Our Garden: It’s a learning experience.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve taken you outside for a little tour, so I thought it was time for an update.

First of all, here’s the world out front.

I won my little battle against the weeds in the path and we’ve trimmed up some of the hedges. There’s a fun hot-pink something-or-other blooming now. So yay for the front of the house!

Now onto the veggie garden.

I’ll be honest with you. When I was editing these photos last night, I was wondering why I was even sharing them at all. There’s not much of a ta-da here.

In fact, some of these are downright embarrassing. The weeds! The cucumber beetle damage!

Oh, those cucumber beetles. Two weeks ago, I didn’t even know what they were. Then one morning I found about 20 on each of my pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, melons, etc. I tried the old soap and water trick. That did nothing. I tried a slightly harsher, but still natural store-bought spray. Nope. Then I got up the courage to try the “squish their little bodies and leave the carcasses on the leaves so that it smells like death to them” method.

I wore gloves, but I still screamed the whole time. I’m not going lie. At least out here, there’s no one to hear me! So I just scream away as much as I need to in order to get the job done.

I don’t know if it was really my bug killing or not, but after a few days, I saw a lot fewer beetles on my plants. And now there are hardly any at all. I trimmed back most of the damaged parts and look! We have zucchinis growing! I think that means I may have done something right! I think they might survive!

So why am I showing you photos of my sad-looking plants? Is this supposed to motivate you to go out and create a beautiful garden of your own? Well, maybe, but probably not. But also, maybe your garden looks like mine. And maybe you know nothing about gardening and it’s a learning experience for you too. So maybe you’ll realize that you’re not the only one with a half-successful garden in a bloggy world where we only show off our best. I just love getting a little taste of reality up in here every now and then.

Or maybe your garden doesn’t look like mine. Maybe it’s thriving and full and weedless and maybe this will help you realize how much you’ve learned in your gardening pursuits and how much you really do know. And maybe you’ll share some of that knowledge with me!

One day I’ll be just like you, Experienced Gardener Lady. And this is how I’m getting there.

Don’t worry. I did pull that weed after I saw it in this photo.

People have been checking up on our garden. They drive by and report back to Chris’ parents. They’ve been saying nice things. I know they just can’t see all the weeds from the road, but it does make me feel encouraged.

If it wasn’t looking so good, I know we’d hear about it. “So, I hear you’re having a little trouble with the old garden, there.” With a little wink and a smile. Or something like that. Because we’re those crazy kids with the too-big garden who moved here from the city and suddenly we think we’re little farmers or something. But they don’t say that! They just say it’s looking good!

And we have corn! I can’t wait until the rows get to be really tall. I don’t know what it is with me and corn fields, but I just love them.

This. This view is what makes me feel like it’s all not so bad. The leeks and the broccoli and the cauliflower. They’re all just as happy as can be.

Can you tell my mind is just spinning? Can you tell I have 1001 thing to show you and tell you all about this garden? Can you tell I’m lost and hopeful and overwhelmed and a little proud all at the same time?

I guess that’s why the only way I can sum it up is to say: Yup, it’s a learning experience.

And the season’s really only just getting started.


  1. says

    I think you are doing a terrific job and heck you already have produce and that’s good this early in the year. I’ve been gardening for many, many years and there are two things you can do that might help a little. Always (if you can) water in the morning and plant your plants a little closer together (don’t leave a lot of space between the rows) and you’ll have less weeding to do. I buy most of my seeds and plants from Burpee on-line. They tend to be more bug resistant and just grow better. Keep up the good work. I know you are going to have a garden you can really be proud of.

