Monday, May 15, 2017

LET IT GROW, LET IT GROW


Definitely a "Frozen" knockoff blog post title. Anyone start singing as they read it?

Good news is it's not frozen, in fact Charlotte temps are starting to reach the mid-90's and I'm kinda cringing but kinda loving the summer activities that are starting.

On another note, I love when I start to think I'm ahead of the game in my week and then I blink and it's gone. Which, cool, makes for a super fast work week but it also means that I still have a million and one things to do and not enough time to do them. Like all those summer activities I had in mind.

Things are crazy for Kevin and I lately. Between work travel, fun travel (can't wait for Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, AL!) and two graduations, we're hardly home in the next 5 weeks.

I have some serious planning to do... like um, a WEDDING... but more on that later.


But back to this 'Un-Frozen' weather because about a week and a half ago I wrote a blog post on something new I was trying (in all my spare time) and told you that my thumb is every color but green. I wanted to quickly circle back on how the garden is progressing and honestly just wanted to brag because I haven't killed these things yet!

IT'S GROWING. IT'S REALLY, REALLY GROWING.

But, like most things I do, I can't take all the credit.

Last week Kevin and I took a "Gardening Beginners" class with one of the amazing startup companies here in Charlotte, SkillPop. SkillPop is a small class-sized, hands-on learning experience that sharpens your skills on everything from Handlettering, to Car Maintenance, to Hip-Hop Dance and even, you guessed it, gardening.

We visited a local store and greenhouse called Renfrow Hardware, a part of Renfrow Farms in Matthews, NC, and got an experts low-down on soil composition, the gardener's almanac and rules to follow.

It definitely would have been more beneficial for Kevin and I to take this class prior to doing our garden, but my research told me the best planting season was mid-April. Because everything you read on the internet is legit, obviously.


Which brings me to my next point, things we've learned so far;

1│ Don't over water your plants. They'll tell you when they're thirsty (think drooping leaves).

2│ Don't overcrowd your garden bed. This is one we really wish we knew before planting because our zucchini plant is now HUGE (I took these pictures prior to it's growth spurt apparently) and I'm considering re-potting to it's own container.

3 │ Don't use Miracle-Gro or any other "sugar" grower. Apparently these additives are like candy bars to kids; they get really hyper really quickly and then crash.

4 │ BE PATIENT. Things don't grow overnight.




Now that you've seen our little green babies getting bigger and healthier, I'll be sharing some of my recent recipes that have incorporated the fresh herbs from the garden. Right now, it's the only thing that's ready-to-eat, but we do have two baby tomatoes on our vines now! Mmm, can't wait! 



Monday, May 01, 2017

MY THUMB IS EVERY COLOR BUT GREEN


Springtime has officially arrived in Charlotte. I'm only claiming that because 3 of the 5 work days last week were straight downpours. Like to the point where I went out and bought a new raincoat because I felt like I'd been wearing the same outfit for an eternity.

I'll steal a line from country singer Luke Bryan, however, and say that "rain is a good thang". Especially for this non-gardening, can't keep anything alive, black thumb. Now that's not to say I haven't tried! I have a few plants in the house that for whatever reason and no matter how hard I try to kill them just won't die #YouDaRealMVPs.

But this year on Earth Day, and in lieu of being adults (aka homeowners), Kevin and I decided to take a stab at this whole gardening/yard thing.

"Being Creative" encompasses so many activities and hobbies, and this time around I'm looking at our grass and gardening attempts as one of them.


We spent a few days this past week pulling weeds, mulching, renting an aerator, seeding, fertilizing and planting a garden. We put a lot of effort (and money) to look like we give a shit about our yard because, well, we do give a shit about our yard we just literally don't know anything about anything.

Side note; does anyone else have "Yard of the Month" in their neighborhood? Yeah, well, we're never gonna get it. 

But back to Spring because following our yard revamp (and one rather large black snake encounter) we had those 3 days of continuous rain and now I'm legitimately afraid that all our grass seed washed away. Is that a thing? Guess we'll find out.



When we moved into the house, the previous homeowners had already done some landscaping. Or maybe the house came that way? Who knows and who cares because they're still alive. Either way we have some gorgeous hostas and hydrangeas (shout out to my Mom for identifying these for me... you know I had no clue) and after some intense Googling and Pinterest-ing, I figured out how to cut them back to allow new growth.

I probably should have taken some before pictures but ugh, it's a little late for that. However, I do promise to share some progress photos of the garden in the new few months... if it's still alive that is.


For the garden, and for obviously reasons, we decided to add plants that were labeled "for beginners". The previous owners had already built a raised garden bed in the backyard that we're using and we bought all starter plants (a step above seeds) from Lowe's to speed up the process.

The raised bed had old soil in it so we freshened it up with a layer of Miracle-Gro All Purpose Garden SoilGardenscape Compost and Manure and a top layer of Lowe's Premium Mulch to keep the soil cool and moist. I did my research, y'all. If these things don't grow, I quit.

In the end, we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, green pepper, basil, parsley, dill, zucchini and eggplant. According to the plant info tags, we should start seeing some ready-to-eat results in as soon as 45 days! Which, obviously, will feel like fore-ehv-ver.

I temporarily labeled our plants using upside down plastic forks but a short term goal is to make something a little more creative and easier on the eyes!



I keep checking on the grass and garden hoping that some new life will just pop up overnight and suddenly our yard will be green. It hasn't happened yet (obviously) but we have seen some growth on the veggies we planted and that's enough to keep me watering it. 

For now, Boone our pup has been dubbed the "Garden Keeper" and he hasn't peed on it ... yet.