The Garden Variety

Although school has consumed my life, any amount of free time I’ve managed to acquire for the last month has been consumed by tending to the front and back yard of my house. I’ve never had much of a green thumb, until I began working the yards. Last month, I also started some plants inside the house, and I’m glad to say that they’re doing well. I bought a bag of wildflower seeds and they’re all growing like crazy. Nothing has really bloomed yet, so I’m really curious as-to what they could really be.

From seed, I’ve planted acorn squash, carrots, chives, and most-recently jalapenos and watermelon (HAHAHAH!). Two of the watermelon seeds have sprouted and one of the jalapenos is sprouting right now. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how all of these plants are going to do, once I plant them into the backyard, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Pat bought a raised-bed garden for the backyard and I filled it up with some soil. I’ve even planted a plethora of different plants in it already. The first thing I planted was a dead/dying patch of Italian Parsley, that I bought for ~$1.50 at Lowe’s, and now it appears to be doing fine (as you can see above). I did a lot of research as-to what types of plants flourish in the Pacific Northwest, and apparently strawberries do well around here, so I planted 3-4 different types of strawberries into the bed. I also bought broccoli, eggplant, lettuce, and spinach to grow. They’re all doing pretty well, so far. On the other half of the raised-bed, I planted tomatoes and acorn squash. Originally, I planted some chives about 6″ away from a set of green beans, but the green beans just withered away and died. I have a feeling that it’s due to the chives, so I took them out.

I also did some more research on some natural bug repellent and found that some bugs are “put-off” by lemon basil and catnip, so I strategically planted them in and around my garden areas. I can’t remember exactly which bugs dislike them, but I’m hoping that they’re doing what I intended for them to do.

To counter all of the green, I also hand-selected some perennials from the Portland Nursery (a local store that specializes in plants), to add some color. The photo above is of a flower called the ‘Shooting Star’. It looks really cool, and I thought that maybe it would attract some honey-bees to the backyard. It hasn’t yet, but we’ll see how things go. The flowers that are blurred in the background are another flower called “Little Lanterns”. They look really cool too, but I couldn’t manage to get an impressive-enough  photo of them. They’re supposed to attract hummingbirds, so I think I’m going to try to plant/transplant more flowers that attract them.

I’ve also planted Fuchsias, Lilies, and some other trailing perennials in the front yard. To be honest, I think this house has one of the best-looking front yards in the neighborhood (not to toot my own horn or anything). I’m thoroughly pleased, and the funny thing is that I’m not even close to being finished with the yards yet.

This last fall, I tilled the backyard and started to prepare it to become a moss garden. Most-recently I went to an area by the river and collected several different types of drift-wood to add depth to the backyard and even transplanted some moss onto several of them. The moss garden still needs a lot of work, but it’s definitely looking better and better. I’d like for the small area in the backyard to be overrun with moss, but it’s proving to be more of a waiting-game, than anything else, but I will persevere.