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Category Archives: Garden Grows

Garden Grows: Rachel’s Garden

Over the last few years my interest in gardening has increased. I started off with a lone tomato plant my first year of marriage. Over the last four years its grown each summer. It had gotten a little ridiculous when I had totally taken over the front porch and steps as well as the entire side of the house, slowly encroaching on my parking spot. Oops.

Here’s a few befores of the craziness:

The front porch

The side of the house early this spring.

Early in the spring we had attended a silent auction for a local children’s charity. Besides getting our benefit on, we also bid on and won some time with a local landscape designer. We knew we wanted the backyard redone and when the designer saw all my plants she worked a garden into the design.

Due to personal craziness we didn’t get to start on the garden plot until around June. Not really the best time to start on a yard project in the South, but we did what we could. With the goal in mind of getting the garden ready for some fall plants we spent countless Saturday mornings prepping.

Here’s what our yard looked like before:

Yeah, kind of a disaster.

Here’s an almost-after.

Still on our to-do list:
– Either find more matching slate or stepping stones for the pathways. (We re-used the slate from previous walk-ways that had been in the yard.)
– Plant lettuce in that center triangular bed. (The seeds are in the mail.)
– Clear out the weeds/wild flowers in the long rectangular bed behind the chairs. We will be planting winter squash there for the winter and peas and beans in the spring.
– Finish the rest of the yard. This we are considering phase two and won’t begin on that until September, at the earliest.

Since we had moved the bulk of our plants to the back, I moved all my potted herbs to the back as well. Not necessarily for aesthetic reasons so much as laziness in watering reasons.

The tomatoes are still dominating the side of the house, but I look forward to planting them next spring in the garden.

Garden Grows: Chapter Six

To say that our garden has taken off would be quite the understatement. We’ve harvested snow peas, green beans, and loads of squash already, and there are still other things that we’re waiting patiently for them to ripen!

I managed to run outside in between rain showers yesterday and snap a few quick photos before it started pouring again.

SO THANKFUL for the rain.

Acorn squash and bell peppers. Not sure why the peppers seem to be glowing

So much squash!

The basil is growing like crazy. I think I’ll be freezing some pesto soon

Broccoli. Not really sure what it’s doing. Maybe one day we can eat it?

Lots of San Marzano tomatoes. Can’t wait.

Cherry tomatoes

Anyone else had gardening luck this summer? Or have any really bad luck?

Weekend Lolling

As I’m typing this I’m doing the ultimate in lolling. I’m laying on the couch sipping a beer (with lime!) as other people are doing my dirty work. Literally!

A few months ago Bryan and I attended a silent auction for charity. Since it was charity we got a little crazy with our bidding (free wine bar passes might have had something to do with it too) and won various items. One of which was a professionally landscape designed planned for our yard. Yeah, we needed it.

We are starting to implement this plan, although slowly, as it starts heating up. We will be getting rid of the majority of plants back there. But they are not going to waste! My husband’s family wanted several features we were getting rid of. This is awfully convenient for us. They do the digging and hard labor and we’re left with a clean slate! If I didn’t have family wanting the plants, I’d consider posting the plants on Craigslist. But let’s face it, how many people really want free monkey grass?!

Lolling at its best, my friends!

Garden Grows: First Harvest

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We got our first reward from the garden!

Tiny, but delicious.


Garden Grows: Chapter 5

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A story in pictures:

Summer Squash

Snow Peas

Acorn Squash

Thai Chilies



Green Beans

Cherry Tomatoes

Things are starting to get exciting!

Garden Grows: Chapter 4

Fenced in

We got a fence! And by got, I mean my awesome husband built one. Just wooden stakes and chicken wire, about 3-4 feet tall. Should be enough to keep the bunnies out of the vegetables. That and the marigolds.

snow peas

Our snow peas are doing fantastic! They’ll start climbing up the strings soon.

summer squash

Our summer squash suddenly sprouted up.

green beans

The green beans magically appeared. I might have done a happy dance.

The lettuce and broccoli have teeny tiny sprouts too, but they’re not too exciting yet, annnnnnd… I can’t remember which is which. My bad.

Everything else is just slowly doing well. Can’t wait to see what it’s like in another week or two!

Garden Grows: Chapter 3

One of my little strawberry babies

Cilantro in the front bed, where I can baby it a little

The full front bed. Lilies, yarrow, loropetalum, and cilantro

Cherry tomatoes

The beautiful back garden

The rest of the back garden

Sweet marigolds


After close to 6 hours working in the yard this weekend, my knees are bruised, my back is sunburned, and victory is mine! Everything that needs to be planted is in (minus some lavender seeds I need to start inside), and now I can sit back and hope that it all grows.

Things that I planted:

  • Cilantro
  • Strawberries
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lots of marigolds (to keep the bugs away)
  • Green onions
  • Snow peas (planted previously)
  • Acorn squash
  • Chili peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce

Fingers crossed!


Garden Grows: Chapter 2

Just a quick update:

Our snow peas are growing! We have probably close to 10 of these beauties growing at the moment. Once they get bigger, we’ll set up some string for them to climb.

Also planted, green onions, though we have yet to see any sprouts. Hmm…

We’ve started tomatoes and some gorgeous multicolored (red! yellow! green! purple!) bell peppers inside the house, the seedlings are doing great! Might have to look into way to preserve those, since I have a feeling we’ll be growing more than we can eat.

Also looking good:

Our herb garden. That fuzzy picture shows our (left to right) sage, oregano, chives, rosemary, and peppermint. We have some thyme in another spot, and still need to buy some cilantro and lots of basil.

More planting coming soon!

Garden Grows: Chapter 1

I love vegetables. I really really love them.

My parents made sure to constantly expose us to a variety of fresh vegetables when I was growing up, and I am forever grateful.

The problem? Good, fresh veggies are expensive, especially when you try to get local, organic ones. Dishes like this can really rack up quite a bill at the grocery store, which is a bummer. My solution? Plant a big garden and grow my own produce! That way I know where it comes from, what it’s been exposed to, and, most importantly, they’re way tastier and waaaaaaaay cheaper.

Last summer we had just moved into the house, and between new jobs and planning our wedding, I intelligently decided not to tackle a large garden. I did grow tomatoes and basil in pots, peppers in one of the front beds, and a bunch of herbs in our herb garden, but that’s it.

This summer, I’m tackling THIS bad boy:

The previous tenants had dug out this flower bed, and we cleared it out last fall. However, it is full of weeds, and I really don’t want to weed that much. Plus, even if I pulled out all of those weeds, who knows how many more are just waiting to come up. I really don’t want to spend my entire summer weeding, so here’s the solution:

Weed cloth! Hooray! Lay out this bad boy, cut to fit, and pin it down.

The next step will be covering this with mulch, then bye bye weeds. Can’t grow, can’t live. Boom.




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