Monday, June 6, 2011

Mother Nature Made Me (with a little help from Michele...)

Spent some long-overdue time in the garden this past weekend! After several hours of work on both Saturday and Sunday, I'm happy to see the beast showing signs of taming.

So the garden story... When Lo and I took possession of our little house in 2004, there was one tiny flower bed in the back yard and a few shrubs barely subsisting in the front yard.

Not no more.

Now, the front yard is completely covered in garden. The back yard is lined with deep beds all around the perimeter. We have a vegetable plot. We have a patio (which we installed) covered by a gorgeous pergola (designed and built by Lo), and a rock garden which arose organically (oh the garden humour...) when we dug out a huge pile of grass to build the patio, and then were too lazy to move the pile. Yeah...

The result? A LOT of garden. Which I sort of neglected last year...

Despite the neglect, here's what keeps it all going... a little something I like to call "compost".

I LOVE COMPOST. I'm over-the-moon with my louvered compost bins: a gift from Lo (which he built using this template as a guide). I'm overjoyed to build the compost pile. I heart turning the compost pile. I am delighted to throw my kitchen scraps and garden trimmings on the compost pile. And I cannot cannot wait to harvest the compost from the compost pile.

Yes baby. That is the stuff.

So we harvested the compost this weekend! It never ceases to amaze me what kind of tricks Mother Nature has up her sleeve. LOOK AT THIS STUFF. It's beautiful. It's glorious. It's nothing short of magical. I LOVE IT. I want to roll in it all day.

We produce enough compost in our bins to keep our little garden quite happy. Every spring, I top-dress the soil around each plant with fresh compost.

And they love it just as much as I do.

The vegetable plot gets its fair share of compost as well, don't worry.

Funny story about these broccoli seedlings below.

In my utter laziness last fall, I left a broccoli plant in the garden and it flowered and went to seed. No joke, I have about 200 broccoli seedlings growing like weeds in that corner of the plot this spring. Certainly we eat broccoli. We love broccoli. But 200 plants worth? No. Eight plants worth? Yes. I'm still wondering what to do with the remaining 192 seedlings that I won't use. Also, I don't really know if they're going to look anything like the broccoli we know and love, but it's worth a shot. It's a horticultural experiment, don't you know.

Yes, it was a busy weekend and there's still much work left to be done. It's just a matter of when... Hmm, quandary.

You have a great day now. Maybe I'll be back with a craft on Wednesday... Hey, there's a plan, eh?

P.S. If you'd like to see more lovely gardens, stop by Amy's Blogger's Garden Tour!


  1. Fabulous gardens Michele! I have an old composter gifted to us by a friend when they moved overseas. I can't seem to get it really going and it irks me. I think it needs to be in more light. The hard thing is finding a spot where it will really work and have the conditions it needs but not be super visible. I have to make that a priority this summer. In the meantime, I get my free compost from a local farmer's horse :)

  2. Michele your garden is a little piece of heaven!!
    It does require a lot of hard work, but in the end it is really worth the trouble! Lovely pictures!!

  3. so pretty flowers! the pleasure of the spring. kisses

    bego (baulartesanodebego)

  4. Your compost bins are awesome. I need to make some. Did you follow a pattern?

  5. Awesome! Hey - I see seedlings/sprouts offered on craigslist for free, or on freecycle. If you want to get rid of those little babies. Just a thought :)

  6. Your garden is so beautiful, Michele. I am also a lover of compost - we reduced our garbage by half when we started composting 11 years ago. The only issue here in Vancouver is trying to keep the vermin out of the composter. Yes, that means rats. Euw.

  7. Love your flowers and the broccoli story! What is the plant (ground cover) in the second picture... the one on the left of the step stones? I've seen that very plant along the path down by the river... it's a wild flower? I've tried to grow some of it in the yard, but it just won't take, and the plants along the walkway get dosed with herbicide to keep them in check, so some jogger or biker won't trip? I don't know, but I'd love to know what the plant is named. Do you know?

  8. Ohhh, love your new blog outfit! So Clever! And your gardens!
    I always say that I don’t want a bigger house, but a bigger garden. We have kind of a stamp sized piece, but I’m really happy with it, cause I lived in appartments for about 36 years.

  9. Loveliness! Please don't roll in the compost, your herbs need it. I love that shot of the rockery-type area - my favorite style of garden is one with all shades of green layered.

  10. I love to garden too - two years several varieties of nasty hole digging rodents really wrecked my garden and so I got a little sad and didn't garden last year - I am gardening this year and it is so much more work - neglecting my garden for a year was bad!! :)

    Lo made you some lovely composting bins.

  11. Thanks for the little tour around your garden! I love to see peoples gardens and yours looks very pretty.

  12. Here I am again. Looking at your nature,through your eyes. Your green nature, and I don't mean naive either. That knowing touch and creative contribution to the essential and pure nourishment of your family. From the soil, and the seed, and the sun, and the moisture, and your touch, out comes the beautiful garden that you have shown. Love you, Myra


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