fruit Smoothie*)

Three trays of these trays happily sitting in my box window with heating mats underneath them. 


I grow flowers too.

I love pretty flower gardens, but I seem to spend the majority of my time growing things to eat rather than look pretty. I thought maybe it’s time for a tour of the non-edible gardens.

Let’s start at the front of the house.

IMG_8637I love how the front landscaping looks at this time of year. I know day lilies are kind of utilitarian, but you can’t beat them color and ease. The bright yellow/green ground cover is creeping Jenny. I love the contrasting color, but it’s horribly invasive so planting it in an enclosed area like this is a good idea. 

Close up of the begonias on the front porch. 
The red Wave petunias almost glow in the sunlight. Love the color of them. 
Hens and Chicks always remind me of my grandma. She had two big planters of them when I was a kid and I loved watching the chicks grow.





I planted this sage last summer and it’s exploding this year. My goal is to eventually turn this whole bed into herbs and other pretty edible plants. 
See? Herbs are pretty and delicious.  


I planted these succulents around the mailbox last summer. It’s a great place for them because it’s full sun and they don’t need to be watered now that they’re established. (Good thing, because it’s a pain to water down there.) Most of the “rocks” are hypertufa that I made last year. The rock in the front right is granite from one of our favorite spots on Birch Lake, MN.  (Don’t mind the flags in  back. The village is replacing our ash tree that was removed last year because the Ash Borer.) 
Such happy little flowers. 
This is another pretty succulent. (I need to look up the name.) 
We bought this choke cherry from a native plant sale several years ago. It was literally a single stem less than a foot tall. (Must dig up a photo!) I had planted some really pretty grasses and grown cover around it, but they’re getting choked out (hehe) by it now. I plan to move them next spring. 

The friends and family bed was created on a spur of the moment decision one year and I’ve been steadily filling it with transplants from, you guessed it, family and friends. A couple of friends/neighbors have moved out of state, so it’s especially nice to see a daily reminder of them when I’m out watering.

Hostas are kind of meh to me, but the color and shape of these are really interesting. These are in full shade under the hawthorn tree in the Friends and Family bed. (This is one of the only plants in the bed that I bought.) 
The allium is even pretty when it’s done blooming. Don’t they remind you of fireworks? (From my dad’s garden on the farm.) 

This corner bed has gone through several different plans, but we’re sticking with the rocks. I love how it looks and it requires zero maintenance.

The trumpet vine next to the fence continues to resurrect itself from the dead. 
Cat mint in bloom in the rock garden. 
Succulents in the rock garden. 
A different view of the raised beds. 
I had no idea these calla lilies would turn pink, but I like it.


Garden Tour—June 12, 2016

Time for another tour of the edibles in the garden. Everything is really growing well and we should be eating jalapenos and broccoli any day.

Remember those itty bitty basil plants that I transplanted here? Time for caprese and pesto! 
We’ve eaten a couple of meals off of here, but it continues to grow more. (Spring Blend) 
Time for spinach. Think I’ll make garlic-kissed sautéd spinach like MK. Love that! 
Another spring lettuce going strong. 
I can’t believe how fast argula grows! 
The pepper farm is getting big! 
Can’t wait to try Swiss chard. We’ve never had it before. Anyone have a good recipes for it? 
The bush cucumbers are starting to flower. 
Jalapeno progress. 
The poblano is growing too. 
The first cajun bell pepper. This is another new variety for us. It’s supposed to be a spicy bell pepper. 
I’m always amazed to see the growth of tomatoes at this time of year. They are literally taller every single day. 
Can’t you almost taste it? This variety is called Fourth of July and I think it’s going to live up to its name. 
A look from one end of the raised beds to the other. 
I think this spot is too wet for the dill. 
The pumpkins are starting to bloom. Not going to lie, I’m a little surprised that they’re doing so well. 
This mixed bed is becoming one of my favorite. I love the succulents mixed in around the cilantro, chives, tomatillos and lemon thyme. 
Hurry up tomatillos! I’m ready to make salsa. 
I saw a package of four o’clocks at the store and remembered my grandma raising them. I decided I had to have them to hopefully pass this memory on to my kids. 
I can’t remember the name of this succulent ground cover but the dainty yellow flowers are pretty. 
The cilantro is going to see and since I hate the taste of it, I prefer this view. 😉 
The weather is perfect for growing tomatoes! 
The tomatoes in the raised bed are going strong too. The basil around the edges looks small, but we’ve been eating off it regularly. 
More tomatoes. The peas are really irregular. 
Pea blossoms! Hurry up already. 
The cabbage is forming heads. Looks like I need to treat for cabbage moths. 
The strawberries are so sweet this year. 
The first planting of green beans are blossoming. It looks like I need to thin the carrots a little more. 
Every time I see this bed, I’m disappointed about the garlic. 



Calla Lily

I bought these calla lilies from the Master Gardener’s sale in May. I really had no idea how they would do, but they were cheap and I needed something for this bed. The first one opened today and it’s gorgeous!

When I bought them, I didn’t realize that calla lilies are rhizomes so they have to be dug up every fall and replanted in the spring. I’ve avoided planting any rhizomes because I like the ease of perennials. These might just make me reconsider that though.


Garden Wonders

We’ve been getting a few every day, but today is the first day there was enough ready for the whole family to enjoy. 
It just keeps growing. 🙂 
Those sprouts are already plants. The photo I posted yesterday was taken less than 24 hours ago. The changes at this time of year always makes me want to set up a time elapse camera to watch them grow. Yes, I am totally a nerd.