Garden Diary 2021
I've got BIG goals this year! Last year, I started my first, full-blown kitchen garden with amazing success. This year, I'm taking the lessons I learned and expanding it to a new level. In addition to growing edibles, I'm going to attempt to landscape almost my entire yard - by seed!
But that's not all! Unlike last year, I plan to plant a fall garden, a container garden, a better vertical garden, and a year-round indoor herb and leafy green garden!
I have long desired to transform my suburban yard into a charming, cottage-style kitchen garden, filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs, and three-season floral color to attract and protect wildlife. For the back yard, I've wanted a Japanese-style private, shady gathering space for friends, family and cookouts. I love to visit public and private gardens for inspiration, like Hillwood, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, and the U.S. Botanic Garden.
The problem has always been cost. Even though my suburban lot is only 1/4 acre, I could easily spend a year's salary on nothing but plants and gardening equipment. Dense shade trees in the front and back yard prevent grass from growing, and therefore most of the yard is made of landscape beds, decks and hardscape. Over the years, I've tried to fill it with perennials, but planting a few at a time here and there never amounted to much. Many of them died in the harsh winters or were overtaken by invasives, and had to be planted all over again. The cost added up very quickly, and I barely made a dent.
Last year, I filled in some spaces by direct sowing annuals, like zinnias, marigolds and amaranth. But after cleaning out several overgrown beds, I was left with even more empty space, most of which is under partial or full shade, eliminating the option for planting my favorite sun-loving flowers.
And then there are the garden accessories. Trellises, planter boxes, and garden furniture cost a fortune! But a little DIY will solve that, too! I've dusted off my power tools, bought a few new ones, and am ready to start building again. Here's how I built my first two planter boxes last year.
If you want to know where you can buy seeds, too, check out my comprehensive list. Seeds are running out, so make sure you get yours soon!
Follow my 2021 garden journey
So, I'm all in! I've got a plan (somewhat)! Seed starting equipment, seed company lists, and power tools are all in place. Save this post where I'll be adding links below to monthly updates a year long!
Or, if you want a recap of what we accomplished last year, go to the Garden Diary 2020 post with links to the garden season.