Tuesday, July 31, 2012

big girl house AKA around the garden

Springtime poppies
When we moved into our home, we were lucky to have beautiful and immaculate flower gardens that were the labor of love of the previous home owners. Starting in late winter, the first harbingers of spring, crocuses and daffodils bloom with delight and just as they begin dying back, something else is starting to bloom. This cycle of dying back and opening up continues deep into fall. Many visitors have complimented us on our gardens, which even look beautiful from a distance when they are left to the lambs quarters, thistle, dandelions, and bind weed. On the east side of our home, shaded by a tall fence and our neighbors glorious fruit trees, we have two small patches for a vegetable garden and compost - also left by the previous owners. When we moved in, we began to tend to everything the previous owners had left -- except that our weeding habits still aren't what theirs were.

In the three years we have lived here, our flower gardens have bloomed beautiful, while our vegetable gardens have been pathetic to say the least. Some of this is our own neglect. But with a wife's hard work and a toddler who likes to "do his work" in the garden, this year's garden has been the best yet. And still, it's a little pathetic. Now I'm not talking about the numerous millions of weeds that are the result of Avi "feeding chicken scratch" (a mixture of organic wheat, barely, and lentils) to our garden. We pull these weeds (or not) with smiles on our faces. Our problem is our garden is in the shadiest spot on our property. It doesn't get near enough sunlight. We are growing flowers that aren't edible in the brightest sunniest spots on our property while our veggies beg for sunshine in the shade. UGH.

Chard and friends.
Our Early Girls haven't ripened yet.

Beautiful squash blossom, no squashes.
Our weed covered herb garden.  See the chicken scratch growing in there?
Purple Beans
So why is this blog post titled, "big girl house"? Well, I have created the big-girl-house-dilemma because I have had the mindset that we should keep things as they are because they are "nice". In the past, I have always lived in places that were easy to "upgrade". In rentals I lived in, have put new tile in a kitchen, turned drab off white walls into colorful masterpieces, ripped up disgusting carpet to expose beautiful hard wood, dug up a yard of weeds to put in a veggie patch. All of those places needed some a lot of TLC. Our home, our big girl home, was already bursting with TLC when we moved in.... but it was the love given with someone else's taste in mind... not ours.  Sure we took down hideous sconces and lighting fixtures after we moved in. That was easy, those really weren't our taste. But the back yard has been another thing altogether. The flower gardens really are beautiful. I like them. I love that Avi is learning to identify flowers and I have had a good many conversations with my neighbors about the flowers I can't identify. I can't imagine digging them up. But if we want to have the boon that I see in inspiring blog posts like Kim's and Lisa's and so many more... well, we have to do things differently.

But I should take this moment to have a little bit of compassion and remind myself that we have started to do things differently. Putting in our chicken coop was a big step. When my mom saw it she said something to the tune of, "I would have thought you would have put that on the side of your home (where the veggie garden is now). Your yard was so nice". (For the record, it still is nice. We have one of the most beautiful chicken runs I have ever seen. Blooming poppies, jupiter's beard, echinacea, black eyed susan, flowers I don't the name of, apple trees drooping with fruit - just sayin'! -- oh and I should say that my Dad was right when he said that the chicken's won't destroy already established plants).  I'm sure she's not the only one to feel this way. But I decided that since we Jenn and Avi have put so much time, attention, and love into the veggie garden, next year we have to dig up some of our flower beds (share them with neighbors and friends) and get our veggie garden into the sunshine!!!

You can see the morning sunshine is shading our garden and all of Avi's (and Mama's) hard work.
"Doing work, Ema", he says... still in his PJs. (He loves this wheelbarrow from G'ma & G'pa).
Pegasus and kitty cat had spent the night in the compost pile - on purpose. Avi said they were sleeping there.

Now, I just have to figure out the best place. The place that won't be shaded in three years because our silver maple has grown. 


  1. What a great move! I love your flowers but I agree that you'll be happier to be using some of that sunshine for your vegetable bounty! And honey, your coop is gorgeous (your Dad did such a great job!) it should be a center piece of your yard. Those girls deserve to be right in the middle of the action. You'll find your spot, of that I'm sure. So exciting!

    1. Thanks lisa... and thanks for all your inspiration!!!

  2. Some exciting gardening adventures are coming your way. I agree with Lisa, you will be much happier when some of that sunshine is helping to grow the food on your plate :) And that really is one of the beautiful things about flowers, you can dig them up, roots and all, and pass them on to others to enjoy.

    We have a ton of perennial beds too and I have been looking at them lately thinking the same thing :) Justin keeps telling me I have to stop or we will be feeding the entire community.

    1. Kim... I say to Justin... what's wrong with feeding the entire community. how great it is to share when our harvests overwhelm us!!

  3. Your flowers are gorgeous and I am so impressed by you moving it all. Hope it's prosperous!

    1. Me too... now I'm trying to figure out if I should start this fall or wait until spring?

  4. You definitely live in a heaven of flowers and beauty - but making your own will only make it richer, deeper, and more beautiful! Great thinking! (Although, I have been hearing your names called on the breeze in this part of the world lately. . . "jules" "jenn" "avi". just lettin' you know.)


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