My Flora & Fauna: An Update (!)

Every year I start out the vegetable gardening season with a post. And then I promise to post updates (which I sometimes do). AND THEN I promise to post a wrap-up (which I never do).

This year I promise nothing.

But, for your reading pleasure, below this ever-loving tomato-y pic, I tell you more than you probably want to know about my gardening exploits so far this year. (And also, for those of you who make it all the way to the end, an exciting update!)

And, because I’m me, there will be GIFs.

So buckle up, friends, and scroll down for some veggie-growing goodness ⬇️

If you’re interested, links to posts from last year and the year before

Flora & Fauna Update.jpg

A Tale of Plant Babies

This year’s gardening endeavor started out very different because we started our own seeds!


Mind you, this wasn’t my plan. I was just going to hop down to the local nursery a week after everyone else cleaned out all the good plants and buy whatever was left. But my husband had other ideas. He walked in one day, fresh from a trip to Home Depot, and held out a bazillion seed packets, so proud of himself.

I promptly put them in a drawer and ignored them for a while, because what do I know about starting seeds? (Nothing. The answer is nothing.)

Eventually, one afternoon during spring break, we got around to planting them in Solo cups. This was a family activity, which means (1) the boys made fun of me when I wrote some of the veggie names in Spanish (por que, no?), and (2) by the time we were done, our kitchen looked like a a bag of potting soil had exploded.


Then the seeds hung out on the kitchen counter for 6 weeks, some flourishing (like the sweet pea plant — holy bejeebus!) and others…not.

Still, this was new territory for me/us. And I learned one very important lesson: do some forking research first to avoid having some plants that are ready to go in the ground while others are most definitely not.

(Also: no matter how lazy you feel, do not plant multiple teeny-tiny seeds in one cup. It can’t imagine this will end well. We have 30ish basil plants in the space where one should be.)

Plant Zygotes.JPG

Getting Them in the Ground

Recalling my MIL’s advice, we were out planting these babies on June 1st.

Which turned out to be a not-such-a-great-idea. Later that afternoon, we had some CRAZY thunderstorms that caused localized flash floods in our area (along with hail, just for sh*ts and giggles). Our property is on high ground, so the flooding didn’t affect us, but I’m pretty sure the plant babies did not enjoy the deluge or hunks of ice.

AND THEN we had an unexpectedly chilly night, so the next morning my garden was like this:


And I was like this:


The plants that looked the best before we put them in the ground (zucchini, tomatoes, cukes) were wilty and their leaves were not happy campers.

So we decided we’d buy replacement plants for those and hope for the best. But for some reason my husband wanted me to plant the replacements among the old, sad ones so we could wait to see which flourished. (I don’t know about you, but encouraging one’s plants to play Hunger Games doesn’t seem ideal when there’s very limited space in the garden.)


But since I’m admittedly a newbie to this whole thing, I went with it.

One week on, and all the plants look pretty good…but I’m not ready to admit my husband was right just yet. Because, really, I feel very strongly that it will all turn to mayhem at some point.


The Deets (if you’re curious)

So, here’s the lowdown on what we actually planted in our garden:

TAKE 1 (pic from after the storm and chilly night)

2019 Garden - Take 1.JPG

Clockwise from upper left-hand corner: Zucchini (1), Sweet Pea (1) Cucumbers (4, various types), Tomatoes (3, various types), Sweet Peppers (2-3), Jalepeno Peppers (2), Herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil), Spinach (2), Green Onions (3).
In the center: 2 bunches of Marigolds


2019 Garden - Take 2.jpg

Same as above plus Cucumbers (added 3), Tomatoes (added 4), Zucchini (added 1)

So, if you’re keeping tabs, that means we have a total of:

  • 7 cucumbers in space allotted for 4

  • 7 tomatoes in space allotted for 3

  • 2 zucchini in space allotted for 1

It’s worth noting, for any of you that don’t garden much, that individual cucumber, tomato, and zucchini plants grow to take up A LOT of room. Especially the zucchini. This is why I probably seemed melodramatic about the potential for mayhem later this summer.

I am not being melodramatic. They’re going to choke each other out. (It’s going to be insane, mark my words.)

So that’s the garden situation. Now onto the other update.

Sidenote (or seemingly unrelated digression that is actually on-point): I’ve always LOVED the term “flora and fauna” (it sounds so fancy!) but for the longest time, I thought fauna referred to non-flower plants. Nope. It refers to animals.

And here’s our update:


Last week, our family welcomed a petite black cat with a little white patch on his chest.

First name: Marshmallow.
Middle name: George.

Funny story: this cat started out with my husband’s younger sister, then went to my husband’s older sister. They all said he’s super sweet but needs more space and the ability to go outdoors, and our house checks both those boxes.

Being (almost) fully black, Marshmallow is nearly impossible to take pictures of. But this little guy has pretty firmly taken over the household.

My husband pretends not to like the cat, but also lets him hang out on his chest/shoulder/etc. The dogs acclimated quickly (phew!), but Lily (the “puppy” who’s actually 3 1/2) tries to give him ALL the kisses.

So that’s it. Flora and fauna in the yard/house!