The Start to a Garden Adventure!

 Pretty green prickly pear cactus. Our tortoises love to eat them.

Hello friends! Katherine here.

In case you didn't know this, I like plants. In fact, I LOVE THEM. This love affair started when my best friend went off to college, and our other best friend decided that he needed something to distract himself from the sads. So he bought himself a plant, and I bought myself a plant in solidarity, and nothing has been the same since then. Plants are a wonderful extention of friendship, in my opinion. It's a beautiful expression of love, giving someone a piece of a plant that you have loved and cared for, so that they can grow their own, and give it to someone else someday. My momma and grandmommy have a part of my Queen of the Night, which is my favorite house plant, and one that my grandmommy (who grew up in Okinawa) remembers having grow wild in her back yard. Things like that just make plants more special to me.

 Here's a bloom starting to open on my Queen of the Night last summer. The queen is a super special orchid cactus whose blooms only open once, always at night.

Here's a bloom starting to open on my Queen of the Night last summer. The queen is a super special orchid cactus whose blooms only open once, always at night.

You can find me, perfectly content, in the garden section at Lowe's creeping around all of the tropical plants and picking up stray cuttings that have found their way onto the floor.... Most of my experience with plants has been in the way of house plants, so starting a garden is a new adventure, but it's something Mark and I have decided we want to try. We'd love to be pretty much self-sustaining one day, so a garden is one step in that direction.

 heirloom seed packets for garden! sustainable living

With that being said, WE STARTED THE GARDEN TODAY! I stopped by our local nursery this afternoon on my way home from work and picked up the very first seeds that we've just planted! We've got carrots, kale, turnips, tomatoes, peas, and cabbage started. Once it gets a little warmer, around the end of March, we'll transfer everything outside and plant the rest! We're going to try our hand at companion planting so that maybe we can worry a less about pests. I've got to do something about them this year- some almost ate all of the leaves on my beloved coffee plant last summer!

 sweet little seedings germinating for FOOD

I did plant some herbs and tortoise grasses in pots so that we can cut them and use them, rather than having them take up space in our garden bed! Since we don't need that many herbs, putting them in pots makes much more sense.

I can already tell that this is going to be quite a lesson in patience for me. For example, I wanted to grow garlic, but apparently I have to plant that in October and wait until next spring for the first harvest, so here's to me waiting 12 months for home-grown garlic.

It's also going to be an exercise in restraint, because I just want to plant ALL THE THINGS. I'm definitely going to be planning a better flower bed this year- last year, with the help of my wonderful mom-in-law, I planted a few annuals just to get something in the ground and make our house look a little homier! This year, however, I'd like to plan a rotating perennial bed to have something green and flowering at all times during the summer/fall. Plus with my bananas and elephant ears coming back in the spring, hopefully my house will start to look like a jungle.

We'll be back with more gardening tales! - Kat

p.s. Thanks to Lara Casey and her Gardening 101 series- it was a HUGE help to get us started with our garden adventure!!

perinneal flowers growing.jpg