Sunday, May 6, 2012

Putting down roots

When we married over five years ago, I asked for a garden shower instead of a bridal shower. My mom's friends, family members and my friends gave us the most thoughtful gifts for starting our garden(s): Smith & Hawken tools, clippers, beautiful pots, a hose holder, copper herb markers, a neat little garden sign hand painted on a shutter, Tiki torches (a garden isn't complete without parties!) and more. We've used everything we received in the two gardens that we've started and then moved away from in the last five years. Now, here we are in our third garden. Our home in Western Mass feels the closest to longterm that we've ever had - I feel so fortunate to be able to think about our future here. And in that future: I have a garden. Actually, multiple gardens.

I spent last year weeding, mulching, and just getting the existing flower beds out of their state of neglect. I also spent the year watching the sunlight hit our yard to figure out the best place for growing vegetables. In that year, I guess I vocalized my dreams for a vegetable garden because my family (Coach's parents and sister) gave me the most incredible gifts: at Christmas, my parents-in-law gave me seeds, gardening gloves, gardening tools and...the most amazing bean trellis. It's right out of Martha Stewart magazine - seriously. My father-in-law saw one just like it in a Martha Stewart magazine, figured out how to recreate it, and then built it for me! My sister-in-law bought a collection of vintage silver spoons and created the most artful plant markers I've ever seen - she soldered the plant names using a neat modern type design onto the back of the spoons. And then, for my birthday, my parents-in-law brought me a frame and hoops for a raised vegetable bed!

Basically...all I needed was soil, the amount of which I somehow managed to screw up by seriously overestimating. So...we got a rather intense load of soil delivered on Wednesday and yesterday I moved about a a third of it from the front yard to my new raised bed frames in the back yard.

After two plus hours of shoveling and carting dirt, I bought four bags of composted cow manure and worked those into the top five inches of soil. I assembled my bean trellis and then planted squash, pumpkins, two rows of lettuce, two varieties of beans, cilantro, basil, broccoli, and some tomatoes that I started inside last month. To end the day, I watered everything and staked up chicken wire to prevent our local harem of bunnies from destroying my hard work.

I can barely move today, but I feel pretty excited about what I was able to accomplish:

Now, let's hope something grows.


  1. Hooray!!! It looks great!! That bean trellis is gorgeous, and I love the idea of the spoon markers. Might be demonstrating some sincere flattery someday.

    Don't forget to do some succession planting. IN 2 weeks start some more lettuce, and in early July, broccoli and cauliflower for a good fall crop.

    Go Susanna!

  2. Simply amazing! I am so impressed with what you have accomplished - and I am sure your garden will flourish. The bean trellis is beautiful and will not only anchor beans, but will also be a real focus point for your beautiful back yard. Lovely, lovely...

  3. Anonymous08 May, 2012

    Looks great, Susanna. Very impressive! I am sure your hard work will pay off! -FUZZ

  4. It's going to be awesome! And you're food's going to be even more delicious.