Despite the snow that doesn't seem to go away, we have faith that spring will truly arrive and, hopefully not too far behind, we'll actually get summer this year. This will be our fourth summer in this house and we feel like we finally have the hang of things. Our gardens have been complete learning experiences the past two summers. To be honest they provided a bumper crop of frustration and very little in the way of vegetables. That frustration, however, taught us a lot and this year, we're going about the vegetable garden a bit differently.
First, we got rid of our above ground pool. The kids got older and wanted to head up the hill to the "big" pool and the family that we sold it to had little kids - perfect for us and perfect for them. What that has left us with, however, is a 20' round flat circle which will become our garden. Superman is building six square foot garden boxes for the whole thing. As you can see by his plans, this is going to be a big garden. Then it will be surrounded by low fencing and Superman is angling for a scarecrow in the enter. I'll be planting marigolds around the garden for color and pest control and I can already see it in my mind when I look out my window. We're really excited.
Additionally, we have a separate garden area across the yard that I'm thinking we'll use for our pumpkin patch. It is where we tried to locate the garden before and the soil is not terrific, but the pumpkins did well there. Sunflower plants do well, too. I love the giant sunflower plants...they're just so cheerful!
In addition to building raised beds, we decided that our process of starting seeds in the herb window wasn't giving us healthy enough seedlings, so Superman (that man is so handy!) decided to build us a starter system, complete with lighting that can be raised as the seedlings get big enough. We used those "pots" that you can just place straight in the ground, so we'll have no waste. While it has made my pantry area a bit crowded, I can already see how worthwhile the sacrifice of a little space for a little while is going to be. These are what the little seedlings look like now.
Gardening is the opposite of instant gratification, isn't it? It is definitely a process of trial and error and patient tending. I guess gardening is just like life. Slow and steady we go and then, suddenly, we look around and realize we're surrounded by blooms.