Jul 28, 2015

Summer Backyard Garden Workshop - RECAP!

Well it's taken a little longer than I'd like to share about our first Backyard Garden Workshop but better late than never.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Before I start, I have to say a HUGE thank you to my friend, Jessie, who came over and took pictures that day. Not only is she one of the funniest gals I know, but she also has a huge heart and is an amazingly talented photographer. Pretty much all the photos posted here were taken by her - and I can't say thank you enough for capturing these memories of our very first workshop. Love you friend.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Earlier this month, my husband and I hosted a little gardening workshop in our backyard. The weather was hot be bearable - it was an Oklahoma July, afterall. The group of people that attended, coming from all over Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, well they were just amazing! We could not have asked for more encouraging and kind people to be around to talk all things gardening and to take a chance on attending our very first workshop.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

My sister stopped by the day before the workshop to beautify the backyard in a way I didn't think was even possible.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

She hung buntings, lanterns and fabric, arranged flowers, books and trays, moved furniture around and just really made the space feel extra special. I wish I had an ounce of her styling skills - maybe there would be some pictures or art on my walls.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

She also had the help of my friend, Taylor. He is a super-styling-guru and works for West Elm. He brought some amazing goodies from the Tulsa store for the workshop.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

AND they provided us with a counter top compost bin to give away! I think they are sold out now but it you ever see one in stock, get it! It really is no odor and is great for all those kitchen scraps.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

The workshop started in the morning and no morning get-together at my house is complete without donuts. Wendy, of Livi Lee's Donuts, provided us with the cutest, sweetest donuts ever.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

I had my fair share throughout the day. And just a word to the wise, if you find yourself near Sand Springs in the morning - make sure you stop by her shop and get a sausage cheese roll. They are the best I've ever had.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

And you may as well grab a few donuts too.

Once everyone arrived we did some introductions. It was so great to hear a little bit about everyone and why there were here. Some have never tried growing a single thing and were just trying to get some motivation and confidence to start. Some have tried without much success and were looking for helpful tips. And others had experience and do very well gardening but were looking for some new ideas of different methods to incorporate. Whatever the reason they were here, I'm so glad they all were.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

zellers backyard garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com/

Eric and I shared a little about our past and how and why we started gardening.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

It was such a blessing for me to watch my husband speak on things he's so passionate about and gifted in. I won't go into depth about our background but most of you know it pretty much started with family. My grandpa and grandma could and pretty much did grow just about anything in their middle-of-the-city backyard garden and my husband developed an appreciation and obsession with watching them. He started using methods from my grandpa to start his own garden and I just got obsessed by default.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos 
by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Gardening and cooking are the two main things that bring my husband and I the closest. It's when we are active in those that we talk the most, laugh the most and challenge and each other the most often. There's something about getting your hands dirty while working alongside the love of your life that just opens up areas to grow together.

While we share a common love of gardening, I joked that we were very different in our approaches - he's the engineer that thinks everything through and likes in depth books with fancy terminology and really big conceptual thinking, whereas I like pretty pictures and simplified ideas. I think we play off each others strengths pretty well.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

So many amazing artist's provided gifts for everyone that came out so I packaged them up in little bags for each person.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

backyard garden workshop 
sponsors

THANK YOU!
Gingiber / rise and shine card / @gingiber
Pen+Paint / happiness is homemade / @pen_and_paint
Pioneer-House.com / letterpress cards & calendar / @squirrelsgonewild
Recipe for Crazy / companion planting cards / @lesleyzellers
Tiny Prints / garden notebook / @tinyprints

Check out my instagram feed later today for a chance to win your own set of awesome swag!

And Stinger's Nursery, a local nursery I've talked about many times here on the blog, totally spoiled us with THOUSANDS of seed packets for everyone and so many different things to giveaway.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

They provided garden tools, gloves, some of the highest quality fertilizers and SO much more. I cannot say thank you enough for everything they sent over for our guests.

backyard garden workshop

If you are local, you need to check them out - and take your kids because there are fish tanks, birds, cats and the sweetest dog in the main building and even chickens roaming the outdoor area! My girls love it and have pretty much grown up visiting the nursery. It's off 41st St between Sheridan and Memorial.

