In which I acquire a yard!!!

vegetable bedcyclamen

2015 has been a year of transition so far. I left my part-time retail job, to make my part-time gardening job into a full business. My husband started a new job as well after graduating with a second degree in December. We spent months and months going back and forth over whether to stay in the lovely little city (Bellingham) where we’d moved so he could attend university or whether to go back to Seattle which put us a lot closer to both our respective families.

During that time, we decided to give up our community gardening plot in Bellingham. It seemed like an eminently practical decision, but we were both surprised by how much we missed it. We also had a P-Patch for years and years when we lived in Seattle. And so our community garden, in both cities, has been the center of our ‘community’ for a long time. We missed the people and grubbing around in our sweet little plot.

Mind you, we’re not exactly model community gardeners. We dash in after work or before work and do a little weeding. When we get overwhelmed with other projects, our garden is the first thing that seems to fall by the wayside. Despite our weeds, poppies and weird garden experiments I’ve always been amazed by the warmth, good humor and patience of our garden neighbors. We even had a trellis fall over on a neighbor’s plot once! She was still friendly with us, despite this episode and other mishaps. You just can’t beat a community garden when it comes to neighborliness.

We figured wherever we ended up, we would definitely have to sign up for another community garden plot in 2016. Luckily for us, because to be entirely honest, we were still dithering…one of our good friends set us up with a very nice rental in North Seattle. And the best part, is that it has a great big yard. We haven’t had a rental with a yard in several years. And though we didn’t miss it at the time, thanks to our community garden plot, we are so excited to have one now. Our landlord, has given us carte blanche to do what we like. And so we’ve been dreaming, and making lists, and Pinteresting, and just generally having a ridiculously good time thinking about what we will plant in our garden this year.

I hope that we can do some volunteering with our local community garden in 2016. Now that we have a yard, we certainly wouldn’t want to take a plot from someone else. But, as many of you know, there’s always lots to do in community gardens and we hope to be make that part of our routine in the months to come. Gardening has always been a big part of our relationship, something we do together, and we just wouldn’t feel at home unless we got to know our garden neighbors. We even got married at our old community garden in Ballard! It made sense. And it made that day even more special that some of our garden friends came to the wedding as well.

I wonder how many of my fellow garden tweeps/webbies have gardened in a local community garden? How did you first hear about your garden? What did you grow? Did you do much hardscaping? Did you have any garden events? Potlucks? (Nothing like a community garden potluck.) How many years have you been gardening there?

 

rock and yard

 

 

 

A Box of September

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TestOur late summer vegetable patch

2014-09-04 12.39.30Rudbeckia in a client’s garden

2014-09-04 12.40.37A glorious maidenhair fern- same client

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If I could make a box full of September in the northwest for you…I would. I’d put in cool, clear days laced with sunshine, sparkling blue ocean water, a latte from my local, hometown coffee shop, a dash of heat for those days when summer returns to grant us one more swim in our favorite lake, musicians in the park, a bounty of beets, carrots and cherry tomatoes, and lots of sweet-smelling green grass to lay on.

This is the time of year when being a gardener makes you feel kind of—blessed. While other folks toil over their computers, it’s hard not to feel a bit guilty as you unload your tools from your car and prepare to dig, mulch, prune and all those other things that keep you employed outdoors in the glorious autumn sunshine.

Don’t get me wrong, there are rainy days, times when your muscles are sore and the odd, unexpected yellow jackets’ nest. Being a gardener certainly isn’t always a picnic.

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That said, I still feel pretty lucky most days. This morning I got to transplant a lovely little maple tree. Doesn’t it look happy in its new home?

 

Hello Garden: Sprouts Aplenty

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This year, between fun garden classes, travel and new projects, I planted my early season crops in mid-spring. I’m looking at it as an interesting experiment to see how potatoes and peas like being planted quite late. For the last several years I’ve been planting my peas later than the average ‘President’s Day’ planting, but this year they were planted even later, as in late April. So we’ll see what happens. Next year, maybe I’ll try planting them early in a cold frame and see how that goes.

Either way I’m excited to be out in the garden this spring. My fellow community gardeners’ patches are all looking very beautiful. A row of gleaming green spinach here, another of burgundy-crinkled radicchio there. Next time I’m at the garden I’ll try to take some pictures of the other patches. My immediate neighbor, who is retired, has a penchant for creating garden art out of found objects. His latest creation is a bamboo and driftwood wind chime, lovely!

My favorite ‘found’ object in my garden right now is a vintage folding chair in bold stripes of blue and yellow that my father gave me. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to sand down and spray paint the metal, I kind of like it in all its shabby glory. But an update might be a good thing.

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Right now things are just starting to peek out of the ground.  So many succulent green sprouts ready to grow into tasty vegetables. I love this time of year. And as you can see, so do the slugs!

Happy Thursday Folks. What are you growing in your garden this year? Send me pictures if you can! I’d really love to see them.

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