I’m sort of in an awkward spot about gardens, so I will mention two of my good neighbors’ gardens and my clever brother’s garden and also how much I enjoyed hoeing my other brother’s garden yesterday even though he forgot to amend the soil before he planted.
1. My friend Jane is a wonderful gardener. We took a master gardener class together with Larry Sagers at Thanksgiving Point and Jane went on to garden in a way that would make Larry proud. First of all, the back of her house is lined with an eclectic assortment of pots all well planted flowers well suited for lots and the particular light that falls at the back of her house and everything is watered with a tiny sprinkler line that runs up into each pot and is perfectly monitored to thrive. It’s paradise just right there. Then she has plum trees and heirloom tomatoes and more flowers and more vegetables all playing beautifully together on both sides of her backyard and it’s really a little piece of heaven. The kind of heaven that also tastes good come fall.
2. Our neighbors the Hindmarsh’s have a well kept, immaculate garden. But the brilliant thing they did (among all the brilliant things they did up front that keep their yard and garden practically weed and care free) is raised beds made with brick. So it’s thick. And sturdy. And just the right height to warm up quickly in the spring and to not hurt your back should you find and have to extract the occasional weed. Also drip-lined for easy watering of just the plants and not the dirt or the pavement.
3. My brother took raised beds to a new level and actual made a square foot garden table, if you will. So it’s table high, but doesn’t require 4 feet deep of soil. And it’s portable, so he can move it wherever he wishes. It’s really cool and the truth is, square foot gardening is so efficient, he gets a hearty supply of vegetables from just a little bit of accessible and convenient, weed-free space.
4. So my dream garden. I think we get so worried and overwhelmed about making a whole great big garden we never started and don’t even have one garden. Which is sad, because you can put quite a bit in one little garden box. But could I start with one, I would have planted peas on St. Patrick’s Day. I’d have one of those little shoebox fence lettuce gardens on a not-hot side of the house where I could stagger a little bit of lettuce in each “box” just enough to have on hand for dinner. I’ve about decided corn is not worth the space and it’s just as easy to go pick up a dozen ears at the local stand on my way home from work come corn season. But I miss tomatoes. And I would have all the root vegetables in as soon as the peas were done. Especially beets. And I sure loved the pumpkin patch we planted one year on the berm between our house and the neighbors before the grass invaded. I wonder if it’s too late?
[Day 131 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]