Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the tag “vegetable garden”

Discovering My Green Thumb

Well, at least trying.

We often joked that my Dad was our own personal Portuguese gardener. He was always puttering in the yard, planting flowers, maintaining our vegetable gardens, and he had more house plants than he knew what to do with. He was even the sole male member of our town’s garden club!

My neighbors always compliment me on how nice the yard looked– I always told them I’d tell my father since he was the one who did all the work! Ever since my divorce, my Dad did  so much in my yard ( and helped a bunch with landscaping before that too)- more than I ever realized. Recently, Q and I spent an entire day trying to clean up and get everything looking nice- we were exhausted! I have no idea how my father did it all himself! I tried to tell him how grateful I was all the time for his efforts, especially with mowing the lawn before Q came around ( I’m ridiculously allergic to grass). Some of my favorite memories over the past few years was learning from my father as he worked around my yard, although I wish now that I’d paid more attention, asked more questions, and not taken him for granted because there is still so much I feel I need to know!

I’ve never been a huge garden/landscape person, mostly because it seems I’m allergic to the world, but also because my Dad gardened as his hobby and he liked doing it on his own time so part of me didn’t want to interfere too much with that. I killed a few houseplants which I think he thought was funny, though didn’t quite understand why I didn’t get the concept of habitual watering.

With Dad being gone, I knew I had to step it up with my gardening and plant skills. When he died, someone sent the family a gorgeous peace lily plant that I took home- it’s been one of my focused goals of the past six months to keep it alive, which I’m happy to report it still is, and is thriving. Over the past few weeks, I’ve successfully planted flowers, a vegetable garden ( cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, peppers), and done a lot of the landscaping ( with Q’s help of course).

Throughout all of this, I’ve discovered my own little Portuguese gardener inside of me ( it’s fun and therapeutic to dig in the dirt!)  I don’t think I’ll ever be as great as he was with growing things from seeds or even have the ability to mow the lawn without having trouble breathing, but I’m continuing in his spirit and enthusiasm. You’ll see below in the photo my small veggie garden in our backyard ( which is a work in progress) with a little garden gnome. My Dad had a thing about gnomes- I think he liked their whimsical sense of fantasy and maybe that they brought some garden luck. It was only right that this gnome came to my own backyard- reminds me of my father every day.


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Finding My Green Thumb

Prior to owning a house, I would not have described myself as a person who was good with plants. Sure, I love flowers and the feel of green grass underneath my bare feet in the summer time, but in general, I wasn’t into the keeping of plants or caring for garden. Part of that is because my dad does it so well ( and I think he liked having quiet time outside when my brother & I were kids), and I also have ridiculously bad allergies ( as in I wear a mask when outside for the months of April and May).

Since owning a house, I’ve sloooowly made my way into gardening though in full disclosure, I’ve killed a few indoor house plants in my life. Nothing makes me happier than being outside relaxing in the summer time and I’m trying to create a backyard sanctuary. My dad has coaxed me along and done a lot of the hard work ( including mowing my lawn, he’s a lifesaver), but I’ve slowly taken a liking to getting my hands in the dirt.

My dad is also helping me get my vegetable garden in gear again with a few things planted already. I’m hoping to add some flowers to my backyard. This past weekend, my dad and I worked together to remove a beast of a bush that I have wanted out for the past two years. Here’s a shot of the middle and end because the phone on my camera ‘ate’ the before!



And my lovely lilacs! After 4 years of being in the house, this is the first time I’ve seen them bloom!


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