Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's time for a gardening post.

When I lived in Germantown, I learned everything I could about gardening. I thought I was a natural because everything I planted sprouted like crazy. Even things I didn't plant grew there, so I figured I must have some magic touch. Of course, then one day I read that the precise part of Schnitzelburg where I lived was once the town dump, and prior to that, it had been a dairy farm. My yard was essentially a two-hundred year old compost heap, and my cucumbers grew like mad because of the soil, not because of my mad skillz.

Now that I have lived in the Highlands for four years, however, I've spent time planting and digging and growing and re-planting and composting, and I'm absolutely in love with my garden. Mostly, I'm in love with my new raised garden bed. The difference between my garden and most others is that mine is in the front yard.

I have zero sun in my backyard. Grass won't even grow there. I'm not up for cutting down the many trees that provide welcome shade in the summer months, -- seriously, it's a good 10 degrees cooler in the backyard than the front, making the house energy efficient -- so I relegated my gardening to the front yard. And since I have a pretty strict policy about growing only things that provide function over form (as in, everything must be edible or medicinal), I've got vegetables strewn about the front yard. Last year, I had a mini-pumpkin patch that took over everything. It was a fun perk for the neighbors' kids, however, who loved trouncing through my yard picking their own mini-pumpkins.

I've been running out of space lately though, having turned one entire side of the yard into an herb garden, so Friend-with-a-Truck built me a gorgeous raised bed on the other side of the sidewalk. It's spectacular, and will soon yield spring goodies such as Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, Cabbage, Spinach.

Of course, I've already loaded up my raised bed, so I'm still going to have to hide my tomato and squash plants among the landscaping. I'm hoping all this new awareness about vegetable gardening has calmed any concerned neighbors' fears about the hippie growing food in her front yard. I promise to at least make it look pretty, and, as always, I've planted extra for general communal use.

What are your garden plans?

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