We just got back from our first trip back to California since living on the East coast. Sometimes it feels like I never even lived there. and this trip was proof of it. The whole trip just seemed like a vaguely familiar dream. I knew those highways, restaurants, flowers and mountains. People were more or less the same and conversations caught back up as if I never left. The scenery was gorgeous, the driving was a price to pay for it, and in a way, it felt like I never left. But it has been about 10 months since I’ve been away and a new place is where I belong now. This trip was a weird reminder that ‘home’ for me will always be a moving target. I sink my claws in when I move to a place, but leaving and getting used to a new adventure isn’t as hard as I anticipate. At least, it wasn’t this time.
You know you have a gardening problem when the first thing you do upon arriving at your house after a week away is to run to the backyard and see how your garden is doing! So much can change in a week! I think this is why I love gardening. Tangible results. My husband says I’m in to all things fertility related (such as NFP, infertility, etc.) and I guess my garden is no exception.
I made some little pictures here to update where we’re at growing wise. I love to look back at these at the end of the season and remember how small those tomato plants started out! Hopefully the labeling will help me remember what’s what!
I made three 12x4ft. garden beds in total. I basically have a full on farm back here! If you recall, I dug up about a 14 ft. diameter bed of bulbs to place beds #2 and #3. About a week before we left on our trip, I finally dug up the surrounding bulbs outside of the garden beds and planted grass using a lawn patch repair kit. From far away I think that the grass could qualify as “coming in nicely”, though if you’re up close it might tell a different story. I think from far away the circle is hardly visible anymore, right? Maybe? Stark contrast to what it was a few weeks ago.
Not really when it was at its worst, but there is a glimpse of how many bulbs I had to dig up.
Though #1 was our “afterthought” its what I’ll start off with first.
I planted the flowers you guys suggested along the fence, but none of them have come up yet. Its been a few months, so I’m not sure what happened. I even planted a “round two” two weeks after the first round didn’t take. Everything else seems to be growing. I had lavender and rosemary growing from seed where the squash is now, but none of it ever came up. Much like the “oregano”, which never seemed to grow. I will probably just buy a plant and stick it in there. Everything else was from seed.
The other side of the garden has some lavender working it out (behind the peas, not pictured) and some corn. Our squirrels are little rascals, so only a few shoots are coming up, the ones that I think have survived the scavenging. Anyway, it makes for an interesting growing pattern for sure!
Now onto #2.
Most of these are from seeds. Minus a few pickling cucumbers (I’ll have to thin, I’m sure) and the jalapenos. My sad, sad jalapeño story is that I had them growing GREAT from seed indoors. Fabulous. And then while hardening off, I saw a few leaves missing. I thought it was from placing them outside. I showed my husband one night when I moved them back indoors how many leaves were missing. Well, when I woke up the next morning, the ENTIRE PLANTS were gone. All three of my jalapeño plants. That’s when I realized how bad our mice problem was!! So I went on a rampage to get rid of those suckers and I think we’re good now. But man, what little goobers.
Also, my master plan is to have jalapeños and tomatoes for salsa and cucumbers and dill for pickles, in case you were wondering if there was a method to my madness.
And the view from the back:
Yes, I am attempting more melons this year. After last year’s miserable failure, I wasn’t going to, but then my husband requested them. So, here’s to round two.
Now bed #3.
I probably have too many tomatoes for my own good, but I thought mine had died, so I went out and bought an extra cherry and roma just to be safe. And since it still looked like mine weren’t growing, I accepted two plants from a neighbor who had extra. Then when I came back, mine suddenly caught up and look like contenders after all. So that makes 7 total (I don’t think I labeled them all here). Maybe I’ll try pasta sauce this year? It hardly seems worth the time, so maybe I’ll stick with salsas.
From the back side:
Only the cilantro was from seed here. Everything else I tried to grow inside failed miserably, so I just bought everything else on super sale one day. The broccoli looked so pitiful I didn’t think it would make it, so I planted them all close together. Although somethings munching on them, they actually are all almost thriving (whereas two of the romaine’s already died) and now planted entirely too close (I think). I guess we’ll see what happens from here. The spinach isn’t growing well at all, so I don’t expect it to last much longer, but hopefully the rest make it. We’re having salad tonight, as a matter of fact! I harvested right after this picture.
Finally, if you remember, there was a dilapidated bench that was sitting in the back there in the far left corner of the yard.
We had a dead tree removed there earlier this winter so now there is a nice plant to sit and some old roots under that soil, which is rumored to be a great place to have a garden.
After the bulb fiasco, I have been too lazy to dig this all up, but I just randomly planted some winter squash back there, and it actually came up.
This would be a great place for them to spread out and grow if they actually make it, so I’m hoping they stick with it (and I remember to water them!).