Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow? by Anna J Stewart

Hi there!  It's me again! Did you miss me?

A few months back, I posted about my lack of gardening expertise on another blog and my desire to venture into the world of fairy gardening. Yeah.  Turns out that takes time, which is something that is beyond fleeting at this point (deadlines loom!). But I did bite the bullet, yet again, and dipped my toe into growing some herbs and one pepper plant.

I chose hearty herbs. Ones I knew would be difficult (note I did not say impossible) to kill. Rosemary takes a beating (or days of neglect thankfully), and I loved the look of the thyme at my local market.  The sage is a gamble because it's not something I use a lot in cooking outside the holidays, but it's pretty (even though you can't see it in this picture). And no herb collection is complete without basil. And look!  It's been over a month...


They're alive! They're actually green. And they're not trying to escape their confining pots by angling toward the door.  I'm so proud (yes, it takes little to make me so).  And this weekend, when I was cooking pasta primavera for my birthday dinner, I was able to pluck leaves, trim stalks and toss them into my cooking like a pro.  Go me!

This morning, when I remembered it needed water (ha!), I ventured into my barren back yard to check on the solitary pepper plant my mother and I decided to give a shot.  The excitement that came over me when I spied this tiny little pepper (that's really only about a 1/2 a pepper right now) is indescribable. It's so cute! I don't know that I'll want to eat it. Can I bronze it? Frame it? As proof I'm not completely inept when it comes to having a green thumb.

All these years I thought I had the darkest, death-touch thumb when it came to gardening, but right now, I feel like Martha-Freaking-Stewart.  The feeling will probably pass as I will inevitably forget I actually have the little guy in my back yard, but for today, I shall bask in the bloom of the pepper and the verdant herbs growing abundantly this summer in my presence.

How are your gardening skills? What's your favorite thing to plant and nurture? I'd love to know...maybe even get some suggestions on what I can tackle next year. Please share in the comments!

A geek at heart, Anna J Stewart writes "refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving romance" (RT Book Reviews) for Harlequin Heartwarming and Berkley InterMix. She is also the author of the sweet Lantano Valley novella series. Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com and sign up for her news only newsletter that includes trivia contests, announcements, and information on how to join her review team. Subscribers are automatically entered into their own special giveaways!

24 comments:

  1. Anna, yay for you is right. My silly children keep sending me indoor plants to kill. Then when they visit they sigh a lot. But on my part I tell them to save their money. One sent an orchid and a bromeliad for Mom's Day. It's still alive, but honestly takes more care than a cat. I think I said once before that out back I have 2 lovely pots of metal flowers, and I have plans to buy 2 more this summer. They look wonderful and don't take any care. Of course, I can't put them in pasta.

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    1. Roz, I'm right there with you despite my meager success, LOL. An orchid?! Goodness, those take tons of care! Congrats that it's still alive! thank you for stopping by today. :)

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  2. My gardening skills lower the resale value of homes in my neighbourhood. I keep taking pictures of the same plants over and over again, and try to get colleagues to identify them so I know what to pull. (My colleagues are useless!) Currently my front yard (bought a gorgeous perennial garden with no lawn) is all green, about knee high, with buried stone walkways somewhere under them and zero delineation between one plant and the next. I stay in the backyard.

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    1. LOL, Victoria! I'm so glad my HOA takes care of the front of our house, otherwise we'd definitely be looking pathetic . I love lush green yards. Unfortunately, with our drought, green is becoming an endangered species. Happy gardening! And thank you for posting!

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  3. Congratulations, Anna!

    I have two major challenges with gardening:

    1) Keeping the bunnies, deer and bulb-loving squirrels from feasting on the plants quicker than I can plant them.

    2) One of our lovable black Labs, Harley, trampling the gardens in his gleeful, obsessive pursuit of butterflies.

    What's left after 1) and 2) above thrives!

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    1. Ah, this might explain my success. I have NONE of those issues! Plus, the pepper plant is hanging from the eaves of my house, LOL. I gotta say tho, I think Harley has the right ideas chasing butterflies. Nothing better than that. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Congratulations, Anna! Peppers! Ron was the gardener, in the house and out, but now that he can't do it anymore, I've had to paint my thumb green. In door plants are doing very well, but trying to find a solution for outdoors that doesn't require lots of time on my knees or I'd look like I was planted! Have a forsythia and an old rose in the front that do okay all on their own. A fawn was born in our side yard on Sunday and I tried to talk the mom into leaving her, promised I'd take good care of her, but she took her away anyway. It's wonderful when nature lets you in - with fawns or with peppers.

