VINTAGE

|garden|

We live in a 103-year-old home. A 1913 craftsman has many nooks and crannies, built-ins and things which are really quite charming but also often need fixing. As I was wandering around the exterior of our home looking for things that need spring spruce-ups, I started to get a little bit down. Taking care of old homes can be labor-intensive and therefore feel overwhelming some days. However, as I walked around on this partially cloudy day I realized that even with all the work ahead of us I'd rather live in a home with charming character than the brand-new home we built in a tract development many years ago. We've been in this home for over 16 years now, and little by little we have made additions to the already beautiful mature garden. So, rather than focusing on the chipping paint, the deteriorating concrete steps or the creaky broken down screen doors... I decided to focus on the positive: our garden! Come with me for a walk in our yard looking at all the little details one should never miss at this time of the year. I hope you enjoy it!

Compost, compost, compost. A garden like ours produces a ton of compost. We put it to good use however. One wheel barrel has never been enough for our gardening endeavors. We employ two wheelbarrels on a regular working Saturday. I am proud to say that both of my wheelbarrels were found at junk sales for very little money. Both wheelbarrels work hard for us and I can't imagine having a garden without them!

TOMATOES

These priceless little beauties are waiting for plump juicy tomato laden plants. But they'll have to wait...it's not warm enough to take them out of the greenhouse yet.

Each time I find larger stones in my garden I pick them up and fill my pockets. At the end of my gardening day, it gives me great pleasure to dump these stones underneath my hose spigots. It's just one more way I can improve my garden without spending one penny. It's attractive and it's practical too! Win-Win!

We have two sons who are learning how to garden alongside of us. Each boy works hard pulling weeds and planting. They water, take care of 10 laying chickens and are beginning to mow the lawn. I can't imagine what it would be like to live without a yard as a child. We both grew up loving gardens and roaming the countryside. I think I learned more from gardening with my grandparents and running around in the wild than I ever did in school! Don't get me wrong, school is truly important. But don't underestimate the value of letting a child loose into the wilderness...or a garden. Also, don't underestimate the power of teaching a child how to toil in a garden. Our boys are workers...HARD workers. But they're also players, observers and learners of this wonderful thing we call Creation.

One of the things I love the most about our garden is how we can mix fruits and vegetables into our flower beds. I used to worry that people might think our garden was a little crazy, but now I could really care less! Cottage gardening is something to be proud of. Not everyone is capable of making order from chaos.

"As the garden grows, so shall the gardener."

-waiting for beans to sprout = patience

Did you know that you can sprinkle organic cornmeal around your fruits and vegetables to keep the weeds down? It's a great option if you want to go with a more natural and chemical/pesticide free weed controller.

Gosh how I love this time of year! The Plumtree has already bloomed and leafed, but the apple trees are in full glory. Bumblebees and honey bees are buzzing around getting the most out of each bloom. Someday I would love to incorporate a beehive into our space. It just seems like the next natural thing for us to try.

PLANTING

We have been planting seeds like crazy this past winter. Now it's time to start taking things from the greenhouse and our windowsills and begin to fill up all our pots. We don't have a traditional vegetable garden... We simply plant things wherever there is room. We also do a ton of container gardening. So far we have planted: Tomatoes Pole beans Carrots Beets Garlic Potatoes Onions Sugar Peas Cilantro Oregano Cucumbers Strawberries Zucchini Sugar Pumpkins Kale Geraniums Lavender & various other plants I've already forgotten! Plus, we have a lot of other existing plants in the garden which need caring for. We also prune and care for mature fruit trees that are over 90 years old and huge cedar trees and fir trees. I could go on.... but all of this fits on about a third to half of an acre. It's a lot of work, but we love it!

All in all, it's a labor of love. Spring is such a busy time for gardeners like us. But come summer when the weeds have been put under control...it's warmer outside...& we are patiently awaiting the first fruits & veggies of the season... we will be scraping, sanding & generally sweating our way to a fresh coat of paint on this 103 year old shabby beauty. So, for those of you living the cramped city life in an apartment, condo or tract development.... Remember this, don't be too jealous of those having a large country-like yard or an old charming home... it comes with a price...one of labor, blood, sweat and tears. So before you jump to purchase a fixer-upper on a chunk of property, be sure you know what you're getting yourself into. It will be hard work, but undoubtedly it will be rewarding.

#stellerstories #steller #garden #gardening #spring #plants #chickens #charming #smalltown #vintage #antique #places #spaces

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