Today I am excited to feature the super cute East Austin backyard garden of my super cute sister-in-law, Ryann. I have been itching to feature her garden for a while now and am so excited to finally be able to have the opportunity.
Ryann is married to my brother Ryan. Yes, Ryan and Ryann (it’s pronounced the exact same way in case you were wondering). Over the years our family has lovingly adopted the nicknames “Ryann the girl” and “Boy (or Brother) Ryan” when referring to them. We hardly even think about it anymore.
Every year Ryann and I have the annual tradition of hitting up the Sunshine Community Gardens Plant Sale together. It’s so fun having another family member share your love of gardening. She is a pro at growing peppers (sadly I am not) and she is also a pro at incorporating the harvests from her garden in her everyday cooking. But now I am going to let Ryann give you her own personal insights into her backyard garden, plus check out the beautiful photos below.
Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Ryann Matthews. I’m married to Shannon’s brother Ryan Granzow. I work in a crazy industry: Advertising. I have a crazy dog: Billie Holiday. And in between, I eat yummy food and hang out with lovely people.
What made you want to start gardening?
I’ve killed rosemary. Twice. But I like to cook seasonally, so I wanted to grow what’s in season. Plus, I really love garden gnomes.
When and how did you start your current garden?
I started over three years ago. My friend, Anne Woods, implemented a program where she helped friends and neighbors start backyard gardens. She, her partner Mary, my dad and now husband helped build my current garden. It’s not big — only 4×6 feet. Ryan built the frame out of red cedar, and Anne, Mary and I lined the bottom of it with soaked cardboard (it’s green, yall). But my dad still gives me a hard time about how much I spent on local dirt and compost.
What’s your favorite thing about gardening?
My plants are my babies. I plant them, water them, and then, it’s up to them to grow and yield fruit. When they do, I’m honored. And. I’m hungry.
Right now, what’s your favorite thing growing in your garden?
Shannon is jealous, but I’ve had good luck with serrano peppers. Serranos are one of my favorite peppers. They’re so tasty and spicy. I love them in everything from salads to curry to guacamole.
I also have Thai basil growing in my herb pots. It may be silly, but I do “think” they make a difference when I make Thai dishes.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses the veggies (or fruit) from your garden?
Anything else you would like to add?
This year, basil sprouts have popped up all around the garden. It’s one weed I don’t mind.
Never, I mean never ever, plant mint in your garden bed. I made this mistake and spent years battling it, trying to defend the rest of the garden from its rapid and aggressive expansion, before finally ripping it out.
Hope you enjoyed a walk through this East Austin backyard garden! Be sure to check out our other featured gardens here on The Dig In!
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