Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gardening, my hobby

When we first moved into this house, it was March. So we just sat back and watched what was already planted bloom in our yard. There were a handful of daffodils, a star gazer plant, and that was it. Much of the yard was seriously overgrown and it took us that whole first growing season to learn what grows where, how fast, and cleaning up all the overgrowth. It was a lot of work but so worth it to change the yard into some I'm proud of. We don't have a ton of space to work with but I love what we have and the opportunity and learn about growing flowers!

As you can see from above, it was pretty bare but it was much a an improvement from the year prior. (Just wish I had a before shot!)

All these plants were added by me except the orange start gazers. That was an original- I just moved it. The daffodils used to be in the pots (in the ground) but I moved those to the border of the garden. 

I realized I needed a lot to fill this space. So in 2017, I bought 3 azalea plants and placed them in the back of the garden.I bought ground cover plants in hopes of filling the blank spaces more easily and moved some plants around. 

I was hopeful that everything would fill out! 

And it did, beautifully!

This planter box was one thing I discovered in all the over growth of the back yard. I painted it and added fresh soil. Now it sits on our front porch, filled with beautiful flowers. 

Just bursting with beauty!!!

So much growth. In the summer my garden really fills in. I can't help but stare at it as I drive up. I spend lots of time weeding, watering and thinking of what I need to add next year. 

I wanted this garden to be easy to maintain, so much of what I plant is perennial. I do have from annuals, like the vincas, but I don't want to spend a lot of money each year on buying plants that I will have to replace fully the next year.

That alyssum came back all on its own, even though the package said it was an annual. I got the seeds in a white elephant gift and thought, "Why not plant them!?" Glad they keep coming back to fill my garden with beauty each year. 

This looks SOOOOOO much better than when we first moved in. 

Now our backyard had two planter boxes, then a giant drop off, and an empty plot we manage. 

I've experimented with wild flowers one year. And it didn't love what I received after water and waiting. Most was just greens, not so pleasing to the eye. 

I got a few lovely little guys....

The starting of our tomatoes

And a whole lot of veggies. I've planted carrots, sweet peas, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes and more. You can see this box has a lot of grass growth but we did have so many cherry tomatoes from our plants. They kept coming until early November. 

And in the other planter box, I planted Zinnias. 
By the way, rubber snakes do wonders at keeping birds from eating your tomatoes and squirrels & chipmunks from eating everything in sight. 

The zinnias were amazing. I loved them!!!

And look at those beautiful tomatoes. I made spaghetti sauce from them!

Our zinnias attracted a lot of butterflies, just as the package said they would. 

Taryn loved to help pick the tomatoes. This was her little job and she was great at it! 

And there's Tyson, that tiny little speck mowing the great empty plot. I wish that yard was ours in the left corner. Our neighbors have been our inspiration. They take such a great care of their lawn and plants. We're learning a lot from them.

Those beautiful summer days are full of color. I love how green Virginia is. 

We took our girls with us to the Hume school up the street to do yard work as a community service event. Because Taryn and Haddie have worked with us so much in the garden, they were expert weed pickers. They also still love to play with every worm we find. So they got a bit distracted at times. 
I have so many memories of planting flowers with my family growing up. I hope my girls can learn the lesson of hard work through a good days yard work. 
Few things make me prouder than a long day of weed pulling, tree trimming and flower planting. I love seeing the fruits of my labor. Though it takes time and hard work, it's always worth it. 

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