Spring Plantings

Some wonderful flowers from the Belle Isle Conservancy

We're switching topics a little bit for today.  Instead of talking scuba diving, we going to talk about (wait for it) gardening!  On Saturday, we went to the Belle Isle Conservancy Spring Plant sale to pick up some heirloom variety tomatoes any anything else that caught our eye. The plant sale is a unique partnership between the conservancy and Detroit Public Schools.  The students start the seedlings, market the sale and then help with the event.  All proceeds benefit DPS's Agriscience program.  Helping a local group and getting heirloom tomatoes for cheap?  Sounds good in my book!

Last year, Aaron built four beds that we use for a garden.  We follow the square foot gardening philosophy which allows us to cram a ton of stuff into a fairly small amount of space.  We also have  four planters on the patio that we use.  Last year, we had one with herbs, two with strawberries and one with (attempted) lettuce.  The problem is, we kind of forget to water them sometimes.  Most of the time.  Ok, we were lucky if we remembered to water them more than twice a month.  So, our strawberries were small, the lettuce pathetic, and the herbs never really grew more than their size when planted.  

This year, since we will eventually be selling the house, we went a little more basic with the patio planters.  One got herbs, since the thyme and oregano from last year were already coming up, we just added some rosemary and basil to them.  The other three got a mixture of annuals - large marigolds, regular marigolds and these little yellow flowers that I can't remember the name of.  I got them solely because the sticker said they attract hummingbirds.  We also had a tall planter on the patio from Ikea that got lavender.  I just like the smell and pretty purple flowers of the lavender.  I have no idea how to grow it (successfully) and if it can even be done in a container.  Eh, live and learn!  And then google if that doesn't work.

The planters at the front of the house got white petunias, some green grass and sweet potato vines.  Last year, I painted a couple containers from Ikea and they sit by the pool stairs and tried to grow dahlias in them.  That didn't work out so well (remember the whole watering thing?).  Since dahlias are a little pricier, I decided to go with (cheaper) dwarf snapdragons this year.  Those were my favorite flowers growing up and my mom always made sure that we had them somewhere (she let me pick the colors).  

One of the garden beds was also planted.  It got green beans, cabbage and broccoli.  The green beans did well last year, but the broccoli was a complete and utter failure last time we tried it.  Hopefully we can get at least one head this year (before we move that is).

Awesome Heirloom Tomatoes

At the plant sale, we picked up a variety of heirloom tomatoes (all varieties are quick to maturity), and a couple cucumbers.  Before we can plant them, they need to be hardened off, so that's what we've been doing this week.  Next weekend they'll go in the ground.  Hopefully, we get at least some tomatoes and cukes before we move, but even if we don't, hopefully whoever ends up buying our house will enjoy them.  Sometimes, we like the act of just going out to the garden to see whats changed.  I know, we're old and lame.  We like to watch plants grow (who does that?!).

I never really mind yard work in the spring.  It's a good excuse to get outside, in the sun (even if my pasty legs do blind the neighbors), and get some dirt under my nails, which is still there today.  (Note to self: pick up a nailbrush on my way home from work).

What were you guys up to this weekend?  Anyone else taking advantage of the beautiful weather to do some planting?  Or just play outside?