Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gardening Dreams

If you have read this blog for very long, you know that I had 
large vegetable gardens and large flower beds at the "farm", as we 
call our four acres.  Indeed, last summer I spent countless hours out there, trying to 
keep the flower beds in decent shape (I lost that fight!). 

Here was the potato bed in spring of 2013.... I was getting ready to plant eyes and was building up the bed. 

And that year also, I started MANY kinds of tomatoes indoors, as well as 

Remember, we had not dreamed we would be moving. 

We also planted our vegetable garden with its' raised beds... 
here there is lettuce coming up. 

It wasn't long before we were eating fresh vegetables from our garden with dinners. 

Last year I put down a heavy straw mulch in the beds... big mistake. 
I ended up, at the end of the summer, using mulch on the beds... and on one bed never planted... thick, thick straw mulch, in "leaves". 

Remember, by this time, we were living at the new house. 

This is how I gardened at the new house, while trying to keep the old house going. 

This is what we were dealing with by August.  UGH. 

Everything was covered in weeds.  It was a MESS! 
This was the result of no one living there.  You have to do 
daily maintenance.  
You also (take note of this, new gardeners) should NOT build any of your beds under a huge old maple tree. 

 I used my hands, and bent and pulled... the ones I could not pull up, I dug up. 

Slowly, we began to see the beds again. 

It was NOT fun. 

Slowly, slowly, the beds came back, and you could see the flowers again. 

The dirt that we had lasagna - gardened, was still very good. 

Grandson Chris helped me one day... and then I dug and pulled the rest. 

Grandson Jake helped one day, at the end. 

It helped to be able to pull alongside the beds, so I could dump the dirt and mulch. 

Fast forward to today. 

First, I need to explain that we have still not rented the old place... Keith became very ill several times, and was hospitalized, and now we are getting used to Life on Dialysis. 

We did not have a garden here at the new house last year, except for one tomato 
plant in a big planter ... A Burpee Early Girl, which bore and bore and bore. 

We had no other vegetables, but we did have some herbs. 

We had some flowers grown in pots. 

See that fence line above?  I am going to have a man come 
and till the length of the fence line, inside and outside of the fence.  It will be 
flowerbeds, and one or two areas of vegetables, for tomatoes and beans. 

There is a big gate in the fenceline, and to the left of it, I'm also going to have it tilled up. 
I am not so sure about the area where the tubs are on end, on the left (sorry for the cloudy picture)... because that is where water runs off the terrace.  We had hoped to put a water garden in this area, where you see the bird - feeding poles... because it stays wet after rain.  That is something 
that will need to wait, I think, for a while. 

I have also learned that the birds do NOT like the swinging feeders... they sway too much in the wind. 
At the old house, they were hung from sturdy 4 x 4's embedded in the ground. 
I finally took the nice suet/seed feeder down and put it on the table, and as it is... no one has tried the suet at all.  

And heaven knows, I am getting plenty of cataloges! 

My son has asked me to start some seeds for him, so... next week... I'm going to load up my shop lights with their grow bulbs, and set up a seed-starting table in the basement. 
I kept my Fafards seed mix... and we'll get the whole shebang started over again. 

I am going through these old friends and starting to decide what to start this year. 
I'll take pictures as I get set up for starting the seeds. 

Someone asked me what I will do if someone rents our house this coming spring... and does not care to garden. 

Well... I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  We won't be selling that house any time soon (thank heavens, because I love it so)... and if I have to remake the beds, I will.  I am going to try to bring some of the plants over here. 

Are any of you starting seed? 


  1. We built a new house last year so I didn't get a real garden. I only planted a small salsa garden at the new place which was fruitful for being so small. This past fall I pressured my husband to build me a big garden. And boy did he come through! It is circular which is so cool and I can't wait to start seeds! I live in Minnesota so I don't start until March.

  2. Hi Mary Ann
    Your right,, its a job that has to be tackled every day! As soon as the frost left a week ago,,,, we have been out digging weeds. We have to keep at it- just like you. Frost again tonight,, and all week,, but soon as it melts,, out we go!
    It would be impossible for usto take care of two places,,just impossible.
    So much work you have done

  3. Those tempting seed catalogs keep coming, but I'm trying to resist. The deer find a way to get anything I grow, anyway!

  4. Mary Ann,

    I'm happy to hear your going to do some gardening. I hope everyone's doing better at the home front.
    It's down right cold now but I have place an order to add to my seed collection. I'm pulling out my greenhouse to setup inside with grow lights and I'm going to start planting seeds. My onion starts will be here soon, and will be planting them in on of the raised beds February 1st. I'm also designing how I want to enlarge and arrange my outside garden now. I'm excited and can't wait until Spring. Have you decided on what type of flowers you'll be planting?

  5. You worked (and still do!) so hard, Mary Ann! I can't imagine how your back must feel after all that. With the frigid, windy weather that just rolled in here, I would love to be thinking of spring, and planting. I'm not sure, though, if I'm going to tackle a garden this summer. I'm too scared that I'll re-injure my back. My sister who lives in the city just might get a big garden of her summer! I hope that Life on Dialysis is going well for Keith. I'm sure it's quite an adjustment, but hopefully it will help him to remain in better health! Stay warm!

  6. It is a good time of year to plan. Here we are close to 0 and certainly nothing growing, but it is all there hidden under the snow just waiting for spring to come. I love to plant things that will come up again every year and last spring we experienced over 100 tulip and daffodil bulbs blooming. We'll see later on how they faired through the winter. Have fun making your plans !

  7. I think I'm going to start my own tomatoes again. I bought them last year and they just did not do as good as the ones we started.

    Takes a lot of work to have a pretty garden and yard.


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