Every morning I wake up, make my way to the kitchen, and pour myself coffee while gazing out the window at my garden. And every morning I have to make a concerted effort, sometimes physically prevent myself, from wandering out there to putter amongst my plants. It is my absolute happiest place and if I could, I would spend every day there. Most days I do allow myself a little walk-through on my way off to work. I like to do a daily inventory, note the little things that have changed — and so much does change every day! — and allow my mind to plan out the next few days and weeks of garden work.
I was born in the wrong century, man. I’m a farm girl at heart!
Anyway, here’s what’s been going on this summer. It’s all a work in progress this first year, still learning the layout and strengthening the soil, dealing with pests and diseases left by the previous tenants (powdery mildew is the bane of my existence!), and settling into this beautiful new space.
I have two main garden areas this year, and the first is this, along the side of the house. This is where I planted my first seeds of the season — corn and sunflowers along the fence. Then filled in the bottom with beets, calendula, chamomile, mustard greens, and a few volunteers showed up: tomatoes and squash.
Around the back I’m still growing in wine boxes — I just can’t help myself. Mostly peppers (tabasco) and herbs. Oh, and a potato tower, of course.
Back to the side yard . . .
Around the front of the house is the main garden . . .
But these guys. These guys always have my heart!
I have been gardening, in one way or another, for pretty much all of my adult life. But for some reason this space, this land I’m on right now, is the land I feel the most connected to, of any place I’ve ever lived. This little rental duplex in the middle of the city, on the “wrong side of town”, where I have no real roots or ties or anything to bind me — this is where I’m doing the most intimate gardening of my life. More than the home I owned in Portland. More than the house up in the foothills where I lived and learned to garden for 5 years during college.
Why here? Why now? I don’t know, but I’m loving it. In this difficult year, working this land has been my very best medicine.