Garden Update: Failures and Successes Thus Far

Cauliflower = Fail!  I tried to grow it in little containers in the house.  Due to not filling up the containers the whole way with soil, not enough light, or just plain inexperience–they sprouted a little and then died a short fast death.  I am out of cauliflower seeds so no cauliflower for us this season.

Pepper = Second try.  I tried to grow it in little containers and again did not fill it up the whole way.  I don’t think it got enough light.  I thought I would try once more.Image

Corn = Planted on Memorial Day.  We’ve always had success with it except last year when the husband put me in charge of planting it and I completely forgot.


Beets = Planted on Memorial Day.  I don’t even know if I like beets and not sure who will even eat them if they actually grow. Do you eat them raw? 

Zucchini = Pretty easy to grow and coming in already. I still do have last year’s in my freezer.  Should probably make some muffins or bread sometime soon.


Snow Peas = Also easy to grow.  You just need a fence for them to wrap around.  Not sure I put the fence in correctly.


Lettuce = I think it’s sprouted but it good be weeds.  Pulled a pesty blackberry root out of the lettuce patch.

Cucumber = Pretty sure it’s sprouted.  We grew them a couple summers ago and they are fairly easy.  But unfortunately no one was quite as excited about cucumber sandwiches as I was.


Carrots =  Planted and no sign of them yet.  They are a root and take a bit of a time.  We’ve always successfully grown lots of carrots.

Broccoli = Somehow lots of weeds grew in the broccoli patch at the time of planting.  I don’t know what is broccoli and what is weeds.  I google imaged it and think I figured it out and I hope I am correct.


Tomatoes = We’ve always purchased tomato plants.  This year I am trying to grow my own.  So far they are coming in fine.  Maybe when they are transferred to the garden, it will be another story.  I am hopeful.


The husband is also growing herbs and I have no idea which herbs are what.  


The middle child is growing a sunflower out of a can with a face on it he named “Harry Harry.”  Harry Harry used to have grass growing out of it for a kindergarten project and unfortunately we forgot to water it and Harry Harry lost all his hair.  Now he will have a sunflower growing out of his head instead.  


The youngest child helped plant a fairy garden which is similar to last year’s–although we won’t forget to water it this time.  


This beautiful flower was a gift from one of my child care kids.  Her mom took her shopping and asked what kinds of plants I like.  I had to laugh when she said, “Amy likes vegetables.”


Gardening has been a lot of fun so far this spring.


Garden makeover

ImageThis is what my garden looked like last week.  Notice the two shrubs in the back and the blackberry patch on the right.  And after some major work this past weekend this is my garden now…

ImageI ripped out the shrubs and all the blackberry bushes. It was hours of work and I got so incredibly dirty.  And my arms have battle marks from the blackberry thorns.  But our garden looks so much like a spring garden should. So far I’ve planted zucchini, snow peas, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and my husband planted “onion starters” we got from a friend.


I filled the yard waste container several times.


I am growing tomato plants, cauliflower, and peppers in the house. This is my little greenhouse corner.


The cauliflower has already sprouted…


The kids painted rocks to make a garden path…we painted some of the stakes too.

ImageI’m officially addicted to gardening…and I love it!





My garden 2014

When we  first moved to Oregon we agreed we wanted a garden.  The previous pastor had one so there was space already that could be cultivated into a vegetable garden.  We knew very little about growing anything.  The husband was eager to learn and did the majority if not all of the work for the first few years.  It’s safe to say I did very little, if any.


Our garden 2008

I would pick tomatoes once they grew and dig up carrots.  But weeding, watering, planting–I did not do any of it.  I was often pregnant in the summers, in school, or chasing toddlers.  It was hard to sit and weed–sometimes hard to sit and do anything for any prolonged period of time.


Our garden 2009

So two years ago the husband contemplated having a garden.  The kids and I begged him to plant one.  He emphasized about six times as we were buying seeds, “This is not MY garden.  It’s OUR garden.  We’re ALL doing the work.”


Our garden 2011

We agreed we would not let the garden fall on him.  He would plant.  But we would weed and water.  And for the most part we did.


Our garden 2012

And I discovered how much I like gardening.  It is relaxing to pull weeds.  It is refreshing to clear out a space of brush and see dark brown soil ready to plant.  I love checking the progress of our vegetables.  I would come home from a morning run and stare at my garden for a few minutes like a farmer stares at his fields.  


