As always, I am amazed at the difference that two weeks can make in a garden!
Right before Ryan’s birthday party, we went and got a bunch of mulch to be able to fill the vegetable garden, fruit garden, and the flower beds in the front and back of the house. I love it. I feel like the backyard finally looks complete! And it makes a big difference in the front of the house too. It’s amazing that just $40 of mulch can completely transform the look!
We spent 4+ hours outside pulling all the weeds and laying the mulch. I had to miss one of my workout classes, but my legs still got their workout in with all that squatting. I could barely move the next day! The boys also helped with the weeding (a little bit) and loved helping to lay the mulch out. It was a lot of work, but I am so glad we took the time to get it done! Hopefully this will help keep down the weeds a little bit, and also help hold in the water, especially during the brutal summer months.
The herb garden continues to flourish. I’m pretty sure the plant on the bottom right is the squash, at least that looks like a tiny squash growing. I also took a few cloves of garlic and planted them in one of the empty pots just a couple nights ago and they are already growing! Now that all the herbs are pretty well established, we have started using the leaves to cook with fresh herbs and it’s amazing the difference a fresh herb makes to the flavor.
Now that we added the mulch into the garden, the vegetable garden seems to be doing better as well. I think the mulch is helping to prevent the roots from getting too hot in the sun, and also keeps the water in so they aren’t getting dried out. The celery is growing back in, the okra and cucumbers haven’t done much still. The onions are staying stable, and the tomato plants keep getting taller. The broccoli plants are growing, but no signs of florets just yet. We have a few small green peppers starting to grow on one of the two plants left from last year, and I planted more seeds between those two last night off of a green pepper that we used for our steak and shrimp kabobs. I also took the seeds from the red pepper and planted those between the green pepper and yellow pepper plant as well. The two green pepper plants we have were started from seeds out of peppers from before, so hopefully these will start to grow as well. The lettuce is still thriving, but we are going to let it get a little more established before we start to use it so we don’t kill it on accident.
I’m very pleased to say that our blackberry bushes seem to be flourishing finally! The first one we had started out as a twig, and didn’t really do much. A few weeks ago we bought a more established plant from the garden center, and it’s doing very well. The other one is planted next to it and is slowly showing improvement too. The orange tree doesn’t have any flowers at the moment, but continues to grow and is getting greener every day. The strawberries are starting to spread out more and have a few berries on them, but none are ready to harvest just yet. The pineapple plants are still growing, and I have another one that I am going to plant once it starts growing some roots.
When we mulched and weeded, we also took a look at the front of the house and decided that, since nothing is really growing in one of the flower beds, we would just clean it out completely and start over. We had some spider grass (I think that’s what it’s called) plants up there that we didn’t want to get rid of, but didn’t like there, so we moved them to the back flower bed. Those seem to be doing well back there. The canna lilies are growing out and a few of them have started to flower, adding a bit of color to the backyard now. Ever since we trimmed the banana trees they have been growing extremely well. We also now have four pups from the biggest banana tree, one of them already has some decent-sized leaves on it! I love that these are doing so well because they are my favorite of the plants along the fence. The other plants from Justin’s parents (I really need to figure out what they are called) are doing ok. They are finally starting to grow out and I see a few new sprouts coming up through the mulch from two of them.
Seeing all the green and growth outside makes me so happy. I love the view we are getting when you step outside onto the back porch now. Hopefully by the summer all of this has grown in more and you don’t see much of the fence, just a lot of green and some colorful flowers out there!
We also did some work in the front of the house, mostly weeding and mulching. The flower bed on the left of our front door had some daisies that never grew back, the spider grass, and was just full of weeds. The potted fern is (very slowly) starting to show a tiny bit of green still from when it froze almost three months ago, so we are leaving that in hopes that it will still grow back. The other lilies that we had in the front have been coming back in after dying off last year, and are coming in much fuller and larger than last year! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am happy with it! Just yesterday one of them finally opened up and they are so pretty! There are a few more buds that should open within a week or so on these lilies. I want to add more plants and color to the other planter, we just haven’t had a chance to really look at it and figure out just what we want.