Spring has Sprung

Ever since we moved last summer, I’ve been dying to have a garden again. Our lettuce table didn’t make the move (I’m still not sure why. And I’m still waiting on my replacement…ahem, PETER) so I have been without home grown veggies for too many months.

Now, finally after many weeks of building, stucco, planning, redoing, planting and fertilizing – the garden is growing! And it looks amazing. Every time I catch a glimpse of this space, it makes me so happy.

While this is not the true true before, it’s enough of a before for this post. Imagine no stucco and very 1970’s ugly brown cement block…

My helper was not excited for the camera. He was ready to work. And by work, I mean move dirt from one side to the other.

IMG_4238

Aaaaannnddd the after!!

IMG_9206

There are four new roses – three gifts from my mom – she hand picked not only the color but the scent. I’m so excited for the blooms. One is a Pope John Paul II white rose and the one at the nursery was amazing.

IMG_9210IMG_9212

See that little pod under the bloom? It’s a Praying Mantis pod. I’m hoping they hatch and keep the aphids away…we’ll see if it works.

IMG_9209

I’m a little obsessed with the obelisk. If you need one, I got these at A Rustic Garden. Good prices and fast shipping. They are making a happy home for two kinds of grape tomatoes including Sweet 100’s – my favorites. There’s also Swiss Chard and mixed greens lettuce coming up. IMG_9207

IMG_9208

IMG_9211

I honestly forget how much I love Orange Blossoms. Every year, the first sniff of their scent reminds me – and it’s the most welcome memory. We will have Arizona Sweet and Valencia oranges this Thanksgiving. There’s also a small Meyer Lemon in the raised beds that will provide some shade in the summer.

IMG_9214

One of the lone survivors of our backyard re-landscaping was this Pomegranate tree. It was a bit neglected, but after a good trim and lots of fertilizer, it’s full of blooms. And hopefully lots of fruit too.

IMG_9216

Patio Living

Nine months of the year, our living space grows by several hundred square feet. We have a huge back patio and almost every room in our house has a door to the outside. This time of year they are rarely closed and life seems to just move outdoors. We eat dinner on the patio, play in the grass, pick lettuce to eat and even watch whatever game is on (I learned long ago that in March, there will be either basketball or baseball on our TV. Trying to change it is futile. So I joined) thanks to PW’s handy work converting an old armoire into an outdoor TV home. It was too pretty not to snap a few pictures this weekend.

In about a week, I’m going to have a whole bush full of these little beauties!

IMG_4815

My new kumquat tree

IMG_4814

I love the way lavender smells – this one under the kumquot looks distinctly Tuscan

IMG_4813

IMG_4811

The ocotillo loved all the rain. It’s finally getting it’s leaves back and it will have blooms in a few weeks

IMG_4821

IMG_4820

The prettiest thing in the yard…he was mid sentence when I snapped this one

IMG_4819

Lettuce and herbs

IMG_4798

Sprinkler time already!?

IMG_4817

Rose Colored Glasses

At a particularly bad time in life, my mom, sister and I were looking for a new home. I remember her telling us that we needed to pray that God would find us a new house and that if he did, we would plant a rose garden in honor of Mary. A short time later we found a little rental house that was run down, but had lots of potential. And in a corner in the backyard was a neglected little rose garden. We used to spend hours trimming and fertilizing and the results were some of the most beautiful roses I’ve even seen.

Flash forward a few years and we were ready to buy the house down the street. Again my mom prayed that if we got the house, we would plant a rose garden. And again there was a neglected rose garden behind a small wall in the backyard.

Those rose gardens spoiled me because they were old and established and produced amazingly large blooms with powerful scents. It was nothing to have a large vase full of 20+ roses, all from the yard. When PW and I remodeled our house, we built raised beds for vegetables and roses – the vegetables have done great, the roses, not so much. After some research  a lot of trial and error and some additional plants (vines on the block walls keep the heat index down in the summer), I finally have a bush that has lasted a full year AND produced blooms. Not a vase full, but we’re getting there. I have plans for a second bush (and maybe a third…) so hopefully this time next year my post will be filled with beautiful blooms!

rose

As it opened, it changed color

rose2

 

Until I have the vase full of home grown roses, I’m relying on Pottery Barn’s Heirloom Rose diffuser to get me through. I put it in the bedroom and it’s gentle scent makes me happy every time I pass by.

rose diffuser

 

Pottery Barn’s Heriloom Rose large oil diffuser – $39.00

Resolution Work

We had a big gardening day this past weekend (last last weekend). Peter completed the amazing lettuce table and while slightly bigger than we both thought it would be, it. is. awesome:

Stay tuned for more pictures of it filled with beautiful heads of lettuce and strawberries. Note the super cool pot shelf underneath. We were at the nursery and saw a similar table with a shelf – so he came home and just added it. I love having a handy hubby.

I worked on planting my two new rose bushes, a ton of bulbs and some seeds for veggies. I prepped beds for planting tomatoes next month and did a lot of fertilizing and cleaning up. I love getting my hands in the dirt. The smell is so earthy, it just feels good to get your hands dirty and stand back and see your accomplishments. Here are some of the highlights:

Roses on either side, Freesia bulbs in the middle and carrot seeds in a row along the front. Not sure if the carrots are going to grow, stay tuned.

Pots and pots of  bulbs, seeds and herbs:

More to come as all my pretties start to grow!