Monday, May 19, 2008

The year I take it seriously
I've always loved to garden. Mostly because I just love flowers. When Bill & I first moved into our new apartment as a newly engaged couple, I was quick to start a container garden for the front porch - that swiftly died. And I replaced it several times in the three or four years we lived there. I spent countless amounts of money on roses that shriveled up & died weeks later (mostly because I never watered them).

When we moved to Portland, I wanted a garden but knew that I wouldn't have the time to even plant one let alone take care of it. Same thing when we moved to Colorado, plus we knew that we weren't going to spend much time in the rental house that we lived in & it seemed silly to pretty someone else's house up. We're almost sure we're going to be in this house for a long time (or so we hope), I have the time to at least water a few plants, so rather than getting me a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day Bill suggested we plant a garden in the front yard. I thought it was a great idea.

After years of experience in killing off beautiful flowers, I decided to change my ways to save us some time, energy & hard earned cash. I am taking gardening seriously. Big time. I've spent the last two days researching what flowers would grow well in our climate and how to grow a long lasting garden that produces color all year round. I've learned how to mix annuals with perennials, match soil, sun & watering needs & organize bloom times. I measured our flower beds & drew diagrams. I've planned out what flowers will go where according to color & size. I've put a lot of thought & energy into this garden compared to my old ways of just walking into a nursery & picking out everything that caught my eye.

This weekend we stopped by the nursery to pick up the carefully-chosen flowers. Bill dug up one of the three flower beds that we're working on & I planted all of the flowers. Logan had a really fun time looking at worms & other random bugs that we found, playing in the dirt, helping Bill shovel with his little sandbox shovel & playing catch & soccer with one of the neighbor boys that came over to keep us company (which I thought was pretty funny).

This is a work in progress & will probably take us about a month to complete. Not only are we planting three flower beds, but Bill is going to trim down the bush by the front window & we're probably going to replace the brick boarders for the flower beds. Here's some before & in-progress pictures...

Our front yard before gardening

The first flowerbed to work on

Looks more like a "weed bed" than a flower bed

All cleaned up with space to grow

Columbine, Day lilies & Petunias

So, it looks a little sparse, off center & shallow. The weeds were thick & deep, taking a lot of soil with them when Bill dug it out. If we had known, we would have added more soil to raise the bed. We also had to work around the tree roots, thus why it's slightly off center. As time goes on this summer it should hopefully grow & fill in. One mistake I often made was crowding planters so that the plants couldn't grow properly. I'm practicing patience here & realizing that gardening isn't about instant gratification.

Hopefully this garden will grow well (it better with all of the planning I put into it) & we should be able to get to the next flower bed in about two weeks.


Alicia Seevers said...

The house you rent is nice and hopefully your little garden grows. I live in mild and sunny California and I can't seem to get anything to grow in our front planter! If you want to see my blog, email me at and I will unprotect it for you!

Avorie said...

Yeah, I don't have much luck with flowers either. I have great aspiration every spring, but when it gets HOT I just can bring myself to go out in the heat and take care of them.

This year I'm doing a serious vegetable garden - tomatoes, zucini, yellow squash, cucumbers, beans, and peas. All in containers! We'll see if they actually produce something this year.