Doing Something I’ve Never Done

Again, not a kitchen update today, sorry! However, I cannot deny that spring is here and that I need to start thinking about our flower and veggie gardens.

As most of you know, Graham and I garden at the Community Gardens here in town (actually, Graham just finished up his term as president and I currently write for the blog and we couldn’t be happier to be doing more than just digging in the dirt for this great community program).

Things have been busy the past couple of weeks getting different items set up in preparation for our gardeners to begin planting in their plots. It has definitely kept the smell of tomato vines fresh in my mind {my FAVORITE part of gardening, aside from eating the delicious food, is the smell of tomato vines…weird, I know}.

Along with our veggies over at the community garden plot, last year I took my first stab at “sprucing” up some of our flower beds. My ultimate goal would be to have a lot of perennials while still maintaining a few spaces to plant annuals.

012 and 061 Before and After Landscape

I really dislike hostas {I know, I am in the minority}, so those shady perennials are not an option. Last year, I dug up a border of hostas along our garage and created a flower bed {don’t worry, I gave all the hostas away to good homes}. In this flower bed, I am slowing planting some perennials and will add some planter pots with annuals to fill in the gaps during the summer! Last year I planted two double peony plants on the ends {good news: they are both growing back this year!} and planted some tulips and hyacinths to bloom in spring {while I scramble to figure out the rest of the summer’s plantings…ie, what I am doing right now}.

The rest of the flower beds in our backyard are SO SHADY, it is going to be trial and error to see what will work {other than those blasted hostas}. So, I plan on trying out a couple or so new perennials every year, see how it does, and just fill in the rest of the empty spaces with potted {shady} annuals.

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{ last year I planted chives, zinnias, and geraniums in some containers…this was right after planting…the containers did fill out! }

When I received an email from this week, I took it as a sign to get my “hands dirty” with this year’s gardening plan {even though we are NO WHERE near complete in the kitchen}. However, my thinking {or rationale for adding more things to my plate right now}, is that like cows and still needing to be milked every day {even on Christmas day…thank you to all our farmers and most specifically, a farmer on Cassell Acres}, seeds need to be sowed in spring! I had garden storage on my mind as well, I wanted to make sure that I had enough to keep everything ‘garden’ inside an outside area, my friend sent me a link to ‘shop sheds for sale‘ so I can browse what they have to solve my little need! There are quite a lot of options to choose from and I didn’t realize so much thought would have to go into it. From materials to size and then color, there is just so much choice! I know which material I’d like and certainly know the color but I’m not too sure about the size. I know that before you install a shed you need to have some Site Prep done so I’m going to work out my measurements and have the site prepped before I commit to a size just yet.

Burpee’s email focused on flowers, so that is what I turned my attention to {I will figure out veggies with Graham later…he leaves the “pretties” up to me}.

This year I am going to attempt something I would have never dreamed of doing in the past {remember, it was just last year that I actually planted flowers in the backyard — my thumb is still a bit brown, rather than green when it comes to flowers}. But, as a homeowner, I have become much more “willing” to learn new things to try and make our house more of our home {I can no longer call the landlord at 4 am to tell HIM he has to come and fix the water heater that is explosively spewing water everywhere…our home, and its improvements, are now up to us}. Issues with the water heater are always irritating, especially on winter nights when you just want a hot shower. However, it does happen and we now have to monitor these issues to ensure the water heater is repaired as soon as any issues arise. When our heater started leaking last time, our landlord was able to sort it out. Nowadays, it’s going to be up to us to fix. Thankfully, my friend recently recommended Paul The Plumber (click here now to learn more about their services). She said they could repair the water heater next time anything happens to it, ensuring we can quickly get the hot water back. Hopefully, this won’t happen anytime soon, but it is good to keep a plumber’s number in mind.

In any case, I am going to try ordering seeds/plants online. There are just SO MANY cool plants, some that I have never seen before, that I want to see if I can actually add them to my backyard this year! I was thinking about sowing some seeds indoors {whoa baby, I should probably slow down here}, but I have quickly realized that I am probably too late for that. But, I will try planting some seeds {directly into the ground, or “direct sow”} rather than buying all “already started for you” plants. I’ve also been thinking about getting a new fence in our garden too. I’ve been looking on websites like and it seems like a really good idea, if I do say so myself! If I’m going to be putting lots of time and effort into planting new flowers, I want the rest of the backyard to look good as well! It could probably do with some new turf being put down but I’m taking things one step at a time!

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{ last year’s flowers laid out and ready for planting }

Not to have all my eggs in one basket, however, I am only planning on a couple of “test” areas for these flowers – I fully anticipate still buying a bulk of my flowering needs from the nursery I found last year {that I LOVE}.

Unfortunately, since I do have that really shady backyard {although it will be better this year without the treehouse} it does limit my flower choices. But, I do like a lot of the “shade” annuals and I plan on adding a few “full sun” flowers to our garden plot at the Community Gardens!

The first thing I checked on was the growing calendar that Burpee offers:

I could quickly see which flowers were still an option {as far as when they would need to be planted in the ground, or if there was still time to start the seeds indoors}. I definitely plan on using this growing calendar to help pick out veggies as well!

I ended up purchasing not only flower seeds, but also herb seeds as well {okay, and I will admit it, I also purchased Burpee’s “suggestion” for a $1.97 seed sower as they sucked me for that during checkout}.

Here is what I ended up going with:


Zinnia, Queen Red Lime Variety





{ all photos from }

I also purchased seeds for cilantro {I put that …well you know… on everything}, parsley, basil, and dill. And, of course, the seed sower.

I am questioning one thing, however. For instance, the cornflower packet comes with 200 seeds. Won’t that last me a LIFETIME if I am planting the flower in a container {for instance}?!?!

{Okay, I might be regretting this seed business later on, but for now I will just pretend like I have a hope and a prayer with these flowers}