by Lois & Jay
What got you started?
Jay and I decided to start converting our yard into different gardens, because grass was annoying to maintain. Sure, it looks nice but we soon realized after buying our house, that we were not suited for that kind of maintenance. We care less about how things look, and care more about function, creating a healthy ecosystem, and tinkering around outside. Our .8 acres was originally a barren wasteland, lacking in nutrients and wildlife when we first moved in. The dirt was incredibly sandy and there were no earthworms. Our major goal each summer has been to plant a large variety of species. We have a long way to go with learning, but we have started to see conversion in the little piece of land that we own. When I now dig in parts of the soil I see the earthworms that were once absent. When I’m out in the gardens, I see bunnies playing and birds fluttering around. I see snakes and toads. I see honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in the air. As the yard transforms from barren wasteland to a thriving green space, I’m starting to see beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace and other medicinal and edible weeds emerge. It’s been freeing to throw the societal expectations of what a yard should be and just have fun!
Our front yard has been converted into a garden and we tend to spend more time there. In doing so, we’ve struck up many conversations with people walking by. I can’t wait to experiment with new and exciting plants next year!
What are some of your favorite plants around the yard?
I have a few favorites. When we first moved into our house, we planted a peony root. This year was the first time it has bloomed and I was truly in love. Besides being gorgeous, peonies are my sister’s favorite flower, so looking at them always reminds me of her. I have also enjoyed the lavender plants, which have been place haphazardly throughout the property. I love walking around the yard and stumbling upon them wherever I turn. My field of zinnias has produced some serious eye candy as well and it’s been fun to cut bunches and give them to friends and family. Every year, I plant a vegetable garden. There’s nothing quite like needing a zucchini and walking outside to gather one for dinner. My vegetables have been my little babies and it’s been insanely therapeutic to nurture them from seed and seedling. Each year, my vegetable garden gets bigger and bigger, and it’s been so lovely to grow produce and give them away.