Can you believe we are starting gardening season again?! I am so excited! I am not one who likes to garden year-round – I really enjoy the hibernating season from late fall through winter. But when March crawls around, I am itching to get my fingers back in the dirt! Here are a few pictures for my own recording purposes, as I love looking back month to month and year to year to watch how my plants grow. Also, it helps me to remember where I put certain things so I can loosely follow the suggested crop rotation guidelines for my raised beds.
I’ll start off in the front. My shrubs are getting bigger, my daffodils are finished blooming and I have a few tulips blooming out there right now. It’s fun to see my landscaping out front getting more full this year.
My little japanese maple tree. It was so teeny when I got it that it felt ridiculous planting it in the front yard, but eventually it will grow to 15 feet tall and be a nice focal point. Oh and back behind it against the fence, you can see my clematis is happily back to life again, although not blooming yet. Probably next month.
My new bench for the front porch to go along with my two rocking chairs. I have a pot of mint just coming back to life next to it. I LOVE mint! So nice being able to walk right outside and grab a few leaves for tea or whatever else sounds good.
My “bee bed” is popping back to life as well. There are a ton of perennials here starting to break through the surface, including a ton of self-seeding yarrow and lily plants that I got on clearance last year after they had bloomed. I can’t wait to see what it all looks like in a few months!!!
I can’t remember the name of this plant but it loves dry shade and has these awesome blue-ish flowers right now (ETA: maybe a brunnera?). I bought two of them last fall as well as two other dry shade-loving plants and they are both blooming happily right now under a very large tree.
My Santa Fe plum tree. I believe it needs a cross pollinator but we had to cut down our other plum tree last year (it was pushing the fence over), so I’m not sure what will happen here… I may end up having to plant another plum tree at some point if it doesn’t fruit. We’ll see.
My fruit and berry patch. From left to right: two strawberry beds, four blueberry plants, my raspberry patch, and grape vine on the far right against the fence. Also newly-ish planted behind the rows are my grafted pear tree and my grafted cherry tree. Some day, this is sure going to be a pretty and plentiful little patch.
My two strawberry beds. I just added the one on the left a few weeks ago and planted 30 little strawberry plants that were bare root. I haven’t done bare-root strawberries before, so I’m not sure if they will produce this year or not, but they were sure cheap! My bed on the right is more mature and looks like it will have a good year this year. It already has flowers on a few of the plants.
Now, let’s get to my raised beds that house all my veggies during spring and summer. I am sparsely planted right now since a lot of my veggies this year won’t be planted until mid-May, but here’s what i have so far… This bed has perennial elephant garlic (sort of a mix between garlic & leeks). A lovely gardening friend of mine gave me these this past fall and they are HUGE already! I also have 3 asparagus crowns hidden back there, but I sure haven’t seen much action as of late. I have to admit, I just have not had great luck with growing asparagus. If I don’t see anything shoot up in the next month or so, i will probably dig the crowns up and try something different in this space.
Cold-weather crops. In the back, I have sugar snap peas. Directly in front, i just planted a big mess of beets and lettuce, which you can’t see yet. In the very front are some onion sets i just planted this past weekend. I LOVE having onions all summer to grab for dishes as i need them.
This bed here is still partially winterized, covered with leaf mulch. But in the back, I planted a few lettuce starts the other day. This was actually the first veggie i planted this season. I just needed to see something growing! 🙂
Last but not least, we’ve been working these past few weeks on finally putting some landscaping in the back of our house. I transplanted two shrubs that were not doing well elsewhere and they are SO HAPPY here!! I couldn’t believe how much healthier they look already. I also added a daphne, some astilbe bulbs, a baby hydrangea and some baby hosta plants. OH, and we added this little path. That way, I can run outside really quick without putting shoes on if I need to (and avoid splinters). Anyway, this patch will take some years to really fill out into what I want it to be, and i’m sure I’ll add more plants over time, but at least we have SOMETHING here finally!
Off in another totally forsaken and forgotten shady area of our back yard, we planted a whole mess of plants and bulbs (most of which have yet to come up because we just planted them a week or two ago). I did a whole layout of azaleas, ostrich ferns, elephant ear, astilbe and hostas. So far I can see the azaleas, some of the astilbes and the hostas as well as the first tiny little fern leaf curling out of the soil. I love watching things transform and this will be a fun little area for me to watch over time.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Little by little, year by year, I’m trying to add more and more perennials. Eventually, I want to be swimming in flowers and foliage. As any gardener will tell you, a garden is never done! 😉
Happy Planting! And if you haven’t tried before, take this year to get out there & try growing something! It’s really not hard, I promise 🙂 I make mistakes every year, but little by little, I’m trying to figure this gardening thing out!