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My garden is going through a major transformation, and since I’m doing the work myself, I thought I’d bring you along.

Like many other people, I found gardening to be very therapeutic during the beginning of the pandemic. It was a stressful time, and in the midst of the chaos, my husband and I picked up some seedlings (four for each of us), and planted them in the raised bed that existed in our yard when we moved into our place. Here’s a photo from March 2020.

Raised garden bed in a modest backyard.

Sometime around April or May, the obsession began. I’d check the plants daily, make unnecessary trips to the nursery, and then … the bees. I fell in love with watching the bees do their thing.

I added some galvanized water troughs and vertical planters to bring in more flowers for the pollinators.

Various containers with vegetables next to a fence that has hanging flowers.
Raised garden bed behind a house.

Our backyard became my sanctuary in a time where the world was filled with uncertainty, tension, and stress.

And after summer died down and my winter garden started up, I decided that I wanted to make the space more efficient. Sure, it was pretty, but I knew I wanted to grow more varieties … even if I had to sacrifice some of the aesthetics. I decided to rip everything out and start over. Here’s a little YouTube video of the current state:

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So, what’s next?

For starters, I’m putting in new garden beds. I ordered metal garden beds from Vego Gardens (this affiliate link will get you 5% off). There’s a whole story coming about why I chose to use those beds instead of redwood or cedar, but more on that later. As soon as my beds arrive, I’ll lay down some gravel, fill them with bulk soil, and transplant my seedlings. If you’re looking for a place to buy seeds online, here are my favorites. And if you see me looking ripped in the next couple months … it’s because I’m doing hardcore manual labor moving rocks and dirt by myself. I’m hoping my new Gorilla Cart (and my dog Eddie’s company) will help me out.

Dog sitting in a garden wagon on the patio.

It’s been such a fun process learning how to grow my own food, to revitalize my soil, take care of our bees and worms and other garden friends, and to roll my sleeves up and put in work to fix up my backyard.

There’s a lot to do, and I’m bringing you along!

Let me know, are you planning a garden this year?


Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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