Green Chair, Black Thumbs
Guess what we did last weekend?
Hint: It does not involve buying/building/painting/refinishing/refurbishing or otherwise concocting some type of giant, lime-green adirondack chair.
It does, however, involve me, the hubs, and a visit to a plant nursery – three things that have never before come together in the history of existence.
My thumbs are so black, I used to believe that a greenhouse would implode if I walked within 10 feet of one.
My thumbs are so black, plants usually commit suicide around me. (Who said that? Carrie Bradshaw? It doesn’t count if she’s not a real person.)
Yo’ mama’s so fat… okay, we won’t go there.
The point is, I visited a nursery last weekend for the first time since the $100 worth of shrubs (count ’em – five shrubs) I bought when we first moved in shriveled up and died in a way that eerily resembled the way the knight died at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It was bad.
But let me start at the beginning. I got it in my head about a year ago that we needed to build a raised vegetable garden in our back yard (it gets the most sun). I tried growing some herbs and bell peppers in pots on our deck last year, and they did surprisingly well until our dogs knocked them over and enjoyed most of the “fruits of my labor,” so to speak.
And after I read the how-to instructions on Pioneer Woman’s site, I just knew we could do this ourselves (build the bed, that is – I have no idea whether the plants will actually live). The project involved wood and tools, so the hubs was all over this one.
(If you’re noticing the shirt, yes, I married a geek. But he’s the hot brand of geek so it’s okay.)
There was a bit of cutting, digging, and drilling involved.
Mara was exhausted.
But in the end (~$60 worth of pine and $140 worth of soil – you can see, our yard is all sand so we couldn’t use that), we had a real beauty of a raised bed. Bow-chica-wow-wow.
It was strategically located near our fugly-but-cheap rain barrel.
Next, it was time for a visit to Big Bloomer’s Flower Farm for some expert advice in plant-purchasing and a rest in the giant adirondack chair.
They had row upon row upon row…
…of verdant goodness.
Now if only I can keep it that way.
We ended up buying way too many plants for our 4′ x 8′ bed. I decided to go with a mixed garden of flowers, vegetables and herbs. The resulting purchase was something like this:
- Red and Green Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Grape Tomatoes
- Iceberg Lettuce (purchased elsewhere)
- Romaine Lettuce (purchased elsewhere)
- Arugula (purchased elsewhere)
- Nasturdium (flower)
- Alyssum (flower)
- Marigolds (flower)
- Zinnias (flower)
- Sunflower seeds
*The rhubarb is being grown in a separate pot out of the dogs’ reach. Rhubarb is poisonous to dogs, so take precautions and make sure you consult a toxic plant list for canines if you grow your own garden in a yard with dogs!
Quite an impressive list, eh? We also had some squash and cantalope that we ended up planting elsewhere in the yard because it absolutely didn’t fit in the garden. We’re going to plant the sunflower seeds somewhere else as well.
We laid everything out to see how it would fit before we planted (the magic marker was used to mark the edges of the bed in 1′ increments).
IF (and that’s a huge “if”) everything grows as it should, our little bed will be extremely crowded. But for now it looks like this:
So now we just water and wait, right? A friend who actually knows how to garden told me I need to give the plants food. I thought all they needed was water…? Ha. I will probably look for some plant food today during my lunch break.
Can you imagine the face of the guy at McDonald’s when I walk up and ask for some plant food?
It’ll be a hoot.
So I guess we’ll see if our visit to Big Bloomer’s was worth it. Maybe adding more fresh veggies to my diet will make my own bloomers a bit smaller. (Was that joke too obvious? It’s okay… you can tell me.)
I’ll admit that it was the giant adirondack chair that lured us to this particular plant nursery. How could we resist?
*See this post for even more details about our small garden.