Summer Thoughts | Training Vines

It has been a lovely summer so far with my babies. I took a little time away from the blog to rest, play, and enjoy the easiness of summer. I feel like I have so much to share with you, so I hope you enjoy all of the pictures. 
I love living in an area where we have real seasons and there are so many things that I look forward to during each one. One of my favorite things about spring and summer is planting my garden. I live in a city neighborhood with a smaller back yard and would not consider myself to have a green thumb by any means, but I try really hard every year to work on my gardening skills. For some reason, my garden decided to boom this year, and I am very pleasantly surprised. Okay, I am really mostly just shocked.
I waited too long to pick my radishes and they looked more like beets! Oops. I keep this sign I made last year {template and tutorial here} out in my garden. 

The thing that makes me the happiest is how much my Ella loves her garden. 
She carefully examines every plant, every day to see if she has anything newly ripe. 
I am so proud of how hard she works in her garden every day, watering and digging and picking. I love that she is learning where food comes from, and I love seeing how proud she is of herself. 

As I mentioned, I have a pretty small backyard and a bigger front yard. When planning for this new garden box last year, this was the best location where I could have the biggest box without taking away from any of the kids play area. I really wanted to have a pumpkin plant this year, but it was pretty unrealistic since they grow so big. I knew Ella would love it though, so I was pretty determined to make it work. I also wanted to plant a cantaloupe and cucumbers. I concocted a plan to grow my vines up and run them along the fence. to give myself more room. 
The first thing I did was grab my hubby and install this sturdy garden wire fencing from the planter bed and arch it to the fence. We used those little screw-in hooks to hold it up. We did three lengths of these. I took this picture last week before I started to really train my vines.
In order to train my vines, I needed something that would be soft and not damaging when I tied it on to the vines. I had a pair of these old trouser socks and they worked perfectly. Nylons or tights would also work very well too. I just cut them into strips and tied them right on to the wire.

I did this in multiple locations to hold all of the little shoots up onto the wire. You can see the difference below. {That big, tall thing is a sunflower that spontaneously grew. I didn’t have the heart to pull it out, and now it is over 7 feet tall! I love it. 

And just one week later…
I can’t believe how much they have already grown! It is shocking me how well everything is growing. I have never had a garden do this well, and I almost don’t know what to do! Everything is getting so big. 
Ella LOVES her tunnel. I just keep grabbing any of the shoots and training them onto the wire to keep her tunnel open for her.

Confession: I love to run through the tunnel too!
Here is a view from the gate. The greens in the forefront are from a Zucchini plant. 
This boy constantly crawls and tries to get into as much dirt as possible. I am choosing to embrace it. He loves to play in the mud and it makes me giggle. 

Oh yes, he completely melts my heart with his squinty adorable smile. These sweet babies are my whole world. I am so thankful that I get to be their mommy. And I am so grateful for my wonderful hubby who works so hard so I can stay home with them. 

There is something so nurturing to my soul to spend time working outside~ even just trimming dead hydrangeas. 

I am looking forward to making salsa with all of these tomatoes. So far, Ella has eaten every single one that has ripened straight off of the vine. She cracks me up. {You can see the tutorial for my tomato cages here}. 
Well, that is what we have been up to… sprinkled with outings, kiddie pools, dinners on the grill, walks, and Popsicles. 

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far! It has been so fun to check in with you. You guys are the best. 
I hope you check out the lovely inspiration from these talented ladies!


  1. says

    I am so jealous of your green thumb Kristen! I have wanted to have a garden forever but haven’t taken the plunge. Maybe next year! I love all of your photos…especially those sweet little ones of yours :)

  2. says

    Ok, not sure what happened to my garden because it looks nothing like yours, hehe:). What did you feed it?! Its beautiful!!! Love your beautiful babies too, that is what summer is all about. Have a fabulous day dear sweet friend!

  3. says

    Just lovely Kristen!! I totally agree with Sarah, your photos make me totally want to plant a garden too!!! One of these days, and so happy you are enjoying your summer with the kids :) XO ~Bre

  4. says

    Ok so crazy lady over here didn’t know you could ‘train’ vines and now mine are taking over my backyard. This might be my project for next weekend…

  5. says

    Kristen – Your garden is fantastic! Love the arched trellis you made. Ella is so cute and I imagine she really loves her tunnel. Little one is precious – that smile is priceless.

    Enjoy your summer.


  6. says

    Wow, Kristen, your garden really did grow and grow and grow! It looks fabulous and Ella looks like she’s loving every minute of it. Thanks for the tips on training vines. I think we’ll probably do raised beds next year :) So glad you’re having a wonderful summer. x

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