When we bought this little house it came with a garden. A big garden. A big, intimidating garden which used to be really well-tended and loved. I, on the other hand, have never gardened before and have no idea what I'm doing. This poor garden doesn't know what hit it.
So far I have spent a lot of time cleaning up; we have a maple tree in the backyard (oh, and another one in the front yard) and apparently the primary occupation of maple trees is to drop crap on you all year 'round: blossoms, maple keys, leaves. I can only assume that the maple syrup is by way of apology.
Blake's aunt J'Anne, the family gardener, was up a couple of weeks ago and we did a lot of work moving plants from the backyard to the front -- there are lots of plants near the back door where the deck will eventually be, and we are going to try and rescue as many of them as we can. We also weeded the front border, especially under the hedge. The hedge is doomed; I am going to get rid of it sometime in the next couple of years and plant something pretty in its place. But in the meantime it harbours a lot of crappy little weeds, and maple saplings. Stupid maple trees.
Since J'Anne was here I also added a bunch of hot pink impatiens to the front, mainly because Baba told me to. I think they will look nice once they fill out. They're cute now, but small.
In the back yard, I haven't done much; I am paralysed by the sheer size. I did plant a bunch of vegetables: zucchini, corn, sunflowers, and lettuce seeds, and squash, tomato, strawberry, basil, sage, lavender and mint plants. There are already what I thought were onions but I now suspect are garlic, as well as a huge patch of raspberries. So far I don't think anything that I have planted has, oh, say, grown at all, but Manuel's stuff (the previous owner) is doing fantastically. The previous owners had some serious green thumbs, considering that most of the garden gets at best partial sun. But then they were retired and by all accounts spent all their time gardening.
Other stuff that is growing from last year includes a glorious patch of ostrich ferns, some cosmos, violets, daylilies, a rose, bleeding heart, more ostrich ferns, sedum, daffodils, and some stuff which might be weeds. And lots of stuff which definitely is weeds; I have been preparing the ground on an as-needed basis, which means there are still lots of messy scrubby patches.
I am overwhelmed by the learning curve ahead of me; there seems to be so much you need to know to be a successful gardener. The nice thing, though, is that it's almost consequence-free. The worst that can happen is that I could buy a plant or some seeds and have them fail. No-one will be disappointed, no-one will get hurt, and I'll get to spend some time outside getting dirty.