Our Gardening Adventure: PART 1, "Planting the Garden"

Robby and I both hail from a long line of gardeners.  Our parents and grandparents were involved in the "Going Green Movement" way before it was even given that name.  My maternal grandparents lived on a full fledged farm and lived off the land, so to speak.  They had a cow for milking, chickens to provide eggs and eventually eat the chickens, hogs and, of course, huge gardens that provided them with all the vegetables they could ever want or need.  I can remember sitting on their front porch as a young child shelling peas and butter beans.  I thought this was what all young children did in the evenings for an activity.  Now I know that I was assisting my grandparents in keeping up with their garden produce.  As I grew into a teenager and young adult, I still enjoyed eating fresh produce out of the gardens my parents grew.  However, the thought of actually growing my own garden never entered my head.  The cause most likely was the busyness of our lives with four children.  Now, Robby and I have finally slowed down enough to try our hand at this gardening thing and we both realize that it is going to be a trial and error experience.  That is why I have decided to title this series of posts. "Our Gardening Adventure".  Because "adventure", I am sure it will be.  We intend to attempt to not only grow our own fresh produce but to also venture out into the canning phase of preserving that produce for later use. SO...wish us luck on this "adventure" and if you are an "expert" gardener, yourself, please feel free to give us some advice!

We decided not to go with a huge garden this year since it would be a learning year for us.  Robby knew from people out in this area that the soil is a bit sandy so he decided that we should build a "raised garden" and fill it with lots of good soil.  In order to build a "raised garden" we had to do some sort of enclosure and settled on landscaping stones that were not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
I picked one of these up the other day because I remember that my grandmother lived by what the Farmer's Almanac said when it came to gardening.  She used to get them free at the drug store...I had to pay $5.95 for mine!  WOW...Times sure have changed.

 We attempted to choose the place that would receive the most sunlight.  Robby started out by forming the shape of the bed with the stones and then started filling it with the soil.

              In between trips of dumping the soil, Parker Ann and I leveled off the dirt using a shovel.

 Once all of the dirt had been hauled in, Poppi and Parker Ann began to finish off the garden wall.
Parker Ann was such good little helper but while we waited to put the plants into the ground, she also had a little imaginative fun too...
                                      These landscaping stones became rocks over a river...
                                  And then, she and Clementine had quite a few conversations...
                                           While wearing those "magical" red shoes of hers!
      OK...so, she gets her great sense of shoe style from her YaYa.  What can I say, we garden pretty!

                       Finally, it was time to take the plants out and get them into the ground...
We planted all sorts of plants; tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, bell peppers and squash.  We also planted two olive plants in planters, two orange trees and blueberry and blackberry bushes.
                                                 Getting dirty has never been so much FUN!
    We moved the blueberry bushes to a different location so they would receive more light.

                            The blackberry bushes were planted against the back fence.

                                       And here is the finished product...Our GARDEN!

I'm not sure how this little "Gardening Adventure" will turn out but I must admit that I am pretty excited about it.  Apparently, Parker Ann was pretty excited too because she woke up the next morning and right away told me, "YaYa, I think your garden grew last night!"  Time will, of course, will tell what kind of gardener I will be;  if I can be the kind of gardener my grandparents were.

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