I am primarily a kitchen gardner, whereas my mom and grandmother were mostly flower gardners and grow edibles as a pastime. My grandfather was the one who grew the edibles. I cannot sit and eat my garden carrots without thinking about him. I think I started the vegetable garden because it felt right. I think somewhere along the line, I realized I was doing it to fill the void left from his death and the end of his vegetable garden. My vegetable garden is sort of a memorial to him. I also have some typical flowerbeds in the front and back of the house. I tend to fill these with plants that like neglect, because I like flowers, but I just don't have any real passion about raising them. I think it is the fact that the house is rented and I don't want to put the time in because I know that eventually, we'll move. The front flowerbeds are filled with lantana and the back flowerbed (also known as the Shadow Garden) is filled with passalong plumbago.
When we rented the house, it was a blank slate. No flowerbeds. Just a messy looking porch. But oh, there was potential there. We were given permission to do anything we wanted with the yard, so long as it was removable and not an eyesore. Easy. Too easy. My landlord is going to be thrilled when we leave since I have since built 7, count'em 7, raised beds. The materials will go with me. The improved dirt will stay. Anything is an improvement over black clay. I'll even be nice and till it in where I can.
Onto the plans for the spring...
I am in the process of building the 7th raised bed. A tree died during the hurricane two years ago and the landlord decided last week to remove the stump. The only problem was that what was left was basically a hole in the ground where nothing would grow, except maybe weeds. I am repurposing some leftover edging from Mom's garden as the border for this one. I'll fill the bed with garden soil and probably some annuals, although I am debating about some other ideas for this one. I might make it into a child's garden and letting Anthony take care of it. I realize that he is barely 3, but if I mix some annuals and fast growing edibles, I might have a winner on my hands. I will definately have to do transplants of some sort, because I am pretty sure that he will not have the patience to wait for seeds to grow.
I built the 6th raised bed only a few weeks ago. It is a Three Sisters bed, which I am trying out this year. If it is successful, I'll do it again. I have planted it with Silver Queen Corn and Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans. In a week or so, I'll plant a variety of squash seeds (zucchini, tatume, yellow, patty pan).
I am growing tomatoes and peppers again this year, along with a variety of herbs. New to the garden are carrots, garlic, onions, cucumber (pickles!), cabbage, broccoli, peas, bush green beans, brussel sprouts, turnips, and beets. I have potatoes growing in trash cans, as well as blueberries and strawberries growing in pots. I am VERY excited to see how it all turns out.