Crouton

When Tristan and I moved into our new house, a really sweet co-worker of mine gave us a houseplant. It’s a really pretty tropical one with big, flat leaves, with bright red and yellow veins. Like responsible cat owners, we googled “tropical plant with big, flat leaves, etc” and discovered that it is a Croton. (And, yes, they are toxic. We hung it from the ceiling.)

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Now I have a… the opposite of a green thumb? I do not have a way with plants, is what I’m saying. I kill them. So, I named this plant Crouton. Crouton the Croton. Perhaps I hoped it would remind me to water it. Sadly, Crouton is now as dry and crunchy as his namesake.
(“But, maybe I can nurse it back to health!” says Tristan. “Maybe we can buy a new plant before the party on Saturday and pretend that we are responsible plant owners,” says I.)

So, what I’m trying to say is, I want to have a really nice garden this year, and it is going to be a big challenge. I will have to fight off all my plant murdering instincts if I want this thing to succeed.

We have kind of an interesting space for a garden, at this house. There were several things I wanted in a house. A big kitchen, the ability to have a washer and dryer inside the house, a nice, wide front porch, and a yard for a garden. I really meant, a back yard for a garden, but what we ended up with was a big front porch…

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Which is great, and which I will fill with pots and containers.  It would be nice if it ever got any sun, but you can’t have everything. And…

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this… space. This front/side yard area.

And, you know what? Maybe it’s a good thing. I can get really creative with my tiny space and make it really interesting. First thing, though, we removed this awkward fence that separated the sad little “front yard” from the sad little “back yard,” taking two completely useless spaces and making one kind of neat lawn. You can see where the fence was, though. It’s neatly outlined by the huge ugly dirt trench. So, today I spread some grass seeds. Soon the trench will be but a distant memory. Or, it won’t work, and I’ll go buy some lime and some more grass seeds and THEN it will be… anyway.

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Ira is investigating the grass seeds.
I was planning to put a couple raised beds along the fence, there, but then I went to the Habitat for Humanity store and found these awesome drawers!

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Who needs lumber when you have pre-made boxes, with the option to put adorable handles on them, and paint them colors, and… here’s the big idea, stack them into several different layers!

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Here’s my first hole made by my very own first power tool. I’m sold. Power tools are awesome.
So, that’s the big project right now. Gardening extravaganza. I really want to get a few of the boxes done, and start a few really early crops like peas. I also wanted to get all the “before” pictures up before I start doing much work, so that I can look back once I really start changing things. We’ve made the inside of the house really cute and liveable. Now that it’s marginally above freezing, I want to start making our outside space really cozy too.

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