Friday, August 2, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow. . .

We've finally been able to get ourselves together in the last several months and get our backyard put in.  A few years ago we got started on it, put in pavers, planted ground cover and planted grass.  Unfortunately, that all went south in a few months after we realized that Bermuda Grass sucks.  We were incredibly unsure about what to plant and how and it just didn't go well.  The grass crept into the pavers and chocked out our ground cover and to make things even rosier our there, a gopher decided our yard would be the perfect solution to his civil engineering problems.  It got so bad out there I was embarrassed to look at it. Christian and I were agreeing on how to deal with it so we just didn't deal with it.  Not terribly healthy, I'm sure, but it's the only way we could "handle" it in our crazy lives.  I shut my sliding door, shut my blinds and tried to forget I even had a backyard.  We became "that yard."  Periodically, I would allow Claire to play in her sandbox on the patio slab but I didn't even want to look at it.
But over the last few months we'd be able to save a little money with Christian's new job and so the topic of the yard was brought up again.  I contacted an old friend from high school youth group (a name given to me by other friends from high school) and he came out, looked at our original plans, had a friend of his out to look at it, gave us an estimate, we discussed it and we agreed.  The set to work on a Monday and were done by Thursday that same week.  No. Lie.  I was in heaven.  It was done.  
Right after planting our garden!
One of my big dreams when we bought our house was to grow my own vegetables and fruit as well as some herbs in my own garden.  As part of our yard plans we had space for me to start planting my own veggies and herbs.  The landscapers already put in a few dwarf fruit trees: lemon, tangelo, orange and grapefruit.  So far, the tangelo and the grapefruit have started to grow fruit.  We still wait for the others to start.  I wasn't too sure what to plant in my own garden.  I knew what I wanted but wasn't sure I could really keep anything alive or if this whole, "Sarah has a garden" thing.  So since it was my first try, I went ahead with plants instead of seeds.  I bought mint, oregano, sage, parsley, cilantro, dill, rosemary, basil and green onion.  I also got a couple Roma tomato plants, zucchini and stawberries.  So far, everything except the cilantro is thriving.  I've learned a lot.  I'm learned that zucchini is a big bully and I have to keep it cut back but I'm happy with the fact that I have enough zucchini in the freezer to keep us supplied with side dishes for a long time.  Our tomato plants are huge.  One plant knocked over it's cage and I had to prop it up by hammering dowels into the ground.  It's so fun to watch the tomato plant burst with green tomatoes and then watch them turn red enough to pick and eat.  I like growing my own food. I like going through a recipe and making sure I have everything on the list before I go to the store and being able to check off herbs and vegetables that I already have in my own yard. I just wish I had room for more!
But things really took off when we were on vacation.  We came back to a thriving garden, ripe tomatoes and a zucchini bigger than any I'd ever seen!  We are having so much fun and feeling so blessed by our yard and our little garden.  

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