Being cooped up in the house has me dreaming of spring more often than usual lately. While the official first day of spring was March 19th, it won’t be safe to plant outdoors until April 20th at the very earliest. Even still, I may wait longer since Denver’s weather can be quite unpredictable. That hasn’t stopped me from thinking about all the yummy stuff that I hope to grow.
When we first decided to buy our home, I had dreams of an edible back patio garden. Our back patio is about 15 by 20 feet. Unfortunately, we have WAY too much shade for that dream to come true. At the height of summer, only a 2 by 10-foot space gets consistent sunshine. So, my dream shifted.
We had the back patio hardscaped right after we move in. There is a retaining wall for seating, a fire pit, and pavers throughout. (All of this was done over three days and it was money well spent.) On the garage wall that gets sunshine, we’ll do a vertical garden with strawberries and herbs. Since I’m being reasonable, I don’t have plans to add any plants to the patio until next year. But, that hasn’t kept me from starting to do some research on shade-tolerant plants! Did you know that there are lots of flowers, shrubs, and ferns that thrive in a shady environment? I had no idea!
These are just a few of the plants that I’m considering next year. The colors are phenomenal!
Candy Box Impatiens
Lysimachi (Creeping Jenny)
Eastern Prince Schisandra Vine
Since the back patio isn’t an option for an edible garden, I’ve decided to make the most of the front yard that DOES get lots of sunshine.
I purchased two 3×3 raised garden beds for the front yard and some plants for them. I may have been a bit ambitious, but I’m excited. I have on order three types of tomato plants, bell pepper plants, jalapeño plants, and cucumber seeds. There are probably others that I’ve forgotten about, but I’ll just be happy when the seeds arrive, and I can get to work. I was chatting with my neighbor – at an appropriate distance away – and she is very excited about the front garden. I may be able to have her boys help me with the upkeep in exchange for tasty goodness. Yay!
I have also decided to take advantage of our sunny front porch with some hanging fruit baskets. We decided to try strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries this year. The plants have already arrived and are currently living in our upstairs window since it’s too early to put them outside. Plus, I thought I would have more time to get the baskets ready. I ended up doing an amazon order for the baskets, brackets, and potting soil. Hopefully, the stay-at-home order will be lifted by the time I’m ready to plant the raised beds so that I don’t need to put a massive potting soil order in. I would much rather head to the garden shop for it.
With any luck, our front garden will provide me with just the right amount of stuff to do. Lately, LP has been napping from 9-11 AM and 1-3 PM. Those four hours are my time to get stuff done around the house or nap (depending on how the day has gone). As he becomes more mobile, I’m sure I’ll plop him into his carrier and do the work with him. I’m looking forward to sharing the joy and beauty of growing things with him.
Do you garden? What are you growing this year?