First, thank you to the many of you who offered encouragement and support through a very difficult week. I was blessed by the calls, comments, and e-mails. My Grandpa was laid to rest on Friday after a wonderful funeral service - God was truly glorified. We will miss him but we take a great deal of comfort in knowing he is in Heaven and in the many memories we have with him.
Now on to my post. Andrew and I have been diligently working on landscaping/outdoor living area since we moved in to our house 3 1/2 years ago and this year is no exception (my Grandpa would be proud :). 2 years ago we built our deck, last year we put in our fence, and this year we are working on improving our flower beds and garden. By the time April rolls around, I anxiously wait until it is "safe" to plant my flowers. Something about visiting the local garden centers is always exciting - perhaps it's the thrill of choosing what colors and plants will grace my beds or maybe the joy of the warm weather returning.
My favorite plants are my herbs - I have a few periennals and then I add several annuals. I love cooking with them throughout the summer and fall. This year I'm featuring chives, sage, thyme, spearmint, peppermint, lovage, basil, lemon basil, rosemary, italian flat leaf parsley, curry, and oregano. My personal favorites are chives, lemon basil, cilantro, and rosemary. We are also growing some vegetables - tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, okra (for Andrew), and peppers. We have one bed that is entirely tomatoes - 14 plants in all including cherry, yellow pear, orange, purple, and roma. Fresh salsa is one of our favorite summer dishes. We use the lasagna gardening method and have found it to be fairly successful.
I'm also doing several different kinds of flowers in the beds and terra cotta pots. I'm hoping to keep up with all the gardening better this year since I will be home more and my boys LOVE playing outside! (And yes, I know it's a little earlier than recommended for planting but we just couldn't wait!)