Friday, July 15, 2011

My Outdoor Life.

So I just ate my first BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) with tomato (I am finally growing up) and it was my first home grown tomato from my very own potted garden! So now I get it. I understand why people actually like tomatoes and why they grow them themselves! Now that I have so many dietary restrictions I have to buy english muffin bread and it's a bit dryer then regular bread. I said to my husband yesterday, while chewing and chewing a bite of sandwich, maybe this is why people put tomatoes on them for moisture. Then we went out side and one of my tomatoes had actually ripened.

It was very exciting, any time I actually have a vegetable or fruit that I grew I get so happy it's hard to describe but I see why people garden. I mean it's like a wonderful tasting thing that cost me no money (okay it cost money; I had to buy the pots, soil and plants and the water bill... but no money at the grocery store.)  So back to my run-on story, today I had Jen over and we ate BLT's for lunch with my first ever home-grown tomato AND home-grown lettuce. Oh the sandwich was beautiful. I very delicately bit into it expecting to hate the tomato but what met my taste buds was a tangy salty combination of flavors and textures so amazing just thinking about it makes me want to get up go in the kitchen and make another one.
Ranger loves the backyard too!

This little guy has lots of fun back here.

I LOVE summer and I LOVE being outside. Our Michigan winters can be so harsh that I want to be out side whenever I can. I started a flower garden several years ago to give me something to do while the kids played. Every year I learn more and experiment more and this year my garden looks pretty nice (it actually looked a bit better last year I need to rethink my fertilizer and some plants for next year). This year I decided to do a vegetable garden and after reading up on my area I decided to do a potted garden as there are a lot of chemicals in the soil here (I live near several factories and there was an oil spill across the road from us). And it's turned out to be great because they're easy to care for and since it's potted I can move them around if I need to. I'm so into it I really want a big raised bed next year so I can actually get a crop of something but for a first year this was great. It'd also be good if you didn't have a yard and just a patio or balcony. I have a tomato plant, a couple zucchini plants (man there prolific and yummy) a green bean plant (it's a funny plant I get like three green beans at a time not much of a crop but the kids find it exciting) a few lettuce plants surrounding a pepper plant (the idea was that the pepper would shade the lettuce but the lettuce is huge!) two pots of strawberries (where we get the occasional berry the kids then fight over) and I have herbs in my window boxes. My basil didn't survive, I wish I'd planted mint, I'm about to loose a strawberry plant and I need to figure out how to dry the herbs. But it's all great fun.

What I've learned from both flower and vegetable gardening is that you just have to do it. I mean you can read and read and read and honestly you can read so much you'll freak out and never start. Really some of the organic books go into pests in such detail you'll want to run screaming to your basement. You'll never know every thing so if your waiting until you do you'll never start. You just have to jump in and realize that some things won't work (my success rate with strawberries is like negative) but you'll learn and try something different next time. Really I think gardening is one of those things best learned by doing. And if you do have a question just google it then you get a concentrated answer to one problem instead of getting side tracked with all the crazy bugs and stuff.

A year ago my Grammy and Papa bought me a picnic table that we use A LOT. I love to entertain but our house is quite tiny so we have almost all of our get togethers outside. This picnic table has seen it's share of neighbors, friends, kids, staff parties and just simple family meals. I love it and like to use my vintage table clothes on it.  My mom and dad bought me a new swing this year and it's so comfortable and the awning makes a huge difference in the comfort level of being outside where we don't have much shade.  I just bought these chairs. I started seeing this type of reproduction lawn chairs early this spring and fell in love. I had a couple of adirondack chairs but they officially bit the dust last year leaving us with a lack of seating when we do have company. These chairs fit the bill and my vintage style so I saved up and was so happy to get them home.  It all looks so nice and in some ways my back yard is my favorite "room" in my house.
The yellow chair was the floor model and they gave it to me for a ganga deal.

Summer makes me smile and seeing the back yard come together makes me smile and seeing those I love the most drinking lemon aid and chatting while our children play in the sprinkler and on the swing set makes me smile the most. I am grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with including my first tomato!


Courters said...

Jess your yard looks like something right out of a design magazine!
Did you make those adorable pillows that are on the swing?
I love the whole thing!!
It makes my yard look pretty sad! :)

Jessie said...

Thank you Court! Let's just say that my yard is actually really brown and dead in most spots, I had to get a little creative w/ the camera. Also it's taken a few years to get it as nice as it is you guys are still working on the inside. And no the pillows came with the swing or mom bought them for the swing, they're super cute aren't they?

Steve said...

It looks fabulous!! I love the chairs. I'm glad you ended up with one of each color. It adds to the vintage feel. The only bad thing about summer is it goes way too fast!! Can't wait to see you. MOM