My photo
I'm a Canadian now residing in Sunny Arizona since 2002. Although I've been a city girl all of my life, I've always loved the country and the laid back life it offers. My love of the Outdoors, Animals,and Gardening comes from my mom Cecile, who loved her home in the country, but sadly passed away in 2005. I promised her I would grow a garden in her name, And I finally did, five years later. One of my best memories of her is how much she loved her garden. The glow on her face when she would show me something new, always creating a life with things she loved. She loved all animals. She taught me simplicity, to enjoy the small things, and see beauty in everything. Today I find myself doing the same things she did in her garden and in life. This blog was created to keep track of my projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity. I want to share this adventure with those who can appreciate the small things, the trial and errors, the simplicity in it all, but mostly,what my mom knew how to do best,just have FUN! *This blog is dedicated to her*

Feb 25, 2010

This is MY Space!

Puppy-Proofing your Garden,
NOT as easy as I thought!
When I found this home I was in heaven! Large yard for my dogs!
I tried to plan my garden space accordingly, not wanting to take too much of theirs, because really it's THEIR house.
But when the fencing came up around my garden beds they wanted to investigate, although there really wasn't anything interesting there until I brought in the soil with 'organic' matter in it...then everything changed. They seem to enjoy hanging around my beds more than the rest of their yard now.

Waking up in the morning to see paw prints all over my garden beds AFTER planting my seeds is frustrating. But how could I resist laughing a little? it's too cute! although I can't let that happen again if I want something to grow.
Luckily only two out of my six fur-kids could get through, or I would have ended up having to shovel this organic matter all over again. One has ripped out my tiny grape vine and dragged it in the house! And I am making sure this will NEVER happen again. So, I had to get materials to fence off the tiny spaces they were coming through. Unless it's the sneaky neighbor cat... hmmmmmm

I'm thinking maybe I'll have to create their own sniffing zone where they'll stay away from my boundaries...
This is MY space!

Orange Blossom

My Seeds

Feb 24, 2010

Rain, Rain and more Rain

This is the most relentless rain I've seen in just one month since I live in Arizona. A little frustrating when you are building a garden.
The clouds are lingering today. It's not a bad thing, we can really use this moisture. But my flowers, fruit trees and seeds need the sun! And so do I!

I have many backyard projects I would like to finish, but these conditions make it miserable to work outdoors. And I really wonder if it will ever all get done....and if it does, I know I'll have another project in line.

The yard is flooded, the mud, everywhere. However, it looks as though it'll quieten down by next weekend. Yippee! In the meantime this gives me the opportunity to get creative indoors. I have done some reading. Lots of it. Right now I am reading about Herbs. Its amazing the benefits Herbs have to offer. Mine are mainly for culinary reasons. Nothing like cooking with garden fresh Herbs :)

I have a small corner area of my yard where I made my little Herb Garden :)
I planted Garlic Chives, Parsley, Cilantro, Sweet Basil and Rosemary.
I also planted Savory and Chives around my garden beds, as a natural repellent to help keep pests away from my crops. I have yet to find out how effective that is :) In the meantime, I'll have to wait out this rain and hope to see some rays in my Garden soon :)

Feb 23, 2010

Welcome to My Garden

No doubt My favorite Flower

My Work is Almost Done! (for now)

I am new at blogging, so bare with me as I take on this exciting new hobby...I hope to be able to share my adventures and learn from others with the same interests.

As a new vegetable gardener here in Arizona, I feel blessed by the opportunity to garden year-round. My wish is to make the most out of my yard space without venturing into something I will later regret. I am fortunate to have sufficient space for the garden I am trying to create, my own little garden heaven and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor.

By finding resources on the net, reading other blogs and various local garden books, I found out how easy it was to get caught up in so much work. I sometimes questioned my ability to grow my own food, when to plant, choosing proper soil, when to fertilize, companion planting, arid conditions and so on.
Planting here is different than back home in Quebec, where outdoor gardening is limited to only a few months. Having the opportunity to learn how to grow and harvest various vegetables for a longer growing season seemed like quite the challenge but very intriguing!
I needed to pace myself in order to plan properly. But I also didn't want to forget that doing so should be an enjoyable experience!

I realize that most of this work is really about the construction of the garden itself. It requires detailed planning, preparation, and physical labor. I chose to have raised garden beds, as for me they seemed easier to work with, especially here in Arizona and in my yard, where the soil is high in clay content.

Immersing myself into such work is overwhelming, but knowing that most of my wood garden beds are now built,fencing set up and soil shovelled in (thanks for the help and hard work Tim!) I can actually start my adventure and watch my garden grow. And as my mom did, just be inspired and HAVE FUN with it :)

Last week I planted my Organic seeds. I cannot begin to express my excitement as I wait to see them sprout! I planted onions, beets, radish, potatoes, carrots, squash, cucumber, zucchini, cantaloupe,lettuce, beans, peas, grapes, and various culinary herbs. I also transplanted my tomatoes and peppers (for the third time) I already had in pots. They have finally moved to their permanent home! I hope they will be happy there.

Why Organic? because there are no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, not to mention better tasting produce :) I also have a compost bin to recycle natural lawn, garden and kitchen waste that will produce nutrients to replenish my soil for future use.

I am lucky to have the space in my yard to create my own little Orchard too. I have various young fruit trees; Apple, Pear, Plum, Peach, Orange, Nectarine, Apricot and Banana. With ideal conditions and proper care I should be able to enjoy most of their fruit this season :)

What has been very helpfull for me is taking notes, as much as I can. I have a log book with my garden plan laid out. I scribble things here and there, write dates and keep track of the smallest of changes. I believe this is a key step in order to maintain your garden and learn from mistakes. Also, to better prepare for the growing seasons to come :)

I know everything I am trying to accomplish seems like much right now, and ahead are many attempts and mistakes, but hopefully by sharing them it will help others on their journey to a beautiful, bountiful garden too.

Along with my new garden I hope to create a habitat for both birds and butterflies, as a reminder of the promise I made to my mom five years ago.

My work is almost done!

I am also an amateur photographer, and hope everyone can enjoy my photos that I post as my garden progresses.

"One who plants a garden, plants happiness."

Happy planting!