Tending to the garden

Peanut tending to Laird's garden

Laird’s garden is finally planted!  We’ve been hit hard in Portland with tons of rain these past few months.  April was one of the wettest months in recorded history and I’ve been itching to buy my plants and get them in the ground.  I’m still a little wary though, especially after last year, when our summer didn’t arrive until mid-July and, even then, it rained continually throughout.  If memory serves me right, I had a total of two tomatoes that turned out to be edible.

Spring is (hanging) in the air

I would love to meet whoever designed this house and ask him “What the heck were you thinking?!” at the same time I hit him over the head.  Okay, so I don’t advocate violence, but here’s my gripe.  We live on a fairly large, third-of-an-acre lot about ten minutes away from downtown Portland.  Every year, at about this time, I get irritated at the person who decided to build our house on the south side of the lot.  To make the situation worse, our garage is also on the south side of the house, cutting off whatever daylight we get from reaching the rest of the house.  Maybe it was the best they could do.  But one would think that in a place that rarely sees the sun, the last place a house should be built is on the south side.

So for six years now, we have brain-stormed to find a suitable place on our lot to grow our veggies; one that gets more than four hours of sun during the summer.  Aside from growing a garden on the roof, the best we could do is plant our veggies on the far north side of the lot, where the garden just clears the shadow of the house.

South side of the house with hostas, bulbs and herbs

Over the past few years, I’ve attempted to grow tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, beans, onions, leeks, squash, herbs and lettuce.  Usually with less-than-ideal returns.  I’ve also tried over and over again to grow peppers, particularly the spicy ones, to no avail.  And each year I tell myself “This will be the year for the pepper!”  Apparently they like really sunny weather, so it is no surprise that I am left with one, shriveled up, disappointing pepper at summer’s end.

On our garden menu this year are: Tomatoes, broccoli, chard, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, squash, beans and kale.  Some from seed, most from starts and most organic.  It’s a little ambitious considering the location and size of the garden, everything is closer than the plant guidelines recommend.  But, as usual, I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best.

While Laird was taking his afternoon nap, we also turned the compost, weeded and planted more annuals around the house.  It is a beautiful time of year, everything is so fresh and green.  I can feel that summer is just around the corner!  And thank goodness, because my body can’t wait to finally thaw out.

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2 responses to “Tending to the garden

  1. beautiful! i hope you get more sun this year so some veggies will grow! i am growing tomatoes from two topsy turveys hanging from our outside spirl staircase, basil and strawberries in pots. the area that i had hoped to grow veggies on the west side of my house was not successful last year because there just wasn’t enough sun due to the shade of the fence. i hope some day to have a little garden in the back yard…maybe after the kids grow up and don’t need the space as much 🙂

    • Let me know how your topsy turvys do. The one I planted with a tomato last year failed miserable. But I think that’s because our weather sucked. It has been raining for the past month. I’m not hopeful about my garden, but oh well. It’s still fun to try to grow things.

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