Our garden 2013 with the funny looking sunflower we never planted that grew on the edge of the flowerbox

So this year the husband is busily working on his doctorate.  He doesn’t have a lot of time.  So now I am the head gardener.  I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.  Yesterday I planted zucchini, snow peas, sunflowers, and broccoli–all which we have grown before without assistance from the husband.  I have cauliflower and sweet peppers growing in the house in little planter pots (which I’ve never done before) to be planted in 7-8 weeks in the garden.  I am planting carrots soon.  Corn and tomato plants will be planted Memorial Day Weekend.  I really hope there’s room for everything.  Maybe I really should get rid of the blackberry bushes?  The husband’s response: “Hmmm this is going to be an interesting garden this year.”

My garden 2014And all I can say is I’m so glad I planted yesterday.  Because today has been non-stop rain with zero sun.  I don’t think it is going to change much until Sunday.  I’m excited to see how my garden does this summer.

Queen of the Blackberries

Many fellow bloggers post frequently around the holidays documenting what they did each day leading up to Christmas.  I tried this year, but the holidays are often extra busy for pastor’s families.  And there were days I simply forgot.  Would it not make more sense to post more frequently in the summer when our schedules are somewhat lighter?  So that is one thing I would like to do. Document more of things my kids and I are doing together.

So I’m starting somewhat early with some “spring posts.”

23 more days of school before summer.  This means getting the garden ready for planting.


And I HATE blackberry bushes.  They have taken over part of the garden.  I learned quickly last summer that a tank top, shorts, and flop flops is not the proper attire to be wearing if you wish to trim blackberry bushes.

The husband does not mind them and would allow some of them to stay because they make good ground cover.  I would rather get rid of the whole thing.  He’s right though.  I attacked the blackberry bushes with a vengeance when we had a round of nice days this winter and early spring.  It was like an addiction.  I literally could stop trimming until most of it was down to stubs.  Well the stubs came back stronger with new limbs and new weeds growing around them.

He likes having blackberry bushes because we pick the blackberries when they come in season later in the summer.  I would rather go to a public park and pick them like we did last summer.  This is Oregon and they grow everywhere.  You can pick them by the side of the road if you want.  There might be some kind of code against that, but no one cares.


This afternoon I started trimming again and it did become an addition.  The kids said, “Mom, can we go inside and watch TV?”  “Just one more bush.”  “Now?”  “Now quite…one more bush.”  I’m queen of the blackberry bushes and I will attack them again before they take over my garden.

How does your garden grow?

Everyone in Blog World is sharing about their gardens these days.  So I thought I would share a little bit about mine.

We took up the hobby of gardening in May of 2007.  This is our oldest who is now almost seven helping my husband with the beginnings of our first garden.  I knew next to nothing about gardening and had never even weeded anything before.  For most of those first few summers, I helped very little.  I was always either pregnant or had a baby.  Or maybe I was just lazy(?)

Last summer my husband lost motivation for the garden around mid July.  Due to an unseasonably cool summer and unexpected pumpkins that took over, we did not reap the benefits of having our own garden.

Our tradition is to plant on Memorial Day Weekend.  So come Memorial Day, I asked my husband if we were going to have a garden.  He was a little apprehensive.  We went shopping for seeds and tomato plants.  The kids and I were excited to choose vegetable seeds.  He emphasized at least four times, “If you’re excited about having a garden, you need to be excited about working IN the garden as well.”

So I really took that to heart and took up weeding and watering.  With kids a little older, I have the time.  It is relaxing in a funny kind of way.We kept our garden smaller this year, but we have zucchini for the first time.

And pumpkins.  This time we intentionally planted them unlike last year.

We have tomatoes every single year.  I like having some large ones and some grape/cherry tomatoes.  We also do carrots every year and have a few popping up.

The kid’s project was a sunflower.  They planted it in a flower pot in May.  We transferred it to the garden in June.  It has really grown!

One part of our garden that really tells the story of our family is this tree.  It was not supposed to be planted IN the garden.

I completed the Portland Marathon in September of 2006.  Participants receive a seedling as part of their finisher prize.  My husband was not as excited about planting another tree in the yard as I was.  He did find a spot for it.  Then the groundskeeper moved it to the garden.

This is what my seedling looked like a few months after it was planted.

This is what looked like during the summer of 2009.

It has grown massively in six years.  Yet it reminds of us of our journey here in Oregon.  It was planted only six weeks after we moved here.  Just like it has grown, so have we.  In so many ways.

We might chop it down eventually and make it into a Christmas tree.