Our garden

From left to right, top to bottom.

1} The dude built us a raised bed garden for veggies! My dad built one for my mom a few years back and I have wanted one ever since! After he built it, he said his job was done. Then he put in the dirt and said his job was done. Then he mixed in the compost and said his job was done... then he read a book on growing vegetables, so we'll see! He's pretty awesome! Not everything I wanted will be ready in Kansas until mid to late April. We planted strawberries, onions, and broccoli. {Bear begged for the broccoli plants, it's his favorite :)} The plan is to add cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, and zucchini. I hope we have room!

2} While the Dude was hard at work in the backyard the kids and I went to work on our barren plot of dirt in the front. Lowe's had all of their spring bulbs half price because they had already bloomed. A nice lady shopping next to me let me in on the fact that they would come back every year, and spread! It's pretty sad how little I know about gardening.

3} Monkey is separating out onions. She is a super helper!

4} The little Dude wields a pint-sized pitch fork. He can do some damage with that thing.

5} Monkey would spend every waking moment outside if I let her. Too bad her skin is translucent. We should buy stock in kid sunblock.

6} Planting the onions. Momma dug the hole, Monkey inserted the onion. Done!

7} Someone spotted a worm. Monkey likes to pick them up and hold them. Bear asks Monkey if he can hold it only to move his hand out of the way at the last second. What was he thinking? He hates to be dirty.

8} Monkey took over the onion planting. Seemed like a one person job to her.

9} My favorite, a big pot of gerber daisies! They look so happy, and that in turn makes me happy when I look at them. These are a must for the garden every year!

**I mentioned I know next to nothing about gardening, but I am determined to learn. If you find yourself in the same conundrum here are my tips.

1} Go to a locally owned garden center {not something national like Lowes or Home Depot} and pick their brain. The one in my town has super knowledgable staff who were more than willing to address my list of questions and concerns, which was extensive.

2} Read a book like The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith. It has great advice for everything from starting your garden to page after page of vegetable specific instructions. I marked the pages with the vegetable in my garden for easy reference because I'm not going to remember details like how much to water them or when to harvest them.

3} Ask someone you know who knows. My mom is getting really good at gardening, but she lives in San Antonio, and gardening conditions are extrememly different there from in Kansas. Still, she always has some helpful advice. I also have a friend here in town who has a gorgeous garden. She shared some flowering plants and greenery with me for my front garden and has a ton of know-how. It's good to know these kind of green-thumb people. {You can check out her gardening and homemaking blog here.}

I hope you all are inspired to go out and plant something this year, it's fun and the kids love it. I can't wait for harvest time!

Elizabeth Ann