something that was new to me last year was my garden. as the beginning of 2011 came around and wil decided on a long term project, he urged me to do the same. i am so glad i did, because i loved every step of the process…planning the bed, gathering seeds, sowing new plants and transplanting others, the daily routine of watering and watching like they were little children, and of course the harvest. i was even ok with the hardships and failures of lack of sun, powdery mildew and hungry slugs. it was a learning year for me. i knew that with having no experience with growing vegetables and herbs, any success would be a pleasant surprise.
i was definitely bit by the bug and knew by the end of the season that i would never let a year go by where i wasn’t growing something. little did i know that we’d be moving to an apartment with no outdoor space for the majority of the spring (or that i’d be growing something of my own, who weighs as much as a cabbage right now!). thankfully, we are set to close on our new home next week and will slowly move things over a bit at a time over the course of may.
i tried to do the math and got excited about the prospect of maybe, just maybe, catching the tail end of spring that i could have a garden this year! but yet again, my wise husband reminded me what was taking place this year, and how that wasn’t as feasible as i thought. the romantic images of new garden beds in a new sunny yard filled to the brim with vegetables would be great but will have to wait till next year. once i realistically looked at our to do list of moving in, house projects, and oh yeah, having a baby, attempting to design, build, plant and maintain beds from nothing would be quite difficult to add to our plate. well, it could be done, but i want it to be done well.
so this year will be a compromise year. i will plant as many pots of herbs as i can manage. i will begin composting this year to create some killer soil by the time the next spring rolls around. i will meticulously watch the light and space of the backyard over the growing season to find the best spot for beds, rather than haphazardly guess and miss the mark. and i will allow myself to dabble in planting some favorite flowers and shrubs in the existing landscaping to prepare the backyard to be a place i want to spend every sunny day in next season.
but one thing i will for sure keep in my back pocket is this garden website i came across…the smart gardener. on online tool that helps you plan and design your vegetable beds using specific varieties of plants and taking into consideration of your location and weather, and then once planted, it will remind you of weekly tasks to keep your garden at it’s best. and it’s free! i’m all for plans and lists and guides, but to have that all in one place (rather than my messy journal and loose printouts) seems pretty great.
i’ll miss the concept of walking outside, picking something off the plant and eating it for dinner that night, so here’s hoping the herbs do well this summer that i still get those little warm fuzzies as i pick a stem for a salad dressing or salsa verde…enough to hold me over till next year! and then maybe i’ll have a little helper that will be big enough to play with the hose. or at least sit in a cute sunhat on a blanket behind me and watch! it’s a tradeoff i am definitely willing to make. ; )