The First Summer in Our Garden

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After having dreamt of a garden for years I still quite can’t believe we have one now. And that we have a garden with enough space to grow pretty much whatever we want! So lucky. I want to document our first gardening season, so I took some photos of our accomplishments (with my new camera of course.)

This first summer has been a learning curve for us when it comes to cultivating stuff – and I’m sure next summer (and the summer after that, and so on) we will continue gathering information. It is fascinating to watch something grow from a tiny seed into a fruit-yielding plant! Especially when you have planted that seed and been there throughout the growing process – not that different from growing a baby I guess 🙂

We bought a small greenhouse at the beginning of summer, and it has made growing tomatoes a lot easier. Herbs seem to love it there too. We are also lucky to have a garden that gets sun pretty much all day – which I think is one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful this first season! Another reason must be regular watering. Matthew got bored after a couple of weeks, so it’s basically been me whose done the watering every day…

There has been failures too, don’t get me wrong. The chard, pepper and cucumber we sowed never made it past the seedling stage. The big strawberry-plant I got and planted a lot of seedlings from turned out to not be very sweet at all. Plus a lot of the strawberries just got mouldy. Might be because I had them in the greenhouse and it was quite wet and humid in July. Either way, I know now to make sure I get a nice variety of strawberry.

Below you’ll find some snaps from our garden!

I bought the zucchini plants from Lindbergs Trädgård and planted them outside and they have been doing really well – so well that we’re pretty much drowning in zucchini and eating it almost daily. Next year I think one or two plants is enough!
This is probably the plant I’m most excited about: broccoli! And this we grew from seed as well, so extra proud because of that. There are seven perfectly formed broccoli heads coming along – just hope no pests will ruin them before it’s time for eating them. These I also planted outside when they were about 15cm high.
Next to the broccoli we have our monster lettuce that just keeps growing and growing. It’s insane, didn’t even know lettuce can grow so high! The lettuce has been trying to overtake the carrots (we’ve picked most of them now), but the carrots have still been doing well too.
If you look closer you can see that the lettuce has even started growing flowers! Next year I don’t want to plant this type of lettuce though, it doesn’t have much flavour and there is no crunch to it.
Next to the lettuce there is a row of rocket, which got taken over by these tiny beetles pretty soon. And next to the rocket Matthew sowed a few rows of peas, of which only 6-7 started growing. Think he should’ve soaked the seeds a bit first. Next year we also need a proper stand that the pea plants can grow along. Because these peas were so nice that we’re definitely planning on growing loads next year. Plus the kids love them.
We eat a lot of spinach, but didn’t think of growing it myself. This plant is gifted to us by my dad, and it’s saved us a lot of money being able to just go and harvest spinach for my smoothies on our porch instead of buying bags and bags of it in the supermarket. Next year I will make sure to have two plants though.
My grandmother grew these from seed and then gave them to me before the flowering stage. They are called Leijonankita in Finnish and growing beautifully.
My granny also gave me some tsinnia plants, which have multiplied like crazy and really added a nice splash of colour to our garden <3
These flowers I bought in Lindbergs Trädgård, and they have bloomed for months and keep blooming. Next year I will get more of these for the terrace. And I will get them from the same place, as I haven’t seen them as big and luscious in any other shop.
We got 3 tomato plants from Lindbergs Trädgård, and they have also grown so well – they are taller than me now! So if I didn’t make it clear enough, I highly recommend Lindbergs Trädgård in Sibbo – they have very high quality stuff there!
The big tomatoes are only turning red now. They are so sweet and delicious!
I also bought an aubergine plant from Lindbergs Trädgård. It was covered in flowers and there were so many fruits on the way – but out of nowhere a bunch of aphids just took over and eventually covered it. As you can see in the photo. This happened in the greenhouse, so guess it most be a plant sensitive to pests?
Last but not least, my shiny basil – grown from seed. It took quite a while for it to properly start growing, but when it did, it grew a lot. Let’s just say we have no shortage of the main pesto ingredient 🙂 The parsley right next to the basil is also growing well.

It is so cool to eat stuff you’ve grown yourself! Already look forward to next summer and all the things I’m going to plant.

x Nina x