On Starting Over, Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening, Planting During a Heat-Wave, and more.
No. 2 | Summer Gardening in Greenville, SC
We’re leaving it better than we found it. That makes me happy.
Who knew I’d be leaving my garden the same week the second edition of this newsletter was to be sent?
I’m going to get emotional when we leave, even though I’m thrilled about where I’ll land. This is where I became a gardener.
My first zucchini plant. My first tomatoes. Newborn Siena on the back porch shaded by impossibly tall sunflowers. Josiah toddling around and pulling out mommy’s plants. The kids foraging for figs and strawberries at breakfast, or sucking honeysuckle from trumpet-shaped coral flowers. Football games on the back porch with the game projected on a pull-down screen. TJ about killing himself (and the fig tree) trying to dig it up and move it. Learning what not to do with vines.
I keep reminding myself I teared up the day we left the Haywood Road apartment we’d lived in our first year of marriage—and that move brought us here.
In these last 10 years, we added a fig tree, hydrangeas, azaleas, rosemary, spirea, ferns, hostas, viburnum, amaryllis, echinacea, Carolina jessamine, coral honeysuckle, dogwood, flowering cherry, and a tulip magnolia, plus a porch, a fire pit, an arbor bench, and raised bed that we filled with an ongoing supply of veggies, fruit and herbs.
We removed some overgrown holly bushes and a sick hawthorne hedge. We made so many mistakes, but we made it a home. And I can’t wait to hand over the keys.
As I said on Instagram the other day, I also feel like Mary Lennox at the new place, uncovering a secret garden little by little.
I didn’t know when I launched the first edition of this newsletter in March that I’d be a vagrant veggie gardener by summer—with a pile of curing garlic on the porch table and cherry tomatoes growing in a hanging basket for portability—but here I am.
I look forward to sharing the next stage of my gardening journey with you.
Fruits & Vegetables
from Laura Fernandez at Front Yard Foods
Front yard veggie gardening is gaining traction, but a lot of people are still nervous about it—and HOAs can be intimidating, too. For lots of us, the front yard is the only space where we get enough sun to make vegetables thrive!
I got to interview our Greenville friend Laura Fernandez to get some insights into what makes it work well.
Here in the Foothills, many people have sloped front yards or backyards. Do you have any recommendations for raised bed gardening on a slope?
“My entire front yard is sloped. I built narrow beds and ran them lengthwise across the slope. I honestly have not had much trouble with water runoff. I think the narrow beds are important though. My longest beds are only 2 feet wide which makes the slope less dramatic.”
Featured Recipe: Zucchini Carpaccio
from Molly at Greenville Supper Club
When you need something original for the zucchini you’re otherwise sick of… zucchini carpaccio! Molly brought this to dinner at my house last summer, and we thought you all would enjoy it.
from Melissa Smith at Fraylick Farms
In general, I avoid planting in the heat of the summer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t. And there may be times when it’s a necessary thing to do—like when you’re a flower farmer :)
Melissa from Fraylick Farms (@FlwrTherapy) posted a helpful blog post this week. Check it out.
The first book I ever purchased on garden design was On Garden Style by Bunny Williams. I bought it for the pretty cover with a Barnes & Noble gift card my sister gave me for my birthday. It was fortuitous choice.
Unlike other gardening books, it’s not so much full of latin botanical names and soil science and diagrams. It doesn’t tell you what to plant. It helps learn how to think about your space.
Since I’m moving to a new garden, I pulled it off the coffee table and went through with a pen again. I’m sharing my notes with you here:
I’m always pinning garden and landscape inspiration, especially when I find it from locals. If you’re on Pinterest, follow me!