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Garden Update

My garden is doing way better than I thought was possible. For my first year, things have gone smoothly. Although, I’ve had some minor issues with blossom-end rot on my tomatoes and slugs almost devoured my basil. But, everything is HUGE! The twine and rope on the left is a quick trellis I had to make for the cucumbers. It’s staked at the base of the garden and then tied up to the fence. This is the perfect place for the cucumbers to climb.

I’ve got Super Sweet 100 Cherry tomatoes which I’ve learned are indeterminate. They kinda just sprawl across the ground and don’t go straight up.

Then, I’ve got Romas. They are determinate and grow straight up. This is something I wish I would have known when planting. I would have planned the space a bit differently. Because, as you can tell from the photo above, everything looks like a jungle.

 For some reason, my favorite has been the pickling cucumbers. I’ve learned that it’s best to build them a trellis. Not only do they take up a lot of prime real estate in your garden but they are also susceptible to powdery mildew. If you get powdery mildew, it cannot be composted because if you use your compost in your garden the powdery mildew will spread to other plants. Yuck, gross, and sad.

One big surprise is that Mister Bunny’s Easter Lily is blooming! I’m a bit surprised because sometimes when you transplant you can’t expect to get blooms in the same season. Like with my irises. They’ll bloom next season.

 My herb garden is super happy. Starting from the back left I’ve got Thyme, Oregano, Flat Leaf Parsely, Marigolds, Chives, Basil, and Lavendar.

 I made this simple bamboo and twine fencing to keep the dog from running through here. It’s totally works and couldn’t be easier.

The mint was not happy in the corner of the yard where I placed it, so it’s been relegated to a pot.

 My morning glories are coming in! They are so beautiful. I’ve got magenta, dark and light blue, and purple. So pretty!

Finally, I was able to get one harvest out of my dwarf peas. I planted these late in the season and so I’m happy it worked out!

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Here’s my take on some super simple garden makers. I like my garden makers to all look the same because I feel like it creates some visual continuity among all the variety of plants.

1.) Gather your supplies. You’ll need: craft popsicle sticks ($2), pencil, and wood burning tool ($14). 2.) Draw/sketch out how you’d like to write your names. If you’ve got different tips for your wood burning tool you can basically create your own font. I could only find one tip, so I had to go with simple block lettering. 3.) Burn your names into the sticks. 4.) Admire your work. 5.) Place in your garden. You can also easily burn the back of the stick so that you can view the name from all angles if necessary.

 

 

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Yay! I’m doing a small happy dance because my plants are FINALLY in the ground. I’ve been doing so much prepping just waiting for the hypothetical last frost date to be in the clear, so that I could put the little vegetable lovelies in the ground. We gotten lots of rain here and so it was the perfect time to work in the soil. TIP: If you plan on planting anything in the ground it’s best to work in your garden/yard right after it rains. It’s so much easier and when there’s less energy being used it keeps you happier. Therefore, wanting to get back out there again and again. If you burn yourself out, you’ll not want to keep it all up.

Two weekends ago, I made my way to my home town to spend some quality time with my family. Close to my parents, my grandparents’ happen live on the same 200+ acres for the past 50 years and so they’ve got loads of materials they were willing to part with for my garden. The biggest thing was all of the white rocks you’ll see. I’m a bit surprised how sentimental my backyard is quickly becoming, it’s not something that I expected. Doing all of this work and acquiring the materials, really makes your space feel like something that needs to be loved and cared for.

Just for some reference: Here’s what I started with BEFORE

And here’s the progress I’ve made so far-

It’s looking much better! Like I said, we’ve had lots of rain lately so my grass needs a good trimming but that’ll be ongoing. The water trough behind the picnic table I’ve got big plans for so stay tuned for that!

This cute little bunny was my mom’s. It was gifted to her before I was born and it is holds an Easter Lily from my grandparent’s backyard.

These irises are great for hotter, drier climates. They are super hardy and come back every year. I pulled these up from my grandparent’s backyard and where they were started 50 years ago. So, these are off springs from their original irises from when they moved into their house. Also, since I rent, this was a great FREE option to add some extra flowers to my backyard. And because they can be transplanted so easily, when I move they are coming with me!

Here’s my little herb garden. Right now, I’ve got thyme, basil, oregano, Italian parsley, and English lavender. The oddly placed rock on the side there is marking where my chives will be going.

In the veggie garden are my bell peppers. I’ve planted red and sweet orange varieties.

And here’s one of my four tomato plants. I’ve got Romas and Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes. The super sweet ones are recommended my Martha Stewart as being delicous and easy to grow.

My vegetables include:

Red Okra, Dwarf Peas, Carrots, Pickling Cucumbers, Roma Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Bell peppers. Also, I’ve planted some Marigold seeds because they are a great flower that helps with pollenating and such.

The pine needles you see placed around the base of each plant serve as a mulch. They protect the roots of the plant from drying out and help the soil to retain moisture. And they are also from my grandparent’s pine trees. See what I mean by sentimental?

I’ve got more work to do, but lots is happening back here. Hopefully in the next couple of months, I’ll get to see some fruits of my labor.

Sorry, my Instagram (follow me at mlmarcum) photos are kinda dark. Boo. Didn’t realize that. 

Follow my graden progress and list of to-do items here.

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Do you see that oddly, uneven, weed filled slab of concrete under the chairs? Well I’ve got some plans floating around in my head for it. I’m trying to decided what to do on the concrete that might add some color or interest. I could a) leave it as is b.) put an outdoor rug on it or c.) paint it. I’m leaning more toward C. Since I rent, this will be a fun low cost update and my landlord doesn’t care.

Here’s Martha Stewart’s (and minions) how-to on painting a faux brick floor. I like this idea a lot and it would also look kinda awesome as it weathers.

I’m also loving this simple design shown on Brilliant Interiors:

And then I also found this great tutorial from HGTV on how to paint a faux rug.

I’d love to do something intricate and colorful, but I don’t have the time and I’m not wanting to invest a bunch of money. So I could easily just do one color and use the “natural” concrete as the secondary color. What do you think? What would you do? I’m interested to hear.

You can find my other posts about the beginnings of my rental backyard makeover here and here.

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So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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