How Does Your Garden Grow?

Since it’s already been a month since our garden was planted (it was officially planted on June 3), it’s definitely time to share a few updates.

First of all, I must mention that before heading to California for the summer, Patrick built this lovely path in the center of our garden which has really come in handy for not trampling our plants to death (although I’ve come close).


I call it “The Yellow Mulch Road.” 🙂

It’s been quite rewarding watching our garden progress from delicate, feeble buds and seeds to (for the most part) thriving plants.  It’s funny just how normal and natural the whole concept of growing things is, but when you really start to invest yourselves in it, it’s suddenly the most magical and fascinating experience.

We’ve had some interesting weather patterns here in the Chicago area, which has consisted of no more than a couple days of sun at a time, but so far our garden doesn’t seem to mind too much.

This is what our garden looked like a few weeks ago on June 11 (only a week old at this point):


And here is our garden as of yesterday, July 4:


And here are some other fun progressive shots:

Sunflower BeforeSunflowers on June 11

DSC_0076 2Sunflowers on June 22

DSC_0008Sunflowers on July 4

I can’t wait until these start blooming!

Another transformation I’m particularly ecstatic about:

DSC_0060Swiss Chard around May 15

Swiss Chard on July 4

And to think I had almost given up hope on these guys after we planted them into the ground.  They didn’t take to the transplant well at first and became very limp and frail, but they are finally becoming strong and healthy.

In addition to the sunflowers, we also planted the following from seed:

DSC_0104Italian “Chioggia” Beets on June 22

DSC_0010Italian “Chioggia” Beets on July 4

DSC_0063Rainbow Carrots – these just started showing last week!

Here are a few more highlights from the garden thus far:


Green Bell Peppers

DSC_0020Purple Basil

DSC_0027Mini Red Bell Peppers



Marigolds – these were just 4 tiny stems when we bought them

Chocolate Mint – another miracle story


Lemon Thyme


Green Zebra Tomatoes

Red Grape Tomatoes

Early Girl Tomatoes

Of all the plants, however, I think these are officially my favorite (don’t tell the other plants this):

DSC_0076 3
Green + Red Kale

We make an awesome red kale and apple salad at work that I can’t wait to replicate with these.

Also worth mentioning are all of the weeds that like to hang out in our garden.  Apparently the flower-esque ones called purslane are edible.  More on this fun fact later…


When we’re not around the garden, we are lucky to have our own guardian garden gnome looking after it while we’re away.  Kelli and her friend made him last year for their former garden:


I also scored this free sign from work.  Not entirely sure what it says but I think it’s applicable.


And in case you were wondering what everything is in relation to one another:

Garden June 28, 2013IMG_2104

And SPEAKING OF GROWING, I want to wish a very Happy 2nd birthday to my favorite Goddaughter, Claire!  What a beauty you’ve blossomed into already!  Your Uncle Patrick & Auntie Monica love you very much!

Claire BearSource

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5 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. Marcie Callahan says:

    Great update Monica! Some of the plants in my garden aren’t doing so well this year, but we’ll see what the end of the season brings. Have a great summer. Marcie

    • Monica says:

      Thanks Marcie! I agree.. I’m holding out until the end of the year before I completely give up on some of them 🙂 If you get a chance, please post a picture of your garden sometime so we can see it! Take care!

  2. Sue Longenbaker says:

    Your garden looks LOVELY! Wait until you see my first ever tomato. I’ll send a picture–If it doesn’t get moldy, that is….:O)

  3. Susan says:

    Wow – your garden is looking awesome! Claire says thanks (belatedly) for the b-day blog shout-out, too. 🙂

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