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My Surprise Love Of Gardening

Green strawberry in my garden - backyard gardening

I am not an outdoor person. Sure, I enjoy eating outside once in a while, at a picnic or in our backyard (as long as I have at least three of these going). And I prefer to exercise outdoors, because it seems to go faster. But for the most part, I’d rather be inside. I like climate-controlled environments. I hate bugs. I don’t like putting on sunscreen.

So, I am continually surprised at how much I like to garden. I caught the bug about four years ago, starting in the most unlikely way possible: a Chia Herb Garden. At the time our backyard was completely unusable, so I was stuck with windowsill gardening. But I was thrilled just to get something to grow!

Once we had use of our backyard I moved on to growing vegetables in containers. In the past I have produced the best tomatoes and strawberries I’ve ever tasted. This year I’m growing those again, plus zucchini, jalapeno peppers, and peas.

Every morning I go outside to check things out, usually in my pajamas (anybody bothering to look down into my backyard deserves what they see at 6:30 in the morning). I’m always amazed at how things have changed overnight. I swear, the tomato plants grow a visible amount every twenty-four hour period.

 

Tomato plants in my container garden - backyard gardening

And I’m still growing herbs, but I’ve graduated from the Chia ones.

Dill weed and cilantro in my container herb garden - backyard gardening

Rosemary and basil in my container herb garden - backyard gardening

One of the best things in the world is being able to run outside while cooking and grab just the right amount of basil or dill, instead of having to buy a big bunch and waste most of it.

The flowers in our flower beds don’t interest me nearly as much (I can’t eat them!), but they are pretty. These Asiatic lilies are just about ready to bloom.

Asiatic lilies in my garden - backyard gardening

I still don’t have my dad’s green thumb – he’s able to grow anything, anywhere. But I am getting better. With advice from my friend Judith, who does landscaping for a living, we’ve got grass growing in the crappy Brooklyn soil and the veggies in the best place for optimal growth. The slugs are leaving the plants completely alone this year thanks to something called Sluggo, and I don’t have to deal with cat poop in the flower beds thanks to this motion-detection sprayer (it also gets me about half of the mornings) – both recommendations from Judith.

Roses, catmint, and hydrangas in my flower bed - backyard gardening

Even though it’s almost July, my garden is still in the early stages this year – I got a late start thanks to the late spring. But I’m really excited for what’s coming! I’m not sure what the attraction is, but I feel a sense of accomplishment with the garden that never seems to get old.

Flower bed - - backyard gardening

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7 Responses to “My Surprise Love Of Gardening”

  1. J. David on June 21st, 2013 8:15 am
    1

    You’re so lucky to have a garden. I’ve always wanted one. It really upsets me to see so many people with yards in NYC that are grown up with weeds.

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @J. David: Same. I think you saw in person what ours used to be like, right? Waist-high weeds, glass everywhere, a freaking toilet buried by the tree? Gah!

  2. Lisa on June 21st, 2013 5:18 pm
    2

    Yea for you Amy! I am just hoping to actually be able to harvest more than beans from our garden this year. Most people struggle with wildlife (you know, the 4-legged kind) eating their vegetables before it’s really ripe. Not me… nope, that honor goes to one of my triplet daughter who resembles a mountain goat with some of her eating habits. (Just one of the benefits/challenges of autism) But hey, at least she’s getting some kind of vitamins from the bean plants, green cherry tomatoes, etc. right?
    Lisa recently posted..Lots about LotteMy Profile

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Lisa: Ha! Listen, there are much worse things she could be eating. :-)

  3. Denise Traynor on June 21st, 2013 10:55 pm
    3

    wow so beautiful. Even your grass is growing.

    Amy Oztan Reply:

    @Denise Traynor: Thanks! Yeah, there are still some bald patches. We’re going to seed again soon. But what did come in is beautiful!

  4. Carol Schiller on June 27th, 2013 12:02 am
    4

    I am envious of your gorgeous herbs – especially the basil! I think the key is this, “Every morning I go outside to check things out.” My poor herbs only WISH they got that kind of daily love.