Garden v.2012

Ah, the spring.  As we leave cold weather in the dust, we finally get to escape the house and go for walks, play at the park, fire up the grill, and my favorite, plant our garden!  We got a late start as usual (Brian’s a CPA and is basically MIA from February to mid April because of tax season), but he was able to sneak away for a couple hours last weekend; long enough for us to run to the store to stock up on more garden soil and vegetables to plant.

Last year was our first garden in the raised garden beds we built and for the most part it was pretty successful.  We’ve always had good luck growing veggies (I firmly believe it’s due to the mix of compost and organic dirt that we use, not due to our gardening skills), and now we have the space to get a little creative with what we plant.  Last season we planted tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli,  red and green peppers, red leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce, yellow onions and green onions, and jalapenos.  The cucumbers and tomatoes went crazy and we had more than we knew what to do with.  The carrots were only okay and the yellow onions never really materialized.  The green onions were a no-go, most likely because Riley decided to jump in the garden bed and dig right where they were planted.  Yup, that’ll do it.  The lettuce was our absolute favorite, we had fresh salad for months.  The biggest problem we had, literally, big, was the fact that I was ginormously pregnant right in the middle of the summer so keeping the garden in check was hard to do.  Then after we brought Juice home she trumped anything else in our lives so the garden got a little unruly.  Here’s a pic of our garden in all it’s glory towards the end of the summer -

So when it came to planting this year, we stuck with our classics, took out some duds, and tried a couple new veggies.  In order to fit everything in and make the most of our space, we formulated a plan before going plant shopping -

I’m really excited to add eggplants to the mix this year, and Brian was dying to try corn (I’m not too convinced it will work but how awesome would it be if it did!).   So after making a plan, we headed to the store to buy more organic dirt and our veggies.  To our disappointment, the selection of veggies was really picked over so we only got about half of the plants we needed, even after trying three different stores.  Hopefully we’ll be able to hunt down what we’re missing (sweet potatoes, corn, lettuce, cauliflower) in the next couple weeks.  But first, the tough question…what do we do with Juice while we plant the garden?  Pack n’ Play to the rescue!  We stuck that bad boy in the shade, loaded it up with toys, stuck little Livie in there and had a solid three hours of backyard time.

After we had Livie in a secure location, we mixed in our soil and laid out the garden -

And off to planting we went.  Most everything fit in one bed, while we banished the onions and cucumbers to the back bed.  We also planted seeds for the pole beans around the wigwam we built, and for green onions and chives.

And finally, Brian put up this impenetrable fence to protect the garden from Riley.  And by impenetrable I mean easy to penetrate; Riley has already jumped over the fence and wandered through the garden a couple times.

While the veggies are just getting their start, the fruits we planted last year are well on their way.  We have a couple strawberries plants in a pot which have already started to flower -

And two blueberry bushes which are loaded with fruit -

Ah, the spring…

Parent-scaping

Parents are the best.  When you were little and you got tired, they picked you up.  When you were a teenager and hated the world, they still loved you.  When you were in college and they came to visit, they filled your fridge with food.  And now, and the ripe old age of 31, when they come to visit I get free landscaping.  That’s right, mow-the-grass, plant-this-here, grab-the-shovel landscaping.  The first time they visited after we bought our house, they helped us tear out all the overgrown holly bushes in the front of our house (and dig out the stumps, score!).  Last year when they came for our baby shower, we overhauled all the landscaping around our house to get ready for the big party.  When they visited last week the tradition continued – not only did my dad mow our lawn (twice), he finished the border around the patio we had installed this winter.  With Riley supervising of course.

But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?  Here’s what our backyard looked like before the project began…

…right after our porch was redone and the patio was poured…

…a couple weeks ago after Brian and I created the border around the patio and did a test patch of rocks…

And finally, drum roll please…..

BAM!  Border complete!  Brian put the finishing touches on it this weekend by installing a cap on the border so someone doesn’t accidentally stab themselves if they step on it -

And then there’s this little section that we need to finish off with some sort of border, it drives Brian crazy -

I might be partial, but I love it!  Thanks for the help Dad!  Up next is putting lattice work around the porch to keep our four-legged friend and other animal visitors from camping out under our deck.

Park It

One of my favorite things about living in Richmond is the spring.  As soon as the weather hints that winter may be on it’s way out, the trees start to bloom, restaurant patios fill, and the festivals begin.  Well it’s been a beautiful spring here in RVA and this weekend we snuck away to the park for a little QT with Mother Nature and the little one.  Joining in on the fun were my parents who were in town for the week (who were happy to finally be here when it wasn’t 100 degrees and dripping with humidity).  After slapping on some sunscreen and loading up the stroller, we set off for Maymont Park.  The park boasts of a small zoo, classic Richmond history, and some serious scenery.

It also has a couple beautiful gardens, including the Chinese Garden -

And the Italian Garden -

 

We even eaked in a rare family photo (which during the process Brian managed to sit in gum) -

So we got him ice cream to make it all better -

Everyday should be a park day.

 

Captain Green Thumb

Yeah, only if today is opposites day.  I am a master at killing plants.  It’s not something I’m proud of, I just seem to kill every green thing that I touch.  Houseplants?  Check.  Shrubs?  Check.  Herbs?  They are my arch nemesis.  But I’m nothing if not persistent.  This weekend, I purchased a couple more victims that will be joining the family for an estimated 6-18 months.

First, I picked up a couple of these beauties for the border around our patio (which is almost complete, stay tuned for pics!) -

Then I had to pick up a replacement for the poor plant I killed in Juice’s room -

{before}

 {after}

And finally, meet my new friend fern who now lives on the fireplace mantel -

 Fern, I welcome you and your new friends to our home and I promise I’ll try not to kill you.