The Winter Garden

The seedlings in the winter garden are sprouting and they look so cute. These little ones are one of the varieties of lettuce I planted. The wire mesh is protecting them from neighborhood critters (including kitty cats that think everything is a litter box).

I'm usually not as timely or organized with my winter garden as I am this year. I kept feeling the need to remove a brick planter box from under the front window. It was pulling away from the house and causing a crack between the mortar and the stucco of the house that was getting larger and larger. I decided that it wasn't a good idea to have it collecting water right up against the foundation and that it needed to go bye-bye.

So out came "Sledgehammer 1" and "Sledgehammer 2" with their little friend "Pick-Hammer". As I demolished the box, I found that it was very ill-conceived to begin with, and it was a very good thing that I was taking it out as it was seriously compromising our home's foundation. Although I had to sacrifice the rosemary that was growing in it, taking down the planter made room for me to move my 4x8 raised planter from the back garden to the front. The eastern exposure under the front window is perfect for growing veggies in the winter and pretty pollinator annuals in the summer.

First, I moved the planter box from the back where it's served faithfully as the tomato bed for a number of years. It looks like painted wood, but it's actually made of a composite material produced from recycled milk jugs. It's very sturdy and stands a foot high. Once I had it positioned, I filled it with lots of good compost-filled dirt from the nursery and then planted my rows of winter veggie seeds.

Although we get frosts in December and January, there are many vegetables that grow well here in the winter which won't grow in the summer heat. So I put in a number of lettuce varieties, parsley, scallions, broccoli, snow peas, spinach, and some bread seed poppies. The cute little rows are sprouting in the warm October weather we're having. Until today, it's been around 80F (27C) everyday since I put in the seeds--good sprouting weather.

It's been fun to watch the lettuce sprout because this is the first time I've attempted growing lettuce from seed like this. Both Hubby and I are enjoying this new garden area with all the wonder of two small children.
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  1. Very impressive! I love to garden--I wish I had the space and sun for food. I get a lot of shadow so most things just don't do well. The roses like it though!

  2. Good Luck with your winter garden. It looks like you have a good start!

  3. My raised bed gardens are put to bed for the winter...I do have my rosemary that grows year round. In a few weeks I will by some herbs like oregano, thyme and basil and try growing them indoors for the winter.
    ps...I have transplanted rosemary from one spot to another and it has you still have the one you had to remove?

  4. Wonderful! I've done winter lettuces in a similar box with a plastic covering....yummy!

  5. Oh, I'm jealous. Your cold frame is wonderful - especially filled with baby letuce.

  6. Wow, lucky you! Some of my annuals are still tenaciously hanging on in the pots I have on my balcony. I'd still like to plant a few winter things out there this year. There's just something about watching the miracle of a sprouting seed, isn't there?

  7. Awesome idea... and good luck growing up your winter plants.... just remember to show us the result late on the year :)

    Have a happy day


  8. Hi Cindy,

    you have been busy! It looks brilliant! It is so satisfying planting seeds and watching them grow and then to either eat the produce or see the flowers.
    I can't until we move and we have space to do things like that again.

    I hope they grow well and I can't wait to see.

    Hope everyone is well, from Meg and cats xxx

    P.S. Please can Rani be the witch's cat's sister?! ;)

  9. Sooooo jealous! All my little outdoor babies are DEAD! Had to replace even the pots with jack o'lanterns looked too sad to have dead things on the porch! Enjoy your lovely little plants.

  10. Lovely idea Cindy.I bet you were relieved when you finished demolishing the old box. I've grown lettice indoors too in old washing up bowls using a "cut and come again" variety so we just use the fresh leaves off the plant as we need them.

    I am so excited for you to be seeing these grow week by week. I'll be stuck with a garden that's shut up shop for the Winter. Would you believe we had a hail storm already!

  11. A winter garden, what a lovely idea! We had temps of 27 degrees a couple of nights ago and all my plants, except for the Knockout roses, are now drooping and black. My gardening days are over for the this year.

  12. I'd seen on facebook that you had the sledgehammers out and I wondered what for. Now I know! Those seedlings look healthy and happy!

  13. Look how nice and neat! I'm so jealous that you're able to grow these things now. I'm so hungry for fresh spinach from the garden...

  14. I've been sowing some winter veggies too although it gets much colder here.

    Love that planter box under your window, it looks very neat and tidy.

    Happy munching soon!

  15. Cindy, wow a winter gardent, and 27 C, oh boy I need that weather. Me and Matthew still go outside, but when it will hit below 0 C, may have to look out the window only, lol. Thanks for sharing, Anna :)

  16. I grew up somewhere that it gets cold and snows, and now that I live someplace that it's warm in the winter I live in apartments, so the idea of a "winter garden" is new and fascinating to me. I'm very interested to keep watching your garden progress. It's like I'm gardening vicariously through you!


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