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The Gardening Cook Welcomes You With Gardening Tips and Healthy Recipes

Welcome! Many people think about gardening on the weekends and cooking during the week.

For me, gardening and cooking are both week long projects. I could dig in the dirt all day long every day if I had the opportunity.

I especially love to use vegetables that I grow in my own vegetable garden in recipes. What better way to share my love of both than to combine them into one website? 

I am the Gardening Cook.
The Gardening Cook welcomes you to a lovely garden bed

The Gardening Cook Welcomes you

My name is Carol and I live in Raleigh, NC. I’ve always had a love for gardening. but somewhere along the way, life got in the way, and that love got put on the back burner.

This year, after some reshuffling of my work schedule, I found that I actually had a lot of time to spare. My daughter came home one weekend early in March, and suggested that we work on one small side garden bed.

This area used to be a nice flower bed, but was now overrun with weeds and in quite a mess.

Off to the garden center we went and then spent the next three days tilling, amending the soil and planting bulbs and perennials.

Little did she know that she had awakened a sleeping dragon. Within a month, I had hand dug (with a shovel) a huge front island bed in our front yard that almost did me in. 44 hours of solid digging is a LOT of digging.Front garden bed with bird bath

Even so, I was just getting started. Next, I added another bed about half the size to “even up the look” of the lawn. Then a shade garden got dug and planted all along the front and side of our house.

Thinking ahead, I decided to make a lasagna garden for next year, not realizing that it would actually be workable in a few months. (It’s now another shade garden.)

Not tired enough yet, I laid more cardboard over the sod in the back yard in an 800 square foot area. (“Definitely for next year”, I told my husband, as he rolled his eyes at me with a knowing look).

It became workable in about 8 weeks. This area is now a lush vegetable garden and is starting to produce very well.From the Gardening Cook - A Large vegetable garden bed.

Finally, I started working on my project for the rest of the back yard. What will be a perennial and bulb garden for next year, with a flagstone path down the center, that will take up 1/2 of the back yard of a 1/2 acre lot.

It would be done now if the 100 degree heat here in Raleigh hadn’t stopped me in July.

Awakened a sleeping dragon? My husband now lovingly describes me as the “banshee gardener” to all his friends.

He just keeps shaking his head when I talk about “next year’s project”, knowing it will probably be a garden of earthly delights in a couple of months.Front Garden Bed with coleus, sunflowers and annualsI thought it would be fun to share my gardening exploits with anyone out there who might have as much of a love for gardening as I do. Hopefully, we can exchange some ideas to make our projects fun, and might even learn something from each other.

The photos above show you the first island bed – the bed that took me 44 hours to till by hand. I made the classic gardening mistake of planting things a bit too close together and it’s quite crowded now, but never fear – that just gives me lots of plants for next year’s project.

I hope that you will enjoy what the Gardening Cook will have to write about in the weeks and months to come. I welcome any and all comments in the comment section below.  Are you a Gardening Cook? Or do you stick to just one or the other?

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Saturday 5th of January 2013

Carol, I enjoyed reading about your "banshee gardening", LOL! Look forward to sharing recipes with you, too.

Sunday 6th of January 2013

My husband loves to describe me that way. When I get a project, there is no stopping me!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."