Garden musings

I once taught a freshman ‘exploratory’ course at ASU. Basically it was for incoming freshman who were undecided on their major. Sort of like an intro course to college, some introspective work, and some trips to career services and online ‘tests’ to see what they may be geared for. 

Being an instructor I also took those tests so I knew what the students were in for. One of them was a 500 question ‘personality’ test that was supposed to tell you what your top career choices might be. Here were mine (and this is almost 7 years ago and I remember it clear as day): 1. Farmer 2. Lawyer 3. English professor. Interesting right? What’s funnier? I was a Lit major as an undergrad (studying 16/17th lit in grad school); I LOVE Law & Order (read: fanatical); and I love to garden. Farm, a bit far fetched. But yea, that’s what it said about me! Coincidentally, a large percentage of lawyers actually have a background in Literature. How cool, right!

So I’ve always had my hands in dirt. I think I got it from my mother. Flowers are beautiful things and watching something grow that you’ve cultivated is quite fulfilling. Yes, I stole a bit of Voltaire there…cultivate your own garden. 

It wasn’t until I lived in Dothan that I took the route of ‘farmer’. My patient husband built free standing veggie boxes so that I could plant tomatoes, herbs, okra, squash,cucumbers, and peppers- all from seed. And I loved every minute of caring and upkeep. I used to freak out a bit when we would take a weekend camping trip because I was afraid our sprinkler system would fail and they’d die of thirst. I know, roll your eyes. 

said garden boxes with the sprinklers

And then we moved to Puerto Rico with lots o lots of room! So I needed a garden. Instead of the hubby taking on the duty my father, who came over with us, was charged with the task. He dug out 8 ( to begin with which expanded to 12) squares for some square foot gardening. Good sport!


gabi’s garden!

We’ve come across some great times, and also some hard times with the garden. I’ve also learned a lot about trellising and going vertical, especially with the tomatoes. We’ve got 20-30 mph wind gusts here so making sure everything is staked and secured is a must. 


newest addition: sturdy tomato ‘cages’

I’ve recently encountered little critters that love to eat up my squash and zucchini buds. I’m on a third planting now and this time around I’ll be deploying eggshells to deter the snails and slugs, who I think are the culprits. 

There has been a lot of trial and error. Good harvests and others not so good. But I keep coming back for more. And as Aubrey Hepburn says, ‘to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ‘


sunflowers for my sweet sunflower, Gabi


multiple blooms!


starting over. again.


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3 thoughts on “Garden musings

  1. Barbara Schutt July 9, 2015 at 11:32 am Reply

    Your garden looks great! We are in northern Illinois and love to garden having two very large ones in the backyard. We put Seven dust on the squash blossoms to deter the slugs but I hate to use that. Do the egg shells work well?

    • Jen July 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to leave comments! Definitely makes me smile. Isn’t having a garden just lovely?! I still have seedlings in the house so I haven’t transplanted them into the garden or tried out the eggshells. I’m hoping I can get to it tomorrow. We did notice, however, that our resident ginormous iguana/lizard has been eyeing our baby avocado tree so I’m thinking ‘iggy’ might actually be the bandit. If so then I’m at a loss on how to keep him out. Which is weird because he’s never gone for my plants before. Maybe with the drought? Anyway, I’m still going to try the shells so I’ll keep you posted!! Have a great day!

      • Barbara Schutt July 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm

        You are too cute! I’d have no idea how to keep the iguana out. We do love having a garden with lots of fresh veggies (we’re vegetarian/fish eaters). I imagine the drought would certainly cause them to eat other things. One year we had raccoons actually eating our jalapenio peppers and squirrels eating our tomatoes! Enjoy your weekend!

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