My father was a great one for nursey rhymes… One I still remember was “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” “With silver bells and cockle shells, and one damn tulip.”

Okay… I didn’t say he was good at them, but they are definitely memorable!

2023 seems to be bringing us the best garden since moving here! The main reason, I think, is most of our plants came from our niece, Christine who started them all from seed. Christine is the mother of 2 year old twins. She was able to start enough plants for the entire local family up here, and still find time to feed her kids.

Not bad.

The original front yard was pretty beat up. The double deck was full of dry rot and pretty useless. The bottom section – the property is on a slight slope – was a pea gravel seating area. Totally uncomfortable, with chair legs sinking into the ground. Definitely not a place to enjoy an afternoon beverage or an al fresco dinner.

Our nephew, Jacob, got us started with the planters and nephew Brandon and his brother, Chance, helped with the soil and bark. Then we called in the pros for the patio and wall. It’s now a place where we can entertain, relax, and watch nature flutter by.

We have 10 tomato plants going, probably 25 peppers, 3 eggplants, 1 lemon bush, 2 blueberry bushes, 2 zucchini, numerous herbs… plenty of stuff to keep us going in the weeks to come. Hopefully, we’ll have bountiful crops for canning.

I see lots of different hot sauces, tomato sauces – and tomato paste – as well as eggplant caponata, ratatouille, and whatever else we can dream up once we have a panic-amount of produce. [hopefully]

In the meantime, it’s fun to sit and watch the garden grow.

Retirement is great – I highly recommend it!