Five Ideas to Inspire you to Start Gardening

Gardening may be completely new to you, or your space may only be a few square feet.  No matter your situation, from windowsill or patio, you can bring some gardening into your space.

1. Grow the Herbs you Buy

If you find yourself searching for thyme in your fridge only to discover a sad black wilty mess in its plastic clamshell coffin, growing it instead could solve this problem! My grocery store has started to sell little 4″ herbs in the produce section and I find sometimes its even cheaper to get the whole plant rather than the packaged cuttings.  I don’t always have all the herbs I need in my garden, but I currently have basil, cilantro, and thyme, as well as a mint problem that wont go away (its grows too well for its own good!)


2. Plants you can Neglect

If gardening is new to you, get something that you know will thrive.  A small selection of cacti by your outdoor eating area, or drought tolerant nasturtiums will bring joy and ease to your outdoor space.


3. Successful Planting

Half our yard is quite shady, and for a few years the grill and a stack of lumber lived on that edge of the fence.  I did some research into shade plants and found many beautiful varieties that would bring interest to that part of the yard.  Even a deck that is shady almost all day has some options.


4. Planters Instead of Cut Flowers

I love to have flowers in the house, and thankfully there are several places where flowers are a bargain in town, but growing your pot of flowers to decorate your table, either inside or out, will brighten any meal.  I purposely planted this bunch of Zinnia’s together as if they were a bouquet, and put them in stylish pots so they could easily be put down on the table.  With a little bit of care, each planter (the flowers were $1.25 a package at the grocery store) will last you all summer.


5. Get a Water Garden

I had a much more impressive water garden last year, but two of the plants did overwinter and are thriving.  I have my water garden by the hose so while I fill the watering can I have a place to put the water that dribbles out between fillups.  A watergarden can be almost self sufficient as long as you make sure it has enough water.  I saw this complete setup for a water garden at the local greenhouse, including pot! (I’m pretty sure the pot alone is $40, so for $70 this complete garden is a deal) You could add a small pump and fountain to keep the water moving, which would eliminate any mosquitoes being hatched from the water, and would provide some wonderful background sounds to your deck.


If you don’t have much of a garden, hopefully you are thinking about it now!  You may find yourself enjoying gardening so much you are that person at the office who has so much zucchini they don’t know what to do with it all other than give them away or make delicious chocolate zucchini cake.  I love that person! It could be you!

Get out there !

Our back yard is huge *waves arms around trying to explain the dimensions* I really want to actually measure our spaces, it will help with moving furniture and envisioning the rooms better. That said, as I sat at the patio table last night I realized most apartments enjoy only a narrow sliver of outdoor elbow room. Here’s to enjoying the space we have!


Yard work – flooding yard

Our yard has always been very swampy, often making it impossible to walk though, let alone use! We have tried to keep up on seeding areas we damage but after our spring clean up there was more mud than turf. I’ve looked for a seed for wet areas but it seems most people have the opposite problem, dry parched lawns. We finally have decided it’s a water control issue, our downspouts come from our two roofs as well as a neighbor roof.


We bought a rain barrel from rather than the one from the city. It cost a bit more but had more features and looked pretty sharp. This model holds 55 gallons and has your choice of overflow sides. After installing we sat outside until about 7pm and then went in for the night. At some point it started to rain and by 11pm it was overflowing. I couldn’t believe how quickly it was full. Luke had yet to correctly install the run off tube so he had to run out in the rain to at least put the tube down the “drain”. He plans to run it over the fence to actually remove it from the yard. So far for hand watering we have been enjoying the rain barrel but I don’t think I can use the water as fast as nature hands it out.