I have a lot of friends and bloggers I follow who are really fantastic gardeners. I really envy their skills sometimes, because left to my own devices, I'm pretty deadly in the garden. I'm hoping to break that trend this year though. Michael has a much greener thumb than I, so between the two of us maybe we can manage it. I think the key is starting small.
Two years ago, he built a raised cedar bed to grow herbs in. We use a lot of basil, and I love rosemary, so it ended up being a really excellent resource. Fresh herbs are especially expensive to buy at the grocery store, and I can't always find them at the farmer's market, so growing our own was awesome! We had rosemary, oregano, mint, basil and parsley last year.
It just so happens that the rosemary and oregano even made it through the winter! We already have two well established plants, so we filled in the bed with two basil plants and parsley this year. The mint seems to be making a reappearance here and there as well, which is fantastic because it's an ingredient in my new favorite breakfast smoothie :)
Since we had pretty good luck last year with the herbs, we decided to put two more raised beds in as combination landscape feature/kitchen garden. The smaller one outside the kitchen window currently has dill, thai basil and lavender planted, along with some dinner plate dahlia bulbs. The larger bed outside the master bedroom window has our new blueberry bush, two strawberry plants, and will contain a few more flower bulbs if I can ever decide what to get. We also have three large pots on the deck containing a gigantic hop plant, bell pepper and cilantro. The last gardening improvement for the year is a Mission Fig tree that we planted in the back yard. I really hope it does well...I love figs so much!
For now, the plants are all doing very well. We've had a lot of rain (which made our fig tree sad for a few days) but the rest of the plants have been loving it. We're nowhere near the driest, hottest part of the Texas summer yet though, nor have we seen the plague of grasshoppers (you might think I'm kidding, but I'm totally serious) but I'm thinking it's shaping up to be the best gardening summer ever. We have plans to put in a larger raised bed along the front edge of the deck next year, but I think for now our focus will be on using the space we've already created.
I'm beginning to really enjoy gardening, so tell me--What do you grow?