The front porch is my domain. Well, when it comes to gardening, anyway. It started out with my aloes. I have some big aloe plants…and a plethora of smaller pots filled, often overflowing, with aloe. Every winter, the aloes retreat to our basement to be ignored the entire season until the threat of the last frost has passed and we can pull them out and put them back on the porch again.
For the past couple of years, I have grown catnip and spearmint and chocolate mint on and alongside the front porch. I have also grown tomatoes as well.
This year, we are trying to see if the pumpkins we left out in the front flower bed sprout and grow…although we also have a single lilac bush in that bed, and our beloved red lace leaf maple tree. This past weekend, we planted three climbing rose bushes, since last year my other lilacs died –that was the year I planted them. They didn’t take off, but at least the one did, as did the maple. I want more flowers — and I have started to miss my rose garden from more than twenty years ago…and these days I am tweaking what I want and how I want things. And so…climbing roses…a pink, a white and a red one.
In the same flower bed, back after a few years of nothing, our spearmint has returned. I honestly thought we had dug it all up and moved it to under our crab apple tree. No spearmint grew for two years in this bed. This year, we have several small bunches already up and making the neighborhood stray cats happy. Yes, it is spearmint. Yes, I am sure. Certain outdoor cats around here prefer to roll around in the spearmint; our indoor cats can’t stand it. I have about five pots this year of catnip. Some of the outdoor cats love the catnip. Some of them take to the catnip this week and the spearmint next week. Our indoor cats just want the catnip…and my youngest loves to drink catnip tea–that is just an added bonus for me. Catnip tea is a great relaxant and stress reliver. Especially for an 8yo. He drinks it. He loves it. He enjoys it. And the fact that I will let him have sugar cubes to sweeten it make it even more appealing to and for him. Whatever it takes to calm my mini-tornado.
I planted the chocolate mint for my husband, per his request. It smells heavenly. This year I also planted a few other mint varieties, as well as a small raised bed box full of strawberries, thanks to our local Lowes store. It’s just a smallish crate lined with plastic. You buy it as a kit. You supply the dirt. There are ten little roots of strawberry plants. You follow the directions that come with it and … our hope is to just be able to move the strawberries out of reach of the squirrels around here.
This year, as we wait for our tomatoes from last year to return (for the second year), we planted three different varieties of tomato as well.
The garden in the backyard belongs to my husband and son. They are still working to amend the soil…and deter the dogs from … marking the interior of the garden as their territory. My husband is still working on hydroponics and aquaponics this year. He is currently growing mesclun mixes using the Aerogarden.
We are also trying to decide where to plant our sunflower garden this year. We have a ton of towering seeds to grow–we are trying to decide if we are going to create a flower bed in the front yard, either for sunflowers or for bearded iris…or if I get to take over part of the garden, or another area for a massive sunflower bed. We are waiting to see what the guys will actually be planting outside…
Also, I am waiting to see if we can manage to do the hot weather planting and then cold weather planting this year…to see what we get to can and put away for the winter.
What about you? Are you planting anything this year? Are you planting in pots? Or do you have a space for a garden?
Are you planting herbs, or vegetables, or simply tending houseplants?
Let me know in the comments below.