If you had given me a plant of any kind 6 years ago it would have been dead within a week.  Growing up I had always had a brown thumb.  I thought plants were lovely- I just never managed to keep many of them alive.  In middle school I asked my mom if I could buy a cactus.  It was perfect- cute and extremely hardy, nearly impossible to kill.  It was dead in about a week or so.

Fast forward to Grad School.  It was Valentine’s Day and Travis had just given me the most beautiful miniature rose plant.  He had given me an orchid in the past, which I had managed to keep alive (win!).  But let’s be honest, you give an orchid a couple ice cubes, make sure it’s not hidden in a closet and you’re good to go (at least that was my experience).  Who did he think I was, giving me a rose plant?! The bar had just been raised…really, really high.

In the end, I did a good bit of research and ended up keeping that rose plant alive for over a year (woo hoo!).  All it took was a bit of motivation, some research and a few trips to Home Depot.  From that point on I have always had plants around the house.  And this year, we decided to try our hand at gardening!

After lots of research and planning this past spring, Travis and I planted our first garden together.  But if I’m being truthful, this was actually our second attempt at a garden after planting one in the backyard that didn’t work out so well (lesson learned- pick a spot with lots of sunlight and be ready for stealthy insects and animals to attack at any minute).  What we ended up trying this time was planting a few easy to grow vegetables out front where there is more than enough sunlight.  After our trip to Home Depot we arrived home with the following: two tomato plants, one cucumber plant, two green bell pepper plants, one jalapeno plant and one zucchini plant.

It’s now mid-August and we have gotten lots of fresh veggies from the garden.  In addition to the delicious food though, we’ve enjoyed many other benefits of the garden such as:

  1. It’s a lot easier to eat healthy.  With vegetables right outside, it’s so much easier to incorporate them into your meals for the week!  Salads, kabobs, sauces, you name it!
  2. We’ve saved money by not buying at the farmer’s market.  I’ve actually only gone to the farmer’s market one time this whole summer (and didn’t end up buying anything)! 😲
  3. We get the simple joy of eating something that we have grown ourselves.  After putting in the time and effort to plant and maintain our garden, it’s made us really appreciate the food that we’ve gotten from it.
  4. We spend more time outside.  Between watering, weeding, pruning, etc. we spend a good amount of time outside maintaining the garden and yard in general.  It’s feels good to work on something together while also soaking in some sun.
  5. It’s pushed us to learn something new and think creatively.  With this being our second try at a garden, we had to do some research and planning together.  This ended up being a fun challenge, especially with planting the garden out front of the house instead of having the traditional backyard garden.

After having success with our summer garden, Travis and I are starting to think about what to plant for the fall!  Keep up with our gardening adventures on Instagram!

Do you have a garden?  If so, what do you enjoy most about it?  Leave a comment below!