Being a Better Gardener

The goal of this blog is to fit into virtually every part of your life as it relates to the home and of course a big part of that is food, the blog is called “The Art of Sunday Dinner” after all.  For me personally many a great meal starts in the garden. I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who can identify just about every flower and shrub known to man and a grandfather who for the past 60+ years has maintained quite the impressive victory garden.  Naturally when my husband and I purchased our home nearly 7 years ago I couldn’t wait to get outside and get my own hands into some soil. I had fantasies of having beds of wildflowers that would constantly bloom and be ripe for the picking allowing me to create all sorts of beautiful seasonal bouquets and floral arrangements and of course I had to have my own little veggie patch too, but what I soon found out was that gardening didn’t come as easy to me as cooking. Which was quite disappointing, weren’t gardening skills hereditary?

I tried to gloss over my feelings of inadequacy by eventually doing some container gardening, mainly vegetables which I became quite good at and I try to keep the rest of the landscaping very minimal. But gardening like so many other things in my life has tended to take a back seat to things like work and raising children. I envy those who seem to have found a way to incorporate it into their lives on a consistent basis. Well today I’m declaring that it’s time to make a change.  Take a look at the photos below, these are ones I snapped earlier of areas of my yard that I plan on turning into a beautiful oasis of flowers and fresh veggies. I’m posting these photos as a way to hold myself accountable.  By putting them out into the blogosphere it will force me to stop putting it off and learn to become a better gardener.  I wasn’t born an accomplished culinary professional, it took training and years of work for me to acquire the skill set that I have and I’m going to look at gardening the same way. I don’t expect to become a Master gardener overnight but I’m darn sure going to do better than I’ve been doing for the past several years. I’m an extremely creative individual and there’s no reason why I can’t have the landscape I’ve always wanted with a little time, money and most importantly commitment.  So what do I have planned for my Spring and Summer season of gardening…

Garden - March


Photo # 1 – This flower bed used to be full of short evergreen shrubs and this gorgeous vinca vine that unfortunately takes over everything and if planted close to your foundation can potentially cause some serious issues so I’m told.  Last year I ripped up the vine, the shrubs I pulled out probably about two years ago and instead I’ve just keep the area filled with lots of black mulch.  Honestly I’m not quite sure what to do with this space. Possibly some shepherd’s hooks with pots of edibles along the back area where the dried up rhododendron is and maybe some colorful annuals like pansies filling the front section? Any thoughts or advice?

Photo # 2 – This is just a sampling of some containers on my front porch (which gets full sun all day) that over time have housed herbs and various veggies. I’m thinking of either painting all of these containers the same color (black chalkboard paint?) for some uniformity or possibly replacing them with a few of these or even this. I’m also going to invest in some new window boxes to hang over the railing and yes my porch needs a paint job.

Photo # 3 – Please don’t judge, this winter season has been a harsh mistress in the mid-atlantic region and yes the side of my house is in need of some serious power washing.  So the rocks my husband is going to use to build a fire pit for the backyard (s’mores anyone!). But this is the area where I would love to plant my cutting garden full of wildflowers and shasta daisies.

So this is what I’m working with. I didn’t take any photos of the backyard which at the moment is a beautiful wide open space of nearly perfect green grass. My husband and I have talked about putting fruit trees back there, but for now we’re going to leave it as is.  There may be a four legged friend in our future or possibly some fine feathered friends (cluck, cluck) that will make good use of it and a swing set of some sort. Perhaps even a paver patio for entertaining but for right now I’m focused on the front and that one side of the house (think curb appeal), and for all of you more seasoned gardeners out there I welcome your comments and advice. I’ll be updating you with photos and details as I’m figuring it all out. Fingers crossed and come hell or high water in a few short months you’ll see a miraculous change and something that truly represents my Sunday Dinner lifestyle.


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