Just Call Me Ethel

So I like to garden.

What OF it, yo?

Our neighbors don’t garden.  They look at me funny when I’m edging the front lawn….or planting a hundred bulbs…or inspecting my plants every afternoon.

My husband looks at me funny too.  But he still helps out Smile

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I have an “uncool” hobby to most people, and that I’m a somewhat unusual case of a non-granny gardener.

But the truth is….

I’m young.

I’m totally hip!

I dig plants. (No, really…)

And you can just call me Ethel.

Now that I’ve justified my geeky hobby….the rest of this post is dedicated to planning, because that’s what gardeners (or gardener-wannabes) do in the crappy months of late winter/early spring.  And boy howdy, crappy they are.  Yuck.

The vegetable garden:

The veggie garden is a 6×12 foot raised bed smackdab in the middle of our back bed.

Here it is looking extra lush a year ago:

raised bed

Last year, I planted two red bell peppers, four cherry tomatoes, a trellis of pole beans, two Anaheim peppers, and two jalapenos.

veg garden last year

I wasn’t impressed.  It didn’t help that I forgot to fertilize….at all….(whoops)….but this year I’m going to do something different anyway.

Yellow tomatoes

This year in the raised bed, I’m going to do 3 cherry tomatoes, 3 “regular” tomatoes, a trellis of cucumbers, and zucchini. 

Veg layout

I’m also going to plant summer squash in an open portion of the flower bed.

summer squash

Whoop! Whoopity whoop! 

But I’m not done yet….

I have some plans for the back flower bed too.

The Back Bed:

I’ve never had sunflowers, so I’m going to try them in the far back corner.  These puppies (Gurney’s “Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflower”) get 9-12 feet tall in 100 days!  Holey buckets, I canNOT wait.


I also discovered this gem of a plant recently: the “Sweet Autumn” clematis.

Supposedly, this thing grows super fast, blooms in late summer and smells wonderful, which sounds perfect for 1) the railing on the boring side of our back deck and 2) the side fence (and perhaps an arbor over the gate? ho yeah!)  Plus, here in Zone 5, I doubt it would get out of control.  I only have two other clematis vines, and they’re purple, so I think I could use a few more Winking smile

Sweet Autumn clematis

One of these (Karl Foerster grass) is also on the way and will get a spot along the back fence:

Karl Foerster grass

And finally, I’m a SUCKER for lilacs, and I did buy one last year on sale…but it’s a white one.  I have to have a traditional purple one too.  This one’s not a dwarf, so this variety (President Grevy hybrid) will eventually get to about 12-15 feet tall if I let it.  It’ll take a while, though (hence the tall sunflowers and Karl Foerster grass in the meantime.)


And actually, I haven’t ordered them quite yet.  I’m sitting here staring at my online shopping cart, waiting for March 1st to place the order.   

I also plan to put some Shasta daisies out there, add a coral bell, hosta, or both to the front yard, and maybe even plant more clematis (yeah, I like them) on trellises against our garage wall along the front walkway.

Oh the plans.  Smile

And, oh the snow. Sad smile

snowy garden



  1. I don't think having a green thumb is at all funny (or wanting to have a green thumb). My \”thumb\” is black as all get out….I pretty much kill any plant I look at, so I have to enjoy the pretty flowers planted and maintained by someone else.


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