Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thumbs Aren't Green Yet!

Lloyd and I are not gardeners.  We've made a half-hearted attempt a couple of times over the years.  We love fresh produce but just didn't have the time or inclination to make gardening a part of our lives.  This year, for the first time in over 44 years, Lloyd is not working, we don't have a bunch of kids around making demands on our time and energy, and there was just no excuse for us not to try to grow some stuff.

Not wanting to dig up our yard in case this foray into earthiness didn't 'take', we opted for container gardening.  And since arthritic knees don't like to be crawling on the ground planting, weeding and harvesting, we were thrilled when we found some hip-high planters that I could plant, weed and harvest without even bending over (it pays to be short too).

Here's what we came up with.

These are my yellow beans...lots of yellow beans.  On either
side of them are tomatos in large pots.
I kind of went overboard on the beans. I thought that if I bought a packet of seeds, I should plant them all.  So I did, and they all grew.  Luckily they'll freeze easily.

They're already flowering and starting to produce little beans.  Its a very exciting process, don't you think!

Green beans are growing here.  That little green gauge in the center lets us
know the state of the soil - dry to wet.  We water accordingly.

Our third container is growing carrots and onions.  I know, I know...the
carrots need to be thinned.  But I hate pulling the little babylings out.
Every time I go out to admire them I take a few out so maybe soon
there'll be room enough for some nice sized carrots to grow.

Our three tomato plants are doing very well, each one producing
multiple fruits.  I'm in a quandry though.  Lloyd and I love green tomato chow.
Should I pick the tomatoes while they're green and make some of the
delicious pickles, or let them ripen up.  It's early in the year so there's
lots of time for them to become red, but then I won't have my chow.
What to do, what to do...

We have two pots with strawberry plants.  The one on the left was pretty
much destroyed by hail several weeks ago, but it's trying valiantly
to make a comeback.  The smaller pot contains strongly, healthy
looking plants which are starting to produce berries.

Lloyd and his friend spent from 10am one day until 2am the next day
builting this brick planter, lined with a wooden box.  It's a beautiful
piece of work.  Next year Lloyd wants to grow squash in it, but for
this year we decided to add some color to the yard by planting some
bright and happy flowers.

Purple Petunias

Beautiful Geraniums

Black Petunias, which look purple to me

Pink Petunias

And sunny Marigolds
We also had some beautiful multi colored begonias in the planter too but they didn't fare well during the
hail storm and sadly are no longer photo worthy.

All of these planters are located along our fence where they get plenty of sunshine.
Next year we'll add another one or two along the back of our garage you can
just see there in the lower right, behind the new pink hydrangea bush.  Assuming,
of course, that we want to continue this venture next year.  I rather think we

To the left of the first planter here, Lloyd planted two rose bushes, flanking a potentilla which we thought was dead.  Lloyd went to work cutting all the dead branches off and came to the center of the bush where there was some green showing so he left it there and it seems to be making a comeback.

Pink rose, potentilla and red rose

And last, but not least, my hydrangea.  I've wanted one of these since I first saw them years ago on a trip to Vancouver.  They seemed to be growing everywhere but I had never seen them before.  I sure hope this one survives.
So, with the exception of a few shrubs, that's the extent of our garden this year.  I feel pretty sure that next year will see it expanded and enlarged, with greater varieties of flowers and vegetables.

How does your garden grow?


Shannon said...

Hi Pat - with my late husband being a country boy we always had a garden. This city girl doesn't know much about gardening but I do know that carrots need to be thinned often and planted deep - not sure if they will grow big in a container - on the bright side mini carrots are great! Also not sure about squash next year - it spreads and takes over your whole garden - the same as cukes. They need a lot of room to grow so not sure if a container will work. How about radishes or lettuce? It's a big job but worth it in the end. My husband loved planting and growing and I loved eating. Perfect match! LOL - ENJOY!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

You have a very good green thumb! Daryl and I decided to plant a few things in a bare spot we have close to the camper on our SD farm. The poor lil garden is struggling. We laugh about it because we have had many successful gardens over the past 23 yrs. Also we can grow acres and acres as farmers yet we can't keep a few plants alive!!!
I think the ground is too firm and the young roots are having a difficult time spreading out. After all our tiny garden spot was a cow pasture last year!!!!
We have 2 tomato plants, 3 dif kinds of peppers, garlic chives, kohlrabi, and 1 spaghetti squash plant. Of course, there had to be flowers too! Marigolds, morning glories, and sunflowers.
We have been working out here for weeks so it's getting daily attention. If we get a break between hay cuttings the garden will have to survive on its own. It will probably flourish then!!

Bev said...

Its looking good!... We are missing our raspberries and strawberries....but the garden is starting to come along...

Granny Annie said...

With all your family activities I had no idea you have enough time to be such industrious gardeners.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Here at my house, with the exception of some herbs growing in flower pots outdoors, my garden consists of flowers. I gave up vegetable gardening years ago. It is nice to have some fresh vegetables, but I travel out to our roadside stands in the country for them now. Nice idea though to do that container gardening. Hope you reap some wonderful crops.

doodles n daydreams said...

Hi Pat, Bob an I are not gardeners either but this year we managed to make a little flower garden along the back fence. I love what you've managed to do with your containers, what a great idea.


Mickey said...

Your garden is looking great! Like you I am really enjoying my container garden. We've been eating delicious lettuce for weeks now, and my strawberry plants are different than last year and they are producing a lot! I have a pepper & tomato plant with many flowers on them and like you lots of bean plants. I fertilize once a week and have window boxes full of flowers. A very enjoyable pass time! I


Good for you growing a container garden. Looks wonderful.

Delena said...

Oh my. what a lovely assortment of vegetables and flowers!

Kath said...

How did your garden turn out?? Ours did ok after all!!!