Some backyard ideas and my most favorite herbs: the first post of my new blog

It took me a while:  I was planning to write this life school blog for some 2 years, and I finally got written and published the first post of my new blog. I hope you’ll like it! I hope you enjoy all posts and all my observations, stories, poems and life lessons which I have experienced during many decades living in Europe, Latvia, as well as later in Ontario, Canada.

I was just cropping photos and thinking: it was such a blessing to grow up without any internet and without any mobile devices. I suppose, childhood is the perfect time to learn about our surroundings and nature. That is a great time to find out what each herb, grass and flower can do for us, how they can help and what they can cure. I had a grandmother who taught me everything she knew about plants, flowers and herbs when I was about 5-6 years old. We moved to a small town afterwards, we had a garden, just like everybody in Latvia did, but meadows and forests belong to my early childhood.

I also remember when I arrived in Canada, I saw lots of lawns, every house had it, and most backyards were lawns, too. That was when I thought: what a waste of land and soil! I think, it’s wrong to kill all dandelions, white and red clover, other small blossoming weeds, even nettles, because bees desperately need them. The flawless lawn is boring. If every house had flowers and blossoming weeds, we would not need to worry about losing bees. secondly, every plant and herb helps maintaining or improving our health.

It is, thankfully, summer, and summer means planting, weeding, growing and watering plants. I am very happy to have a huge backyard this time. I haven‘t turned it entirely in a garden yet, but if we stay here long enough, I probably will. We rent, and that means moving often and starting a new garden again.

Here are the main reasons why even very busy people should grow some herbs and some basic vegetables in their backyard. It’s not about money and financial gains because starting up a small garden is not that cheap. It is about the huge health benefits. That also means that kids learn nature directly and take part in growing their own meals.

We obviously can buy everything at the grocery store and farmers market. The latter is a better choice because of a shorter shelf life. However, the soil has been depleted so terribly during the last decades that vegetables and fruits we are consuming at the present moment have only 30% of the mineral, vitamin and nutrition content compared to what they had in 70-s. When we add to this processing time, packaging time, time of transportation and sitting on a shelf, we cannot even dream that this fruit or vegetable compares to some extent with the vegetable or fruit which we picked in the backyard or garden.

Strawberries grow anywhere

There are plants which grow themselves. As soon as we have put them in the ground, they’ll only require watering and a few – also minimum amount of a fertilizer.

Easy to grow berries strawberries

I love strawberries because they grow wildly and require attention only two times a year: in the fall when we need to detach the new shoots, and in early spring when we should sort out the entire strawberry field or bed. After that, they just bloom and grow, and all one has to do is pick them when red. Isn’t that fantastic? Secondly, you get twice as many plants in the next year, 4 times more in the third year, and so until your backyard is a strawberry field. Just kidding, but still, it’s an easy plant to grow in mild climate.

backyard simple parsley

The simple or Italian parsley

backyard the beautiful and healthy lemon balm

Lemon balm: so beautiful, so good for us, especially for people who suffer from high blood pressure and anxiety or similar disorders

The other plants which grow absolutely effortlessly are herbs: basil, dill, parsley, mint, sage, rosemary, lemon balm and thyme. They have extreme contents of healthy stuff inside, yet, they don’t require practically any work. Dill can be sown every month as a sub-plant for other taller plants. It is a really friendly neighbor to cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, radish and similar. Dill grows very fast, and just 1 teaspoon of chopped dill with any salads, soups or potatoes, etc. provides us with a large dose of live!!! vitamin C. I will review in other posts all possible uses of dill, parsley, lemon balm and other backyard plants.

backyard Dill: huge health benefits

The insanely healthy plant: dill for every condition

There is still time to plant and sow many summer herbs and vegetables. Radish and lettuce are ready in a very short time, so eat and put new seeds in the soil.

backyard crisp radish

Crisp and red: eat right away

The biggest advantage of growing herbs and vegetables is that we really can be sure how clean they are and what we have used when growing them. Only tomatoes and cucumbers will need a bit of fertilizer (2 times a season is enough), everything else grows practically on its own.

backyard flowers

Flowers: endless source of pleasure

backyard more flowers

More flowers

backyard first strawberries

More strawberries, these are the first ones this year

backyard strawberries

I have strawberries in pots and everywhere else, we used them for sketching

Enjoy the pictures from my backyard! I appreciate your comments!

13 thoughts on “Some backyard ideas and my most favorite herbs: the first post of my new blog

  1. Inese Poga Art Gallery

    Thanks for the first comment! The post was intended more insightful, but it was getting very late, so I will just keep expanding the today’s theme in next posts. I will have more themes, not only gardening! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  2. You clearly have a ‘green thumb’ and have so much information. We are only growing some tomatoes this year as it’s about all I can handle… With the flower garden, that’s about what my husband is able to do. My mother used to have a vegetable garden whenever she had the space…. Nothing like ‘fresh’ from the garden…. Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art Gallery

      That comes from my mom. She worked in huge greenhouses when I was about 5 or so, that way I spent all day with her in these greenhouses. I suppose, I learned some stuff just watching her. One of my most favorite smells is that one as in tomato greenhouse. We also always had garden, I practically grew up in it, and I kept making a new garden at any place where I went. So much agree: nothing can be as fresh and flavorful!
      Well, the most difficult part is to prepare soil: I have leg and joint problems, so I have to also do it carefully and slowly or I cannot walk for a while. I do this with cucumbers and tomatoes: I plant them, wait for some 7th leave to come out and then tie them up, so that they go high up, and they don’t take any space at all. That’s to save soil for people who cannot do too much digging. I’ve been growing tomatoes in pots, too. If you have some space, you could still put in some parsley and basil. I’m allowing mint to go around the flower garden. Lemon balm has excellent tranquilizing properties, it’s good for everybody before going to sleep. Only exception is people like me with very low blood pressure. It’s great you have some stuff in the garden!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art Gallery

      Thanks Lorrie for visiting! It’s not much here yet because I’m dealing again with a fairly large medical job. I’m rushing it since the Latvian Midsummer which night of June 23 is coming up. We have lots of traditions and special foods for that. I just picked some strawberries for Sunday pancakes and the bowl was so huge that I will have to give some away, we won’t be able to eat that many. It’s too less, though for strawberry jam, wouldn’t make much, maybe a liter. So, I will post here much more interesting stuff, at least I think, it’s going to be interesting!


    1. Inese Poga Art Gallery

      That is great! I am also trying to make my backyard garden larger every year, just by adding one thing at a time. The hardest part definitely is the start-up. After that it just does everything on its own. Thanks Brenda for visiting!


  3. Pingback: Blogging: things that matter | inesepogalifeschool

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