3.28.2012

And So It Begins {2012 Garden}

Last week I responded to the Siren call of the garden plants down at Lowe's and I came home toting a pack of nine Brussels sprout plants, three strawberry plants, two tomato plants, sweet basil and a new cilantro plant to replace the one that I managed to kill already (not a promising start to the gardening season). In my head, I know it's too early to start a garden - in East Tennessee the old wives tale is that you wait until the 1st of May or Mother's Day (depending on who you talk to) before you stick your plants in the ground - yet here we are, well over a month away from those dates, and I have a picnic table covered with ready-to-be-planted garden dwellers.

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The weather has been SO nice and un-March-like, that that's what I've decided to blame for my own lack of self-control. Don't judge.

On Saturday, we realized that we needed to mow again, even though it had only been a week (we like to stretch it out to 2-3 weeks between mowing, if possible). After we put the mowers away, we took some time to look at the sad remains of our 2010 garden plot. We've been talking about ripping up the anti-weed fabric since we collected our pathetic harvest at the end of the 2010 growing season, but we just never got around to it. Last year, I tried gardening in large pots on the back deck (which worked well), so there was no reason to do anything with the old garden, except mow around it and talk about how bad it looked and how we should really do something about it.

This time, however, we did more than just talk! After moving all the (re purposed) bricks that had been outlining the rows and paths, we spent the rest of the afternoon removing all of the fabric (which was loaded with weeds) and reusing the bricks to build a little 5x5 raised garden bed for this summer. I knew I was going to need a little more room for the Brussels sprouts than the deck pots could offer, so this was our compromise. No more big garden, but still enough dirt to play with and grow something. In the photo below, you can see the mud outline of the 2009/2010 garden, as well as the new 5x5 raised bed.

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And here's a closer photo of the bed - not perfect, but it will work (and it was free)

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By the way, if my posts had sponsors (which, they don't), and the makers of Ibuprofen actually took notice of a little blog called "Carrie's Busy Nothings" (which, they haven't), this post would absolutely be sponsored by the makers of Ibuprofen, because that's what we've been living on ever since we tossed bricks around the yard all Saturday afternoon. But that's neither here nor there, because the makers of Ibuprofen aren't paying any attention to me. Silly people.

In other news, I am beyond excited to show you THIS ...

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The photo on the left is what really makes me do the {happy dance} - it's our Granny Smith apple tree. The one that we planted and watch "die" in 2010 when everything was so dry. I had almost given it up for dead-dead, but when I stepped out into the backyard on Saturday, I gave a little cry of joy when I saw these (and many more) leaves (and buds) on the Granny Smith! The tree on the right is our plum tree - planted the same spring as the Granny Smith, but without the negative reaction to the dry summer. Our latest addition (not shown) is an apricot tree, which is also flourishing in the adjoining yard of the PH. As much as I love gardens, I love the idea of planting things that will come back year after year without much help from me - like our fruit trees, and these wonderful raspberry bushes that some friends let us dig up for free from their yard ...

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I have more photos, but I think that's enough for today. I'm excited about the gardening potential for this summer and would welcome any comments or suggestions about those Brussels sprouts if you have ever grown them before! In the meantime, if you want to see more gardening glories, make sure you visit Tiffany's weekly Garden Life Link-Up over at No Ordinary Homestead.

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AND, since it involves actually taking the time to start and finish a project that we've been talking about for the last two years, I'm also linking up to the William Morris Project that Jules hosts each Thursday at Pancakes and French Fries (another great blog and fun link up). It feels really, REALLY good not to have that garden plot hanging over our heads anymore - certainly William Morris worthy.


10 comments:

  1. Good for you! Sounds like it was a rough weekend but I'm sure that it will be worth it. And hooray about the apple tree! That's a super nice surprise.

    I would say that strawberry plants should be fine in the ground...actually most of them should be ok, but if a frost does still manage to come, just make sure you have some sheets or something similar handy to cover them up should you get a frost warning. As long as it's not below freezing for a week or something you should be all good ;)

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  2. I have spent quite a bit of time in the garden over the last few days, so I literally feel your pain. There is nothing quite a gratifying as accomplished garden work. Great job and best of luck with all your plantings.

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  3. I am envious. Where we live, we should wait until the third eekend in May to plant. In fact, our sno is still ingering, melting, but hanging on for dear life!

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  4. Wonderful work. Bed looks great! We still have sno, unfortunately. It's melting--but it is still here.

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  5. I have garden envy. Gardening is one of those things that I like the IDEA of more than I actually like doing it. I do have big, bold plans for a potted herb garden this year though. Happy to have found your blog via Jules'.

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  6. Hooray for progress toward a productive garden!

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  7. that looks like a heck of a lot of work--I'm so jealous of your garden! It looks great.

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  8. I have to say I'm a little jealous of your 'zone'. There are some things, like onions, that I'm already late getting in the ground. I'm thinking I'll take this year to work on getting rid of weeds, amending my soil and fixing fences. I can't survive without tomatoes, though, so I'll have to find a place for them.
    Your yard is so beautiful and green and your fruit trees are lovely! Your hard work is paying off!

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  9. Moving bricks and rocks is the quickest way to feeling like you've been run over by a truck! Lovely plant photos, I am sure your garden will be amazing!

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  10. I think the brick raised bed is absolutely Wm. Morris worthy....beautiful and useful!

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