Archive of ‘Growing’ category

Seasonal Sweetness

My husband’s parents have the most amazing backyard. Hammocks, sitting areas, and so many beautiful (and delicious) plants. Thankfully, we spend a fair amount of time with them and are able to enjoy it all.
Right now, the mango tree is reaching its peak. We have the tastiest mangoes I’ve ever eaten, literally anytime we want. Here’s a glimpse of the bounty…

It’s things like this that make me thankful to live in this place.

If you know any awesome mango recipes, please post in the comments. We don’t want any to go to waste!

A Glimpse.

I’m woken early. Too early, considering I stayed up late working the night before. Begrudgingly I stumble out of bed as Seth begs for cartoon and a banana. I will my mind and body to awaken. I take care of my son and start my coffee, doing a few stretches as it brews, trying to bring some energy into muscles that would rather still be in bed.

By the time I’ve finished half my cup, the caffeine has begun to have its effect on my mind. The gears are turning now, and I jot down ideas as they come- for business, photography, writing, my to-do list and grocery list, and other random ideas. The thoughts are uncategorized in my mind and just want to be expressed. They push like people rushing to get out the small entry of a building- they’re limited only by how fast my hand can write. I’ll come back to this later, but for now I finish the last sip of coffee and move on.

After Seth and are fed and dressed, we head outside to dig and plant and water, until the Florida sun drives us indoors once again.
I love nurturing seedlings, planning the space, watching life come from tiny seeds, and most of all sharing it with my son. I pinch a basil leaf and hold it for him to smell, and he enthusiastically says “mmmm!” and laughs. His amazement at every new thing is precious and contagious. I can’t help but marvel at the smallest things and be thankful.

Life is truly beautiful.

garden progress

Summer has been pretty good to my plants. It’s been a challenge to keep Seth from trying to pull things up, or throw dirt- he’s just at that age right now- so I don’t get out there as often as I’d like. I did away with the cantaloupe plant entirely- It was taking over, wrapping itself around the other plants, and not looking extremely healthy anyway. Lesson learned- I think I’ll reserve the growing of melons for when I have a field of some sort behind my house, rather than a 3×5 foot raised bed… and I will research a plant for buying it on a whim from now on, hehe!

{almost} sunflowers
The sunflower seeds I started are doing well- It looks like I may see some flowers soon. (I hope!)

malabar spinach
malabar spinach
above two: malabar spinach.

red rubin basil
Red rubin basil. Started from seed. It’s doing okay, but is getting eaten a bit by something.

I started this from seed, and it is definitely my most successful gardening venture yet. This plant is huge- over two feet tall {probably should have pruned more in the beginning- I’m learning :)} It flowers like this all the time lately but I trim them off since I quite obviously have enough for now.

potted basil
{Potted basil} This is the product of my first attempt to root something in water. They’re doing really well!

frangipani {plumeria}
I bought this clipping at an art festival last year, and it finally sprouted leaves! I cant wait for the flowers.

It has been so very hot and humid, and there were things I didn’t plant in the spring because I read that they grow better in the fall in Florida- like tomatoes, lettuce and kale. I’m looking forward to starting those later this year!

Another gardening post…

What can I say?- it’s just that time of year, and I am so excited about my garden that I have to share. Yesterday we spent most of the day in the backyard building a planter box.

Here is the picture everyone has been waiting for: me using power tools.

watch out world

It was empowering. And deafening. My neighbors probably hate my guts.

{oh by the way check out my frangipani, in the pot behind me- it has finally sprouted some little leaves! I bought it at an art festival months and months ago and was wondering if it would ever do anything, but it is!}

Seth got in on the action too.


little builder
Literally, in. This was before we put down weed blocker and added dirt.

Little wormy friend:
worm friend

And the finished product:
new planter box
I transplanted my basil, malibar spinach, and cantaloupe plants, and I sowed seeds for red rubin basil, lemon balm, marigolds and sunflowers. I have eggplant, bell pepper and rosemary seeds starting inside that I will transplant when they’re ready.

I am so sore today- but it’s a good sore. I love this kind of work- it makes me feel like I am really connecting with the earth, growing food that I will {hopefully} serve to my family in the coming months and beyond.

