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Spring Garden Special

Courtney & Kylee

The sun is out and it’s about time to plant flowers and veggies! I love to garden…but only in pots. There is something so relaxing to me about watching plants grow. And, if you have the right set up it can be super low key. No bending and weeding constantly. I tried a traditional garden once and it about killed me. Now, I only deal with raised beds and containers. Our house in Nevada came with two beautiful raised gardening beds. Each bed has a watering system all set up. How can you not love growing veggies when all the hard work has been done. No carrying water cans to and fro and no stressing about the garden dying when gone on vacation. Sweet! I’m set. So here is a list of the veggies and flowers I love best.

Gardening has never been a particular attraction to me until just a few years ago. There’s something so rewarding about growing plants and knowing they’ve come from your hard work – not to mention fresh veggies taste way better! I’m not much of a weeder either, I may not be that old but man do I feel every pain in my back and knees while weeding. But though I am newer to the garden scene, I already have some early favorites to plant and varieties I’ve grown to love.

Courtney’s go to flowers for containers:

  • Top pick: Calibrachoa…stunning! I kept noticing this gorgeous flower in my neighborhood’s backyard in several of her pots. I didn’t recognize it so I finally stopped her and asked what it was. She told me “Calibrachoa.” At that point, I had never heard of it. But let me tell you, it is an eye catcher. And, they are developing new colors and double bloom versions even as you read this. You can find the flowers at Home Depot. It’s usually sold under the Proven Winners label. My personal favorite is simply called Blue. I used it last year in a hanging basket and it was beautiful.
  • Verbena. Especially paired in a pot with Calibrachoa. I tried Blue Calibrachoa and Burgundy Superbena (Proven Winners brand of verbena) together. The contrast was delightful!
  • Spike.  Not a flower but a great plant to use in the center of a large pot. It gives visual interest to the plantings that surround it because it is so tall and spiky. Provides great height contrasts in a container.

Kylee’s go to flowers:

  • Miniature Roses. Who doesn’t love roses? No one, that’s who. And miniature roses are great to still get that beautiful look without taking up so much space. We’ve got ours in a 7” pot and it’s growing beautifully. It does require a lot of sun and watering, but the results are stunning. Not to mention they don’t carry the vicious thorns like their full sized counter parts.
  • Pansies. Ok, ok, it’s a bit of a spring cliche, but I love pansies. They’re a small flower that packs a huge color pop. And it’s fun to mix and match colors. They’re also great for growing in containers if you have limited space.
  • Kolonchoes. So technically speaking these are actually a variety of succulent, but they do have a colorful flower cluster on top. These guys are great because not only do they come in a variety of colors, but because they are a succulent, they are a little more low key to take care of then the miniature roses or pansies. They’re also adorably tiny (around 2” pots are all they need). Great for beginners who tend to forget to water.

Courtney’s go to veggies for gardening:

  • Tomatoes. Especially Burpee’s Super Sweet 100, Big Boy, and roma varieties. I can stand in the garden next to the Super Sweet 100 plant and pop those puppies one right after the other straight from the vine. It’s pure heaven. And there is nothing as delightful as a Big Boy tomato sliced and made into a BLT or thrown in a salad. Then there’s fresh salsa made with any of Burpee’s roma tomatoes. Our family can shovel that down in no time at all.
  • Jalapeno peppers. These babies are amazing when home grown. Try them in Ree Drummond’s bacon wrapped jalapeno popper recipe. To die for!
  • Cantaloupe. I grew up on home grown cantaloupe. We would eat them at breakfast and even dinner. There is nothing that tops a perfectly ripe cantaloupe. Sheer bliss! I’m going to try them in my Nevada garden and see how they do.  
  • Snow peas. If you’ve never had straight from the garden snow peas, you are missing out on one of the biggest pleasures of gardening. I love stir frying fresh snow peas early in the growing season. They are vibrantly green. All I can think about is how healthful and vitamin packed they must be. They’re even great steamed and served as a simple side for dinner. Love ’em!

Kylee’s got to veggies:

  • I’m also going to say tomatoes right off the bat. For me, my husband and I found great success with Early Girl and Celebrity tomato varieties. Both produced so many tomatoes we almost didn’t know what to do with them! But, to be fair, we misjudged just how large they would grow. Be prepared to give these babies space if you’re planting them.
  • Onions. Be warned, you need deeper soil to grow these but there is nothing like the sweet, potent taste of fresh onion. Once you cook with them, you’ll never want to go back to store bought. And with so many recipes utilizing onions you’re sure to use them all, none wasted.
  • Basil. If you are a heavy seasoner, having a fresh basil plant is a must. The plant stays small and can even grow indoors. Bonus because basil gives off a great scent that really livens up my kitchen. We like to grow the lemon basil variety, but there are so many different varieties of basil, half the fun is deciding which one to try.

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