A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

Iplanted a little garden in a few whiskey barrels a couple of months ago. Since I promised to check back in and haven’t for awhile, I thought I would give you a quick update.  I planted some strawberries for the first time in two of the barrels and I’ll just admit right now, I really have no idea what I am doing so don’t judge heheheh. I haven’t had time to even study what to do so I’m sure I’ve done it all wrong. But so far we’ve had a few strawberries and there are lots more on the way! I think maybe I’m supposed to pinch off those little blooms, so I guess I’ll research it a bit more before I talk about how to grow them. Maybe next year, ha! I am definitely not an expert but I do love container gardens and just learn and make mistakes as I go!

Lily, however, enjoys standing by the pot sniffing the berries, so I’m thinking she is pleased that we are growing them.

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

I also planted a few barrels with organic lettuce and kale and some with herbs. We have actually already eaten most of the lettuce already so I can’t show you pics. Oops, blogger fail! But the good news is we enjoyed growing our own lettuce and almost felt like we were living off the land (well, at least we were for a couple of weeks with lettuce) so next year I will definitely plant tons more! We eat LOTS of salad at our house so we will graduate to some bigger containers next summer. I also enjoy cutting basil and other herbs when I’m cooking. It’s fun!

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

I was surprised by these snap peas, they grew up so tall that I had to put a trellis in the pot to hold them up! I just kind of planted things at random so everything that happens is new and surprising to me.

But it’s fun to be surprised!

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

Jack and Lily have been having a great time playing hide and seek in the bamboo plants (you may have seen the post about it on Jack’s blog). Jack thinks he’s camouflaged…but alas.  They have so much fun playing together outside!

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

My roses are blooming and so pretty.  I’m not a rose expert either but I really enjoy having plants and seeing the flowers bloom. I love going outside to water them and trim out the old roses and do a little weeding. The roses smell DIVINE. I love bringing them inside.

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

These are actually climbing roses!

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

We planted a row of privacy trees to start filling in the backdrop of our yard along the fence. We got six or so trees at Costco at a great price. We still have a long way to go to get this formerly barren new house backyard to where it is the lush landscape I imagine, but one bit of greenery at a time! I guess I must be craving green inside and out since my last few posts have been about green?

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

All the other plants we planted last year are growing and doing well so far. Hooray! The white flowing tree is a hydrangea.

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard
Here is what the patio looked like last fall right after we installed it.

A Little Garden Update: In the Backyard

This backyard is definitely a slow going project. Our yard is full of rock so planting is more challenging than it should be. It’s one plant a a time, but every little step makes a difference!

I’ll take some new pics soon so you can see how far it has come now that we have more furniture out there and a little more greenery in the ground!

Meanwhile, if you missed the posts about the patio last year, you can find them here:

DIY Firepit & Backyard Progress

& Backyard Pea Gravel Patio

I’m a wee bit in love and inspired by my friend Sandy’s backyard garden. It’s magical! I’ve sat in it in real life and it’s amazing. You can find her spring garden update here, and a whole bunch of gardening posts here.  and her sweet Fourth of July backyard getaway here!

PS. I have some great gardening books on my shelf and I also put them in my Amazon shop! Now that I have my own garden space I actually need to read the books and get some tips!

Happy Tuesday! Have you been out working in  your backyard?


  1. Quick – Melissa!!! Don’t pinch the little flowers off the strawberries…. they ARE the berries! The flower comes first, and then the fruit grows out from the middle of the flower. Enjoy them with a little cream, eh?

  2. Your backyard is looking great Melissa! Your roses are beautiful! I’m no gardening expert, but I think that you could plant more lettuce and still get another crop in this season. Last night I bought a couple herb plants myself. I’m looking forward to using them in a some new recipes.

  3. Hello from CT! The barrel gardens you have are great–easy on the knees, too. However, I want to send you a caution about your bamboo plants. Are they in containers, too? Some species are terribly invasive, their roots send up new shoots-just like grasses do, of course-it is a grass. It will creep under your fence and could potentially ruin your neighbor yard, and is extremely difficult to corral once it spreads. In CT, it is illegal to sell those certain species, and you can be fined too, if you allow it to roam. People love it for its fast growth, but there are other choices. I have different plants, trees vegetable-garden and flowering plants too, and like a wide variety. But a good friend recently turned me on to gardening with native species. Talk about challenges! Something else too, recently, there was a great expose done for many of the big box stores (I don’t remember Costco being the list) who were selling plants which compromised honey bee populations! I’m encouraging everyone to be smart about what you grow; think about native plants and flowers, and in your food gardens—purchase only non GMO, organic seeds.You can do it! and you and the planet and our honey bees (plant yellows and purples- flower wise, bees are very attracted to those specific colors) will love you for it! —and don’t forget to get a rain barrel somewhere down the line so you can be water wise, too! You have a wide audience who will listen to you; this is an incredible opportunity to spread the word about smart gardening. Keep up your wonderful interiors and photos, we love ’em!
    Here’s to beautiful inspired rooms, inside and out! BEST Regards, Deb

    • Thanks! Yes, the bamboo is NOT the invasive kind! I definitely researched that. I’m cautious too about the food I will plant because I try to be very careful about what we eat– thanks for the advice!! I appreciate it!

