5.11.2016

2016 garden, part 1

Garden - Year Two has officially commenced!
Last year was my first attempt at gardening and it was both fun and surprisingly successful. Thankfully, I have lots of ladies in the area who are willing to share their expert wisdom with me. Although I didn't take pictures last year, I did learn one key lesson:
Happy plants occasionally require tough love.
I felt bad about trimming things back last year and the flowers got a bit out of control. So...this year, I'm going into it with that in mind and a couple fewer plants. Another exciting addition to this year's dirt-endeavor is our neighbor's small adjacent plot which he has graciously allowed me to use for veggies since our side only gets enough light for flowers. Here's our side of the plot, measuring 3 x 9 feet:
And here's our neighbor's side, of which I am using the front 4.5 x 4.5 feet:

So to start on our side, I gathered my trowel, bag of dried & crushed eggshells, and box of plants purchased at a local greenhouse the day before. As with last year, Charlie's mom helped me select which flowers might work well in medium light but would also still have enough variety to be interesting.
In the back left corner, I have a Morning Glory - Heavenly Blue which we're hoping to train up and across the top of the fence with string. Next along the back are four Dusty Miller - New Look. In the middle line from left to right, there's an Impatiens, Rhine Begonia - Valentine Red, and Coleus - Wizard Jade, the second begonia, and another impatiens. In the front, I alternated coleus and impatiens.

Admittedly, once planted, they still look a bit wimpy, but I had no idea how big things would get last year, so I'm trying to estimate better this time around.
Also, my mom brought up that cute bunny hanger for us which will soon be used with a bird feeder and solar lantern.

Now, in the adjacent patch, I did Roma Tomatoes, Sweet Basil, and Marigolds with high hopes for putting away tomato sauce and pesto. I read that those three do well when companion planted together. This is, however, my first attempt at vegetables, so fingers crossed!
I also did two pots with Sunstorm Rose Vinca in the front. They look so tiny but last year did well, so I'm hoping they fill in and brighten our entryway. And how cute is our stone bunny shared via my mom? He's been in the family a really long time so I was very happy to have him join us in PA.
So there you have it...my second year as a gardener. Hopefully, I'll have updates throughout the summer to share with successful plant progress!
Fun sidenote: It's been so rainy here all week, I worked super quickly to get things planted. It started coming down the minute I snapped the final pictures. Whew!