Everyone needs a hobby

Everyone needs a hobby.  As it turns out, I kind of like gardening.  I didn't think I did.  But then we bought this house with a huge yard and lots of places to plant things, and Jake's folks got us started with a boatload of plants.  I found it was kind of fun to watch things grow and try out new plants. 

Our front and back yards look 100% better than when we purchased the house.  Here, I can show you:

This is the crapbasket that was our house before we purchased it in 2009.  Eck!

As you can see, the backyard looked like a boring display of grey with a wippy attempt at a garden.  Well, ok, the garden was actually in pretty good shape.  There were tomatoes and pumpkins growing ... and then we let the whole thing go.  Now it looks like a jungle wonderland where Daphne (our dog) likes to pretend she is on safari, like a vicious lioness hunting for squirrels and neighborhood cats.  Its our way of letting her "get in touch with her roots."  Here it is after I mowed down the jungle:

... sad.

 But fast forward to Spring of 2010 and WHOA!!!  This looks like a whole new house.  Beautiful.  The envy of the neighborhood!

 Is that a BERM!?!  You betcha.  Oh and what a cute doggie there in the back.

 I planted these lilies all by myself and they sprung up beautifully.  They came up again this year, which is truly amazing considering that I had no idea what I was doing, and primarily relied on rain and hope to keep them going.

 These guys added a pop of color in the front of the house.

Now its Spring of 2011, time to get back out there and keep the beauty alive! 

 See?  The lilies are miraculously back!  And I planted some dahlias around the outside to see if they would make it.  Dahlias are probably my favorite flower, but they are very needy.  Apparently you are supposed to dig them up during the winter and bring them inside, tucked in, preferably in a little cot, or your own bed (if you TRULY love them).  Needless to say I did none-of-the-above last year, and the poor little guys froze over and died in a fit of agony.

 Potted plants are SO in right now.

 The berm is back!  With tulips too!

 This new addition is from the Vaseys.  I added fake flowers, but I'm working on replacing them with the real thing...

 I decided to save a "ton" of money by planting my own lettuce basket.  First attempt was a total failure.  Second attempt looks good so far.  One plant died a couple days ago.  Total yield so far: 3-4 edible leaves.  Total savings: -$15.90.

 Composting is another great way of telling yourself that you're going to save a bunch of money, when in reality you've just added a big upside-down garbage to your yard.  Still, this idea is not a total waste.  It has produced some usable soil, and I bought it on the cheap from craigslist.  It reduces our regular garbage by approximately one tiny bucket of food waste per week.  Most of the compost comes from yard clippings and weeds.  Hey, there's nothing like turning your waste into something you can use .... someday ... hopefully ... right?

 More plants + cute dog.

 Jake is such a manly man!  (That's an electric cordless lawn mower.  It saves the earth but it has to be charged after about 3.5 minutes of use, so yeah....pretty tough!)

Aww, here I am.  Cute as a button.  Well, I hope baby O. will appreciate all the hard work I put into this place.  And all while she was inside of me.  I can't wait to play with her on the grass and watch the flowers grow, and make her laugh and see her smile, and marvel at the way things change.  Beautifully, of course.