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    1. Hi Muriel! What lovely imagery. Your garden sounds beautiful. And I don't blame on on the fawn. I'd have tried to keep it as well. :) Have a great day!

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  5. I like tomatoes! Just like a weed

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    1. I've tried tomatoes! Not enough sun. :( I think. :)

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  6. This is so great, Anna! And Victoria, you have my husband's dream front yard. No grass just every blooming flowers. Alas, that's not happening here. I was all full of myself with my gorgeous peonies that are blooming which only took 3 YEARS to bloom!!!!! Then I just went out to do some thinking and gardening and the rabbits have eaten ALL MY YELLOW ASIAN LILLIES!!! I'm incensed, angry and shocked. They've been in the ground for 4 years and they never ate them before. Just stubs left. Also, I envy anyone that can keep house plants growing in these long, dark, gloomy winters! I've just about killed my last house plant. I watered it today, but it's a failing effort. I love that your peppers are hanging off the eaves!!!!

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    1. Darn rabbits!! At least they're getting good nutrition? *she said hopefully* I wonder why this year they gobbled them up? And I'm with you on the envy of hose plant growers. I don't think I could take the pressure, LOL. Great to see you here today!

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  7. You inspire me, Anna! I've been dragging my feet this spring, but I must get to the store tomorrow and buy tomato plants (which will probably be leggy by now), a couple of green peppers, and some flowers to brighten up the deck. I'm into container gardening outdoors. Indoors, my hubby has a lovely collection of orchids, which seem to thrive for him with very little effort! Good luck with your plants. Basil seems quite forgiving so I like it a lot. But I've already killed a delicate dill plant. Sigh.

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    1. My mom and I were just talking about maybe getting a starter container to see if we can continue with the success. We get weird sun in the back yard, probably from all the overhanging trees, but still might be worth a shot. Dill! That's next on my list. I'll let you know how long it takes me to kill it, LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Good job Anna! Trying to grow anything in Florida soil is tough, so I plant my tomatoes and peppers in containers. It's easy to do, I can move them easily into the garage if the temperature is going to hit freezing and I still get a decent crop. Give it a try.

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    1. Will do, Tara! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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  9. Your garden looks beautiful, Anna! Few things lift my spirit or charge my batteries like getting down 'n' dirty to tend growing things. Literally! Which explains my callused and stained knees and palms, and raggedy fingernails, but that's a small price to pay for fresh produce or flowers, right! Have a wonderful Wednesday and a great rest of the week!

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    1. Oooh, flowers. I'll have to give the cheery colorful things a try for sure. Thanks for posting, Loree!

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  10. Congratulations on your cute pepper Anna, and your herbs. Doesn't it make you feel like a professional when you can pinch fresh herbs and put them in your food while cooking? I'm a wimp, I have a few indoor aerogardens that grow different types of herbs. My favorite is Genovese Basil..so fragrant. Amazing how many varieties there are. I used to do container gardening in my backyard. I grew zinnias and sunflowers and even a large pot of wildflowers. I remember watching a beautiful goldfinch pluck the leaves off of each zinnia flower one by one. We have deer and rabbits too, and with the heat and my bad hips I have to stick to the indoor aerogardens for now. I have a 2-yr old orchid that doesn't bloom, and an aloe vera plant and some other plant, all gifts from friends. I'm just trying to keep them alive. ( :

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    1. Keeping them alive does seem to be the tricky part, Laurie. I'll have to look for that basil. sounds amazing! I think I might be branching out (ha!) in to container gardening soon. Great to see you here!

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  11. Right now I’m feeding and loving my Peace rose. Had about six beautiful blossoms. I speak to the blooms daily and tell them how beautiful they are. I had one of those Christmas pepper plants one time with their green, red and white peppers. My cat decided to test it and went streaking through the house after a bite. Never touched it again.

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  12. Love this post, Anna! I'm passionate about gardening and love your adorable pepper. They really are cute aren't they? Yesterday, my kid was teasing me because I'm garden/tree/seed obsessed and he asked what I'd do without a yard to plant in. I said I'd resort to container gardening. So he asked what I'd do if I had no containers or space for them and couldn't garden at all...and I said I'd die lol. You've been bitten by the gardening bug and I'm betting your thumb is going to get greener and greener! :)

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  13. Good for you! My annual flowers are looking pretty good right now, but that's the extent of my expertise and the green of my thumb.

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  14. You inspire me, too, Anna, but not enough to go out and buy plants that I would surely kill. Last year I bought 3 Elaeagnus plants because someone told me you.could.not.kill.them. Funeral was yesterday when I pulled them up. *sigh*

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