The start of a gardening journal

When the pandemic hit this year, it seemed pretty likely that I wouldn’t be traveling much this summer. The last few years our family trips has been chock full of amazing experiences – The Badlands, Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore, Mammoth Cave, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Nashville, New York City, London, Paris, and not to mention all the little educational and fun day trips around my own state of Ohio. And thinking back of all of them, I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced them all. Some of the places are places that I never, ever thought in my wildest dreams I would see. Before March 2020, we were slated to fly to California to see family members during Spring Break and also to see family members in New Jersey in June for some beach time and both were cancelled.

I could be pretty bummed about the cancelled trips but I’m not. In fact, we are all completely fine that we have been staying at home. We’ve been a little bored but we have been free of sickness. And so, instead of traveling this year, I decided to start on Plan B.

Several years ago (when we weren’t traveling because of lots of reasons that had nothing to do with a pandemic) my husband made four garden beds in our backyard and I started to learn about vegetable gardening for the first time in my life and I was hooked. I was hooked for a few years and had some hit or miss summers trying all kinds of vegetables to see what worked. It was a lot of fun, but then life happened and traveling happened so I took a few years off.

Well, this year, the backyard is now our oasis and our exploration and the gardening is on overtime. And reminding myself how much free space we have in our yard has been a treat. My husband erected two more beautiful, cedar garden beds, I added a couple perennial gardens, and in all the garden beds I planted numerous vegetables, fruits and herbs. To teach myself on what to do with all these plants, I refer to a few books, and one of them suggested that I start a gardening journal. And so, in addition to my handwritten notes, I wanted to combine my notes and my photographs (because I’m a visual person) and put them all together here online. And now all of you can see all of the hits and misses this summer when I try to grow collard greens (a first for me), try to get rid of all the pests, make pickles out of cucumbers, dry and store herbs, and make tomato sauce out of all the tomatoes, and make lemons out of lemonade when I completely mess something up (definitely sure to happen).

I am just a novice gardener who’s trying to take it to the next level. So far everything it’s been ok – most things look like they are growing – but it’s just the third day of summer so we have a full growing season ahead….

For the first page of the gardening journal, here are my observations:

  • the sugar snap peas are growing slowing probably because I put the seeds in the garden too late in the spring season
  • the tomatoes are growing; some leaves are yellow around the base of the plant
  • collards starting to get eggs from the cabbage moth; I moved the oregano plant to be next to them and it seemed to help
  • wildflowers growing
  • rose bush coming back

Questions and/or comments? Please start the conversation!

Photographs from gardens – perennial and edible gardens – June 23-24:

David Austin rose
Red lettuce
Cherry tomato
Jalepeno pepper
Strawberry
Rosemary
Oregano
Sage
Roma tomato
Milkweed
Corn
Zucchini
Yarrow
Big boy tomato
Thyme
Green pepper
Basil
Catnip sprout
Hollyhock
Raspberry
Lavender
Pink poppy
Peach poppy
Red poppy
Cucumber tendrils
Sugar snap pea tendrils

All photographs June 2020, Kate Minear Sorenson

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