Chances are if you’ve stopped by or tried to reach us in the past three weeks we were in the garden or somewhere between projects. Despite the “Junetober” we’ve had this year, it hasn’t stopped us from getting our grow on. My flowers are planted, the garden is in, and we finished up one of the largest landscaping projects either of us has ever taken on. Thought I’d take a break from the rhubarb and asparagus to give you a look into how we’re growing local this year.
The Community Garden PlotÂ
School is going to keep us both busy later this summer so rather than try anything tricky or new, we went with the trusty standbys: early, canning, and heirloom tomatoes, 5 kinds of peppers, broccoli, bush beans and snow peas. There’s a row of cucumbers and a mix of our lettuce seeds saved from last year too.
The Front Porch
There’s been a bit of a gardening renaissance around our townhouse complex this year. More of the neighbors have flowers this year than ever before. New trees planted. Pots of flowers everywhere. Rocks dug up and dropped in clever places. We can hardly take the trash to the dumpster without finding ourselves in deep conversations about where to plant hostas or the flock of turkeys that keep popping up to snack on everyone’s new plants.
I’m the last person to ever suggest “Keeping up with the Jones'” is a good thing. Not our style. But when it comes to gardening and seeing flowers on the front porches this year, a little competition is not so bad! It’s just nice to have everyone working towards a more beautiful place to call home.
If you stop by our front porch this summer, you’ll be greeted by the yellow Mandevilla vine that wintered well in our sunny kitchen. The rest of the pots have my favorite heat-tolerant flowers – locally grown pink geraniums, purple petunias, and tiny white and pink vincas. Now we just need a little sunshine to warm things up!
The Little Acre Garden BagÂ
This weekend I picked my first fresh herbs from the Little Acre Garden Bag on the patio. I transplanted them and started the lettuces over a month ago and things are just now starting to take off. For those of you who have followed the Little Acre from the beginning, I think this is the year we’ve finally perfected the soil mixture, the number of plants, and the watering to have happy plants.
There’s something to be said for taking your salad bowl and dressing right outside to the garden to make lunch. Or to lean over for a crunch of cilantro or a fresh basil leaf while enjoying a book on the patio. Disneyland or the Caribbean may be your thing, but this is the only getaway I need!
The Rain Garden Project
One of the reasons we purchased our townhouse was the large fully blooming rain garden behind our driveway. When the complex was built the original residents and neighborhood planning committee made water runoff and green space a priority. We’re so glad they did. But after 10 years of unchecked growth and one or two volunteers trying to keep up a full city block of perennials, the garden started to show its age last summer. A few of us put a proposal together in the cold winter months to rehab the garden. Early on the Saturday morning of Memorial Day was when our careful planning finally came together.
We–along with a group of our neighbors–spent the weekend Â in the backyard carefully welcoming more than 450 plants to their new home. The rain garden has never look so good – and it’s only going to get better as the bright purple and yellow coneflower, lobelia, and butterfly weed begin to blossom.
Get Your Grow On!Â
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “well…you can’tÂ really grow anything. You don’t even have a yard.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. There’s always a place to start some seeds and pull some weeds. Whether it’s getting creative with our containers, choosing a local community garden plot instead of having a yard, or beautifying a shared garden space, there’sÂ always someplace to get your grow on.