I decided that this year, I will work very hard on our gardens. When we moved in, the yard and gardens were beautiful. Then it got hot and didn't rain for a really long time and I let it die. There was no way to keep everything alive. It has been a learning experience that is for sure. I have learned that I am good at taking care of small sections at a time. I tried to have a big vegetable garden the first year, but it was hard to keep going. Last year, we created a small raised bed. It started out great, but didn't produce due to a drought and watering restrictions. This year, I added 2 more raised vegetable bed, (making 3 total). There is going to be so many vegetables that I won't be able to keep up! The front bed is what I call my salsa garden. It has tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, basil, parsley, spearmint and rosemary. The herbs are some of my favorite things that I planted so far. I love to go pick a leaf and smell it! I also added some flowers. I bought plants that were already started for the front garden. The back yard is my salad garden. I bought a seed packets for these beds. It has cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and yellow squash. My husband got 2 thorn-less blackberry bushes for his birthday and we planted them too. I am so excited that it is going so well this year! I feel like I got the hang of it. I don't think that I can go back to just having a big garden in the middle of the yard ever again. The raised beds are much easier to weed than the other type of garden was. I was having to get out the rototiller several times a week and I couldn't keep the weeds and grass out of it.
The other thing that I accomplished is getting my flower beds in shape. They were just terrible! Weeds kept coming and the flowers dried up. I have mulched almost everything and I use miracle grow all the time! So far they are doing great, but we have also had a lot of rain this year, thank goodness. 90% of all the flowers and perennials that I have bought have been clearance. I was really proud of that. I could walk into Lowes and buy 2.5qt size perennials that look dead for $1 or less and take them home and they are doing great! I bought about $70 worth of plants and one big bag of potting soil and only spent $20. I have bought a few things that were not on sale though, like the vegetables and a few annuals, but I couldn't get those cheaper. Since it looks good, it's fun to go out and maintain!