Dreaming Up Our Kitchen Garden

Projects

I have been dreaming of my very own kitchen garden for as long as I can remember. After all these years of dreaming, I’m now gazing out the kitchen window in our new-but-old home ready to make that dream a reality.

When I was a kid, our family had a sizable garden. My dad would turn up the soil with a rototiller each season. We’d help him plant seeds and seedlings in the ground and create walking paths between patches of growth so we didn’t trample the little sprouts when we watered.

My head often swirls with fond memories of that space. It was thrilling to build something from nothing, tend to it all summer long, and enjoy every fruit and veggie we could. Dad’s probably laughing because I’m not sure how helpful my tending actually was, but it sure left a mark on me. In my eyes, it was pure magic.

Our gardening journey

In 2017 Matt and I created a small garden patch in the backyard of our apartment outside of Boston. We only grew a handful of things – bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, sunflowers and poppies. (Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos!) I remember feeling so much pride that we grew THAT in our own backyard. I would wake up every day at the crack of dawn just to go see what had grown. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the day we’d have more space to grow.

When we moved to our first home in 2018 we had high hopes of creating our best garden yet, but the sun wasn’t on our side (literally) and we decided it wasn’t worth investing the time, energy and money into a kitchen garden that wasn’t bound to flourish. We planted our fair share of shade-loving plants, but they just don’t give back the way a pepper plant does.

So here we are, in 2023, settled into our new home and ready to build the garden of our dreams.

Gathering inspiration

I’ve been saving garden inspiration on Pinterest for years and I’m nothing if not consistent. There are a few traits that stand out in our dream garden – wild, welcoming and wondrous. It’s important to us that this is a place we want to be – not just to tend to, but to enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, have a meal or take a walk through. I want it to be an experience, not a chore.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Southern Living | Photo: Erica George Dines

Source: Pinterest

Source: Gardenary

Finding the perfect spot

As soon as we moved I began taking note of possible garden locations and factors. Where did the sun rise and set on the property? What areas received the most sunlight and were in close proximity to the house and spigot? Where could I expand the garden into an outdoor patio and play area for our dogs? Is it in a location that would allow for a fence?

I sketched up a few possible options on my iPad in Procreate to marinate on and, after lots of consideration, we decided to situate our kitchen garden next to the chicken coop. It checked the most boxes and really began to grow on us as we imagined ourselves walking out there every day.

Researching & creating a plan

With our location secured, we’ve been spending our time researching materials, irrigation, plants and layout and creating a schedule to keep us on track for the upcoming growing seasons. (I’m a huge organization nerd and use Asana to outline all of our project schedules, which has been hugely helpful to know when we’ll be able to execute on some of the larger phases of the project.)

If you’re looking for some helpful content to learn more about kitchen gardens and gardening in general, I highly recommend watching the following channels on YouTube:

I’ve learned a ton from each of them and have been incredibly inspired by their experiences in the garden!

Be sure to stick around to see us transform a mundane patch of grass into a magical kitchen garden and share all of our learnings along the way!

1 Comment

  1. Dad

    Dad remembers the gardening with the kids and you Molly were actually helpful. Glad to see gardening live on.

    Reply

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