Slowly Tiptoeing Into the Garden Post

Of late, I've noticed quite a few posts about what's sprouting in gardens thanks to the mild winter in many places. The kitchen gardens particularly inspire me since I really miss mine. Plus it pains me to  pay two to three dollars for a little plastic box of herbs that will spoil before I use them up! It's such a waste!

I've missed making my Mediterranean Pasta dish because it would cost me at least $8-10 for the herbs alone. Then add $1 each for a can of tomatoes, pasta, black olives, parmesan and you're up to about $12-14, which is rather pricy for a pasta dish. Tried making it with dried herbs and while it was okay, it wasn't remotely as fresh, tasty and aromatic.

In retrospect, this last year seems to have been a year of mourning. I don't know how else to explain the directionless path I've wandered. Seems it's slowly coming to an end (knock on wood). For so long, nothing interested me and now, I'm actually feeling like getting myself outside and working on my garden.

Since my plans to move out of state are on hold due to the knee, the most I could save per month if I moved elsewhere in LA would be "maybe" $100. If you factor in moving costs (since I can't do any of the lifting, etc. I've done in the past) it's a wash. So I might as well make this place livable.

Well that was a roundabout little tangent....

If you're a regular reader you know my "garden" consists of a little strip of dirt by the chain link fence and a gaggle of pots in assorted sizes. In previous posts, I've explained how events in my life had conspired to send me into a downward spiral. One of the casualties was my little garden.

Reading about other bloggers planning out their spring seed selections pricked up my ears or rather my eyes. This led to going online and ordering a few seed catalogs like Seed Savers, Burpee's and Park's. It's been a long time since I've looked at seed catalogs. Usually it's just a trip to a nursery to pick up the plants I want since we're not talking a farm here! Holy smokes! 30 seeds cost anywhere from $4.95 to $6.95! Obviously I'll be using these catalogs mainly for inspiration or if I can't find a specific item I really want.

Living in LA does have it's advantages like lots of plant nurseries, from your basic big box store to the more boutique type. It's funny, this is the first time in a while I've felt this interested in something other than hibernating. Yeah, I've been pretty pathetic.

Anyway, these are a few pics of the disaster that used to be a lovely potted garden. It's okay to be appalled, I am. Remember this area has not seen a human other than the mo'n'blo' gardener in almost two years. From here I'll make a list of pots, saucers and accessories. Then assess what can and needs to be done. One thing that must be accomplished straight off is to empty the exhausted, old dirt that's been in the pots for over ten years and put in new dirt.

Unlike in the past, this will take a bit of time due to the inconvenience my knee will cause. Dragging pots of dirt to dump in the empty spot on the side of the house and bags of soil to and from my car at the big box store won't go as quickly as usual.

That's why I'm going to plan it all out, step by step. First, herbs will be planned out then pots prepared and only then am I allowing myself out to actually buy the plants. I believe a Meyer's Lemon tree (dwarf size for a large pot) will be next. That or some pots for veggies such as the obvious, lettuce and a bush tomato or three. Lastly the flowers. Not many, just a bit of color.

The glass table with the iron base and plastic chairs will all be subject to a bath. Meanwhile, I'll observe what's going on with the tomato and decide if it'll be ripped out or just left. Since there is no shade thanks to the tree butcher (no, still not over that), I'll have to see if the patio umbrella works since I haven't opened it in two summers.

Photo Source
I've also got two really cute bistro chairs that I bought at Marshall's about eight years ago to go with the glass table. Problem was after being out for one summer, they began rusting which of course would come off on one's clothes. Rustoleum was purchased but a number of things got in the way so there they sit in the garage.

I "may" tackle them this summer. Especially since I found almost the identical chair in the Pottery Barn catalog for $159 each! I didn't pay anywhere near that much for mine! Mine have a lattice back as well as the seat. I can't decide though if I should keep them white and paint the table base to match or vice versa. The 30 inch hight metal plant stand is white. Any thoughts?

It feels good to actually be interested in something again and planning for it. As I said though, I will be taking this a step at a time so I'm not overwhelmed. I mean, look at those photos, wouldn't you be defeated before you even began if you considered it as a whole task? It won't look all Home and Garden-y since I'm working with what's there. Expenditures will be on soil, plants and possibly Rustoleum.

So, step by step we go. Kind of like the saying associated with Aesop's fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare"...If you work slowly but constantly, you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue."

"Slow and steady wins the race".

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Blogger Jenny @ Anything Pretty said...

I have been bitten by the gardening bug again this year after totally falling off the wagon last year. Here is to baby steps....and lots of yumminess!

3/25/12, 7:49 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hi Jenny! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you're back on the gardening wagon and doing baby steps too, helps in the inspiration department! :)

3/25/12, 8:50 PM  
Blogger A Feast for the Eyes said...

My husband has the green thumb. Mine is marginal. I do love having an herb garden, and have managed to keep that alive.
PS: Um, I'd gladly trade some avocados for Meyer Lemons. ;)

3/25/12, 9:23 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hi! If I'm still here next fall, will gladly send you my friend's addy and the three of us can have a plant exchange!! She complains about having no one to give ALL the lemons to!!!!! OMGosh!
P.S. My mom had a marginal thumb. Think it skips a generation or two.

3/25/12, 11:29 PM  

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