I’m Jennifer, an amateur gardener with an interest in small-scale, sustainable, eco-friendly landscaping.
My interest in gardening began a few decades ago when my mother’s condo board told her she had to modify her shed because it was sticking up above the fence. Instead of replacing the shed, she decided to get rid of it, which meant getting rid of the lawn mower she kept to mow her tiny lawn. I had no experience, but I volunteered to re-landscape her back yard. I paged through some books and magazines (this was back when the internet was a hassle to access) and, with some beginner’s luck, ended up with this.
In 1997, we moved from Maryland to Minnesota. This was a move from Zone 7 to Zone 4, but since I’d grown up in Green Bay it wasn’t the shock it might have been — even though it meant waiting an extra two months for the beginning of the gardening season!
We bought our house in 1998, and I’ve been fiddling with the yard ever since. You can see before and after pictures here. I added a wildflower garden several years ago, but much of the rest of the yard contains mostly lawn and non-Minnesota-native plants. I’ve used herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers over the years, although sparingly and inconsistently. The more I read and listen and observe, the less comfortable I am with those practices. I need to have a longer-term mindset (i.e., more patience!) in order to be a better steward of my family’s small patch of earth.
That’s what this blog is about. I’m learning. Learn along with me.