The garden grew beautifully in 5 months (Before and After pictures)

There are a few cold days around here and, suddenly, it feels like fall. Now, there are no autumn signs yet, despite the red, red cherry tomatoes, but I think I sensed some grape’s aroma lingering around the joyful garden.

The fall is coming and I almost feel the autumn’s melancholy I’ve always felt around this time of the year. And because of the cold nights and days that are going to come, I almost feel sorry for our garden. For all the annuals, the young sour cherry tree, for the green, green grass. They are going to experience some tough days, but only to come back again, next year full with spring energy.

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Despite the pretty cold morning, I stayed in the garden today. With my bare feet. To feel the earth (and eventually become sick :))))), the smooth cold. And I thought of the garden, the blooming flowers around and all the beauties this great nature brought this year into our lives.

It’s been 5 months. Only. Since we started to labor the soil, and since we seeded the first seeds. Since then, the garden grew up, little by little, gave us vegetables  – potatoes, radishes, bell peppers, chilly, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cucumbers, and now goji and raspberries – grass to cut and lots of flowers and I’m so glad to see how beautiful some of the perennials grew up.

march 2014april againapril

For the next year I’m expecting bigger lavenders, sage and roses, stronger glycine and fig tree. I also have in mind to take some visits to the stores to buy some bulbs I’m gonna plant them these days to bloom next spring. Like tulips and daffodils. I want to buy as much bulbs as possible to make sure next year they’ll give us lots, lots of joy.

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It’s been 5 months since we started to work the soil and 6 since we created space in the yard for our tiny garden. But I let you see everything and all the stages through the pictures’ eyes.

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In pots, yard or window boxes, the vegetable garden is a must

If  somebody would have told me last year on this time that I’m gonna pick vegetables from our garden I don’t know if I would have believed :). Today, one year later, it’s almost like picking vegetables from not far from the center of our city (cause our neighborhood is on 10 minutes of walking from  it).

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When it comes to veggies, we’re not exactly new in “business”, cause we tried to do it before. In pots, on our balcony. And because it is such an easy thing to do, and so rewarding I would advice everybody to try it. A vegetable garden, no matter how tiny, is able to give you peace and happiness. Especially that by watching the plants growing, blooming and making fruits it’s almost like watching the Creator Himself at work.

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Green with some red here and there is our vegetable garden this time of the year and as we are such a great tomato eaters I can’t wait for the tomatoes to bless us with their beautiful red ripe color. They are young girls right now. And sooo many. And so pretty…Yeah, I’ve already tried 2 of them (the cherry tomatoes) this morning on breakfast, together with the freshly picked cucumbers.

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And speaking of “devil” I’m wondering who would say no to a perfectly healthy cucumber (or other vegetable)? Cause by growing your own plants, you know exactly what they contain. And where they are coming from. Especially that all they need is some soil, water, light and sunshine, love and a corner you share with them. Providing them with love and care is not going to let you unsatisfied, cause they are going to promise you a pretty “production” and sooo many ingredients for keeping your health (especially if you have children to grow)……

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Our vegetable garden has no more than 8 square meters but gave us, for this year a lot of cucumbers, onion, garlic, radishes (link HERE), some raspberries, potatoes (link HERE) and chilli. Right now we have patience while waiting for tomatoes, carrots (we already ate some) and peppers to fill our bellies :).

 

 

Create a flavored garden

No, no and no. You don’t need to have a garden to create a small green edible corner. No, you don’t need to be extremely patient to take care of your plants, no, you don’t need to spend a year taking care of them, but yes, you need a tiny green thumb to be sure you’re not gonna kill your herbs because you forget to wet them.

4(my beloved greek basil)

Since I’ve discovered my cooking skills and cooking passion, I understood that, in order to create a good and tasty dish, you need herbs. When it comes to herbs and spices, here in Transylvania, people don’t use them very often, but they still have some favorite green little treasures to flavor their food. Dill in green pea, with carrots and chicken stew, tarragon, they use especially in “ciorbe” (borsh as many know them) and we keep it over winter, in jars, filled with white vinegar. Another herb intensely used in Transylvanian space is thyme, and we put it into sarmale (our traditional meat, rice and cabbage rolls), in the fresh cabbage salad in all the dishes with cabbage if I think well, some other beloved herb being parsley, lovage and bay leaves we usually put in our tomato sweet sauces for meatballs.

1(the sage, a plant I’m not very used to, but I’m willing and learning to use. that’s why I planted it, anyway)

If you ask me, I don’t have any parsley or dill in our garden, cause I hate dill and Laurentiu hates dill and parsley, but I do have basil and Greek basil (a herb considered magic around here), winter thyme, lavender (I have in plan to make ice cream with), marjoram, sage and, yes, tarragon.

