Gardening: Early morning adventure

I’ve always been an early riser. Yeah I’m that person, the ‘type’ that some people love to hate. I’m usually awake by 4:30 AM. I bounce out of bed with a lot of energy. I’m ready to start the day.

Yeah… I’m one of those people! I tend to have the house to myself in the wee morning house. Sometimes our dog joins me on my adventure, but usually (if he even responds) he lifts up one eye, grumbles, and goes back to sleep.

I have a few cherished early morning rituals, and one of those is walking outside, soaking up the early sun rays, enjoying nature, and looking out at the beautiful garden.

Today, I decided to include a few photos of some of the things I see everyday. You might see a little white house in some of the pictures. That’s our shed. Our garden is a little over 3/4 acres. We have more than enough produce for us. What we don’t eat is stored away for the colder months and given out to family and friends.


Praying Mantis hiding in fennel

Can you see the praying mantis in this picture? They certainly do look like they’re praying, don’t they? I love praying mantis. Our fennel bush is covered with these little critters. It’s fascinating to watch them grow. My daughter and I pay them a visit daily.

When I pick my daily fennel, I carefully check the leaves to make sure I don’t bring them inside, occasionally I do and I take them back to their beloved fennel bush. The praying mantises are great insects to have in the garden since they eliminate the critters that can destroy your plants.

How do I use fennel? I use it in my green smoothies, stir fries, and at times I eat it raw. I love the mildly sweet, licorice taste of my beloved fennel. This is an herb that I cut back yearly. If I didn’t it would be taller than myself. Ok, so that’s not saying too much since I’m only 5′, but when I did let it grow it was a lot taller than I. 🙂

Strawberry patch.jpg

Strawberry patch

If you don’t watch out the early bird will pick all your strawberries, since I’m an early riser this doesn’t happen too much. However, I do leave some juicy berries for them to fight over. There are plenty of other juicy things for them to eat. I see them out there picking up a juicy worm or some type of insect.



I love cabbage, and use it in a variety of dishes, from Eggrolls to Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.


Squash and Beans

It’s always nice to see your garden thriving. I was happy to see that our squash and beans are coming along nicely. Beans are used in stir fry recipes, baked, eaten raw, and we dry them too. Squash are used in numerous dishes too. One of my favorite ways to use them is make them into pasta.



Fresh corn is incredibly sweet. I cannot wait until the ears of corn are ready to be picked.



As much as I enjoy onions, I should have planted more than two rows of these, right?

This isn’t our complete garden, but I wanted to give you an idea of some of the things you will see growing there. Perhaps I’ll post pictures of my flower garden over the weekend.

The great thing about being an early riser is that I get so much accomplished before most 9 – 5 folks are awake. By the time 6:30 rolls around the birds are out singing, I’m coming back inside so that I can prepare my daughters breakfast and awaken her.

I enjoy my early morning adventures. It’s my quiet time. 🙂 Quiet time, me time, needing space… However you describe it, I believe we all need it now and again. How do you spend your time?

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What a lovely garden! It is nice to have some time just to yourself, this is a great way to spend it 😀 That Praying Mantis is so cute hehe.


Thank you, I’m really proud of the garden this year.
I’ll need to post pictures of the flowers and all the mulching I’ve done. I know I’ve tweeted and talked about that a lot.

Praying mantises are beautiful creatures, and to think I used to be afraid of them when I was a child. Thankfully I got over my fear.


That looks amazing!! How much time do you have to spend to maintain your crops? Also wondering what type of climate is required to grow fennel?

I do love herbs and always have a big pot out back with my basics of basil, rosemary, thyme, and my favorite tarragon which always seems to give me grief:)


Hey Cathy,

How much time do I spend maintaining the garden? That’s a good question. I’m usually out there at least five days a week. Perhaps six – eight hours weekly? I pick the produce, remove the insects, eliminate the weeds if needed too. There are some weeds, like crab grass that can really take over the crops and their roots go very deep. If I think about it, I’ll take a picture of some them this weekend. A few weeks ago I finally got them under control; they were trying to take over one of my flower beds.

Regarding fennel
From what I’ve read fennel tend to do well in all types of climates. When I first introduced them to the garden, I figured I would be ‘ok’ based on this information. I have read that they really love hot and dry climates, but ours have been fine. Even with the unseasonably cool weather we had earlier. 🙂 If you plant them, make sure they get a lot of sunshine since they love that. In order to have them come back next year, you need to cut them down to about 8″.

The fennel bush in the above picture has been in the garden for about ten years. It even braved the extremely this past extremely cold winter. Fennel can take over an area, so I would plant it in an isolated spot. Although you can’t see from the picture, our fennel bush is isolated because of that reason.

I’ve been thinking about dedicating a post to the amazing fennel bush.

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