Together we shared on our experience with planting from seed versus buying plants, the importance of composting, some permaculture principles we have tried implementing, different planting methods and companion planting, successes and failures and so much more.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

We walked through our garden and how we are where we are with it and how and why we transitioned from rows to more of an organic layout.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Then we went across the street to visit our neighbor's garden and see his 1 lb. tomato!

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

backyard garden workshop

He offered a different approach to gardening and gave some helpful tips and dates on when he plants different things. It was fun to see his excitement at passing down years of growing knowledge to our guests.

Eric also did a little container planting demo and talked soil structure, planting basics and some companion planting.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

backyard garden workshop


We wrapped up with a little picnic lunch of chicken salad sandwiches, a fresh salad with goodies from our garden & homemade dressing (recipe here), chips and sweet tea all packaged in the cutest containers from Shop Sweet Lulu!

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

I cannot even handle how cute her supplies make parties and I really love that everything was recyclable!!! Thank you so much, Shop Sweet Lulu!

While everyone was enjoying their lunches, we had some time for final questions and further discussion.

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

About an hour after everyone left I realized I forgot to set out the ice cream. I may just do cookies next time so I don't forget!

Zellers Backyard Garden workshop - photos by http://jessieleighphotography.com

And speaking of next time! We have had so many requests to do more workshops. Honestly, I'm just blown away by the response and never dreamed so many people would want to learn more about gardening. While we aren't planning one this year, I am due to have our third baby in October, afterall, we are working on dates for next year!

We are currently planning an early spring and late spring workshop and possibly early summer workshop. 

I am so excited about those spring ones and can't wait to share more. But for now, since we had so much interest and requests for more, we started a waiting list for upcoming workshops, if you want to be on the list, just email me at lesley(at)recipeforcrazy(dot)com. The waiting list does not guarantee a spot for the next workshop but those on the list will be emailed the dates and registration links before they are announced anywhere else. So the people on the list gets first dibs on seats before registration is public.

And for fun, today only, leave a comment with your email and I'll send you a printable PDF of the composting cheat sheet I included in everyone's workshop packet!

compost cheat sheet

Thank you again to our AMAZING workshop sponsors:
Stringer Nursery - stringernursery.com
West Elm - westelm.com / @westelm / @westelmtulsa / #mywestelm
Livi Lee's - livilees.com / @livileesdonuts / #liveleesdonuts
Shop Sweet Lulu - shopsweetlulu.com / @shopsweetlulu / #partylikealulu

And thank you to the talented swag bag sponsors:
Gingiber / @gingiber
Pen+Paint / @pen_and_paint
Pioneer-House.com / @squirrelsgonewild
Recipe for Crazy / @lesleyzellers
Tiny Prints / @tinyprints

Thanks again for decorating Taylor and Ashley and thank you, Jessie, for capturing the day in photos.




And THANK YOU to all the people who came out. You made the day one I won't forget and am so thankful for the time we had talking and getting to know each other better and share common dreams and passions. Thank you for blessing us.







33 comments:

  1. I wish I lived closer to be able to attend the workshop, but I would love the cheat sheet. carinamare68@gmail.com

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  2. I really enjoy your blog and IG! I will take all the help I can get :) tanlp808@gmail.com

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  3. I want to be on the waiting list! I really wanted to attend this workshop but had another obligation already that day. So proud of you guys!
    My email is aliceblogs5(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  4. Such a cute workshop! Thanks for doing a blog about it! Wish we lived closer too! We're in NC! But we're wanting to start some simple gardening in backyard as well in the city! Also, your post about Gods faithfulness was such an encouragement to read! Praying for a healthy rest of your pregnancy & healthy baby boy! Boys are so much fun!

    Email for compost pdf: mdmueller521@gmail.com

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  5. The cheat sheet is helpful AND cute! Love it! Embeauvais(at)gmail(dot)com
    Thanks!!

