Tuesday, February 25, 2014

last years garden (and our garden before & after pictures)

Freeland & I had a great weekend. His dad was in town and got to meet the kids for the first time. It was wonderful. And our dear best friend Zach was also in town visiting another friend who had surgery at the clinic so we reaped the benefit and got lots of time with him too. It was seriously a great weekend and Freeland & I both went to bed sad last night that it was over. (but so thankful for it)

This last weekend spring also made an appearance. Its already snowing again by this morning.. but it made us want to start planning our garden so I have that on my mind now as I sit freezing in our living room! ha.

After years of wanting a garden.. last year was our first time to really do our own garden at the house. I loved it. I never realized how much we would enjoy having a garden. Freeland had one previously in college. And then he worked at a farm.. so he was used to it. However, it was a new thing for me.

The kids also LOVED it. Which makes me even more excited for this year.

When we moved in the previous owner had a garden established. 

The only thing that came up that summer were carrots, some radishes, and potatoes I believe. But the soil was amazing and we had compost ready so those things were taken care of.

Here is the garden the summer we moved in:


those are herbs at the end flowering. the soil was great. But it was smaller than we wanted and weeds were taking over ..

In the process of planning it Freeland decided to expand the garden and build up a fence. So we did that first. He dug up all the grass and tilled it all and then started building the fence.





The basic finished product:

Then in February we started a chunk of the garden from seed:

Then in April (while Freeland was in Kenya) I planted all the seeds and all the veggies that we started inside:

note: me planting these was probably the best thing we could have done because it made me force myself to learn what I was doing. IT WAS SO MUCH WORK! (because Im ummm weak and because I couldnt keep the spacing etc. right as I went.) But, I can guarantee you if Freeland were home he would have done it and I never really would have learned it and then I never really would have taken ownership of the garden and helped maintain it. And I really wouldnt have cared or enjoyed it nearly as much.

Freeland & I also had very different ideas of how the garden should be maintained. ha. Hes really relaxed so maybe he wishes I hadnt done it because then I became like a drill sergeant trying to keep it up.


Then in May it was this:



beginning of June:

and then things blew up in July:

at the beginning of July we got all our peas and strawberries started popping up along with a few others:



the family that shells peas together stays together, right? This was a lot of fun. Wylder ate half of them as he went. It was a surprise we had any left.


and the end of july it just got crazy:


spaghetti squash







the start of asparagus.. it takes a few years to harvest.



our little gardeners:







river learned how to make fresh salsa thanks to all our tomatoes:





and then it just went on and on and was so much fun. We used what we could and froze the rest. And throughout the winter I have almost used up the rest. The boys loved helping pick everything. I wouldnt say it helped them EAT any more of it but they did enjoy it.

And lastly just for fun, by november here is what the garden looked like. (the last of the harvest)






But here's what they dont tell you about having a garden.. if you go one week without maintaining it (especially during a summer with a lot of rain) you get this:


I felt like all summer long we shouldnt have called it gardening.. we should have called it pulling weeds. Thats what it felt like. It was honestly a lot to keep up with. But it was rewarding to do all the work. And I think this year we will do a better job of planning, spacing, and maintaining it so it wont be as bad. We learned a lot last year. A LOT. I guess that was the best part - learning as we went. and enjoy the fruit of lots of work and discipline.

Im pretty sure I just wrote a sermon somewhere in there. youre welcome. 

Now, onto the books to start planning this years garden. Boom.

We also did a ton of work in our yard and on our patio so maybe by next winter I will post those pictures! ;)


  1. In college I helped a lady with her kids, cooking and gardening. She would put hay down around the plants (pretty thick) and it kept the weeds from growing (as much) and kept the moisture in, and also kept your feet cleaner when you walked in the garden.... may be something to research!!! I LOVE gardening and it looks like your garden was AMAZING!!!

    1. Thats a WONDERFUL idea!!!! Thank you so much Lindsey!!!!

  2. OMGoodness, Brooke. I want to do a garden soooo bad. I am sooo afraid though, lol. You know I have my hands full in the home not sure of how it would translate outside too? Were there ALOT of bugs? With out me having anyone in my home with any knowledge on gardening. Are there any good starter books you MIGHT know of to recommend?

    1. Youre awesome LaShunda! Dont be afraid! Theres no harm in doing one and it not working! Youre hands are SO full! So, yes.. there were bugs. But the kids loved it because they would just dig for worms while I pulled weeds. ha. I dont know the best books.. but before we had a garden I just tried doing things in containers or in pots outside. that might be easier to start with because you wont get weeds like you would in a garden and you could maintain them easier. If you just did some tomatoes or strawberries or whatever you wanted in a few pots this summer you could see how you enjoy it before you make a huge garden!! I will see if I can find a book you might like too! (pinterest was a great resource as I had questions too!)

  3. Yes yes a thousand times yes on the asparagus! We planted our first this past summer and I feel like it will be an eternity before we get to taste the fruits (veggies?) of our labor.