6(the winter thyme. I must say I like it, but I prefer the summer one)

The herbs are perfect when dried, but brilliant when they are fresh, that’s why, no matter how much space you have around the house, some window box, small pots in the kitchen counter, a balcony, a tiny, medium or big garden, don’t forget about them. Plant what you love and you’ll like your food more. I guarantee.

3(marjoram, another magical herb…Is magical, indeed, when you combine it with eggs and in a tomato sauce)

The edible treasures from our tiny vegetable garden

No, there is nothing glamorous about vegetables. Usually they need sticks to not fall, their flowers look pretty ugly and the plants themselves are not good looking at all. You know already you’re not gonna say, “What a beautiful pea plant or cucumber!”, when you’ll see one, am I right?

I must say that from all the veggies, I like how onion blooms, the smell of tomatoes leaves and how the potato plant looks like when is young and green, even I’m aware is highly poisonous.

5(the blooming red onion we want to take the seeds from, the sour cherry tree with a charm – Medusa’s Eye – and a straw bird house)

Anyway, the vegetables don’t even have to be glamorous or beautiful at all. This is flowers’ job. The vegetables have another destiny: to bring flavor in our lives, to feed us and to keep us healthy. Today I’ve discovered another thing about veggies. They can make you happy (Not high. Happy!), because when I saw the potatoes, OUR potatoes I couldn’t eat anything else but french potatoes from our harvest. And they tasted divine. This was the moment I decided to show you some of our future harvest.

4(our chaotic, yet beautiful tiny vegetable garden)

There is another thing to say. If you expect to see a perfectly straight line, with no trace of weed, if you’re an order maniac, stop reading right now, cause our vegetable tiny, tiny garden is an artistic one, so a bit chaotic created under a sour cherry tree, with some weeds, but I must tell you this is perfectly organic. So all the vegetables it grows are very, very tasty. Sweet and tasty as I could feel it with our “spring” potatoes.

2we have here different kind of tomatoes. it is such a joy to see that one of them actually started to get red :). Are we talking here about an ashamed tomato?

14some are red, but others still green

1the potatoes. aren’t they gorgeous? we ate them all in no time. fried, sprinkled with cheese (and thyme only for me)

3some cucumbers are tiny

12but others make me wait impatiently to make some fresh, homemade tzatziki

13here is just a part of our white onion. yes, this is tasty too and we have so many that we gave some of it to my sister.

11we planted 3 raspberry trees. 2 red ones and one yellow. some of them made some juicy fruits, but they are too young for a great “production”

 

Tiny white romantic fence for the vegetable garden

One of the main reasons that made us buy a house with a plot was the vegetable garden. Laurentiu and I, we don’t like what our food became so we’re preoccupied on buying as clean fruits and vegetables as possible. We prefer the veggies  markets instead of supermarkets or hypermarkets and, even better, our own bio garden.

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We followed the good advice “Don’t plant the vegetables you won’t eat “, so we have there only the vegetables we usually buy: radishes (they are almost eaten :D), a lot of green onion, a huge amount of tomatoes, some chilli peppers, bell peppers (not many), lettuce, chickpea and pea. We also had some old potatoes in our pantry and we planted them too, so in some weeks we’ll have new potatoes for our healthy meals.

cocor beforecocor after

The vegetables we have is not the reason I started this post, actually. The fence is. The tiny white, romantic fence we painted ourselves these days and that we used to define our small vegetable plot. I loved it the first time I saw it and I love it even more now, when is white and in its own place.

I have in mind to create a small sign, where to write: “The Bear’s Garden”. This is a very special garden, a fairy one (from the children books), where the vegetables taste better than regular ones, and where they grow pretty well.

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I also took the liberty to post some random pictures taken around our garden, with the blooming chives, some young climbing rose, a pretty sage plant and the “bird’s” bath put on the ground filled with fresh water every day and used not by birds (because is not high enough), but by bees and cats to drink in hot sunny days.

P.S . Yeah, I know the grass is tall. We’re gonna cut it one of these days.

Bio radishes from our vegetable garden (first victims)

Our vegetable garden made its first victims this morning. I am not talking about some kind of ugly bug, but about our first radishes. They are 100% eco and bio and they welcomed us with roses in their cheeks to pull them out from the soil. And we didn’t think twice.

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Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, they are, and we ate them on the breakfast together with a simple omelette with smoked cheese and white asparagus.

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It was a real joy to feed them with nothing but water and to see them become such beauties :).

Ah, wondering how they tasted? G.R.E.A.T!