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  6. What an amazing workshop! Thanks for sharing! And, thanks for sharing your cheat sheet. It is going to be super helpful and fun to look at (sure beats a hand scrawled post-it.) :) rachelschalk (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  7. Can't wait to have the cheat sheet and maybe even start trying to compost! It's always been a goal of mine, but I've been too intimidated to try. Kelleysawyer@gmail.com
    Thanks!

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  8. It is a goal for us to start composting this fall! Hoping to get a composter on sale after summer. Wish I was closer to attend a workshop, but I sure love seeing your garden pics on IG. Thanks!! sarah.teeter@yahoo.com

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  9. Love this article wish I did live closer also.

    Email: croberts1381 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  10. would love a pdf file. thank you so much!
    lifetotable@gmail.com

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  11. This is so inspiring! I'd love a copy of the cheat sheet... mary.elizabeth.chupp@gmail.com

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  12. Looks like a super fun time! We planted our first small container garden last year, and then sold/bought a house with a raised bed, so we've been experimenting with that this year and we're having a blast! We've learned we love pole beans since they don't take up a ton of room, and I'll admit I love how pretty they are! And learned that we need to hold back on trying to fit EVERYTHING into one small bed... next year, we're going to find a separate home for the tomatoes! I'd love to learn more about composting and a cheat sheet would be helpful - 360ofourworld@gmail.com Thank you for your (and your hubby's) willingness to share your talents with others; it's truly inspiring!

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  13. Wish I lived closer to attend one! What a fun time! I would love a copy of the printable. Thank you! Marissa.ramsland@gmail.com

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  14. Would love to be able to attend one of your workshops in the future. sandersreb@gmail.com

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  15. Would love it! Thanks! ederickson1@msn.com

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  16. Love this! Wish I lived closer!
    kerryheftman@gmail.com

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  17. wish I was closer!
    cjel_721@yahoo.com

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  18. Looks like a wonderful day! Wish I lived closer. sara_manring@hotmail.com

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  19. I want to try composting...how perfect! Wiscolady@yahoo.com

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  20. nattyt4@yahoo.com

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  21. Looks like SO much fun! Love all of the little details. Wish I lived closer so I could attend one! Would love s composting printable thanks! alisambloom@gmail.com

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  22. What an awesome event and beautiful yard and garden. If your county extension office has a Master Gardener program you might consider letting them know about your next workshop. The Master Gardeners are always looking for continuing education workshops, seminars to add to their volunteer and education hours for the year. - Just a suggestion to share your wonderful knowledge and garden. Sabrina (5 year master gardener from TN)

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  23. Digital file has been sent to all requested emails above. Thanks so much!

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  24. Oh Lesley, what a huge undertaking but it looks like it was worth it.

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  25. My almost husband and I just bought our first house. Not even a month in I'm telling him we have to start a compost so I have good soil for a food garden next year. Would love to have your cheat sheet to get me started. Thank you! Rachel.kreiger@gmail.com

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  26. love it! It looks like it was ana mazing time. I would love a compost cheat sheet juliaereed@comcast.net. Thanks!

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  27. I so wish I lived closer and could attend next year! I've grown up on a farm my whole life but this is the first year of having our own garden since getting married and moving back after college. We did plant a few things in a tiny area when we were At college. Anyway, with having a new baby I've not kept up with it as much as I wish I had. You guys inspire me for sure! I love seeing all the photos of your girls and chickens and garden goodies. =]

    I'd love to learn more about the organic layout. My dad and Popaw do more rows but it never hurts to learn more! Any tips for resources to find out more about that?

    Also I know I'm late but can I pretty please still get the compost guide?? I had your blog pulled up the day you posted it but just now got a chance to go through and read it. Emily.a.bundy@gmail.com

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  28. I wish I was local. Our garden does pretty well. But I'd love to transition from the rows, to a more organic (in my mind, prettier) design.
    Love the pretty compost sheet. Compost... pretty?! :)
    jenn.kesakuu@gmail.com

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I know it can be a little scary but go on, I'd love to hear from you!