Tag Archives: outdoors

Create-Your-Own Container Garden

create a container garden

I’ve been a fan of container gardens since we got married and moved into a third-floor condo that had two decks. There’s quite a lot you can do with a few planters! I’ve carried my admiration to our new home, and it’s still proving very handy since we haven’t really touched our backyard yet as far as landscaping is concerned. We have lots of ideas, but those ideas cost money, so for the time being, we’re content with our patio set, grill, and whole bunch of pots full of pretty blooms.

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In Da Ground

Or, what I planted in my veggie bed.

Last weekend, we built an awesome raised cedar bed for vegetables. And this weekend, I filled it with plants! Here’s a look at what I planted:

planted veggie bed

I’m proud to say that I grew most of these from seed (remember my dining room set-up?). In particular, the cucumber and all of the tomatoes. I forgot to buy bell pepper seeds, and my zucchini squash seeds refused to grow, so I just bought these more mature plants at local nurseries. Here’s hoping Operation HomeGrown Eats 2013 is a success!

Oh, and we added the border of small white rocks around the bed so we don’t get weeds growing up the side and trying to take it over.

Weekend Recap

We had an awesome Memorial Day holiday weekend; I hope you did as well! The weather was amazing and we spent SO much time outside.

Nature's Corner nursery, Delhi, OH

We kicked off the weekend at my favorite local nursery, Nature’s Corner, to stock up on some blooms for the front and back yard.

flowers at the nursery

Planting day is my favorite day of the year. I love soaking up all the inspiration at the nursery, ambling through the aisles to discover all sorts of flowers and dreaming up colorful combinations for containers and hanging baskets and yet-to-be-planted beds.

flower swag

We came home with quite a haul (this is a little more than half). I’ll be sharing how I planted these suckers over the next week. Trust me, you’ll want to come back for that 😉

Reds Baseball at Great American Ballpark

We also took in a Reds game. I had some soft-serve ice cream (with sprinkles!) and Tom and I split some nachos. So it was a great game 😉 I hope your weekend was equally awesome!

Stop back later today! I’ll be sharing what I planted in my veggie bed!

The Stain Game

So I realize that house projects have been a little non-existant lately. Sorry. We’ve got so many in our heads, but time and funds don’t work on the same timeline. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they did?

One project we Tom finally did get around to was staining the deck. I felt like we were really tempting the Weather Gods by waiting until November, but it seems like it turned out okay! We had absolutely beautiful weather in Cincinnati last weekend – upper 60s (may have even hit 70 at one point!), sun, and clear skies, so Tom high-tailed it to Lowe’s on Sunday morning to pick up deck cleaner, deck stain, and brushes. He spent the entire day working. I cheered him on from inside the house, because somebody had to keep Molly company out of trouble.

Here’s a Before pic of the deck from the summer:

boxes on railings

And After:

We used Olympic Maximum in Cedar Naturaltone. I like the way it turned out – much warmer-looking. And, no more rain soaking into the wood! The downside? It freezes on the surface! It’s going to be a fun winter navigating a slippery deck in order to potty train a puppy…. oh well! All part of the experience, right?

Now I can cross this one off the Things I’m Putting Off, But Desperately Need To Do list! Woohoo! Have you conquered a project lately that you were a little less-than-motivated to do? Here’s hoping that Pantry Reorganization comes next… (ugh).

Vegging Out

My dream garden includes an enormous kitchen garden full of every fresh veggie, herb and fruit imaginable, so that I’d never have to buy produce from the grocery store again. When we picked out plants with our landscaper last month, I even tried to include a honeycrisp apple tree (I was out-voted, though. Boo).

The only problem? I fear I have a slightly less-than-green thumb, especially when it comes to herbs and veggies. My past includes a few failed attempts at homegrown basil, a zucchini plant that was never meant to be, and what was a promising collection of tomatoes and herbs fell victim to a massive aphid attack. But, this all happened during our Condo Years, when we had but a 3rd story deck with barely 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

I am determined that this year is going to be different, and better. At the very end of March, I eagerly started seedlings indoors using a Burpee Growing Kit. It was easy to set up – the kit comes with little peat pellets, each in their own cell. Then you simply add water to expand the pellets, add your seeds, set the greenhouse cover on top & place near light.

*not actual image! This is how the kit is shown on Burpee’s website.

My seeds sprouted within a few days to a week. I figured they’d need about 7-8 weeks before going in the ground. But some of them, the zucchini squash especially, took off so quickly that they were falling over the sides of the container. Then everything started looking a little sickly. Some of my zucchini seedlings even died (which my father called “remarkable” b/c apparently it takes a lot to kill a zucchini plant. Guess I’m just skilled that way). So, I transplanted the few seedlings I could salvage into larger 4-inch pots leftover from planting the gerberas last weekend.

Little transplanted seedlings. I hope they make it!

I’m still trying to figure out the best location in our yard for these little guys. I’m hoping they’ll make it in the ground by the 2nd weekend in June. Tom & I would like to build a semi-raised bed, but they’re most likely going alongside the house somewhere, so not sure if the timbers would be necessary or not. I welcome any advice, tips, and personal experiences on how to tackle this!

One of my friends, who has a massive kitchen garden that I am totally jealous of, graciously gifted me some of his tomato “seedlings” this weekend (I put seedlings in quotes b/c these things are already about a foot tall). So at least those should last through the summer.

Happy Gardening!