Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The things we do for love

I do not have a green thumb.  Growing up I did my share of gardening and weed-pulling (my parents' yard is 5 acres), and it wasn't something that I enjoyed terribly much.  Now that I'm older and have my own yard, I don't feel the need to do a lot of gardening.  And we have a yard that is not conducive to growing much (very, very shady), so it's a pretty good fit. 


... I have a little girl who is very enthusiastic and insistent about growing her own flowers and vegetables this year.  So... the things we do for love.

Usually the only things growing in our yard are the hostas and wild ferns that grow quite nicely on their own in this little corner (this is a picture from last June, before the heat of the summer wilted everything.  Just ignore all the weeds :P).  I also have 2 whiskey barrel planters in that corner that I usually put a few flowers in, just to add a little color.  It's all relatively low maintenance, so I can handle it.  However, it's not enough for my budding little agriculturist.  It's also not enough for her to just "help out" her grandmas and grandpas with their gardens - she wants her own.
On Monday Annika went to help Carey's parents with planting their garden, and we got to work at building a little garden for Annika to call her own.  For a week or so I had been watching the sunlight and the yard, to determine which spot got the most sun and would make a good spot for growing things (I didn't want anything too close to the play structure, where it might get trampled).  I determined that right next to the deck seemed to be the sunniest (and safest) spot, so we built a little raised garden there.  Emmett also helped out. 

After we got it staked in place and ripped out the grass from underneath, we put some dirt in it (we had a few bags of topsoil in the garage), but it wasn't quite enough to fill it, so we'll need to get some more yet. 

Not bad, eh?  It's made from some old wood that Carey had lying around at work.  Hurray for repurposing!  Annika was pretty excited about it when she got home on Monday.  We had hoped to go to the greenhouse after supper on Monday to get some flowers and seeds, but they closed at 5 because it was a holiday, so we had one very disappointed little girl.  To make up for that we went to the greenhouse last night, right after supper.  She was so excited to be there, and she wanted to plant the flowers right away when we got home.  I'll admit, my first thought was "no" (there was only about half an hour until bedtime, and we weren't exactly dressed for gardening), but we decided to go ahead and plant the flowers in the barrels.

Just a note about this photo above - our back fence is missing because the neighbour tore it down on the weekend and plans to build a new one next weekend.  I'm quite excited for a new fence, since the old one was falling over and missing boards.  Also, the old fence was maybe 5 feet high, so it wasn't terribly private.

We got Annika a pair of kid-sized gardening gloves as well, which she loves.  While we were planting the flowers she was full of "advice" on how I should be doing everything (since she was now an expert, after helping out her grandparents).  We planted impatiens, a gerbera daisy (which may not grow well in the shade, but I love them and Annika wanted to have daisies as well, so we'll give it a try), and something called "monkey flowers" (or mimulus), which were picked based on their name, and the fact that they're supposed to attract butterflies (Annika is still obsessed with butterflies).

There are still quite a few ferns to come up - at least I'm hoping that they'll still come up!  When it was so hot and so dry last summer, they all wilted and fell over and dried up.  Hopefully they come back - the corner looks quite bare compared to the picture from last year.

In our vegetable garden we're going to try growing tomatoes (Annika actually got these plants for free when she was at the greenhouse with her grandparents!), carrots, peas and spinach.  We're also going to transplant our rhubarb to the garden, since it seems to be languishing in the shade (and I really want to grow my own rhubarb so we can make rhubarb milkshakes!).  I'm a little worried that the plants won't grow well, or that some animal will come and eat them before we get a chance, but I'll admit, I'm also a little excited at the prospect of having some home-grown vegetables.  There's nothing like carrots fresh from the garden, still with a little dirt on them.  I guess we'll see if Annika can make a gardener out of me yet. :)


Gin said...

Good for you!! The flowers in the whiskey barrel look great. Enjoy gardening with your little gardener!!

Jedidja said...

That looks nice, your garden! I like your barrel! Its great. In the past, I also pulling weeds in/out the garden of my parents. Not always funny!