Thursday, March 31, 2011

my not-so-secret obsession



as a child, i can remember moving into the house my parents still live in when i was only 3 years old. i remember a big tractor coming into our backyard and plowing up half of the grass to make way for a huge garden. i remember little seedlings sprouting under bright lights in the dining room every spring (when i was a teenager, many of my friends asked if my dad was growing pot) and i can most vividly remember enjoying the fruit of my parents' labor all summer long in the freshest possible tasting fruits and vegetables that i must have just taken for granted. i couldn't understand why my friends hated to eat their vegetables until i visited their homes for dinner and realized that a can of peas doesn't do fresh-from-the-garden peas justice. in the fall and winter months we had frozen veggies and canned fruits to tide us over until fresh produce was again ready for picking in our backyard. we had cherries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, grapes, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, peas, beets, spinach, corn and potatoes....and i'm sure i'm forgetting a whole lot.

i also remember my mom planting her own seeds and keeping the seedlings in the windowsills of our home until they were strong enough to be planted outside. her flower gardens were tended to with lots of love and every year she would choose and plant a different selection of flowers to make our home look pretty on the outside. who knew that i would inherit my parents' green thumbs and love for growing things? i hated being made to pull weeds as a child, and now i find such a therapeutic satisfaction from it.



my obsession with growing things started out small the first year we were married and has grown and expanded each and every year. i think part of my addiction lies in the fact that little seed packets are so inexpensive..its difficult to buy only a couple of them. once i come home and sprout the seeds indoors, it always seems like there's room for more, so the next time i see seed packets for sale, i buy a few more and, in time, my kitchen table and windowsills are crammed full with seedlings sprouting like crazy.


(see the foxgloves growing to the right of my mom? i seeded them early last year and now they are finally starting to bloom!)



this year will be my first time planting an actual vegetable garden. i've stuck with flowers up until now, apart from some tomato, strawberry and pepper plants and a few herbs. my idea for a garden just outside of our kitchen window turned into reality when my dad spent an afternoon digging up the ground for me while he and my mom visited us last week. but he didn't stop where i envisioned the boundaries of my garden would be....oh no, he kept digging all the way along the fence so that my actual garden will be triple the size of what i originally envisioned! this large area of newly dug brown soil looked rather intimidating to me at first, and then i visited the hardware store and discovered that it wouldn't be difficult to fill that space at all! yesterday i planted my carrots, the bell peppers are being started indoors, and once my windowsills clear of the cherry tomatoes, larkspur, shasta daisies and nasturtiums that i'm about to plant outside, i will begin seeding the watermelon, lettuce, beets, cucumbers and pole beans that i purchased yesterday. and once those are in the ground? i'm sure i'll be back at the store buying more seeds.

14 comments:

Julie said...

Im starting a garden this year and have 0 experiance... This is going to sound really dumb, but when you grow veggies do those need to be started inside first? Or can you just buy the seeds and plant them outside? I picked up a bunch of seeds the other day but dont really know what to do :o)

heidi said...

julie: it depends on your climate, but i think that starting them indoors is best since they can get a head start before being subject to pests and weather. check out your local garden center for mini greenhouses (i use a brand called "jiffy pot") which come with tiny circles of soil that you add water to and can start your seeds in. once my seeds have sprouted in the greenhouse, i put them into little yogurt containers on my windowsill. when the plants have at least 4 leaves, they're usually ready to be planted outside, but make sure that there is no danger of frost before putting them outside!

Jessica said...

I am seriously so impressed with your green thumbs! Mine are black. Or if they could be any worse than black, that's what they'd be. But seeing all your pretty gardening pictures makes me want to try again!

Joshie's Sweetie said...

Love fox gloves:) I hope your garden turns out nice and tasty just like you remember it!

Amy@Sassy Scarlett said...

How wonderful! I love gardening, it is total therapy. You look like you have a real green thumb, I bet your garden is going to awesome.

Cherie said...

You forgot Squash & Figs!! Reading this post makes me wish I had Mom & Dad's green thumb... maybe Ill get it when I actually have a yard!

running wildly ❀ said...

I bet this does your mom and dad so proud. Good job.

Grandma J. said...

Your big brother was here today building his third greenhouse! So pleased that you kids have discovered the joys of growing your own veggies, fruits and flowers. I seeded about 10 types of flowers indoors today too. Enjoy your therapy. XO

Sarafina said...

Oh Heidi, I'm so with you on this obsession! I was practically drooling reading your description of your yard as a child. And lucky you, you have such a nice long growing season where you live. Gardening is fun with kids too, isn't it? So wholesome for them to get their hands dirty and help and see things growing. I'd love to see pictures later on when your plants start blooming/producing!!

Anika Lacerte said...

I wish we had windowsills that were deep enough to put plants on. (Ours are about 3mm deep)

Last year we redid the flower garden by our front door and I also planted some herbs from seeds (I just did them directly into the soil outside because I don't have a place to grow them inside).

I'm hoping you'll keep posting pictures of your garden. We still have snow in our yard, so it's nice to see pictures of pretty green things. :)

lil said...

Ernie is the 'big' gardener in our family!! He started alot of seeds last year, but from what grew well in the garden and what didn't we'll cut back on some things. Julie, we live in the SW of Colorado, so we have to start some seeds inside, but underground roots like carrots, turnips, beets, potatoes,onions, radishes, etc, do NOT have to be started inside. Just check your zone for advice on when to plant things like cukes, squash, tomatoes, etc., which should be started inside. Ernie starts our corn inside, but this year, I say NO corn, please!! We can buy it SO cheaply in this area, it's not worth the space in the garden. Beans and peas grow very well here, and I did alot of canning last year, so I don't think we have to grow too much of that this year.

Kari said...

So fun Heidi! I love my little vegetable garden so much! I am sad that it is so hard for me to weed and start it up this year at this point in my pregnancy! I hope your veggies do great this year! Coranelle planted some snap peas and they're sprouting in our windowsill right now and she is thrilled about them! Miss you!

Shannon said...

oh how nice it must be to dig in the ground and find dirt instead of nasty red clay.

Gardening does not come naturally to me, so I find it a chore... such a rewarding chore though!

Plant some Tomatillos. mmmmmmm.

Rebecca said...

My parents had a garden as well when I was growing up. Actually, they still do. We were a veggie eating family! Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, carrots, etc. One of our favorite garden delights were the sweet potatoes because you had to go on a scavenger hunt digging them all up. Thanks for stirring up some wonderful memories. Good luck with your garden!