I’m taking a break from my house tour to talk about a different part of the house – my garden! I’ve mentioned that there’s always a project when you own a house (this is a universally acknowledged fact, right? I don’t need to keep mentioning it?) and a garden is that way too.
If you’ve been reading a while you may remember me talking about gardening in the past. That said, I am definitely a beginner. I’ve also never done this alone! But something got into me this year. I did try, a tiny bit, to do some things last year. Here’s the one bed I actually mulched and the new lavender plants I put in on the side of the house:
Since then I have removed most of the cannas because they’re orange and who in the world puts orange flowers right next to that shade of pink? Not me. I also learned how to prune rose bushes and this year they’re beautiful. But aside from this one victory, for the most part I let the gardening go. And I deeply regret that because now I’m going to show you a very sad set of before and after photos.
I’ll start with the back corner. This area had SO much potential. I envisioned this as my veggie garden, full of all kinds of good things.
Turns out the trees had other plans. They’ve been pruned since I took this photo but that area is still part/full shade at best which is not the way to grow veggies. I’m wondering if the people who put the area in had a playset or something there?
On the other side of the yard is the patio. Here is the patio garden bed when I bought the house. Note there are more hateful cannas here:
And after a year of neglect I have not just weeds, but weeds the size of trees.
Whether you want to believe it or not, that particular bed looks even worse now. I took my leaf blower out to clear a path to the spigot so I could turn the water on and off without wading through whatever was under the leaves (shudder) and trimmed one of those tree weeds a little. I was more concerned with my veggie bed and now that corner is super intimidating. Sigh. I do want to get it under control but while our “feels like” temperature is so hot, it’s just not going to happen. You need to know that I’m kicking out the cannas though. If you love them, then you’re welcome to keep all of them for yourself!
Speaking of the veggie bed, here’s the before and after for that section.
And two summers later…
I know. So shameful. But this particular bed has gotten most of my attention this year because I decided I wanted to grow vegetables. I had visions of how perfect my life would be when I could just step outside and pick my own squash for dinner. So I ordered some seeds and seedlings and when they got here and I had no choice, I got to work.
Then something happened. Someone I work with has extensive vegetable gardens and offered me a luffah plant. How could I say no? I posted about it on my instagram account and asked if anyone wanted to see more about this journey and, well, here we are.
I’d like to say that I’m currently living my best life living off my land or something. But the reality is that while I did make some progress with weeds, I didn’t do quite enough to make these raised beds a good home for plants. Here’s the last overhead shot I took, before I knew what was about to happen:
Though my squash plants are gorgeous, they’re not producing gorgeous squash. Those plants are suffering from something called Blossom End Rot, which is a big time bummer. The squash get almost full grown before they rot on one end. So it looks like they’re going to be okay until they’re not.
I hope that I discovered this in time to save the pumpkins and luffah, but all I can really do is wait and see. I’m using a calcium spray and checking the soil obsessively to make sure they’re getting enough water.
Now that I know what a mess this is, I’m going to dedicate some time to cleaning up and preventing weeds this fall. I’ll also work some nutrients into the soil before planting so I won’t be struggling to supplement after the fact.
If you’d like to keep up with the latest garden developments or any of my other house projects, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I do plan to come back and show you the progress I make this October/November, if not sooner. Hopefully a semi-public shaming will be just what I need to get me to follow through on cleaning up the mess I made!