First attempt at gardening

Now that I live in a house with a yard again I am excited to try gardening.  I’ve missed touching soil and basking in sunlight, so this is very important to me.  However, I have a black thumb.  😦  Over the years I’ve tried growing literally hundreds of plants in containers, and eventually all but a handful have died.  I’m a plant serial killer.

When I was a child my mother and I dug and planted a garden two or three times.  You would think that a farm family would do well with this, but all that we managed to keep alive was spinach, carrots, onion, and corn.  That’s it.  We had no idea what we were doing, and I still don’t know much at all about preparing the plot, starting seeds, planting, watering, or weeding.  I’m reading and researching, but I feel completely lost.  This didn’t stop me from ambitiously ordering a crazy number of seed packets, vines, and shrubs.  (I’ll list them at the end, but it is so very long.)  Here is one shipment which are heirlooms from Baker Creek:

some seeds

My best friend is a knowledgable gardener.  Her family always had beautiful flowers and delicious home grown produce at mealtimes.  She tries to help me out, but I don’t think she fathoms the true depths of my gardening ignorance since it is natural information to her.  😀  I am quite good at foraging at least.  Anyway, I justified my seed buying splurge by offering to share with her.  She and her parents are my idols to look up to in this venture, and I hope to have at least a fraction of their success in growing.  If anyone could comment with suggestions of blogs, websites, and books I’d appreciate it.  I’ve heard about square foot gardening, but it isn’t what I want to try this time.  Otherwise, I’ve bought some seed starting trays and pellets, will read the packets, Google a bit, and hope for the best.  My plan was to only try growing things that are not more easily purchased at a store/market, things I am fairly certain that I can keep alive, and stuff that was too pretty and tempting not to add to my order.  Beautifying the property is part of the garden too after all.

For looks I have ordered: honeysuckle, red castor, “winter thriller” helleborus, tree wisteria, wild thyme, “black swan” poppy, “mother of pearl” poppies, “Delft blue” love-in-a-mist, and the original sweet pea.  I’ve noticed that the colour scheme I prefer are greyed or misty shades and reds rather than showy and bright.  I’d have added Japanese maples along with the honeysuckle since that has long been a dream, but there is already one by the kitchen and another near the fence, yay!  On a wish list for the future are lilacs, bamboo for privacy, Norway maple, and concord grapes.

For pretty but also tasty: chocolate vine, crimson and gold quince, goji berry“Alaska red shades” nasturtium, “spitfire” nasturtium, and “orange Hawaii” marigolds.

As for food items: a tart cherry tree, and blackcaps, shallots, “purple haze” carrots, some crazy fractal looking cauliflower, black Spanish radish, “Titan” sunflower, Brunswick cabbage (a freebie that I cannot find on the site,) strawberry popcorn, “Oaxacan green” corn, “midnight snack” corn, “Atilla” strawberry, “ancient” watermelon, “Tom Watson” watermelon, “tiny Coban” tomatillo“Pruden’s purple” tomato, and “black Krim” tomatoes.

Peppers get their very own category: Leutschauer hot paprika, Shishito pepper, “Ostra-Cyklon” paprika, “arroz con pollo” pepper, “pasilla bajio” hot pepper, Chimayo hot-ish pepper, and “Georgescu chocolate” pepper which was selected due to my husband being from Romania.  (He thought it was a silly reason to try a plant, but whatever.)  I see now that I am lacking in truly hot varieties, so I’ll have to find some, because I love to make hot sauces.

Herbs and greens: lovage (which grew roadside along with a few others offered for sale at the farm,) savoury, pepper cress, mustard greens, wild dagga or “lion’s tail, “Moldovan “dragonhead” balm, “holy ghost” angelica, strawberry spinach, wild rocket, slow bolt cilantro, Genovese basil“blue spice” basil, two types of dill, and Vietnamese mint/balm.

Pretty ambitious, but looking at the photos and reading the descriptions made me dream!

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