    • How are plants compromising honey bee populations? I would love to know where you got this information as I to am concerned about pollinators. It is my understanding the colony collapse disorder is not completely understood. There are some thoughts that destruction of habitat, climate change, indiscriminate use of pesticides, and some very difficult winters are partially attributed to the disorder.

      The vast majority of the ornamental plants on the market are created through plant breeding. Plant breeding is completely different than creating GMO’s and has been done for centuries. All plant breeders do is identify individual plants that have characteristics they like and use them to create off spring. Then they grow those offspring to see if they too have the desirable characteristic. Once they establish a line they like, they will use seeds or tissue culture to propagate them. GMOS are created by taking the time and money to to identify individual genes and them insert them into other organisms. You would not be able to turn a profit if you were creating our common garden plants through genetic engineering (how GMO’s are created). None of the plants Melissa mentioned are plants that companies would invest the dollars and time into inserting genes.

  4. Your yard is looking so good! I don’t know much about food gardening (it’s the flowers that I go for!) but I think you pinch off the flowers of strawberries the first year only. So don’t do it next year but just enjoy the fruit. I am not sure I did so but we are having a lovely bumper crop right now in any case.

  5. Hi Melissa, I’m pretty much of a novice gardener, too, but my husband loves home grown tomatoes! We found a good deal on some horse watering troughs, and he planted our tomatoes in one of them. They’re a great height and keep the gophers out, but they are table-sized for deer. We ended up putting a portable motion light on them, and that seems to have deterred the critters. My husband rotated the crops this year, so we’re growing beets and carrots in the planter that had tomatoes last year. I’m hoping to put some spinach in when the cooler weather comes back. Great fun!

  6. Fun to see the progress…Happy Day…love strawberries….and keep those tiny white flowers…they will someday be a strawberry =)

  7. Rosanne Hood says

    DON’T PICK THE FLOWERS OFF YOUR STRAWBERRY PLANTS! The flowers become the berries! I love your blog. R.

  8. I love seeing so many more people jump on the gardening bandwagon and containers is a wonderful way to start. We have 3 raised beds as well as an in-ground garden but I still have tomatoes as well as lettuce and spinach in containers as well. I don’t know what variety of lettuce you planted but there are varities that you can shear off with scissors (rather than picking roots and all) and then they keep growing. I grow that kind in a pot and have some larger lettuces in the actual garden. Enjoy!

  9. First off, Jack and Lilly are adorable!!! I too love container planting. I have never planted strawberries because I was told they take 2 years before you will see any harvest and, well -I am just to impatient to wait. Had I known you could get them the first year I would have!
    And isn’t it wonderful to have fresh cut flowers in your home from your own gardens? And keep the tiny white flowers because they will someday be strawberries? Who knew!
    Have a wonderful 4th of July. :)

  10. Not working in yard because we are in your neck of the woods…Bellingham!

  11. I second what Mindy said. I grow a mesclun mix and just pick the leaves I want each morning, leaving the plants to keep growing. Lettuce isn’t supposed to like hot weather very much, so it may be too warm for a second crop, but worth a try. I grow mine in a semi shaded back yard even though the package says full sun. I kind of over-sowed this year, because the seeds are so deceptive looking, tiny with what looks like empty hulls or something. I usually do rows, but this year I kind of just sprinkled it around. And I didn’t even thin them out because I am always picking at them. Happy 4th!

  12. Melissa,
    First off, I really love your blog, and I’m so thankful to have run across it a couple of years ago.

    We planted strawberry plants and basically left them alone. The “runners” that will grow out and re-plant themselves become more strawberry plants, but you’ll want to snip them off from the “mother plant” once they become rooted on their own. {Or if you don’t want more plants, just cut off the runners. We had berries every year, including the first year that we planted. Oh, I and I bought my plants at the Farmer’s Market, and purchased only organic plants. I think that’s one thing I miss the most about our home in Idaho, our strawberry patch, and the yummy jam I made from our own berries! {We now live in Hawaii, but we don’t know where God might take us next.}
    May the Lord bless you in all you do!

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