How My Garden Grows-Gardening Goals
Welcome to my garden. Like so many others my garden is constantly changing and evolving to meet my needs and wants. My Gardening goals are also constantly changing as life evolves around me. I’ve been playing in the dirt for as long as I can remember, but that also means that I’ve had plenty of failures.
The good news though is that once in a while nature rewards you with pure beauty. I tend to try things even if people say I can’t (amaranth, it was gorgeous for the record). Plus, to be honest, I’m a horrible rule follower. For instance they swore I couldn’t grow watermelon in a pot. Guess what? I got 4 and it was the best watermelon I ever tasted. Grant you it was also the first home grown watermelon I’d ever had, but still, it tasted incredible and was a total blast to tell people it was mine.
As I’ve grown as a gardener and now have our own house my ultimate gardening goals include being able to eat my way around the yard. How fun would it be to able to just wander around and always have a snack available? I mean free food is also not too shabby a deal either, and frankly is the best kind in my book. I also love the idea of mixing edibles with flowers. Still working on that gardening goal, but love it when things come together and mother nature plays nice.
Combining ornamental and edibles also gives you plenty to talk about. It’s not expected so it’s an easy way to create some interest and great color combinations while keeping things interesting. You don’t have to have a huge space to get a few edibles tucked in. Plus some of them are pretty colorful which just might give your garden the boast it needs. The biggest problem though, is the deer and moles also like that idea as well. (Hello cayenne pepper and homemade pepper spray that they hate)
I hope that eventually we’ll be able to replace what the deer have snacked on and get everything back up and running but I unfortunately for me I think it’s just the wrong season of life right now. I’ve always set my garden for low maintenance, not no maintenance. Which means while we struggle to manage our time with a fixer upper and two littles, Mother Nature just keeps on trucking. Throw in some mutant weeds and crazy grass and you’ve got the perfect storm for garden maintenance. Oh well I’ll get there one day, and in the meantime I’ll take what I can get and enjoy the ride. Thankfully I’ve got some awesome neighbors that just laugh when I complain. Mostly because they’ve all been there.
While beauty might be in the eye of the beholder we always try to find a balance. One thing we did when we redid the gardens was try to make sure we had two things going for us: 1. Use flowering shrubs as the base and 2. Four seasons of interest. That accomplishes 2 main goals for us. It gives some really nice focus points that you don’t have to really worry about plus you can consistently get some very nice cut flowers. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I can get a decent collection of cut flowers from my garden from about Mother’s Day until almost Thanksgiving. Our actual flowers go from about March/April until about Thanksgiving, just depends on the weather. Oh and because we’ve managed to add so many different types of flowers we’ve seen a steady increase in bees and dragonflies.
Vegetable & Herbs
In regards to vegetables and herbs, or edibles in general, this is where our garden has really grown the last decade. It all started with a recipe. Pasta Ponza. A simple recipe had me jumping down a rabbit hole and discovering a whole new world. Prior to that adventure I honestly had no idea the variety of seeds and plants that were available out there. I mean I may have been playing in the dirt forever, but it was always flowers of some sort for the most part. Even then it was just a few simple plants available for sale. Basically the run of the mill veggies everyone seems to grow. Everything was either purchased as a plant or given from a friend. So WOW! is all I can say.
If you’ve never ventured beyond your local garden center I highly recommend that you pick up a seed catalog or even a plant catalog and have a thumb through. It’s mind blowing how much is available. It’s absolutely crazy the amount of varieties that are out there, and from all over the world too.
Deciding What to Grow
Now the downer to picking up those catalogs really is narrowing it down. It’s a rabbit hole and a half to see everything available. So, part of that narrowing down has to do with your gardening goals. What are you looking to get out of your garden, what’s the purpose. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to consider things like space and light available. Those boring things like space requirement and sunlight needs might put a little damper on your plans.
Once you decide where you’re going it will be a little easier to narrow things down and get planting. We’ll be exploring this topic more in the future both because it’s kinda important and it’s also the best part of planning in my opinion. Imagine having any plant you wanted and be able to grow anything. That is what dreams and gardening goals are all about. And where do I tend to start now? Well I start with what’s on our plate. It’s interesting to think about whether or not I’d be able to grow the things that we eat and enjoy.
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