Growing up I never really thought much about the fact that my family had a big garden, as did my grandparents. Living in Maine it was something we just sort of took for granted. When I moved away it was also one of the things that I missed the most. Until I bought a house my options for having a garden were pretty limited. One year a couple friends and I shared a plot in a community garden. The nice thing about this was that it meant that the work was shared. The downside was none of us had much of a green thumb. So some veggies did well but others failed completely.
When we bought our house the first thing I did was scope out a plot for a garden. I have a relatively small backyard so gardening is a real challenge. Luckily our house had a pear tree in one corner of the backyard.
The first spring we were in the house we created a raised bed for vegetables and planted a lemon bush and lime tree. We’ve been waiting for citrus since. 2 years ago we got our first limes only to have the lime tree killed in a terrible frost the next winter. The lemon bush has done nothing but produce thorns until last year when it finally had two lemons. This year we have a dozen small lemons on the bush. A fact that I’m super excited about!
The raised bed has always been a mix of herbs and other veggies. I’ve been pretty successful with herbs but my other veggies have been hit or miss. One year I was very successful with tomatoes, until the birds found them. Another year I had more chile peppers that I knew what to do with.
This year I decided to take a different tack. My beautiful rosemary bush died in the drought last summer as did all the flower bushes in a front side bed. This prompted me to decided to turn the front bed in a kitchen herb garden. It has rosemary, sage and three different types of basil planted in it.
The back bed still has my oregano which lived through the winter. To that I’ve added
- Swiss chard
- Asian eggplant
- Green beans
- 3 types of chile peppers
I’m also attempting with less than spectacular success, some container gardening. I’ve got thyme, mint and tomatoes planted. However, none of these are doing particularly well. The tomatoes got bores and the herbs are recovering from an issue. (Over watering I think). It is sort of disappointing because I’ve had herbs do VERY well in containers in the past. Only time will tell how successful this year’s garden will be. But no matter what a little part of me is happy to be able to grow a little of my own fresh food.