Sweet Spring and My Little Garden…

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the beautiful warm weather we’ve been having lately. I can tell Summer’s not too far off (it’ll be in the 90’s next week already!). I don’t know what happened but we pretty much skipped Winter and have accelerated through Spring as well. The little garden I planted on my patio has been enjoying the sunlight and warm temps though, so I can’t complain too much!

For those that know me, I suck at keeping plants alive. It seems like everything I bring home and plant tends to die (which has become a long running joke in our house). But once I realized I was picking plants that required too much sunlight (our patio and front planters barely get any), I became more selective on what I choose to bring home. So it was with trepidation that I decided to give an herb garden a try. Most herbs need quite a bit of sunlight to be successful, but I really, really wanted fresh herbs to cook with as cooking has become my other new favorite hobby.

There’s a spot on our patio that used to be a bench with cushions for guests to sit on. When we didn’t end up having as many big BBQ shindigs as I’d hoped, I decided the bench wasn’t really needed anymore. I tossed the cushions and placed some 5 gal containers on it. Then I went to Lowe’s on a spectacular day when they were having a 2 for $5 deal on herb and veggie plants. $40 later I had eight different plants and two big bags of planting mix meant just for a veggie garden. Literally the moment we got home I set to work getting everything planted.

That was about a month ago, and I have to say I’m impressed with the results! Not only has nothing died (thank God) but in fact they seem to be flourishing! The mint and cilantro have grown like crazy. I planted them in the same pot (rookie mistake, I now know) and it’s like they’re competing to see who can grow the fastest. The basil and rosemary are growing at a steadier pace, as is the Greek oregano and Italian parsley. The strawberries and roma tomatoes are coming along nicely (go me!). I never thought I’d be one to grow fresh tomatoes but hey, it’s working so far! I can’t wait to try them both once they’re ready.

Feeling brave one Saturday, I decided to try and plant some Italian parsley seeds in a little pot and see if they’d grow. You can never have enough parsley so I figured, why not? To my shock and giddy delight, they’ve sprouted! My husband had no faith that I could make it grow so I make sure to show him every few days as they get bigger 😉

It seems like this nice weather’s going to continue for awhile, so I’m going to tackle the planter by our front door this weekend. I got some Boston Ivy (God help me) and I might pick up a pack or two of impatiens and see how that goes. If all goes well, we should have a fabulous looking entryway!

Here’s some pics I took of the patio garden. It’s been so fun watching it take shape and grow each week.

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The whole garden!

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The poor cilantro getting tackled by the mint. I think the mint is quite a bully. I’ve been picking off pieces to put in smoothies, teas, and fruit infused water. Had the cilantro last night in the carnitas tacos I made (yum!).

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I use the basil of course on the homemade pizza I make, and the rosemary I used in this fabulous bacon wrapped pork loin recipe. It’s a MUST try!

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Haven’t used the oregano for anything yet, but the Italian parsley is great chopped up as a garnish!

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All those little yellow flowers will one day be tomatoes…hope it doesn’t make me wait too long! I love roma tomatoes. I use them in salads and to make this incredible Spanish rice I learned how to make from my friend Lauren.

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My husband was very impressed by how quickly the strawberries grew! Check out that big one on the right! I may have these cut up on a fresh Spinach and blue cheese salad. Yum!

Given the success so far of these plants, I may give a few more daring things a try. Asparagus, spinach, cucumbers…we’ll see!

“Always do your best. What you plant now will harvest later.” — Og Mandino

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