We tried to stick to the Square Foot Gardening requirements as much as possible, but we fudged a little on the soil mixture because vermiculite was $35 a bag! Our boxes contain a mixture of compost (our own mix plus some purchased mushroom compost), peat moss and vermiculite, just not in the exact proportions recommended in the book. My enviro-conscious self was a bit hesitant about the peat moss and vermiculite, due to the mining and non-renewable aspects, but I decided to abide by the recommendations this time and see how well it works. That reminds me of my mother's philosophy about recipes. When trying a new recipe, she would always prepare it straight by the book the first time, then make notations and adjustments according to her liking for the next time. So goes my attitude about gardening.
While Neal was busy making boxes and filling them with our soil mixture, I was busy taking pictures (of course), and watering pansies gifted to us by one of our neighbors. OK, I was having a cocktail, too, but who's taking notes?
You see, our neighbor's family owns a wholesale nursery business and every year she gets gobs and gobs of plants for free (lucky girl). These plants are supposedly the dregs of society, the castoffs, the ones bound for the dumpster, but they fall into my favorite category...FREE! Not only did our neighbor gift us with two flats of pansies, she also gave us an eggplant plant, a cayenne plant and a banana pepper plant because she had no more room. How lucky is that? And, her timing was perfect because I was wondering what I was going to plant in those empty containers on our front stoop.
And believe it or not, I ran out of room too, so I Paid It Forward by planting some pansies in Herm and Eileen's patio containers, which were empty and calling me to fill them. Herm and Eileen are out of town for a few weeks, and I'm hoping the patio pansies will be a nice Welcome Home surprise for them.
Back to the watering pansies part of this story...while I was at Herm and Eileen's watering their newly planted pansies, I got the sneaking suspicion I was being watched. And boy, were my suspicions right on. A mother robin was sitting on her nest, right outside the back door, atop the electrical box...just feet away from where I was watering. She flew off the first time I tried to get near, but she later returned and obliged me a photo opportunity. Another beautiful moment in time, courtesy of Mother Nature.