Growing… gardens and children.

Today was supposed to be a big gardening day, building my planter box and getting lots of things started, but the rain caused it to be postponed until tomorrow. Tonight I am closing out my internet browser, and I am not opening it again until Seth goes to bed tomorrow. I feel like I’ve been to attached to this screen lately and I need to reconnect with the physical world and my family. I will only check my business email, but other than that tomorrow is computer-free for me until evening : )

Here is a picture I took of my basil plant (grown from seed by me) the day I got my new camera:

happy, healthy basil
{doesn’t it look happy?}

Speaking of growing, Seth has been doing entirely too much of that. I get misty-eyed if I think it about too much. But really, it’s so wonderful to watch. He is a joyful, sweet boy, so full of life and very smart. He can walk pretty much across a room now; it’s so cute.

i love this kid

the smile that melts my heart

swing, swing

he thought it was a dandelion :)
{blowing on a flower because he remembered about dandelions : ) }

little world-changer

i don't doubt it
{I love this shirt.}
oh, I don’t doubt it, my love-
you’ve certainly changed my world.

this is just the best

Dear Planet,

Thank you for your green and blue wonderfulness, for your miraculous existence. We, your inhabitants, basically suck at taking care of you. You support our every breath, and yet we are rarely thankful. We rarely give back. In fact, most of us appear to be doing everything in our power to destroy you. This makes me very sad. Some of us are trying to change our ways, trying to become one with you once again. I promise to keep trying. Today is your day (though everyday is, really)- thank you, Earth, for everything.



oh so yellow

{this bush on the side of our house is just bursting with these yellow flowers! it makes me smile}

Today we are getting my garden all set up, and I am so excited! We’re building a planter box/raised bed of sorts, and it is going to contain eggplant, bell peppers, rosemary, two types of basil, lemon balm and sunflowers. And marigolds for pest control. What a perfect day for such a project!

Oh and in other news, this photo is a finalist in the Greeblepix contest for April. I’m so excited :) Voting is open until tonight!

a desire to {grow}

I have not always had good luck with plants. Maybe it’s a combination of impatience and forgetfulness, but I just seem to kill them one way or another. I have an intense desire to garden though, to grow food for my family- to watch seeds I plant with my own hands grow and thrive.

We have a very small yard, but when we moved in I saw a lot of potential for a container garden. And here’s where the impatience comes in. I didn’t take the time to learn about container gardening- I just planted things and watered them and let it go. It turns out I chose the wrong soil, and at the wrong time of year, and I should have started the seeds inside first. So now I have but one or two little basil shoots that managed to survive my ignorance (but have not gotten any bigger in months now). Here is one of them:
cute, isn’t it?

So I am starting over. This spring and summer I picture myself and Seth outside, him playing happily in the yard while I prune and water and do other garden things. I have been so inspired by my aunt Taina who has a natural green thumb and has always grown things, and my sister-in-law Carolann, who grew a ton of food last year in her beautiful garden. I cooked with some of her own dried parsley when we visited recently; they have been eating preserved things from her garden all winter. She told me a story of looking all over the house for my little niece, only to find her sitting in the garden eating “matoes” off the vine! I love to think of Seth growing up watching his food grow, picking and eating strawberries and peas.

I recently read these two articles from Simple Organic: 1, 2, and I borrowed Organic Crops in Pots from the library. I am considering doing  a small (about 2×3 feet) raised bed, as well as things in containers this time. Some crops will just do better with a raised bed, I think. I want to do basil, parsley, and some other herbs, and strawberries, bell peppers, some leafy greens, and maybe eggplant. I am going to start seeds soon in cardboard egg cartons, and I’ll start preparations for my raised bed. I also want to look for some unique containers to re-purpose- some ideas I’ve seen are olive oil cans, galvanized buckets, big metal colanders, and wooden fruit boxes.

Do you have a garden? or a few things in pots? Any advice for a newbie?

Wish me luck- I am determined not to kill them this time! {gracious, if I can grow a person, plants shouldn’t be that big a deal, right? hehe.}

Oh I also love You Grow Girl and am planning to borrow or buy the book Grow Great Grub.