I grew up helping my parents grow a half-acre garden, and have missed gardening ever since. For the first time in a long time, I actually have space to plant a garden. The inauspicious-looking patch of pink tile in the picture below is the only part of the yard that gets halfway-decent sunlight. Over the break I dug up the tiles, mulched the soil (which was surprisingly good -- I expected clay, but it was pretty rich already), and planted all of my old favorites and a few that I hope will do well in California: shelling and snap peas, green beans, "grape" and beefsteak tomatoes, three kinds of lettuce, sage, variegated "pineapple" mint, leeks, parsley, and marigolds for pest control. (Still need to do the zucchinis.) I planted seeds when I could, but opted for some seedlings from Common Ground, a lovely organic nursery nearby (though one wouldn't guess they were a nonprofit based on their prices ...). I also transplanted my rosemary and thyme bushes into their own pots so all of my mints (two kinds brought over from my dad's garden in Utah plus my new pineapple mint) are in one planter. I feel quite happy about it so far, though it's too early to see any progress on my seeds yet.
I'm really looking forward to home-grown salads later this summer. :~)
Before: the only sunny spot in the yard is tiled over