Garden Blogs I Dig
Yesterday was Mother's Day and I spent it doing what I love most: GARDENING! It was a breath of fresh air to get out and get my hands dirty! It was a touch chilly still this weekend, but I simply. could. not. wait. any. longer. My darling husband, who knows me well, took me to a fantastic local greenhouse where I strolled the isles carefully selecting my plants. I focused on the veggies and herbs this trip because I finally have my very own veggie bed - woot woot!
I was lucky and the area where we decided to grow veggies was already laid out, but it was covered in yucky mulch. (I'm not the only one that despises mulch, right?)
Here is a dreadful before picture:
Not a huge area, but a good starting point for our first year. That messy glob in the middle was a peony that I pulled out, divided and transplanted in another bed.
My generous father-in-law dropped of a load of compost. I get REALLY excited about compost. I love the stuff...seriously, I do. Click here If you want to read more about how much I LOVE compost and a really easy method of composting.
I know a lot of people believe in tilling and it might be necessary in bigger gardens, but given my simplistic style of gardening we just took the ole' garden fork to the existing soil to break it up. Then we laid the compost on top, a nice thick layer and worked that into the top layer.
Now the fun part: planting! Again - to keep things uncomplicated I decided on a few varieties of tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, and three varieties of peppers. I also incorporated various herbs in the other existing beds around the back patio. And voila!
And of course I had help watering.
So excited to have my very own vegetable garden bed. It was my perfect way to spend Mother's Day!
Hope all you mamas had a great day too!
And tell me what divine things you're planting this year! I'd love to hear from you.
This is what I was doing three days ago:
A little fun in the sun (80 degrees!) at the Iowa Cubs game.
And, today it looks like this:
When spring returns, so will I.
Look what I found! Well, truth be told, my father-in-law spotted them: adorable little Crocus. What a sight for sore eyes! These are the first signs of life in our yard this year and a tell-tale symbol that spring is FINALLY here! Woot Woot!
Okay, it's been almost a YEAR since I've posted! Pathetic, I know. And I really don't have time to get into the details of my blogging slackerness, but we've been through a lot of changes the past year, the main one is that we moved. Not a major move, just across town but the entire process took almost a year and it was exhausting. The other huge factor in my VFTG neglect was my job that pays me real money. There have been some changes and my position is WAY busier than it was a year ago. And like I said, that job actually pays me real-life cizash, so I figured it should take priority.
BUT, I love this blog and since I haven't been taking advantage of it I can feel myself slipping from my passion of gardening and horticulture so I am putting it back on the priorities list!
Plus the new house brings like a bazillion gardening opportunities and decisions. It will be the perfect platform for me to utilize this blog.
And now it is April! This Iowa winter was particularly harsh, so I'm so stoked that April is here and hopefully it will bring warmer weather. There have been no signs of life in my yard yet, but I know I don't have much longer to wait.
Happy spring everyone!
I just couldn't resist sharing these mini banana chocolate chip muffins I made for my mini Valentine to share with his mini friends! (Oh, and I saved a few for my "real" Valentine to enjoy!)
Have a lovely Valentine's Day!
P.S. I'll post the recipe later.
Lately, our mailbox has been full of colorful gardening and seed catalogs...and for some reason I've been avoiding them. Well, I actually know the reason: our house is on the market and I'm a little confused as to what I'm supposed to do with them. Although our yard is beautiful in spring, the result of nine years of incorporating bulbs, perennials, shrubs, pathways, river rock, etc. etc., I REALLY hope we aren't around to experience it this year. But we are in the second week of February and reality has given me a little slap in the face (think Airplane when people stand in line to slap that hysterical woman). We'll most likely be here to see that first hellebore bloom break through it's snowy barrier. So be it.
But then there are the catalogs....what am I supposed to do with them? I know I will not be ordering any perennials, but do I order seeds? When the seeds come, do I plant them? Should I start them indoors, like I have in years past? Will prospective buyers see the rows of trays filled with starter mix and minuscule green shoots as I do - full of potential, eventually filling containers and beds with lush greenery and pops of color? Or will they view my seed starting getup as clutter, dirty and messy?
I think my solution is to downsize my usual operation. I will order as many seeds as possible that can be sown directly into the soil. I will just stick to a few trays to start indoors. OR I can look into purchasing or building a cold frame. Hmmm....now there's an idea!
Alright, I'm feeling a little better about my gardening dilemma. Now it's time to dive into those catalogs - gardener's porn!
PLEASE, give me your insight. Any tips on gardening while on the move?
Maybe it's the severe drop in temperature. Maybe it's the snow. Whatever "it" may be my hubby and I have been craving spicy food lately. Thai, Mexican, we don't discriminate...I guess it reminds us of warmer times, or just warms us up for the time being!
In addition to eating spicy hot food, we're also trying to keep it healthy. We made chicken tacos in the crock pot (a must for working parents) and I whipped up this super easy black bean dip (orginally obtained from Eating Well, but tweaked to our liking) to accompany them. Although it's not a very aesthetically pleasing dip, it is very versatile: use it as a spread in place of sour cream, or munch with veggies or tortilla chips. It was sooo good with garden-fresh radishes last summer. It's low fat and low cal - a completely guilt-free spread.
1 can black beans, rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. salsa
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
Sriracha to taste
1 dollop low-fat sour cream (optional)
Add garlic cloves to food processor and mince.
Add the remaining ingredients through the ground pepper to the food processor and process until well blended. Add more salsa if you prefer a smoother texture. Add Sriracha to taste. Stir in a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for up to two days. This recipe can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and I'm sure your friends and family will love it as much as mine do.
Nutritional Data (including sour cream):
Per tablespoon: 37 calories; 0 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 53 mg sodium; 2 mg potassium.