I turned this:
You can't believe how full of clay the soil is! I bought a pitchfork and loosened a large circle for each tomato. I pulled out the worst chunks and mixed the rest with compost. It loosened up pretty well and looked like decent soil. I hope it works! I found a Black Russian tomato and another more standard tomato. And I just had to try a bell pepper (called here by its botanical name, "capsicum"). I also planted a little herb garden of thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro (coriander), lettuce, and spinach (which is really expensive here!). This small area is in the back of our house on the North side. Here, the north side is where all the sun is. On the west side, just off our patio, there is another area full of weeds (the picture above). I am going to clear that too and plant pumpkin, zucchini, and Lebanese cucumbers. Lebanese cucumbers are very good! The seeds are small, the skin is smooth and delicate, and the fruit is very straight. I hope I can grow them in Utah, too!
There is a wholesale plant nursery called Plantmark that you have to have a membership to shop at. Kind of the "Costco" for plants, except I can buy just one at a time instead of bulk quantities. And the membership is different in that it's not really tied to your name, so someone loaned my their card so I could go. I focused on fun Australian native species and got one of each. Okay, not EACH because that would be a lot of plants, but I chose some I liked and that I thought could work in a planter. I put them all in a couple of planters and I can't wait to see them fill in.
And look! The receipt has all the botanical names on it, *in alphabetical order*! How nerdy. I LOVE it! I'm keeping that receipt.
My favorite is the Leucodendron.
This leucodtendron is in a neighbor's yard. Mine is smaller. But look how each stalk is topped with a "blossom" that looks so much like the leaves. Is it a flower? A colorful leaf variation? Who cares! I love them!
I am so happy to have something growing! I'm really very excited about this. I'm sure you're not surprised.
(UPDATE: Here's how the garden turned out this season.)