  2. says

    You should be proud of your garden. It is bound to have challenges and a learning curve, but they all start somewhere and at least you guys started. I think you might be pleasantly surprised when it comes to harvest time. If and when we move one day, and the veggie garden becomes a reality, I will be looking to you for advice :)

  3. says

    Your home looks lovely and your garden is really coming along! Good for you! For a beginner, you must be doing something right. I can picture you out there screaming as you squished the bugs! Very funny visual! I would have done the same!
    I gave up on veggie gardening long ago. I didn’t know so many bugs and critters were so hungry here for fresh produce! But I am getting the old gardening urge once again and maybe, just maybe…. someday soon. I will be sure to learn a few things from you as you go along! xx

  4. says

    It looks good. I just put soaker hoses on my garden last week and the veggies are starting to plump up, they were skinny and needed some water. It is really dry here.

  5. says

    I love it all! I’d kill to have a garden that big – you are doing a great job! And again, I can’t believe how far ahead in the season you are there! My zucchini plants are 3 inches big. Not a zucchini in site yet, lol!

  6. says

    You’re gardening, that in itself is something to be proud of…and don’t let anyone fool you, a gardener is always learning something new.

    A couple of helpful hints that saved me a lot of extra labour: (hope you don’t mind?)if you plant borage around the perimeter of your garden those pests will hit it rather than your cucumbers, etc.. Just plant it as far away from your melons, cukes, and squash as you can. Also, if you mulch around your plants with straw (not hay!) you cut down drastically on the weeding, help keep the ground soft and moist, and it breaks down to make even better soil next year.

    *I* think you’re doing a great job!

  7. says

    Looks A-Maz-ing! I try to garden, then it gets humid and mosquito’s attack me and I give up. Nothing ever grows that way. I didn’t even try this year. Wish I had the staying power. Way to go!

  8. says

    Neem oil & water will get those beetles & its organic. I just found some videos on youtube since my I’m starting a container garden. Lots of helpful folks on there since I don’t have my grandpa to bug about my garden.

  9. says

    Keep at it!!! You’ll be the best gardener in no time. You already know way more than I do… I decided to plant my veggie garden in pots this year. Darn rabbits were eating it!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  10. says

    I have read that you can lay down layers of newspaper between your rows to act as a “mulch” and keep down the weeds. You’ll have to weight it down with some rocks or “stake it” in places with popsicle sticks or sharpened twigs, though, unless you cover it with a layer of other type of mulch. The newspaper is better than plastic because it is organic and will gradually decompose, adding fiber to the soil. I know it sounds crazy but it would be a cheap form of mulch if you subscribe to the newspaper!

  11. says

    Squash bugs are a terrible thing. have had them myself.

    The only thing that works against them are row covers. We bought our row cover material from an AG Supply house, cut them the length we needed and put white plastic piping under them like a little hoop house and then cement blocks to hold them in place.

    Organic Magazine or on-line forum may also be of help.

    We take them off as soon as the flowers are in bloom. Seems to work for us here in MI!

    Good luck!

    Small House / Big Sky Donna

  12. says

    I think it’s looking great! We have been very lucky with a small but very productive garden this year for the first time. But because of our extreme summer, our garden was producing much earlier than most & it will soon be finished. The spaghetti & acorn squash have all matured & are now safely residing inside a nice dark closet. And I think I picked the last zucchini this morning. The things that are still going strong are the lemon cucs, peppers & all the tomatoes, but we had to put up shade cloth to keep them from cooking on the vine…..lol! Now that we know what & how to do this gardening stuff, we want to make it much bigger next season! Just hang in there; yours is coming along fine!

  13. says

    What a nice large garden, and it’s looking great! My little veggie patch is smaller this year. I’m just growing tomatoes, peppers,and basil and pulling weeds, too. :)
    I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoy your garden.

  14. says

    What a fabulous garden! I wish I had room for a garden that size. We picked our first zucchini of the season today :) I’m visiting from Metamorphosis Monday.

    {my simple messterpiece}

  15. says

    Once those zucchinis get going they’re going to take off. Just this past week I picked 6 nice size zucchinis and I felt like such an accomplished gardener. This is the first year ever that a zucchini plant has done anything. They usually just die :) Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  16. says

    Really, so beautiful garden. Above I have seen all images where you can display the growth of garden plants. I am happy, you are sharing garden learning experience with us.

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