Friday, April 10, 2009

The start of the gardening year



These little blurry photographs don't look like much, but they represent the beginnings of this year's garden. I suppose that technically one could say the start of the gardening year is the day the seeds are ordered, and if so, then this is the next step. On the top shelf of the light stand, I planted Merveille Des Quatre Saisons lettuce, King of the North peppers, and Peacevine tomatoes in one tray. The second tray is devoted to cosmos: Picotee, Bright Lights, and Seashell mixture. In the tray on the bottom shelf, I planted Gigante d'Italia parsley, Genovese basil, and Ruby Regis lavatera. There is an empty space on the bottom shelf for a later planting of sweet peas, summer squash, and cucumbers.

As with other facets of my life, I have simplified my garden. Other years I've started more annuals and more vegetables, but this year I just planted what we really love; what will fit into the garden spaces we already have. Also, after playing with the idea for a lot of years, we are going to try raised beds. Carol's post really convinced me, along with a gardening book called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward Smith. It will be a very interesting gardening experience. I'm already looking forward to a bed of peppers, a bed of cukes, and pathways in-between. I'll be noting the progress here so stayed tuned!

20 comments:

  1. Good luck with your veggies. It will be exciting to see how things grow. You will feel very accomplished when having your meal from seed to finish.

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  2. Cute squirrel!
    I miss keeping a veg garden but haven't worked out how to maintain one, living as I do in 2 places during the summer. But it means I can support the local growers, and that's a good thing....
    Enjoy this magnificent spring day!

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  3. Thank you S.Senex, Lisa, and Margaret for stopping in and leaving me a note. It was a lot of fun today photographing the squirrel and planting seeds. And Margaret, it is a great thing to support the farmers markets. I shop there every week, sometimes twice a week. It is my favorite kind of shopping!

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  4. How lovely to plant the seeds. I think raised beds are a wonderful idea, a friend of mine has a terrific yield from hers, and so much easier to deal with. Will follow the progress with great interest.
    I love the squirrel, sadly we only have the grey ones in England now, apart from some parts of the Lake District. I remember the red ones from my youth, so pretty.

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  5. Love the red squirrel photo.
    Good luck with your seeds, it looks like you are growing just the right stuff.

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  6. I can't wait to see your pictures as your garden progresses!!! The squirrel is adorable. We've lived in our current home almost 10 years and have never had a squirrel...never. They're at my neighbors but never in our trees...weird huh?

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  7. No hyperbole, I swear, but that must be The Best Squirrel Photo Ever!! I'm in awe! I am also considering raised beds, but considering that I haven't gardened in many years, this may all be a pipe dream...but this post inspires me to get a start on those seeds! :o)

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  8. Carole, my only hesitation with raised beds is that they look too much like graves!:<) I'm going to try and avoid that! Have you read Alan Titchmarsh's Animal Instincts? There is a character who was working to re-introduce the red squirrel. Great book, by the way.

    Cait, thank you. We've never had very good luck with peppers but this variety is supposed to be good for northern gardens, so we'll see.

    Staci, are they red or gray around you? In my area, the gray ones live in town and the red ones live out in the country. We've never had a gray one out here in 28 years!

    Mibsy, I thank you so much! I worried and wondered if the pic was a bit blurry, but the little one was so darn cute I just had to put it up. I took about a million shots just standing in one place. You might begin with just one bed, and see how you like it. I've read nothing but raves so I'm hopeful.

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  9. Oh. That squirrel. The bane of Edward's existence!

    We both send you our most sincere wish for a Happy Easter. Full of joy and chocolate!1

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  10. Our Ben feels the same way Edward does about squirrels. :<) The hackles on his back come up when he chases them up the tree. Thank you for the Easter wishes, and the same to you, Pamela.

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  11. Am I crazy or does that little squirrel have a smile on its face?

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  12. Mary Lois, you're not crazy -I think the little one is tickled by all the attention he or she has received from being the blog header!:<)

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  13. I'm not a gardener and our only attempt was with a small strawberry plant that the squirrels harvested to extinction. But every fall, we have someone come by to plant bulbs for us in the front yard, around our japanese maple and woven thru the shrubbery. It's our own form of Optimism - that there will be a spring and we'll be here to enjoy it. And so we are.

    And that, I think, is what gardening is... :)

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  14. Jeff, I agree with you completely. There is so much written about the optimism of gardeners, and your words are at the heart of the matter. Thank you.

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  15. I'm looking forward to watching your garden take shape, in the form of raised beds. As for me, I'm waiting for the farmer's market, though I'll plant some tomatoes and herbs..

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  16. Oh dear, we really need to get on top of sowing seeds too! Running very late this year Might be a bit late for tomatoes now... Good luck with yours!

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  17. Tara, I'd love to see pics of your tomatoes and herbs. Do you have a little plot or are they in containers? Our first Farmers Market is the middle of May. I can't wait. I love the whole atmosphere. There are a couple nearby that I like to visit.

    Evaberry, I'll be interested to know if it really is too late or not. Here our last frost date is the end of May, and they say 6-8 weeks before is when to plant seeds.

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  18. How exciting that you are going to try raised beds this year. I think you will really like gardening this way. It is so much easier!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  19. Thanks Carol for the convincing post! I am really looking forward to this change. If we had them now, I think I would have planted lettuce and spinach outside by now. I think the raised beds are going to make a big difference.

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