Tag Archives: garden

garden beginnings

IMG_0065-1_edited-1For years I’ve been wanting to plant a summer veggie garden but have not made it happen. Thanks to Greg’s hard work on Mother’s Day weekend and some tips from my MIL, #martingardens is in business for summer 2015! There’s nothing too exciting to look at this point, but I do like to walk outside and admire what we have going so far.

gardenbeforeLast summer we tried to put down sod in our (tiny) backyard and it didn’t take very well. Most likely due to our lack of watering it, but that’s neither here nor there. Paige isn’t really ready to play outside yet and we live across the street from a giant park anyway, so having grass isn’t a priority for us right now. Rather than re-sod this year, we took what little space we haveand turned it into a veggie garden. Or at least the beginnings of one.

IMG_0070-1_edited-1Greg built six containers, three that are 1×4 feet and three that are 2×5 feet, giving me a total of 42 square feet to work with. He actually built the three smaller containers last year, but then I was in school and working and first trimester-ing and they sat idle collecting yard waste.

IMG_0096-1_edited-1To narrow down what to grow, I spent a few days tracking how much sun each bed gets during the day. I also used the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide to determine what I could sow in May in Seattle. Then I picked our favorite veggies from the list that would grow in the amount of sun and partial sun that we have.

IMG_0071-1_edited-1Greg finished the beds and the rocks on Sunday and turned the garden over to me. My mother-in-law came over Monday morning to help me with Paige while I got to planting. She also offered suggestions to change up a few of my original plans based on her actual gardening knowledge. I have no clue what I’m doing and open to any and all advice.

IMG_0072-1_edited-1We’ve had light rain and cool but not cold temperatures the last few days. I’m hoping this is a good combination to get germination started. I had wanted to make a big thing out of calculating how much I spent and trying to assign a monetary value to the veggies that end up growing, but I’ve decided for once to just have fun with a project for the sake of doing the project. If we eat a homegrown veggie or two over the summer and if I learn something new for next year’s garden, then this year will have been a success.  I can’t wait until next summer when I can start to teach Paige where food really comes from. But first things first…

IMG_0056-1_edited-1Here’s the final list of what I planted: spaghetti squash, broccoli, butternut squash, pickling cucumbers, cucumbers, brussels sprouts, beets (2), cabbage, cilantro, kale (2), lettuce (3), and spinach.

House to Home: Green Thumb

In the first several months we lived in our house we literally did nothing to make it a home. It probably had something to do with the exhausting events of 2012 and our desire to do nothing afterwards. For whatever reason though, the home bug has hit me like crazy lately and I’m quickly making up for lost time. I spent most of this weekend working on the house while Greg was getting ready for a big work week.

IMG_6018_edited-1blogSince firing our gardner a few weeks ago we realized our yard is a little too much for us to maintain with our current workloads. My MIL suggested we lay down bark to help keep weeds to a minimum and have an overall cleaner look. (I should note this was after she and her husband surprised us with an afternoon of working on our yard while we were at work and giving us an old lawnmower and edger they weren’t using – we are very grateful.) On Saturday I picked up two bags of small bark and filled (almost) two planters – verdict: we love it!


An additional bonus is that Alfred seems to be totally uninterested in it, unlike the bare dirt that was there before. Right now I’m concentrating on the yard within our fence. I’ll deal with our yard outside the fence once I get this under control. IMG_2341-1_edited-1

I ran out of bark and couldn’t finish the second planter, but It will get done soon.

IMG_6031_edited-1While at the nursery I also picked up a handful of indoor plants. As we’re moving into summer I can feel my mood really shifting for the better. I think struggling through winter is always going to be hard for me as long as we live in the PNW, but I’m trying to figure out ways to make it easier. I’m thinking having green plants in the house will help alleviate some of the blah I start to feel when everything around me is grey.


A very nice employee at the nursery took my list of ten non-toxic to dog plants and showed me the nine that they carried. (Don’t think I’m overzealous, it actually didn’t occur to me until I was there that Alfred eats everything; my list of plants was the first link on a quick iPhone google search.) I picked the five that I liked the look of most and mixed up the sizes. I bought cheap terra cotta pots and transplanted each on Sunday with soil the previous owners left in the backyard.

IMG_6024_edited-1I started with just five to sit on top of a new-to-us bench I picked up off of Craigslist earlier this week. As usual, my first instinct was to buy plants for the entire house. But I’m trying hard these days to be reasonable and take on projects where I have a chance of success. If these five live for a few months, maybe I’ll add more.

The bench is a media stand I waited patiently for someone to post on Craigslist. Since it’s filler furniture (meaning aside from holding plants we have no use for it other than to fill a space gap in our extra long living room), I really didn’t want to pay full price. It is a full inch taller than the IKEA website notes in the specifications and we can’t put it flush against the wall because it hits the shutters. Between the parking ticket I got while getting the bench and the saw we need to buy to shorten it, I’m pretty sure we’re going to just break even. But we didn’t have to go to IKEA or put it together. So, #winning.