Monday, March 21, 2011

Garden Room - Update

Since I live in Mosquitoville, I decided to take the plunge and screen off my backporch! Boy am I glad I did! You wouldn't think a mere 6' by 12' backporch would be THAT big of a difference in living space, but it is. I was able to not only fit in some shelves, but also a huge buffet sized foldup table with folding chairs. Now my family can actually enjoy the outdoors without the mosquitos running us off.

Last year at this time, my daughter and I were recuperating from jetlag. We had returned from our backpacking trip from the Middle East. So this year, we are getting an earlier start on the gardening! For starter plants, we got blackberries, strawberries, tomatoes, bellpeppers, hotpeppers, squash, asparagus, herbs, and a variety of flowers.

From seed, I've started several varieties of lettuce, spinach, green onions, radishes, beans, and Swiss Chard indoors. Right now, I'm doing a lot of research on INDOOR gardening. As you can see, the plants are stretching for sunshine. But I think it will work out just fine as the porch stays nice and bright and there's full sunshine midday.

After painting my backporch a lovely olive green, we used the leftover paint (green/yellow) to decorate the cinder blocks, and the shelves made from picket fence. Surviving through winter, I also have several varieties of onions, and carrots that I had planted last year.
~For those who have asked, and are curious, I do have an update on our upcoming RETURN TRIP to the Middle East:

My daughter and I had joined WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and had made contact with a host family we had selected in Israel. We were excited as this family had kids and lived by the ocean. We were looking forward to spending about 2 months with the family and in Jerusalem.

Due to the escalating crisis in the Middle East, we decided to delay purchasing our plane tickets till the last minute. Unfortunately, this wait has caused our tickets to jump an additional $800. Gas prices are soaring! We're hoping that the prices will drop and things will settle down...

I'm forever reminded of our experience in Jerusalem last year when I overheard a reporter ask our waiter, "Do you think Jews, Arabs, and Christians can live peacably among one another?"

I never heard his answer as we had already paid and were walking away, but a few hours later, I sat on the Mount of Olives with my daughter and listened to the gunshots and fighting.

Praying for peace in the Middle East, and lower gas prices!


The WoodLand School said...

I'm so excited to see your new screened-in area ... and the awesome gardening action! You continue to inspire me :-)

I have been sprouting seeds (alfalfa, clover, etc.) and loving it ... so now I'm moving on to microgreens. Can't wait!

Helen Ruth said...

I have been meaning to ask YOU how YOUR garden is doing! YOU inspire ME! :)

Lancashire rose said...

I do hope you get to go. As you know our trip came at just the wrong time. I have been waiting for this trip for ever and now, who knows if I will ever get to go. We did get all our money back, but it was not without a big fight with the guy who organized the tour. That is the last time we deal with someone like that again. We will plant directly next time. We have another trip planned but it will be more along the lines of a gardening trip. Good luck with air fares.
It will be nice to enjoy the outdoors mosquito free and I suspect you will be doing a lot more greenhouse gardening. Just remember to rotate those seedlings every day.

Patty said...

Wow, the porch looks wonderful! How do you think it will hold up during rain? Have you enjoyed a meal on the porch yet?
I really like your homemade shelf, it's so perfect for plants.

Helen Ruth said...

We have never had rain hit our sliding doors, and it barely touches the porch. This area faces the West side of house. Most of our storms either hit from the Gulf/South, or North. But even if it were to blow through the screen, it wouldn't matter much. It's a plastic table cloth and the plants would love it. I wanted the porch built to keep out mosquitoes, not the "outdoors" :)

Helen Ruth said...


Have you considered just traveling to Israel without a tour group? It would be considerably cheaper. For a dash into Jordan to see Petra, you could get with a tourgroup in Eilat. I would probably skip Egypt for now. Seems very unsettled, and there seems to be a lot of neg attention being focused on the coptic Christians. Petra and Jerusalem is a MUST SEE.

Steph said...

Nice info! Keep up the great work on posts like this.