The First Garden Plantings Are In, and I’m Revamping my Patio!

Dear Friends,

How extraordinary is it that we get to plant our gardens again?! I’m not sure I’m ever happier than when the winter chill gives way to abundant sunshine and the return of warmth and moisture in the air. The dryness has released its hold on my skin and nails, and the new healthy glow of my skin matches the glow of my spirit. It’s finally staying just above freezing at night, so the soil has offered itself up to be turned over again.

The second weekend of March was spent cleaning the last of the leaves from the back yard and Spring garden plot. The bulk of the leaves were taken to the street to be picked up by the city, but I also put a hefty pile on the garden plot to be burned, then turned into the soil when I tilled it. The ground dried out just enough to be worked last Tuesday, and the rain settled the earth back into its place on Wednesday night, priming the spot to be planted.

This past weekend was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday! A true fan of the outdoors, I adore the color green. But more than that, I think my love for this holiday is born of the lightness in my heart that comes with this time of the year. I took the day Saturday, which is also my mom’s birthday, and went to St. Louis with some friends to the parade downtown. I got a little quirky and rocked my rainbow suspenders and bowtie, with a new pair of knee-high rainbow striped socks that I picked up at Target.

After the parade, we stuck with another tradition and went to the top of 360 Rooftop Bar to take in the city skyline while sipping on some drinks. Then Caitlin and I stopped for dinner in Manchester before making the almost-two hour drive back south to Cape Girardeau. It was just warm enough to be outside in a sweater, and the sky was so intensely blue you almost expected to see your reflection looking back at you. It was a perfect day!

On Sunday morning I went to pick up my boys from my grandparents’ house and spend a little time visiting. Then we went home to be productive. I started the laundry, then went to Menards to pick up some seed packets. The boys went down to the skate park to practice their newly-discovered love for BMX, and I set to sowing the first seeds of the 2019 gardening season. I drew three lines in the soil, then dropped beet seeds in the first row, carrot seeds in the second row, and radish seeds in the last, all about 1/2 inch deep, then lightly patted the soil back over top of the seeds.

I found some twigs in the yard to mark the rows, so I can find them again once the Spring rains wash the soil back into place. In two more weeks I’ll be ready to sow the lettuce, kale and spinach in the same bed. I’m going to grow arugula in one of my large pots, and put out onion sets in the concrete blocks around the summer garden bed that will be planted with green beans and zucchini in May. I’m also going to put out a cauliflower plant since I’ve been using so much of it in recipes lately, and I’m going to start the peas as well.

Last year the Spring garden did poorly because a Crabapple tree cast too much shade over the garden in the afternoon. Now that the tree is gone, there should be plenty of sun in that spot until the sun breaches the neighbor’s large tree in late afternoon. The one downfall to that, is that my outdoor dining table is now directly in the sun for a big part of the day. So I went on Amazon and found a beautiful turquoise blue umbrella with bright yellow, orange and pink fringe hanging from its edges. I also found a bright yellow outdoor tablecloth, which I cut a hole in to put the umbrella through.

The swing on my patio is painted the same soft turquoise as my kitchen and my exterior doors, and it has yellow cushions, so turquoise and yellow have become the default colors for my back yard. I’m starting to keep my eyes peeled for some vintage metal chairs as well, to paint a pretty yellow and put on my patio for a little extra seating. The final touch will be to finally break down and buy a gas grill and an outdoor cart to store my new melamine plates and plastic wine glasses for outdoor entertaining.

I found a mosquito spray that attaches to the water hose and you spray down your entire yard that has lots of good reviews, so with help from that I hope to spend more time on my patio this Spring and Summer than I do in my house! We have a large concrete drainage ditch on the other side of my neighbor’s house that is a harbor for mosquitoes, so I’m really hoping this does the trick! If it does, I will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I figure we have at least a good month before the blood-suckers make their return, and I will be making full use of it.

Now then…the day is beautiful and I have a two-mile walk calling my name. How glorious it is to get out of the basement and off of the elliptical!


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