Our baby garden – a glance in the future

Our garden is one more week older and, even we continue to plant seeds and seedlings, we’ve started to see the first results of our work. Two of our 12 roses (10 of them are climbing roses) almost opened their flower buds, some of the vegetables are almost ready to harvest (the green onion), the grass is bigger and thicker and I can’t even tell you in words how much I love seeing them like this, developing, growing, blooming.  

lavender(via: northcoastgardening)

tamarix(tamarix via: growsonyou)

Our collection of plants is not so diverse as I’ve already told you, and unfortunately, some of the plant’s roots we planted a while ago don’t show any signs of life. It is the case of the 2 Echinacea, 3 Salvia plants, the poppy and some lillies and that’s why we’ve decided to plant something in the free space. Maybe they will grow later, I don’t know…but I can’t see the empty soil like that…

kerria(kerria japonica via: terra4incognita)

glycine(glycine via:passionfleurs2013)

The option for the free zone is one and only LAVENDER. That’s my number one favorite plant and I simply love it for so many reasons… It is a strong plant, it doesn’t require constant attention, the cold in our area doesn’t kill it, neither the warm summers and it doesn’t need too much water to survive. And those are just some of the aspects, cause it seems nothing compares to its beautiful fragrance, and the charm of the blue, lila flowers. I love it cause it attracts bees and butterflies and we need them both in our space, to make sure our berry plants, tomatoes and peppers are going to have fruits.

clematis(clematis via: mirror)

If lavender is my favorite plant and we have already 12 of them 🙂 some “exotic” shrubs are also in row for winning my heart. We live in a temperate climate area, in a mountain region, with colder air than in the southern part of the country and that’s why a fig tree might be considered an exotic appearance, around here. So we bought one. I already had a fig tree in my parent’s yard for about 7 years and in the last 3 years we could even eat some figs. I know what to do to help him survive in our cool winters and what branches to cut or not to, to make him rewards us with the beautiful fruits.
honeysuckle(coral honeysuckle via: blogfinger)

Lavender, a fig tree, a kerria japonica bush, coral honeysuckle, english dogwood, clematis, climbing roses (especially yellow and white ones) are the plants (still kids) who found a foster home in our garden by now and one of my favorite and a plant I’ve always dreamed to have is wisteria, the glycine, as we all know it.

They are all still children plants right now, so they don’t look like in the pictures, but they are going to :). I love them and the garden too much and that’s why I’ll make sure they are going to be gorgeous. The plants and the garden are the main reasons we wanted so much to have a house with a plot and that’s why we made such a great effort to have them both for the past 12 months. Cause I can’t believe that last year on this time we have just found our current home on the market…

The Irish Moss in bloom

Nature has her ways to amaze us and this is the feeling I had today when I realized that the Irish Moss we planted some weeks ago is going to bloom. The flower buds are so tiny that if you want to actually see them, you must look closer. And closer.

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It is like we have to stop our fast lives for one second, take a deep breathe and then, in silence, we are able to feel the wind blowing, the time passing, the grass growing, the flowers blooming, in our case.

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I love to see those white flowers as small as pin heads coming out from that green and also tiny sea. Is like an entire green sky together with its stars landed in our backyard…

… an absolutely gorgeous feeling…..

 

Some flowers from our garden

I have experience with gardens and gardening so I must say that creating a whole new garden from scratch is not an easy thing to do. First of all you need to be careful with the soil, cause a bad soil can destroy all your work and investment. Then, you need pretty much money on your hand for all the bulbs, plant’s seeds, for seedlings or the full grown plants, shrubs and flowers and then you must prepare to be ve(eeeeee)ry patient cause the grass doesn’t grow over night and neither the flowers.

23(there, in the back we planted two Clematis…unfortunately one of them couldn’t make it…)

 

But I’m not complaining……especially that I’m aware and I’ve always said “the most beautiful gardens are the mature ones”. Our garden is still a baby, our three weeks old baby, and we have plenty of work ahead but I love to see all the bulbs magically transformed in tiny plants.

14(as I said already, we have a lot of work to do)

Our garden is very, very young and even I would love to see the climbing roses up on the wall, I am happy for all the new flower bud they are creating. And thank God they have buds.

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(I really like how Campanula looks like, but I’m not crazy for the plastic pot. I’m gonna change it, but I didn’t find time)

 
Right now, we can’t say we have a great collection of flowers and plants and many of them are still germinating, but there was a Garden Festival in our city, last weekend, we visited for at least three times and we bought a lot of plants. The one I love most is Wisteria Sinensis, Glycine in common language. We payed over 30 dollars for it, and even is pretty young right now I almost see it fully bloom, creating a magical lila world…

87(We’re gonna eat sour cherries this year. The teen age tree made 5 sour cherries)