Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Garden Joys and Woes

Gardening in the city has been a learning experience - lots of trial and error.  With little space in our urban neighborhood, I've had to build raised beds in my front yard.  I've tried to make it pretty with flowers, trees, and shrubs, but there's no hiding the fact that we're urban homesteading here.

I may have been a bit zealous in my planting; we've tried everything from radishes, peas and arugula to bell peppers, Japanese cucumbers, all sorts of tomatoes and even a renegade cantaloupe that must've grown from seeds in the compost.  Some things have grown well (like the cantaloupe) and others, not so much (partly due to guerilla squirrels that steal every almost-ripe tomato).

We recently had a rainbarrel installed - not the most beautiful feature of our front yard but I figure that I can find some big shrub or viney-type thing to camouflage it...

I've also taken over the tree box on our front sidewalk.  It's a bit haphazard now, but I'm contemplating planting a fig tree there next spring...

The best part is doing all of this with my little gardening hand:

It truly is a learning process.  Plans for next year include planting some dwarf fruit trees, a row of raspberry bushes and maybe even some more corn (we got three ears this year before the squirrels decimated my stalks).  Some books I'm devouring right now: Fresh Food from Small Spaces by RJ Ruppenthal, Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman, and The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen.  It has been a wonderful obsession for me this year - I'm a bit addicted to the effort of provident living.  Though we have a few setbacks, it is so empowering and satisfying!
Let me know how your garden is growing! 


ginger said...

Fig Tree! Yes! Yes! Yes!

MamaM said...

Little buggers got my corn, too. Just as well, though--the few ears I picked were overripe, as is much of my crop--I just don't have the time to make it out there as often as I need to!

Kumi said...

Wow, a beautiful cantaloupe!!!
Your greens look so fresh. Your garden is much better than my garden of this year. Planting some flowers beside the garden is a very good idea. You can grow some winter vegetable in warm DC. Also, you can throw much tree leaves into your garden until next planting time. Indeed, gardening is a learning experience. It's never end.