This year’s garden.

Last year was our first attempt at growing a garden at our new home. We had bountiful gardens in SLC and ate from them for most of the summer. The altitude difference between Salt Lake City and Park City is significant enough to change our timing and methods quite a bit. The “don’t plant before Mother’s Day” rule shifts to Father’s Day, and early September can bring the first freeze. While the growing season is shorter in Park City, we were hopeful, and we worked hard. We call last year’s garden a success (and a labor of love). True, we did have a poor showing from the hot peppers, lost lettuce to bolting, and had to pull tomatoes off the vine early and let them ripen wrapped in newspaper. But we learned a lot, and we were eager to try again this season!

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With gorgeous, sunny June weather, I got a little anxious for green things and color on the back patio. So before Father’s Day, I got our potted porch garden going: mint, Italian parsley, rosemary, lavender. I added a strawberry vine to the mix (eee!) and added a few flowers for color: dahlias, marigolds, and peonies. We had snow that week, so my plant babies came inside for a few days, but seem to be thriving now!

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The actual garden zone needed some prep work before planting. Last year, John and our friend, Chris, built amazing garden boxes with hinged screen doors, to keep out the many critters who share our back hill with us. This year, John and my brother, Matt, stained all of the wood. Then, John removed the lids and prepped the soil, using our own compost for the first time. Please note the hardy chive plant that survived a Park City winter! We removed him and planted him in a big pot.

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We get most of our veggies and herbs from the Park City Nursery. It’s such an enchanting place- I love wandering around the grounds and soaking in the rainbow of flowers. We had to supplement the garden with a few plants from Home Depot (where I met a giant Husky) and a nursery in SLC for additional lettuces. We also brought home some beautiful arrangements to make our front door lovely!

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I had a string of days where migraines kept me down for the count, so this year’s garden was planted solely by John. He got the plants in the ground and arranged the soaker hoses and even sowed the lettuce seeds. Here’s what we hope to grow this season: four types of tomatoes; serrano, jalapeño, habanero, and thai chile peppers; yellow crook neck squash; dill, cilantro, basil, and thyme; and romaine and red leaf lettuces.

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We’ve got about two and a half months before we’re on FREEZE watch… let the adventure begin!

Do you grow an edible garden? Share with me!

Last year’s garden adventures.

One year ago: Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars.


  1. Beautiful Amber! I love your raised beds (& the screens…genius). We have a slew of critters who fancy a good munch at our place too (a couple of nights ago we had a cougar crying in our back yard…scary!!)…we have a chicken wire fence surrounding our beds…nowhere nearly as pretty as your enclosures, but seem to do the trick 😉 This year I planted zucchini, potatoes, kale, romaine, carrots, spinach, swiss chard and green beans in the beds. I have cherry tomato/basil pota on my deck and plenty of flower pots…wave pansies, dracena, french lavender, zinnias and osteos. My flower beds are alive with golden yellow loosetrife, asian lillies, and ballet slipper pink peonies. I loooooove this time of year! Big hugs! Xx

    1. The screened doors are so awesome and necessary out here! Otherwise, we’d have just planted a nice salad bar for the deer and elk and skunk and porcupine and moose and fox… Your garden sounds lovely! xx

  2. Ours is significantly *ahem* less pretty than yours for sure! Two melon vines have completely taken over what used to be 150 sq ft managed space. Hey! At least we have a bunch of cantaloupe, which makes it slightly less of a nuisance (note to self: plant one vine and trellis it in the future).

    But being in zone 9 has it’s upsides. We are prolific in tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper at the moment and our resident four sunflowers are a towering 8 feet tall with basketball-sized seed heads. Downside is that with rich organic soil, a thriving ecosystem, and plenty of sun and water, my garden resembles something of a good bed head — serendipity, I like to call it. As long as the neighbors don’t complain, I guess it’s all good!

    Here’s to you getting overrun with the vines in your garden. Cheers, Amber! Keep it up and don’t give up.

  3. It looks beautiful! While flowers are a serious mood boost, having vegetables that comes from your own garden is a really empowering thing. To be able to grow your own food, understand where it comes from and how simple/beautiful the whole process is… it’s priceless. We only have a little balcony right now, but our pepper plants are thinking about hanging in there and our tomato plants are thriving. The strawberries were dead within a week… whoops…

  4. Your garden looks so beautiful!! I can’t wait for a day when Brian and I have a bigger garden like yours! Although I’m not sure I would ever see him again. That boy loves to garden…:) xo

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