Category Archives: Gardening

The Veggie Garden

A month ago we sacrificed unpacking from a 2 week trip to Switzerland (more on that soon) to spend the weekend putting in our veggie garden.  It turned out to be the funnest weekend.  Really any weekend I can spend outside with Sean, smelling like sunscreen, soaking up the sun, and bbq-ing is a good weekend in my book.







 And one month later:












The one month recap is that everything is actually doing really great.  Our pumpkins each have a couple leaves and we thinned them out a bit and adjusted the water (pumpkins need a TON of water).  I think this is the year that we finally got them in the ground early enough. We are already up to our elbows in squash, lettuce and arugula.  Herbs are doing really good.  We have a couple little jalapenos and another mystery type of pepper that I can’t remember the name of growing.  Out of curiosity we peeked to see how the carrots are doing and there are legit full on carrots waiting to be pulled up. Crazy!  I started a garden binder a couple years back and have been keeping a garden journal with notes of what was planted, when, seed packets for reference, recaps on how things are doing at different stages, what has worked well and what hasn’t, and things that we did to combat issues.  I am hoping that after a couple years this becomes a valuable reference.  Another huge help has been Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening book.  It breaks everything down month by month and has such good and easy to understand common sense advice.


The garden: “The After”






It’s still very much a work in progress (needs sod between the slope and the beds against the house and guerrilla hair down on the slope still) but its really coming together!  I’ve been going over every night and weeding and pruning and turning on the sprinklers until we get the timers setup and its just pretty dreamy to have my own plants to tend to and love.  I can’t wait for everything to fill in a bit and for the lilacs and the peonies to start to bloom!  Tonight I’ll take some pictures of the raised beds on the side of the house.  It was way too muddy last night to venture over there.  Our soil is like quicksand.  But worse.



And a cute one of Seanie just for fun:)

The Garden “Before”

20140328-104721.jpg 20140328-104730.jpg 20140328-104736.jpg 20140328-104745.jpg 20140328-104750.jpg 20140328-104756.jpg 20140328-104802.jpgWell friends, we still aren’t moved in.  And aren’t even altogether all that close to moving in. It’ll probably be closer to April 15th that we’ll actually be able to move in…but were getting closer. I’ve given up on the countown/the holding my breath until were in. There is just alot of work to be done and we just need to slowly and steadily get it done.  That’s all I can really say about that.  And when we are in, it’ll all be worth it.

We still have a couple small things to do inside (mostly get the stair treads and risers in and shave down the doors that all ended up being just a tad too low and then a million little tiny things that will take a couple days all put together).   Two weeks ago though, we turned our sights outside and have been focusing on building fences (which are 95% done now, woot woot!!!) and leveling and grading the yard how we want it.  Today Sean is finishing the leveling, finishing some raised planter beds he dug all the posts for yesterday, putting in the borders for the planter beds and grass area, and ordering a big ‘ol load of dirt/compost to mix in with our very rich(+) but very dense (-) clay soil.  We’ve rounded up the troops for the weekend and are going to try to get all the new dirt moved in and plants planted!  My mom and I have had the best time the past couple weeks visiting the nursery at lunch and making plans and then shopping for plants this past week.  Our garden vibe is sort of native/drought resistant meets farmhouse and I think its going to be pretty cool.  The lineup includes a couple fruit trees, a lot of herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, lavendar), euphorbia (which i just recently discovered and am in love with), olive bushes, native grasses, lilacs, hydrangeas, peonies, and azaleas.  I am plant addicted.  Pretty much all my birthday money has gone to buying plants and I am so A-OK with that.

So anyways, after a lot of unnecessary rambling, I wanted to just post these pictures as a “before” of sorts and then hopefully have an “after” of sorts to post on Monday.

Adventures in Flower Arranging

As part of my self-improvement project, I decided to seek after some creative endeavors and pursue some things that I have been wanting to pursue.  So far, I have really loved having a weekly outlet and I am absolutely in love with arranging flowers. It is adding a whole new dimension to my garden plans for the new house because I want access to lots of flowers to cut and play with.  Here is a little recap of the class (we basically made one arrangement each time) which was focused on creating arrangements from a home garden with mostly foliage and some very easy to propagate flowers.  And even some weeds:)

Class #1: We focused on diving in and creating, with no specific style or method.  I really loved how this arrangement turned out.

flower arrangementClass #2: We touched on the Japanese Ichibana style of arranging with very few flowers, but with a more Wabi Sabi approach.  Wabi Sabi means to embrace imperfection.  Basically we took a very structured, minimalist, and calculated flower arranging method and let it run free a little bit. I had a lot of fun working within the constraints of Ichibana but it was definitely challenging.

photo 2

Class #3: We took principles from our Ichibana and Wabi Sabi lesson from last class but then combined them with basic floral arranging principles.  For this class, we brought our own vase and there was alot of gorgeous plant material to work with.


Hoping to have a house update in the next couple days!  Were still waiting on our permits but it should be very very soon.  But then again, I’ve been saying those exact words for months…

Beginnings of our Spring Garden

Clockwise from top left: Broccoli, Jalapeno, Sweet Onion, Thyme, Basil, Flat Leaf Parsley, Brandywine Heirloom Tomato, Yellow Pear Heirloom Tomato, & Red Bell Pepper.

The second half of our garden will hopefully be planted next weekend (weather permitting) & will include carrots, corn, 4 different types of lettuce, artichokes, & radishes.

I finally tackled another project on my list this weekend: a garden binder.  I pretty much followed these instructions but made a few tweaks & you could definitely format it however makes the most sense to you.  I wanted to do this so that I could have a way to track what seeds worked and what seeds didn’t and the dates or our plantings, etc. so that I could use that info in the years to come.

Obsession of the Day: Vertical Gardens

I would never claim to be a green thumb, but I would claim a love for gardening as a process and a creative outlet. My newest botanical crush is the vertical garden, the benefits of which abound. They are perfect for small spaces, require little water or resources, and (best of all) allow the “gardener” to be an artist of sorts. 

The cost options for putting together a vertical garden range from borderline highway robbery (albeit super chic and easy) to very affordable (albiet more time consuming).

Option A: Order the Panels from an online retailer such as Flora Grubb Gardens and fill with your favorite succulents.

20″x20″ Panel – $99.95

Availiable at Flora Grub Gardens

Option B: DIY the panels and fill with your favorite succulents.

Instructions availiable at