A Look At My Garden

In honor of Earth Day I thought I would share what I pulled out of our garden this evening for part of our dinner.

garden

garden

Tote available at West Elm

I also brought in some fresh spinach.

garden

In an effort to care for the earth God has graciously given us and keep toxic chemicals out of my family, I garden organically. Can you tell? This little guy below almost went down the garbage disposal until I rescued him! Now, where to put him….

garden

My garden is nothing to write home about, but here I sit writing about it in hopes of encouraging someone else to start a garden too.

garden

I placed it on the side of the house so I would be more likely to take care of it. It is just a few steps out the front door and through the gate. I love that we can see it out our dining room window. I love checking on it. 🙂

It’s amazing what a couple of small, raised garden boxes purchased at Home Depot can produce. Our lot is solid rock beneath the grass, but with a variety of rich organic compost, vermiculite mixed in (to help retain water), occasional watering and love, plants just grow!

garden

My gardening knowledge is slim at best. I buy small starter plants for a couple of dollars each season from various garden centers and just stick them in the ground and let nature take its course. It’s so much fun watching the plants grow and seeing what is produced!

garden

garden

I learn what is grown each season in my region by simply checking to see what is available at the garden centers.

garden

A couple of ways I get the green goodness into my boys–who are not huge fans of salad or sauteed kale— is through juicing

garden

and smoothies,

garden

Mixture of fresh and frozen organic fruit, spinach, water and raw, local honey.

and tacos!

garden

I believe the key to my garden’s success has been a good variety of organic compost. I started my boxes with four different varieties and in the past couple of years have only added in one type of compost from the garden center each year to add a fresh boost of nutrients. I also add compost that we make ourselves. We keep a ceramic container on the counter by the sink for all of our egg shells, coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps. My dad lifted the lid once thinking cookies might be inside. Nothing like rotting fruit to dash your hopes! Surprisingly, I have never been able to smell anything coming from the container. There is a carbon filter in the lid that does the trick.

garden

I add the contents to the tumbling composter we purchased at Costco that is next to the garden just inside the gate. My four-year old loves spinning the composter with me. I try to spin it a couple of times a week. My husband adds our grass clippings to the mix to help balance the mixture. You learn after a while when the mix needs either more grass or more fruit and vegetable scraps. Sometimes, I add a little water to moisten everything up. Eventually, golf ball sized clumps of dirt form that I crumble up into my garden. It’s fascinating!

Ideally, I would love for my garden to look more like the photo below with pea gravel surrounding my beds

garden

and flagstone steps leading to it.

garden

Taken at a model home.

When I initially started the garden, my fifteen year old doubted I could produce anything from it. He saw the small boxes of dirt and little plants and was not impressed. I’m so glad I’ve been able to show him that it’s possible to grow your own food! It’s wonderfully therapeutic to spend time planting and tending the garden and I love showing my boys the amazing creations that come out of it. If you have at least a small area that gets a good amount of sun, you can do it too! Happy Earth Day!

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Presenting the Purple Room

It’s official. I’m in love with the purple. Collaboration is a beautiful thing because if it were not for my son’s desire for a purple room, I never would have gone in that direction.

purple room

I chose to paint the purple up the wall, on the angle because it makes the ceiling appear higher and draws your eye up. I am not painting the whole room. For some reason, maybe our high ceilings, maybe my uncooperative body, I have chosen to paint just one wall in each room of our home.

purple room

I used whatever we had on hand for his bedding. The quilt was made for me by my mom before I went to college. I have it reversed. The alpaca blanket is from South America. A gift for my son from my mom and dad last Christmas.

purple room

How I wish the headboard and bed frame would sand and stain or paint themselves. The color of the wood makes me think of outdated kitchen cupboards. I’m in love with the geometric gray and yellow, wool pillow found some months back on clearance at Target.

purple room

The horns were $5 at an estate sale. I’m so glad they found a home here.

purple room

Here is my attempt at a DIY string pendant. I learned what not to do when making one and was also pleasantly surprised by the results–as were my older sons. My four-year old is easily impressed and joyfully helped in the pendant making process. Crafting buddies rock!

string pendant

We could do without the pendant in the room. But my son loves it. It also adds a great source of light in the evening.

purple room

It’s like having a moon in your room.

purple room

The curtains were on sale at Target and are a great linen texture.

curtains

They are gauzy and see through. I would love to leave them as is, but I layered them with room darkening curtains to help my son sleep.

curtains curtainscurtains

We started here.

bedroom

And now we are here.

purple room

Anyone on board the purple train with me? Thoughts on the headboard and bed frame being painted black? I’m reluctant to paint over wood grain, and think maybe sanding and staining a deeper color is the answer some days. For now and maybe forever, it will do since my son loves his purple room.