It was one year ago tomorrow that I created this blog and announced that I'd be starting a garden with the goal of relying less on the produce aisle and more on ourselves. Oh how lofty and naïve my goals were! I may still be slinking round the produce section of the grocery store with my hat pulled tight down over my eyes, but I have had enough success in the garden over the past year to make it all worthwhile. It has been a great year and I'm happy to have managed to continue telling our family's gardening story for a full 365 days. To thank you for reading I've got a giveaway tucked in at the end of this post.
First, let's look at the bad things that have happened in and around the garden in the past 12 months:
· Garden flattened by a freak microburst.
· Garden washed away by record-breaking flooding in Tropical Storm Faye in 2008.
· Garden washed away by record-breaking flooding from sub-tropical rain system in 2009.
· My best friend Baillan died. She loved to sit by the garden and chew on a stick while we worked. I still miss her so much.
· Mad infestation of tomato hornworms leaving me with green leafless sticks where my tomato plants used to be.
· Lots and lots and lots of dead plants.
Now let's look at all the good things that have happened in and around the garden in the past 12 months:
· My boys now know how plants grow. They actually understand where fresh vegetables come from.
· We've actually eaten things we've grown in our garden!!!
· My boys have developed an appreciation for gardening and are understanding a bit about sustainability (even though we aren't sustaining much at all right now).
· I've met some of the nicest people in the world via this blog. Garden bloggers really are a great group of people and it's been more fun than I could have imagined interacting with you all.
· I've found an outlet for my need to write and love for photography - my first time finding an outlet for my hobbies since becoming a stay-at-home-mom.
· We have three wonderful pet chickens and are on our way to fresh eggs soon.
· My boys have seen mommy fail miserably at something and still stick with it. I think that's a pretty good lesson for little kids these days.
· I actually like gardening now.
· I have learned how to compost and between the compost heap, the chickens and recycling we hardly have any trash by the curb anymore.
· I had never stuck a vegetable seed in the ground before we planted last year. I started with no skills whatsoever. Now I think I can safely say I have gained a skill or two now. Although, I don't think I'm ready to rename the blog "Gardening with Two Skills."
After looking back over the past year I tried to think about what had grown the best in the garden. The answer I came up with was simple when I looked at the photos: my boys! I can't believe how much they've grown in the past year! …. And really can't believe how much their hair has grown! Here's a comparison from June 2008 to June 2009. What a difference.
To thank my readers for popping in to read my little blog, I'd like to offer this most important garden talisman to one lucky reader! As you know, I have a thing for garden gnomes. They're considered good luck and you'd be hard-pressed to find a garden in our family (in the UK, that is) without one. This little gnome stands about 8 1/2 inches tall and he's holding a watering can to give your garden just the right amount of water - the one thing I've needed more than anything since I started gardening.
If you'd like to win this gnome, just leave a comment on this entry and I'll pick a winner at random using the random number generator. I'll ship the gnome off to you so that he can hide in a corner of your garden and bring you great gardening luck. I'll pay for shipping too, so all the gnome needs is a new home. If you do become the lucky owner of this gnome, please promise me you'll keep him safe from the radicals at the GGL (Garden Gnome Liberation). I couldn't bear the thought of him being liberated by the extremists!
I'll announce the winner on July 1st, so you've got until midnight on June 30th to enter. Please check back then to see if you've got a gnome headed your way!
Good luck and thanks again everyone!!