Sunday, May 01, 2011

Urban Gardening in the Fern Grotto

If ever there was a perfect day to plant a garden, today is it. And because we're not a couple to miss out on such an opportunity, Kevin and I planted our urban garden this morning. It was glorious! The perfect morning to get out there and get your hands dirty - and we did exactly that. We've talked about our garden for a couple of months now, but have been too busy until this weekend to make it a reality. Yesterday we went to Home Depot and got our plants and soil; then we came home and Kevin got our 'raised bed' ready to plant.

This morning after a quick breakfast and sneak peak at the newspaper, we headed outside to 'dig in'. And let me say this about that: that's it - we're exhausted!

On the west side of our house, there's a charming side yard that houses one of the biggest trees I've ever seen. It's a particular variety of eucalyptus tree --- though I don't know what variety. What I do know is that it's huge. And wonderful. And very, very shady. Well, at least until recently. It's still shady, but during a windstorm a couple of months ago, a rather large branch fell off, which prompted our fabulous landlords to give the tree a bit of a haircut. Once it was all trimmed up, we discovered that this area does, in fact, get a decent amount of sunlight. (I've taken to calling this area 'the Fern Grotto' because, two years ago when we moved in we stuck a couple of potted ferns in this area. While we've meant to get to this side of the house and really make something of it, other than placing some outdoor furniture over there, we really haven't done anything - this includes watering it. In spite of all of the neglect, the ferns that have been sitting over there for nearly two years now, are still - miraculously - green. Hence, the Fern Grotto nickname.) With the newly discovered sunlight shining through, we decided to try our hand at being urban gardeners.

In planning the garden, we wanted to make sure we planted things we will actually use and enjoy - hopefully all summer long. We included leaf lettuce, two yellow bell peppers, two red bell peppers, two cucumbers, four different types of tomatoes - two cherry-type and two full-sized, two basil, one sweet mint, and two different types of thyme. Additionally we have a TON of rosemary that surrounds our mail post. If everything does well (fingers crossed!!), this summer our produce trug will runneth over!

We also have a small area in the front that didn't have anything growing. It gets a lot of sun and I thought it would be the perfect place to try our hand at growing pumpkins. So, we now have 6 hills of pumpkins planted. I've put up two cute little wrought iron garden gate pieces and a wrought iron plant marker to cordon off the pumpkin patch. Hopefully this will alert our gardeners to the pumpkin patch - and will help keep the curious Miss Daisy out. Here are a few pictures of what we worked on this morning:

Miss Slippers sneaking a drink of water 'straight from the source' ...Now ... if only I could talk Kevin into an Urban Chicken Coop ...

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