It has taken two months, three separate days of planting, countless visits to the greenhouse and a lot of TLC, but our vegetable garden is finally complete! You may recall a previous post where I mentioned that I am not very good with plants. Well, so far I’m proud to say I have yet to kill anything.
This past weekend was a holiday long weekend. May 2-4 has long been regarded as the unofficial start to summer in Canada. It’s the first of several long weekends for the next few months, the first firework sightings of summer take place and everyone’s neighbourhood starts smelling like BBQ on a regular basis. Plus, if you follow along with the rules of fashion, you’re “allowed” to wear white, but let’s face it, some rules are just meant to be broken. This long weekend is also the time that everyone who knows a thing or two about gardening will tell you to start planting your garden beds and your vegetables. The last sign of frost has usually passed, the weather has warmed up and the days are getting longer.
We had some unbelievable weather on Friday and Saturday, but unfortunately, Sunday and Monday were rainy, cool and windy. Lucky for us, our schedules allowed for us to make hay (or veggies!) while the sun shines! We returned to the Niagara College Greenhouse to pick up some vegetable seedlings and herbs. I really liked the idea of purchasing as much as we could from the college. All the plants are grown and cared for by the students in the Horticultural program, so it feels good to support their hard work and dedication.
When we arrived, I made a beeline for the vegetable seedlings. We had a general idea of what we wanted to plant, but there was some room to make changes or additions along the way. We ended up getting three different varieties of tomatoes, mini cucumbers (labelled as “Homemade Pickles”), three different types of peppers, and a mini watermelon plant, just for fun! We also picked up a ton of different herbs like cilantro, rosemary, summer savory and chives. They even had Thai and Cinnamon Basil which I thought would be a fun addition to our garden. A student that worked there helped us out by offering suggestions of herbs and other plants that help with keeping unwanted bugs away. Lavender and Marigolds work really well as do any strong smelling herbs like mint. We weren’t able to get everything we were hoping to plant, so we went to Vermeer’s Garden Centre to get the rest. They had a huge selection of herbs and vegetables and between the two places we were able to get everything we wanted and even some things that we never planned on, like our adorable blueberry bush.
Picking out what we were going to plant was fun, but getting our hands dirty and planting them was even better. I was in my element planning out the garden layout, deciding which plants to put in each area. Ultimately, what we ended up with was a different than what we planned, but we anticipated that would be the case. Something I’ve learned with this garden is that you definitely have to be flexible.
It took us a couple of hours to get everything planted. We ended up with way more herbs than our container could hold, so I planted the rest in two window boxes that sit on the ledge of our deck railing. I also picked up some other perennial flowers and plants, including citronella to keep the bugs away and planted them in containers I already had laying around at home.
Before this garden, I was feeling rather defeated about our backyard. It was sparse and, with my limited knowledge, I had no idea where to begin to make it more welcoming. Now, however, just by planting some veggies, adding some containers around the deck and bringing our patio furniture out of storage it is a quant oasis where I love to sit with a good book or my laptop, a cool drink and listen to the birds that have made their home on our coach light.
I look forward to the first harvest of all our fresh and organic veggies and herbs. I anticipate a summer full of recipes inspired by my garden and can’t wait to share them all with you!