Gardening Win!

After last week's horribly depressing gardening fails, I tromped back outside today to remove the damaged plants from the frost. I replaced most of them with Sungold and Sunsugar tomato starts from the nursery (5 total) and replaced 2 damaged Cherokee Purple with 2 new Cherokee Purple. All in all, 7 out of 40 isn't horrible.

It's warmed up a bit, and things in the garden are looking much happier.

I noticed the first flowers on a Sungold plant a week ago, and today the blossoms dried up and dropped off. They revealed this:

Sungold tomato - first fruit formed 

Sungold tomato - first fruit formed
My hops are sending out lots of new growth, and I have two strong healthy bines coming from the rhizome.

Hops bines

I thought I had pulled all of the flowers off of the pepper plants, but obviously I missed one because this is what I found today:

Baby pepper

Most of the tomato plants are all getting their first set of flowers, which is about a week earlier than last year. This coincides with the respective planting dates - last year, I set the plants out a week later than I did this year. 

And just for fun, some flower pictures!

Garden Fail

It's been said that Thomas Jefferson kept detailed notes about his successes and failures in his garden at Monticello. It's also been said that he was one of the only gardeners to admit to as much failure as he had. Drought was often the cause of crop failure, at least according to A Rich Spot of Earth, a book about Jefferson's garden at Monticello (which is one of my favorite places to be).

So in honor of TJ, here's a post about a whole bunch of garden fail.

The past few weeks have been unseasonably cold. Our normal last frost date is April 15, and yet we got a frost a few days ago (late April). The last 2 years have had very warm springs, and one could say I was spoiled by how warm the springs were.

This year, I set out my tomatoes on April 9, very early. I started them early, so they were monsters and needed to go outside. The same goes for my peppers.

Well, let's just say that I learned a very important lesson in gardening this year. A late frost handed me my hat, so to speak. About 10% of my crop suffered frost damage, and I lost a couple tomato plants.

On top of that, at the beginning of the month, we had above average temperatures. Temps were well into the  high 80s - low 90s for almost an entire week, which caused my broccoli to button. (Buttoning is when broccoli forms a small head, much like a floret.) So I'll try broccoli again in the fall when things cool down.

Thomas Jefferson said the success of one crop outdid the failure of another. I purchased a few starts to replace the ones I'm going to lose due to frost damage, and am keeping them inside at night until early next week. Here's hoping that I have some successes in the garden this year to outweigh the loss of the broccoli and tomatoes.

A Walk to Remember

*This post mentions pregnancy and infant loss.*

I've spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on the past. A friend of mine posted on Facebook about a group called A Walk to Remember. They needed blankets for their care packages, and I knew that I wanted to help. 

This particular group is based out of Colorado, and supports the Front Range and High Country communities. They deliver care packages to hospitals for newly bereaved parents. A typical care package includes a journal, a grief book, blanket, and a small teddy bear among other things.

I've been blessed to be a part of online communities where I've gotten to know so many amazing people. So in creating blankets for this project, I started to think about the babies who've touched my heart. The parents who shared their joy and their grief with us - some of us practical strangers on the other end of a computer.

I wrote to these parents, and asked their permission to include their child's name in this post. Some people are at different stages in their journey, and I didn't want to cause anyone pain needlessly.

The anniversary of my own loss is coming up in a couple of weeks. Not a single day goes by that I don't think of her. My loss in 2005 changed who I was. 

So for my sisters and brothers in this club, I remember. I remember your babies. Their names are in my prayers, and etched forever in the hearts of those who love them, and love you.

I remember Renee.

I remember Nicky.

I remember Delaney.

I remember Henry.

I remember Persephone.

I remember Lucy.

I remember Katelynne.

I remember Alex.

I remember Liam.

I remember Riley.

I remember Archer.

I remember Baby B.

And I remember my Anna.

Want to get involved? 

You can sponsor a care package in part or in whole here.

You can also donate items for care packages (like hats, blankets, etc.) by emailing

Also be sure to stop by Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They are a fantastic organization that provides remembrance photography for free to parents suffering the loss of a baby.

"There is no footprint too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."