June 30, 2015

The Garden

When I was four, I remember being with my mom as she was gardening.  She was about to pull a carrot out when a ginormous junebug wriggled out of the earth.  That was enough for me. Gardening was horrifying and I never looked back!  While I learned to appreciate ideas like buying organic produce and supporting local farms that would deliver regularly, any edible herbs I would bring home from the store would always die.  Interestingly enough, my mom killed every plant we had as well.  I really thought I had no hope.  Therefore, I left gardening to the professionals and to old hippies that had nothing better to do with their time!

Then I came to Mazama.  Everybody here gardens. My aunt has a garden.  The store I work at has a garden.  My manly motorhead fiance... has a garden.  In LA, shopping at Whole Foods is considered gardening.  I am ill with the information I don't know and way out of my league here.

But I was intrigued...

I loved the idea of spending less money at the grocery store.  My entrepreneurial spirit definitely liked the idea of having something to barter.  The morbid fascination survivalist loved the idea of being able to live off of the fat of the land; And the spiritual part of me that has such a deep respect for Native American culture, was incredibly intrigued to make a real connection with the earth.

Not only was I curiously trepidatious to see if I could grow anything edible in some raised beds but this little cabin, at the very least, was deserving of some lipstick and rouge!  

Here's our side yard as we bought it.  

And our backyard.

First things first, we bought some soil and went to get some horse pucky.  Unfortunately I had to keep Lliam company on this odoriferous, stenchy trip because that is something I can actually do.

Then I tore the metal siding off of the fence and Lliam used it to put together these these raised beds. The metal looked too industrial to me as a fence but looks totally adorable on these guys!!!  That's Lliam for you.  Resourceful, creative and cute.  

I bought these... 

And while I don't remember what kind of flower they are, I'm certain one of you will tell me.

This has piqued the interest of our neighbors.

I drank this...

...while Lliam put up a fence.

We also tore down the dead tree.  Lliam built an island out of large rocks to hide our water meter reader (on the left).  He filled it with soil & we planted seeds.  He collected all the slate we found and he made a little flower bed against the side of the house.  Lliam planted some flowers and I bought some rose bushes.


And then!  And then!  And then!  Things started to groooooow!!!  The hardest part about gardening is knowing what are flowers and what are weeds.  I made the mistake of not keeping my flower packets so I don't even know what I planted.  Also, I scattered them about a bit haphazardly.  Momentary gardening fail!  But you live, you learn, right?  

This guy took off!  

Don't remember his name either.
Sorry little guy!

This is our rosebush 'Flora.'  
We have an azalea bush next to it.

This is another rose bush named 'Moonbeam.'  (These flowers are named after the kinds of roses they are and probably after our future children).  A deer recently ate Moonbeams bud right off her as she was about to bloom.  So sad... But Lliam pruned her well and there are already new buds!  We've also sprayed her with some deer repellent.

This is our red rose plant so, of course, her name is Aurora.  We have an iris in the back and sunflower in the front.  It's like a mixed toppings pizza around here!  We also have another rose bush called White Licorice.  

We hung up one of the Indonesian wood chimes my dad sent Lliam and I for Christmas.  The other is at Lliam's house in his garden!

I had ZERO expectation about any of these things growing.  I figured the seeds would get lost in the soil and they would remain barren.  Lo and behold!!!  Things actually grew!!!  I am not as much of a numb nut as I thought!!!  In this raised bed we have:
  • rosemary
  • cilantro
  • thyme
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • kale
  • baby greens
  • romaine

Look at these greens!!!  

In our other raised bed we have:

  • broccoli
  • cucumber
  • beets
  • peppers (Anaheim & Carmen)
  • edamame
  • pole beans
  • tomatoes (romas, cherry and another kind I've never heard of!)
I bought starts for the broccoli, tomatoes and peppers as our season is so short here, they'll produce more this way.  The rest I planted.  When I was thinning my plants, I pulled up the roots on most of them, so I just replanted them!  Hence all the little plants to the right of the raised beds.  They're growing fabulously!  Who doesn't want more beets or pole beans!?  HOW IS THIS HAPPENING!!!???

I can't even tell you how wildly exciting it is to come home every day and see what's growing.  It's like playing the lottery!  What has taken off today!?  It always does!  I love the way these pole beans just wrap themselves tight against the trellis.  It's the cutest thing!  NERD ALERT!  

The ground floor of my edamame.
Hey!  I think I see Rick Moranis' kids!

This is Zod, our zucchini plant.  
He has BIG plans to take over the garden.

This is Sparkles, our rhubarb.

She's seen better days probably thanks to THIS guy.

Lliam brought over some baby raspberry starts.
These bushes grow to be a few feet tall!  Crazy to think...

I'm also growing potatoes!  You can grow them in tires.  As they grow, you put dirt around their stalks & they just keep growing.  Potatoes for DAYS!

This is our blueberry bush 'Shortcake.'  We've got some mulch around her now.  I am terribly excited to think about future blueberry pies with these berries...

We also planted some vines.
And hey!  A small dog.  :)

This all happened weeks ago!  We have recently harvested some leafy greens and spinach that were ready.  I ATE A SALAD I GREW WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS!!!

This Carmen pepper is starting to grow as well!
Salad is one thing but a pepper?  That's LEGIT.

Today I made rosemary, bacon & white cheddar scones with the rosemary we grew!!

And Aurora, though attacked by aphids... BLOOMED.
Of course she did.  :)

Bloom where you're planted y'all.  What are YOU growing!?

Join me next week as I do something else I haven't decided on yet. Yay!!!


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