Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Yard Full of Sweet Surprises

I want a garden. With lots and lots of fruits and vegetables! Onions, peppers, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli - you name it, I want to try to grow it! And we're right on track this year to make it a reality. Greg and I have already gotten started on laying out this magnificent garden, and even tried our hand at raised beds. (Stay tuned for this weekend's post to see how we did it, with Dutchy's help of course. :)

And while I realize it isn't the most cost effective way to plant a garden, I'm OK with buying starters for most of the plants we're going to grow this year. I'll shell out a little more if it means they will grow!

And nearly every plant sounded doable - except, of course, for strawberries. Buying young plants sounded so intimidating -  with their crazy runners taking over flower beds. And, after all that work, you didn't receive fruit from some plants for at least a year. 

Today Greg and I were outside doing a bit of yard work, and ventured over to the no-man's land on the south side of our house. I'm actually embarrassed to show you this picture. 

This is the side of the house that is fenced off from the back yard, and on the opposite side of the alley - in short, we don't see it unless we make a point to. And, when we moved into the house, we only knew there were bushes and stepping stones - nothing more. 

So when I ventured over to this secret garden today, you can imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw leaves that looked a bit familiar ... 

But wait ... it couldn't be ... 

Yes, it could! We have, ahem, STRAWBERRIES!! It's true! In the weedy, overgrown, mess of a flowerbed  that disgraces the south side of the house, there are oodles of strawberry plants just waiting to supply me with fruit for pies, jams, jellies, smoothies, ice cream and all things wonderful!  

Oh how exciting ... Greg was truly shocked at how much this brightened my day. And it doesn't stop here! The tall, over grown bushes that are drooping over and hiding my strawberry plants just happen to be raspberry bushes! Are you serious?! 

Apparently they are of the thorn-less variety. I guess I'll know for sure if a few months pass and we don't get fruit. But I wouldn't be a self-respecting country girl if I didn't recognize those leaves ... 

I'll keep you posted! 

And last, but certainly not least, I've found one final variety of plant that couldn't be more welcome in our little yard. But before I introduce her highness, please allow me a short story time. Feel free to gather round and sit Indian style on your floor mats. :o)

When Greg and I were hunting for houses, one of the many things I loved to note about them were their landscaping and plants. A house could be a terrible match for us, but perhaps not all bad if it had a backyard full of day lilies. A lot could be too small, but if the flowerbeds had hydrangeas, the visit wasn't a total loss. But most importantly, any house with peonies .... sigh ... was truly a pleasure to see. 

Growing up, there were peonies EVERYWHERE! My parent's house, my grandma's house, my mother-in-law's house, my parents friends' houses ... everywhere. And I loved each and every variety. In fact, I was so bound and determined to carry them as my wedding bouquet, that much to my mother's dismay I did not book a florist. Instead, I gathered flowers and buds from the garden's of each of those yards and preserved them in the refrigerator until my wedding day. I put together my bouquet a few hours before the ceremony while getting ready at the church. 

So .... you can imagine my excitement when I spotted this lone beauty on the furthest southwest corner of our lot ... 

A budding peony bush!! 

I just love surprises. :o) Hope you have a few nice ones of your own this week!

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