Jungle Update

Our backyard jungle continues to grow. Watering time is Charlie’s favorite time of day. He’s very proud of his garden.

I asked him how the tomatoes are doing and this is what he did:

I didn’t know that he knew what a tomato is, but I guess he does! It’s probably because he’s a genius. Just like me. I don’t really know what to do with those tomato plants. They’re as tall as me. Is that normal for a tomato plant? It seems like a little overkill to me.

We even have some red tomatoes! How exciting! We’ll be eating from the garden in no time.

Here you can see our green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and the mammoth jalapeño! Yum!

And little itty bitty squash. We’ve had so many flowers, but most of them fall off before the squash gets there. These two survived.

Well, that’s it. I know you’re really fascinated with our garden and are on the edge of your seat reading about it. Now, come over here and take home some thyme and cilantro!


So it’s been almost a year since I planted the plants in our front yard. It looks a lot different now! Charlie LOVES going outside to play every single day, so we’ve really been able to enjoy all the flowers and pull the occasional (or not so occasional) weed. Not everything made it through the freeze this winter, so we put some pots out with lots of annuals. All the flowers make me so happy when we pull up in the driveway!

Charlie has a tendency to be a bit rough with the flowers (and everything in general). Telling him “gentle” gets a response about 5% of the time. Count this in with that 5%! Check out the one finger touch below.

Those are ranuncula bulbs growing in that wood planter that Charlie’s leaning on. They were in my wedding bouquet and are my favorite flower! We also got two ranuncula plants at the Leu Gardens plant sale a few weeks ago. You can kind of see them in the first picture. I was so excited to see them because I’ve never seen them for sale as plants, so even though I had just planted the bulbs, we went ahead and got the plants too.

Have you ever been outside and wondered if an airplane was flying nearby? If so, you need a Charlie. He will point out every bird and airplane in the sky…and keep pointing it out until he can’t see that bird or airplane anymore. Luckily, there are lots of “birrs” and “ah panes” around, so there’s never a dull moment.

Charlie loves blowing bubbles. He has started practicing a lot lately, even when bubbles are nowhere to be found. I guess he got the urge to do some practicing and was using this palm frond as a bubble wand. Then he thought it would be really fun to rub it all over his face. He does not get this from my side of the family. Weird, but cute, Charlie.

Raised bed jungle

Our garden has gotten quite out of control in the past few days. The tomatoes are now much taller than Charlie and the squash is starting to take over the chives. Charlie has been working very hard to find every bunch of tomatoes. Here, let him show you some.

A few minutes after I took this picture, I found one lone tomato in the dirt. Very suspicious. Charlie and I did a science experiment and cut it in half. Yes! It looks exactly the same as a “real” tomato on the inside, just very small and very lime green. Charlie carried both pieces around the kitchen until he decided they were trash. His newest trick is to throw stuff away. This includes him finding anything he considers trash (napkins, tomatoes, money) and squeezing his arm through the tiny crack that appears when you try to open the child proof cabinet, and then trying to get whatever he’s holding into the garbage can. Once I even saw him open the child proof cabinet. This is getting scary. I actually saw him dump out my purse and start throwing coins away. I really don’t want to have to become a trash picker in my own house.

Back to the garden.

There’s the crazy squash. We’ve only had one casualty, red bell pepper. But when I looked back at the first picture that I posted earlier, I could tell it looked really wimpy and limp. We should have picked a better one. Oh well. See what I mean about the squash taking over? What should I do? I’ve been considering replanting the one in the middle to the middle bottom square in this picture (the red pepper’s old square). Maybe then it will spill over the side instead of cramping the chives?

Told you this is getting crazy. Charlie doesn’t even know what to do! Look at the cilantro in the front left. Wow. I had just cut about 1/3 of the plant off about 5 days ago. So big! So, does anyone know what they’re doing when it comes to growing a garden? Have any tips for us? I’ll pay you in cilantro.

In completely non jungle news, Charlie wants to say CONGRATULATIONS to his Aunt Lili for matching with Tufts, her top choice, for her grad program next year! Look out Boston! Hopefully she’ll be able to fit all her pairs of boots in her car for the move up! Maybe she’ll just have to leave those Fryes in Oviedo.

Old McCharlie had a farm

Three weeks ago, we planted our very first vegetable garden! We decided to go the raised bed route because I’ve been reading up on them a lot lately. Everything I read always started the plants with seeds. I’m an instant gratification kinda girl, so we decided to nix that idea and just buy the plants.

We got our raised bed a Lukas Nursery. Charlie loves going to the nursery and he gets a free plant every time! (Translation: mama gets a free plant) Its a great family owned nursery in Oviedo and is only about 10 minutes away. Thank goodness for that because the raised bed was strapped to the roof of our car on the way home. Yes, we were those people that no one wanted to drive behind. The ride home was strikingly similar to a nightmare I had once about driving with mattresses tied to the roof. Luckily the teenager that tied it to the top actually knew what he was doing and we didn’t end up with a $40 pile of kindling in the middle of the road. He even tied the knots in a fancy schmancy way that we only needed to pull one string and the knot magically untied. Must be a boy scout or something.

Charlie got the bed off the roof, carried it to the backyard, and then made sure it was ok for sitting in.

Perfect for sitting. A little cramped, but that makes it a little more fun.

We took the fast (lazy?) route and didn’t dig up the grass underneath. I asked Nathan if we should and he said, “no, it will just die.” I like the way he thinks. Good thing we’re married.

We decided to plant four kinds of tomatoes, red, green, and yellow bell peppers, MAMMOTH jalapeños, zucchini, crookneck squash, onions, chives, cilantro, thyme, basil, and flat leaf parsley. Yum!

Charlie loved playing in the dirt. He kept taking handfuls and dumping them in the grass next to the garden.

Here’s Charlie, the Gentleman Gardener after all the plants are enjoying their new home in our backyard.

It’s so crazy to see how fast the plants have grown in only three weeks! Charlie loves to help water the plants. He also loves to be watered, himself. He runs straight for the hose and wants to be sprayed every single time. He cries the saddest cry when its finally time to come in.

I’ll be taking pictures of the garden tomorrow! We’ve already got some itty bitty green tomatoes! How’s that for instant gratification!?