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Spring is finally here! Granted, I did see some Instagram posts about some snow in the PNW that, thankfully, skipped over us here in Grays Harbor. Still, it’s quite cold. A few weeks ago, despite the stormy weather, I popped out into the garden to pull weeds and plant some seeds with my kids on a sunny afternoon.

Through gardening, I’ve learned to take some risks sometimes. There are so many lessons I’ve learned from gardening, and in this time of the year, I’ve learned to just get out there are start. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but if we don’t start seeds, nothing will grow.

So far, I’ve planted out beets, a couple varieties of radishes, arugula, and sugar peas. The beets and radishes sprouted quickly and I can now see the peas and arugula coming through as well. Inside, I’ve started a few varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, celery, marjoram, lola peppers and Japanese spring onions.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll know the dilemma of having far more seeds and starts than I actually have space for in the garden. I spend most of my time right now simply dreaming and planning about how I can manage to add more space to grow more veggies and fruits. I now have 4 blueberry bushes, 2 varieties of raspberries that are spreading quickly, and a whole lot of strawberries that have carpeted a portion of the garden. Part of my hope is to remove some of the strawberries and instead build a small greenhouse in the space. As much as I love strawberries, they just don’t produce enough for the square footage they take up. The slugs love them and our resident garden snake loves to hide in them and so I’m often a little wary to jump in and pull weeds, thinking I’ll probably get a scare if I go near it.

We have a huckleberry bush in our front lawn that I only realized was a huckleberry last summer. I had trimmed it back each year and it hadn’t produced any berries in the first few years since we moved here, but apparently I missed a few spots last spring and we realized it was trying to grow berries! The kids love having a little snack on the way in and out of the house, so I let it run wild this year, hoping it will make enough for us to pick and save some this time around.

In other berry news, the lingonberry is spreading, though we think the deer or the chickens are nipping off the new growth. Our fence is coming along slowly but surely, so hopefully that will keep the deer out this summer and we’ll get more lingonberries this season. I also purchased an elderberry plant that still needs a home in the garden, but again I’m waiting on that fence so I can put it in a spot outside of my current 8 foot fenced berry patch.

We are also working on finishing out our play deck, a place in the yard where our kids have a slide. We built it to cover an old broken fire pit and it has been a fun place to play and hang out in the summer. We’ve added a side rail and will build a sort of open roof/play house type shape that makes it look a little silly and fun for the kids but also I hope to add some plants that can grow up and over the roof creating some shade during the hottest summer months. I have a new Jasmine plant I have plans to put on one corner of the deck, so it can create a lovely flowering cover.

As grocery costs climb and my own concern for our environment grows, I always have a goal of growing as much food as I can on our little homestead. Each year has been better than the last, so I’m very hopeful for this year. We did a fairly large expansion of the garden beds last year and I’d like to now look at the overall yard and see where we can tuck in more perennials that will provide us with resources in the future as well as some visual elements to break up the large space and provide us with some fun cozy nooks for playing or hanging out in the summer months.

What’s growing in your garden? April is only a few days away so I’ll be doing another round of planting soon!