The Great Pacific Northwest Garden Experiment 2012

I am a novice gardener.

crocks boots flip flops

Technically, I know how to garden well, but only in the Northeast. I was raised in upstate New York and even worked as a farm hand near Mechanichville, NY for one summer, a summer glorious with organic soil and heirloom tomatoes. But then I moved to Washington state, and everything I planted died.

This morning I had a hearty rhubarb harvest. Yum!

This morning I had a hearty rhubarb harvest. Yum!

My rhubarb patch is growing very well!

My rhubarb patch is growing very well!

The tulips started to bloom this morning, too. So full of the promise of Spring!

The tulips started to bloom this morning, too. So full of the promise of Spring!

Now I have a house with a rhubarb patch, an apple tree, a Rainier cherry tree, and some grape vines, as well as a big ole garden plot. It has been calling to me ever since we moved in two summers ago. Now the siren song has pulled me under and I have dirt under my nails once more.

I want to plant perfectly. I want to plant All Of The Things. I want up has good soil and weed appropriately. But I have been paralyzed too long by perfectionism. I have been leaving through gardening books and skimming blogs during Phoebe’s nap time. And today I finally wrote out a list of plants, went to my local greenhouse and took the plunge.

I am going to make So Many Mistakes this year. And next year. And the year after that. But I’ll learn from my mistakes. And I’ll get to eat SOMETHING that I grew in the process. And I’ll have the constant pride of dirt under my fingernails.

I love the idea of planting the Iroquois Three Sisters: corn, beans and squash.

I love the “Food Not Lawns” movement. I want to remove ALL the grads from my front lawn and plant a huge herb garden and flower garden.

I planted blueberry bushes and currant bushes.

I have so many dreams and plans. This big garden adventure both overwhelms me and fills me with pride and joy. Gardening excites me. It makes me grow outside myself. It forces me to be ok with gritty imperfection; to see that life is boundless and forgiving, surprising and unpredictable; to throw some seeds into some soil and steward them until they explode. Or so I hope.

People: I am a Gardener once more!

People: I am a Gardener once more!

A FEW DETAILS

My main plot is 13 x 13, with an adjoining 8 x 13 area that I could till and use.

13 x 13 garden plot

Today I spent $105 on the following:

We have terrible slugs. And last year bugs ate ALL our apples. Yuck.

4 strawberry plants, 4-pack broccoli, 4-pack romaine, 4-pack lettuce, rainbow chard & 2 gorgeous geraniums (for the patio pots).

4 strawberry plants, 4-pack broccoli, 4-pack romaine, 4-pack lettuce, rainbow chard & 2 gorgeous geraniums (for the patio pots).

One of the last asparagus packs! I'm almost too late!

One of the last asparagus packs! I was almost too late!

Lots of seeds. Lots of herb seeds.

Lots of seeds. Lots of herb seeds.

SCENES FROM THE DAY

Phoebe “helps” my mom weed.

Cherry tree. Dead Christmas tree. Family. Rhubarb patch. Lots of grass & weeds. And my garden plot. (Left to Right)

Cherry tree. Dead Christmas tree. Family. Rhubarb patch. Lots of grass & weeds. And my garden plot. (Left to Right)

Mmm. Dirt.

Mmm. Dirt.

A riveting picture of the row I planted today (my starter plants).

A riveting picture of the row I planted today (my starter plants).

An equally riveting picture: slugs dead in a jar of salty water. I plopped them in there as I planted.

An equally riveting picture: slugs dead in a jar of salty water. I plopped them in there as I planted.

What are you planting?
What are you planning?
What are you dreaming?

Any tips for gardening in the Pacific Northwest?

– Posted by ekwetzel using BlogPress from my iPhone, 4/11/2012

4 Responses to The Great Pacific Northwest Garden Experiment 2012

  1. Jamie in B.C. June 13, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Hey I love your blog and what you’re doing.

    It’s inspirational.

    I too have started a garden this year and share your feelings!

    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!!

    • ekwetzel July 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Thank you for the encouragement. ;o)

  2. Jamie in B.C. June 13, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    I’m sure you’re someone who would appreciate biological controls vs chemicals in your garden.

    We have these in BC:

    http://www.thebuglady.ca/

    http://www.appliedbio-nomics.com/

    Bug Lady is my favorite:)

  3. Charlie Bale August 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I removed all of my lawn and now I am a butterfly and hummingbird rancher. I understand how the soil seems to choose you.