And so the garden grows

About three weeks ago I wrote about Beginning my Garden. Now, after waiting a bit, I can see that the garden has grown. Not only have the fruits and vegetables in our raised bed grown, but flowers and other things in the garden as well. Spring is upon us!

Finally in bloom!

Finally in bloom!

After five years of caring for this baby lilac, it has finally bloomed! The wait was worth it; its rich perfume fills the air and is a pleasure to behold.

At it's beginnings; the garden about 3 weeks ago

At it’s beginnings; the garden about 3 weeks ago

The garden now!

The garden now!

Everyday it seems to grow more and more. The lettuces look good enough to eat, but I know I must be patient!

lettuce

 

It’s really exciting to watch your food grow. Each day I have found myself ¬†peeking out the window searching for some sign of growth. Slowly, but surely, this growth has become evident.

Roses in bloom

Roses in bloom

Every year we have been blessed with beautiful blooms, such as these. For months they will decorate our house and garden.

Gardens are a blessing. We see the fruit of our labor in the growth of the flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. I can feel Spring in the air as the garden around me blooms into a diverse mix of beautiful plants.

Beginning a Garden

This weekend, one of the planters in my backyard was transformed into a raised bed vegetable garden. This planter had once held only one, large rosemary plant, and was otherwise useless. The rosemary was torn out, as well as the red brick bordering and a wooden box built around it. The box was then filled with soil and later vegetables.

Before: Planter filled with Rosemary

Before: Planter filled with Rosemary

 

Though I did not take part in the building of the wood box, it was an interesting process to watch and an essential part of building our garden.

After the removal of bricks and rosemary

After the removal of bricks and rosemary

An empty canvas, ready to be filled with plants

An empty canvas, ready to be filled with plants

The first step to securing a good future for your potential plants is making sure the soil is rich with the nutrients your plants will need. Don’t skimp on soil! It’s there to nourish your food.

After taking a trip to the garden store, we brought home small plants. We did not start with seeds this time, though in the future it will definitely be something to try!

The beginnings of a garden!

The beginnings of a garden! Featuring: Molly, the dog

We planted a variety of lettuces, cucumbers, swiss chard, spinach, sweet peas, onions, strawberries and a variety of herbs. Now all that’s left to do is water and watch. Getting your hands in the soil and planting something that will hopefully grow into an edible vegetable is amazing. After planting these vegetables with my own two hands, I’m excited to see what this garden will contribute to our table. Will this first crop succeed? Wait and see.

Ocean Breeze

ocean1

View of the ocean from the cliffs

Friday afternoon; the park is a buzz with activity. My dog leads the way, pulling us behind her with her leash. The park is up on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. Cool, ocean breezes drift up to us preventing our warm bodies from overheating. Salty air awakens the senses, bringing you and your surroundings to life.

seagull

A seagull, perched and unmoving

 

A still seagull sits atop a wooden post, swaying slightly in the breeze. Not even my approaching startles this peaceful seagull, though the birds are usually rather flighty. It seemed that us humans were not the only relaxed ones in the park.

A walk takes your mind off of things, but can also give you time to think. My favorite weather to walk is cool, but not cold with a whisper of wind. And that is exactly yesterday’s conditions. Because my dog came along there was a perfect balance of swift walking and time to dawdle while she sniffed the grass. Bright flowers edged the path, including the famous California poppies.

calipoppys

California poppies growing on the side of the path

Near the end of our walk we came across an older woman and her dog resting on a bench. She told us a bit about her dog, and was soon talking about herself. She suggested a book author to me and told us a bit about her family. When walking in the park you never know who you will meet. This woman was truly a character, with an English accent and an equally English name. It was an interesting encounter, and I learned a bit about the history of a type of dog I’d never heard of. Take a walk! You never know what you may find.

 

Saturday in the Park

Last Saturday: After a lazy morning, I decided to go down to the local deli. After ordering a delightful chicken sandwich, I walked to a lovely little park that has ocean views, and big grassy fields. The park was just the place to be; there was a group of adorable young kids playing games, and a few others relaxing on blankets as well. With the kids laughter in the background and the wind in my hair, I settled down for a picnic.

park

The soft wind and warm sun, made us sleepy on a the cozy blanket after our meal. After a long time of just peacefully starring at the sky, we rallied ourselves and took the short walk to a near by grocery. There we bought ice cream and again returned to the park to stare at the sea and eat ice cream.

icecreampark

This time we camped out on a small bench over looking the sea. The smell of the ocean, mixed with the cooling ice cream made for a delicious snack.

Picnics at parks are one of the best things to do. Being outdoors invigorates you, making you more hungry and the food more satisfying. It is a wonderful thing to have an entire afternoon to do nothing, and be outdoors at the same time. The ocean, the trees, and the blue sky created a relaxing atmosphere, letting me forget my worries. A lot of the time my mind is off in another place, thinking of school work, and plans but on that day I was simply in the moment.

Thursday Farmer’s Market

My town enjoys a beautiful, fresh farmers market a few times a week. My family usually makes it their business to always visit the Saturday morning market, but by Tuesday we were already beginning to run out of Saturday’s bounty. And so, we took a trip to the Tuesday market.

Some of the vegetables the Famer's market has to offer

Some of the vegetables the Farmer’s market has to offer

The market was bustling and alive with people. Street musicians playing music gave the market a lively and almost celebratory air. Stands overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables lined the street. I walked to one of my favorite organic farms stand to pick up the most delicious spinach I have ever had, and one of my personal favorites during spring, snap peas.

snappeas

After picking up a few things at that stand, I wandered around the market until I came to a stand with some beautiful strawberries I simply could not resist. With spring around the corner, the market had many things to offer that we hadn’t seen all winter.

strawberriess

The Market’s lively environment and fresh produce makes for a great shopping experience. Being in the fresh late afternoon air, and seeing many faces of the community is also nice. After going to the market at least once a week, my family has become familiar with some of the farmers and their crew. Farmer’s markets are great; the food is fresh, the people healthy, and the vibe is great. If there’s a local farmer’s market in your area, take a trip there. You may enjoy it!

Spring Arrival in the Garden

March is here, and it’s beginning to look like spring. In the gardening plants are beginning to bloom or are already blooming. I took a few pictures of the outdoors while on a walk in the garden.

Lilac in bloom

Lilac in bloom

Lilacs are a beautiful, purple color when in bloom that let off an intoxicating scent. Some lilacs, like these, only bloom for around 2 weeks, which makes this period very special. The lilacs in my own garden have yet to bloom, and simply look like a stick growing out the ground, so I took a picture of my neighbors beautiful lilacs which I always make sure to smell when I walk by. Lilacs are some of the most special flowers, because of their short spanned bloom, and are quite enchanting.

Lilac not yet in bloom

Lilac not yet in bloom

Freesia in bloom

Freesia in bloom

Freesia are beautiful flowers with a distinctive sweet scent that many have re-created in perfume. Each year freesia’s multiply, bringing more of that sweet smell with them.

Agave

Agave

Agave plants rarely bloom, because after their one and only bloom they die. Our agave in my front yard has begun to bloom, and these large stocks are beginning to grow from it. Goodbye beautiful agave, thank you for your bloom.

gardentree

In my backyard we have camellia’s that are bright and pink. These flowers often fall from the tree, creating a floor of flowers, as shown in the picture above.

That are so many beautiful plants and flowers out there, what is your favorites?