With the move to our new apartment, came the bounty of a small but delightful garden plot. The weeks preceding our move were full of plans, ideas, questions, and fantasies of turning the snow-covered square into a thriving, blooming oasis of color and good eats. The thrilling opportunity to once-again busy myself with and learn from Mother Nature captivated me.
Perhaps Mother Nature was interested in communicating with me as well, because within a few days of moving, she snapped into spring. Our neighbors’ trees, sprouting buds and flowers, heightened the excitement of the coming warm spell. While my friends enjoyed the opening of outside cafes and ‘beaches’, I browsed garden stores and online sites like a woman possessed. As my husband preoccupied himself with building a new wall, garden door (we have a pool that he’s determined to spend every weekend in), and finding the right grill for our patio; I dug around in the existing herb garden and lawn checking out the inhabitants and soil conditions.
Finally, after spending an entire Friday afternoon searching for, reviewing, and ordering, my husband and father-in-law (FIL) spent Saturday building the wall, door, and raised bed. My neighbor and I drove 45 minutes away to an organic farm where we purchased several tomato, sweet pepper, chili, herb, and lettuce seedlings. By sunset, my new babies were in their new home. The following morning, I added a few romaine lettuce (my absolute favorite), babyleaf mixed lettuce, and spinach seeds to the bed and returned the herbs and fruit (I found a gooseberry bush in the mix!) to the freshly soiled and renovated herb garden, and planted sunflower seeds in peat pots. One reminder to my future self – do not get so excited that you forget to carefully inspect the leaves of every plant purchased; the oregano was covered in baby insects (the sap sucking type), so after several strong jets of water, he’s living in isolation until it’s been determined whether he will survive or not.
Of course, in all this disturbance, the hoard of ladybugs originally housed in the sage bush moved – I hope they’ll come back soon. The slugs and spiders discovered in the herb garden seem unfazed by the commotion and every earthworm that we came across found its self tossed into the raised bed. Hub’s seems to have a personal vendetta against the snails that live under the evergreen (some sort of pine tree) border between our yard and the neighbor’s but I’m content if they just stay out of my raised bed.
The few next days consisted of light but consistent rain, for which I was glad but prayed that everything wouldn’t drown – you should have seen me out there with my umbrella checking on the drainage of the raised bed and the herb garden, lol. For the next two weeks, I obsessively inspected each plant – checking to see if they were adapting to their new conditions or if they showed signs of snail nibbles, peered at the dirt in the raised bed – to see if anything had sprouted yet, and poured through online gardening sites for information on soil temperature, seed reaction to rain, nutrient requirements, etc – all to make sure I’d gotten it right. Then I was rewarded!
Here’s a few pictures of our progress to-date.