I grew up in a home were gardening was something done to survive on. Dad had a large garden at friends property as we lived somewhat in the city and we sold produce from our front porch all season long. He was well known for his pickles, sauerkraut, and pickled beets when it came time to do the canning and I could not wait to be able to get out of the house while the sauerkraut fermented all summer long. Sadly, to this day I still can't handle that particular aroma.
Mom was very fond of her flowerbeds, having them in several areas around the house and yard and a large variety of plants that would bloom all throughout the spring, summer, and fall. We would go gather bittersweet and other foliage to make wreaths and fall arrangements and I loved every minute of it.
Now that I am grown and have grandchildren, I want to be able to honor my parents memory and keep their traditions alive, hopefully by passing these traditions on to the kids. That is why I convinced my husband that I wanted to have a garden, well, that and wanting to have fresh tomatoes and beans in my diet again...
We started that year with a very full crop. Having been raised not to waste anything, I just had to plant every possible inch of the spot he plowed up. Let's just say we ended the season selling at the local Farmer's Market. The following year, we toned things down a bit and I spent the winter between seasons reading up on things like companion gardening, organic gardening, and began to really connect with my late father through these readings. I surely had found alot more respect for him than I had ever known as a child hanging out with him in the garden all those years, this was alot of work!
In 2010, just after we got the garden started for the year, we discovered that I had developed bone metastases from Breast Cancer. The cancer had found it's way to my hips and made it difficult to do the physical labor involved in tilling and digging as well as planting and tending to the flat garden. I was determined not to give up on my garden, I needed to stay connected to my parents and this was my way to do that so we found a way to create a raised garden system that would allow me to work without having to bend so much and that is where we are at today. We found used horse troughs that farmers were otherwise going to get rid of because they had holes in them. Then we found free lava rock on Craigslist to use as drainage in the bottoms of them. After designing the new layout, complete with a seating area with table and chairs, we lined the path with the new "tubs", filled with rock and soil and topped with compost to winter over and come spring of 2011, we began to plant our new and improved garden. While our harvest is smaller, it is plenty for us to have a stash in the freezer and to do some salsa canning and even share some with family and friends. TLC Gardens is now a little piece of Heaven on Earth for me to go and just relax. Rather than working like a hound, I can tinker and still get great results.
I hope that you will stop by often as the gardening season is upon us, to see how we begin to prepare to start the garden for 2013 and follow our process through the year. We will also have tips on flowerbeds, pruning, propagation, pest control, herb gardening, cooking, and so much more! I am excited to be able to share my experience and what I have learned through the years from my passion for gardening, growing and enjoying the great outdoors. I refuse to let the cancer in my body take away my ability to enjoy my garden and I hope I can help others in similar situations get back to their passion as well.
So, with all that being said (sorry if this is a bit long-winded...but I like to be thorough), Hope to have you as a new follower and I'll check in again sometime soon!