Category Archives: Diggin' my garden

Parenting magazine is looking for craft ideas

Hey crafters!

Parenting magazine is looking for fun, modern kid crafts to feature in our Halloween and Christmas issues. Got a never-been-published, original holiday craft? We want to see it! Send a snapshot of it to crafts@parenting.com. If your craft is selected, we’ll print it in the magazine and give you and your blog (if you have one) credit. Be sure to include your name, hometown and phone number in your e-mail to us so we can contact you about the instructions. The deadline is May 2nd.

Colors in my garden: nature’s art …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

Last night after work, Kai and I planted cucumber seeds in the same spot where we grew our broccoli and cauliflower this winter. As we placed them into the Earth and covered them with rich soil, I looked around our yard. It’s bursting with vibrant colors, and I just had to share it all with you. Enjoy!

ps. I think next year, I’m going to dedicate a section of my yard just to flowers!

See more posts about our garden:
Edible garden
Tree art
Planting our garden
Garden signs

Our edible garden …

WEDNESDAY: NATURAL LIVING

Kelly, Kelly, how does your garden grow?

Well, check out my garden’s inventory and see for yourself …

1. Artichokes – They are still tiny sprouts and have a long way to go.
2. Basil – I have a lot of little plants growing.
3. Blackberries – The plant as some flowers on it. I hope it produces some fruit soon (and that we get it before the birds do).
4. Blueberries – They are almost blue! In the next week or so, I think they’ll be ripe enough to eat. I can’t wait!
5. Broccoli – This veggie’s season is coming to an end. The plants keep producing, but they flower quickly and aren’t as sweet or as full as they were a few months ago. Although, I don’t want the veggie to go to waste, so we nibble on them every time we’re outside.
6. Brussel sprouts – We only have one plant that has produced brussels and they are very small. I think it’s time to harvest them. I love how they grow right on the plants stalk. Maybe we’ll eat them tonight or tomorrow night.
7. Cauliflower – A disappointment. They didn’t produce anything. This is on my Not To Do list for next year.
8. Chamomile – It’s not heat resistant so it’s going to die soon in the next few months. I need to research how to make tea out of it now without the flowers.
9. Chocolate mint – It’s an invasive Florida plant, so I have to keep my eye on it, but it’s spreading out and tastes heavenly.
10. Cilantro – It died. Oh well.
11. Leeks – They just look like thin strands of grass right now. They take a few months to grow nice and big.
12. Peas – These germinated and popped up out of the ground so quickly! I created a structure out of stakes and twine for the vines to attach and grow. They are already flowering, so I think they may produce some peas soon. Kai is really going to dig grazing on these.
13. Peppers – I just planted them on Easter day. They are looking good so far.
14. Tomatoes – We have both cherry and big boys. The cherry tomatoes grow and ripen fast. We collected a huge bowl full the other day. I have to keep reminding Kai though – only pick them when they are red – not orange. His impatience is a struggle for him and sometimes he does it anyway to his great disappointment.

Check out more posts about our garden.
Sowing the seeds

Backyard art

More backyard art

Broccoli mania

Hangin’ in the backyard …

FRIDAY: RANDOM

As we searched for a house last year, a nice, big, shaded back yard was on top of my family’s requirement list. Alex and I thought it was important that Kai had a safe place to play and discover nature. I want him to feel like it’s his space, so I’ve placed fun and colorful artwork that we made together around the yard to encourage his creative exploration.

A few months ago, Kai and I invited our friend Jessica over to help us paint seashells that I once used as tablecloth weights for my wedding. (We drilled holes in them for the wedding, so they were ready to be strung.) I had been saving these shells for years (seven to be exact), knowing one day they would come in handy.

Originally I was going to string the shells along the fence, but Jess had the great idea of hanging them from the limbs of a tree. I love that if you look at the avocado tree just right, you’ll see a surprise splash of color peeking through the large leaves.

What do you think?

DIY.

What you need:

1. Seashells
2. Acrylic paint
3. String
4. Dremel drill
5. Tree

Instructions:

1. Use a dremel drill to cut holes into the shell.
2. Paint the shells in an array of colors and designs.
3. Hang about seven or eight on a string.
4. Tie them onto a tree branch.

It’s that easy!

Check out more of our back yard art and our veggie garden.

Give me the dirt …

I know that I worked hard in my garden when my fingerprints and the skin patterns on my hands are accentuated by dirt. I had to scrub diligently with my bar of soap to get all of the soil off each finger and out of each fingernail. Although they were clean, my hands stung slightly for quite sometime afterward from the tight grip I had on the hoe’s wooden handle.

Yesterday, my family had a mission: Prepare our garden (two big beds, each about 15 feet in length) for our spring crops. With only two weeks away until the official start of the new season, I was eager to dig in the dirt. We had such a success last year with our green beans, tomatoes and sunflowers that I wanted a head start so we can yield a larger harvest this year.

After I tilled the soil and reconditioned it with organic compost and manure, we sowed sweet pea and leek seeds. Each of us poked the earth and placed the seeds inside.

At the store, we saw artichoke seeds. It’s one of our fave veggies, so we thought we’d give it a shot. The directions said to start them indoors, so we planted them, plus basil and cilantro seeds, in little starter containers that I covered in plastic wrap to create mini greenhouses. Once the seedlings are established, we’ll place the little plants the ground. Next weekend, I’d like to buy at least three tomatoes plants and yellow and red peppers. I also need to find a special spot for the blackberry bush we bought yesterday. Stay tuned …

It’s a sign …

Bright tomato reds, vibrant pepper oranges and yellows, rich broccoli greens – I love when gardens explode with rainbows of color. Unfortunately, during this winter’s harsh freeze, many of my veggies soaked in the sun’s rays for their last time and the garden’s once vivacious hue dissolved into a bleak and barren brown.

To combat our garden’s winter starkness, Kai and I created colorful signs to plant in our garden with playful sayings like, “let the sunshine in,” “pray for rain” and “plant a smooch on me.”

We used the extra pieces of wood that we had in the garage for the signs and complimentary thick, extra large paint stirrers from the hardware store for the sticks. Kai, who loves to paint, was in charge of the sign’s sticks and background color, while I painted the words.

Whatchya think?


Broccoli mania …

Did you know that each of the little broccoli pods open up to be sweet tasting, little yellow flowers?

I love tinkering in my garden. I mean, I’m not one of those people who test the soil for chemical composition, but I really enjoy getting dirty with my son Kai. This is our first garden and everything is an experiment.

Right now only the broccoli plants are producing food. But, let me tell you, it’s the sweetest broccoli I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes, we pick a floret and pop it in our mouths. Mmmmm. (Occasionally, by accident, Kai pulls a little too hard and the entire plant – roots and all – come out of the Earth. Oops. I just dig a little hole, pat it back in and add water – then everything is right in the world again.)

We also have cauliflower and brussels sprouts growing too, although I don’t know if they’ll ever produce food. But just the hope is filling enough.