I have always visualized myself as a self sufficient homesteading hippie mom. Every now and then I really head down that path before my rudimentary knowledge of how to grow and make things myself gets the best of me. Now don’t get me wrong I can plan with the best of them, I can research like a pro, and I can most definitely buy all the goodies and kits to do the projects and I can just about always get them started. The problem is I lack follow through. At the first sign of trouble or difficulty many times I will give up and go back to something I am better at doing. Knitting, for example, is one of those DIY skills I actually do have so long as the pattern is relatively simple and doesn’t take months to make. Clothes, toys, home decor, baby items- done it many a time BUT with pretty cables, intricate lacework or complex patterns like fair-isle, not a chance due mostly to lack of follow through. Same with sewing, cooking, cleaning until I discovered Norwex, and gardening.
I regularly oooo and ahhh over the plants at the store and most that I have dared to bring home have met a disastrous fate. In fact, when I picked my latest crop of house plants (after learning that most air fresheners, including many candles, are made with endocrine disrupting chemicals that are damaging to your health) to clean the air in our home naturally, my husband’s actual words to me in the store were “did you read them their last rites?” For the record 5 of the 7 of those are thriving and I really have hope the 6th will make a come back. But the point is its really easy for me to dream, plan, and start but when it comes to gardening my lack of follow is a real problem.
We started building our brand new home for which this blog is named back in January and since then I have kept a pinterest board for the house (like any good millennial would do) and nearly 1/2 of the board is plants. I LOVE plants and I really want a good garden at this house, no excuses. But, this week when we went down to do our rough walk through of the home and the backyard looked like this (see below) it was a little difficult to visualize how to turn that mess into something inspired.
Luckily one of the most inspired people I “know”, Lara Casey, was blogging about her garden this week and challenged me in the form of an amazing giveway to blog about my garden plans for this year. Now like I have said (in more words than I likely needed to) planning is not my problem. HOWEVER, you guys are going to be my accountability partners in this goal. I am going to put this plan out there in to my happy cyber community and you guys are going to come back in a few months and ask me how I am doing, right?
So Here we go:
First- The Dream
I would love to have a garden that provides all our produce needs. I would love beautiful flowers that make my home look like the cover of a magazine and mean I have fresh flower bouquets gracing every room of my Pinterest perfect home. I would love to have a front yard that makes people want to stop and take a photo. I would love to have a backyard that tantalizes my girls wonderful imagination and offers hours of safe but exciting outdoor play. Something a little like this:
Second- The Reality
I have never successfully grown a single vegetable to harvest. My yard requires pre design and HOA approval for just about everything. This will be our first time trying to grow anything at this home and as we learned with our last home understanding the climate, soil, and weather patterns is important. Critters are real and we don’t want to attract them too close to our living space. A new home has lots of expenses and a garden, while lovely, is not a priority. Time- it takes time to establish a good landscape and a good garden and to cultivate it and patience is a character opportunity point for me.
Third- The Compromise
I do have a mother in law with a very successful garden and a lot of great knowledge to pass down, having her help me get started is a great way to overcome my lack of knowledge. Starting small with easy to grow veggies and just a few items we like to eat is a good way to gain experience and keep costs down. Container gardening is a good way to bring some of the critter favorite crops up out of their reach on my screened in porch and make it easier for me to cultivate them. Sticking to foundational landscaping this year is a good way to begin a beautiful front yard for the future as well as managing costs. My kids can come up with fun with just about any space so focusing on developing the back yard and safety is a good first season plan.
So here is what I envision for our first year garden :
Up on the second story screened in porch I want to do some mosquito repelling plants and blueberries- maybe strawberries.
In the backyard I want to fill in our grass, establish some barrier plants, add a few mosquito repeling plants near the porch area and MAYBE get a small raised bed for some classic veggies
In the front yard I want to add in some coastal plants like seagrass and hostas to our builders landscaping package and get two nice plants (still not sure which ones) growing in two larger planters at the base of our front stairway.
Inside I want at least one air purifying plant in each room and a small collection of herbs in the kitchen.
Thats reasonable, right? I think so. Do any of you garden? Do you have any amazing tips and tricks to tell me? I can use all the help I can get, so y’all lay it on me!
*** disclaimer- I personally purchased, own, use & love everything I talk about on this blog. I did not receive any compensation, nor was I given products from any of the companies featured on this blog with the exception of Norwex, unless otherwise noted in the post. I am a Norwex Independent Consultant and I do receive a commission for any Norwex products I sell. That being said, I would NEVER sell something I wasn’t crazy in love with and knowledge about. Ok? ok.***