Burpee has a fun little contest going on over at Pinterest.
Oh wait, did I forget to tell you I’m on Pinterest now? Sorry about that. Yeah, I started doing it several weeks ago. It’s a great activity when I wake up at 3 am and can’t get back to sleep. I know it’s a time suck but darn it’s fun. All kinds of cool ideas out there and I’ve had a blast trying some of the recipes. If you’re out there, let me know and I’d love to follow you. I will eventually get a button on my blog that you can click to follow me. My boards are still a work in progress, but they’re getting there.
Anyhow. Burpee (the garden people) has a contest going through July 31 to pin your dream garden. The grand prize is a $500 Burpee gift card. Hot dog! Rub my hands together and chortle in glee. This has really been fun.
After looking over my pins (and deleting some duplicates – not sure I got them all), if I had unlimited time, money, and energy, I’d have a really kickass garden. What’s interesting about dreaming so big on this is thinking through what changes I might want to make with my tiny yard and limited time and energy. Because I can have some of this and I just might try a few new things next year.
So why garden? Because I enjoy it. I find it satisfying to grow my own food, to know what went into it, and to grow things other than what I can get in the store. I enjoy the fresh air and the exercise of it. I enjoy contributing back to nature by feeding the bees and growing butterflies.
And of course, I enjoy the beauty of it. Even the vegetables are beautiful to look at and photograph. I need beauty every day in my life and my own garden is a great way to get it.
Lastly of course, is the whole food security issue. I think it’s good to have a small patch in back and know how to preserve it. I might not be able to feed us very well from our garden and I hope I never have to find out if I can. But here are weird things happening in society and our planet and I think it’s good to have some basic skills in gardening and food preservation.
So. . . I want:
A huge vegetable and fruit garden - not raised beds; they haven’t worked out as well as I hoped. Nothing can be planted too close to the edges and it needs frequent watering, even more than my container plants. No, I’d like a regular garden with wide rows, mulch, and lots of vegetables. I’d like it to be a three-season garden too, from late winter to early winter.
I’d love a lot of tomato plants for eating, canning & dehydrating. Other things would be corn, potatos, sweet potatos, beets, Swiss chard, all kinds of squash, and greens for my smoothies. My favorite boy toy and I eat a lot of vegetables and we would probably grow about one of every vegetable in the garden catalog.
I’d also like some perennial vegetables such as asparagus and fruits such as apple trees, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. And currant bushes – red like my great aunt used to have in upstate New York when I was a kid and maybe some black ones too. They’re tart – very puckery – but so good.
That’s a good start. I can go on forever, but you’ll get tired of reading it before I stop drooling over what I’d plant that I can eat.
A permanent herb bed - the herbs in the garden beds grow faster and better than the ones in the containers. If I had room, I’d grow many more types of herbs than I do currently. I’d try bay leaves, dill, several types of basil, chives, bee balm and catnip in addition to what I already have – the mints, parsley, basil (one type), thyme, oregano and sage.
A moon garden - I think that is such a cool concept to have a garden that shimmers in the moonlight, with flowers that only open at dusk. I’m not sure what I’d do about the mosquitoes, but I’d figure out something so I could sit outside at night and enjoy it.
A black garden – I saw this concept several years ago in a magazine. This would be mostly flowers, although there are ornamental pepper plants that have black leaves and black fruits. I’m not sure how edible they are as I believe they are hotter than a habanero pepper. I found a cool book that has different types of plants to be used in a black garden that has more great ideas in it.
A regular flower garden - I’d love to have a flower garden that blooms all spring and summer with a riot of blues, pinks, purples, and whites. I’d want it to be a mix of perennials and annuals, especially of plants that the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds would like. Because I’d also like. . .
Several bee hives – I know, I know, I have plenty of hobbies already, but I’d love to try it.
A patio area with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit – this would be my place to relax, read, and daydream. I would also want an area that I could wash my hands and vegetables before bringing them into the house. One of my pins is about plants that repel mosquitoes and I’d try either planting that around the edges of the patio or in containers next to my chair. Excuse me, my chaise lounge. Why sit when I can lay down?
This lovely blog has several different fire pits. I especially liked this one:
A trellis or arbor to enter the yard - something with a vine and flowers that would invite me to come into the yard. I’m not sure what I’d put on there, but my first thoughts are grapes, morning glories or both. Our passion flower vines extensively and would be pretty in a trellis also. Right now it’s taken over the mailbox again.
A compost pile - or two or three so I can garden organically. A few chickens for eggs and manure would also be helpful. I’d also have a selection of good bugs, insecticidal soaps, and whatever other tricks I could find to battle bugs. This of course includes just plain old chasing them down and drowning them like I did with the squash bugs last summer.
Rain barrels and irrigation to easily water everything and not spend a fortune.
I’d also like several bird baths; the one I have is very shallow and sometimes barely lasts a day before needing refill. After I bought it, I found out that having recirculating water is the best. The sound attracts the birds and bees and keeps the water fresher. Although a bird feeder is nice, having fresh water available brings as many if not more birds into the yard.
A small greenhouse to start seedlings in the spring and grow later into the winter.
A containment area to keep out dogs, rabbits, and other critters. It would probably be a combination of a fence and maybe some electricity (if deer are a problem).
Am I dreaming BIG OR WHAT! It’s been fun thinking this over, pinning things of interest, and considering what I might do differently next year. I might even break this board into several boards as I think this over.