The Children’s Garden is growing well. One strawberry plant seems to have died, probably from dehydration from that three-day stretch we had with no rain. (It was on an end.) I intend to be more diligent to ensure things all get watered from now on.
The other weird thing is somebody stole the cherry tomato plant. The whole thing, roots and all, like they just wanted to plant it on their porch or something. It was beginning to flower and looked like it might produce tomatoes soon. I’m disappointed somebody would be that selfish, but whatchagonnadoo? At least the rest of the garden is still fine. 10 months ago
In the children’s herb garden I planted:
- chocolate mint (smells like a wonderful cup of mint cocoa!)
- German Thyme
- fernleaf dill
- Allstar strawberries
- Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
- English lavender
- curled parsley
Everything either smells wonderful, or will produce a fantastic fruit. Everything is sweet and inviting. The reaction so far has been very positive.
I was warned that maybe someone might try to vandalize it if it were left in a public place like that. But I’m betting that won’t happen. People don’t usually try to just destroy gardens. Pick from them, sure, but not flat-out destroy them. Having an open invitation to touch, taste, and smell gives folks something to think about other than hurting. It makes them feel welcome and valued. That increases everyone’s sense of ownership. Feeling like you kind of own a thing makes you less likely to want to hurt it at all.
Still haven’t found my camera since the move, but as soon as possible I will try to get a snapshot of the garden. It will be fun to see how it grows in the next few months, and how it develops next year too.
One more thing I planted is like a stealth plant: I put in seeds of globe basil. I don’t know for sure if it will germinate, or how it will grow in competition with all the other plants. I scattered the seeds everywhere, so anything not actively growing one of the other herbs is going to soon be covered with baby basil plants. They will crowd out any other weeds, and provide nice thinnings to eat. I think I’ll keep them as a “stealth” herb, and wait to see who notices. 11 months ago
I may not get to plant these this year, but I fell in love with these beans the moment I saw them. Someday I want to make a necklace of these beans! Maybe that would be a craft I could sell.
12 months ago
I think this mini-clawfoot tub pond is beautiful! I’ll probably just have a plastic tub, maybe surrounded by rocks. I do hope to have a little fountain trickling into it, for the aeration and for the pretty sound.
A pond encourages all kinds of pest-eating critters to make a home in your garden. Plus, they’re just restful to the soul.
I’ll plant anything I can find that grows in water. I’ll probably also try to keep some goldfish there. 12 months ago
These flowers are good for healing skin when made into a tincture or a salve. They are wonderful as additives in soap. They generally grow easily, and seed can be saved year after year. Also called “pot marigold”. 12 months ago
These flowers are edible, both the leaves and the blossoms. I don’t like eating them because they are rather peppery. But they are beautiful, and help repel pests. I may plant some on the ground beneath my containers to brighten the area. They grow luxuriously even in poor conditions. You can always count on nasturtiums! 12 months ago
These are a lot like chives, but have a bit more bite. It’ll be good for variety. 12 months ago
This plant has beautiful lush green leaves on long vines that will climb beautifully all over the chain link fence. It has dramatic red flowers, and it also has edible shell beans. I know I’m weird about this, but my favorite part is when you let the beans go to seed and dry, because they become brightly colored and shiny, speckled with black and magenta. I’ve always wanted to make some kind of jewelry out of them, like a kid at camp! 12 months ago
I like that this one is called “dinosaur kale”. It’s supposed to have the most phytonutrients of any kale. I don’t know what a phytonutrient is, but I like the sound of it! 12 months ago
This humble green is often found growing on roadsides. Anything that easy to grow is probably my friend.
I’ve never tasted it, but it is said to be quite similar to lettuce, and useable in salads the same way. And hey, it’s gotta be cool that it comes pre-chopped into bite size! 12 months ago
This leafy green is very special, because the taste is quite sour and lemony. It makes delicious soup, and can be used alone or with other greens as part of a salad or side dish. 12 months ago
I know they generally require full sun to do their best, but beans ripen in the warm months between the times when peas are available. It may well be worth a try to put some in to keep my kids eating something fresh and green for as long as possible.
If the sugar snap peas manage to hang on through the summer, though, I will definitely stick with them. I like them much better than I like beans. But still, beans are better than nothing. 12 months ago
Beside my porch where there will never be direct sunlight I can still grow hostas, astilbe, ferns, and Evergreen Huckleberry. The huckleberries are even quite edible, though I don’t know anyone who troubles to pick them much.
12 months ago
Any perennial fruiting shrub that can produce in partial shade has got to be my friend. Even if it is a bit prickly, and its fruit requires time-consuming picking over. I hear they have thornless varieties now. That would be worth a try.
They are quite pretty shrubs. And their fruit does make good jam. It somewhat reminds me of rhubarb, because it is slightly astringent as well as tart. 12 months ago
One of the few purely ornamental plants I will make space for is primrose. They are so cheerful, often poking their hardy flowers up first thing in the spring before the snow even melts. They tolerate some shade, and make an otherwise gloomy landscape sparkle! Primroses to me are sheer delight. 12 months ago
I don’t often cook with thyme, but I like it as a ground cover for its beautiful tiny leaves and fresh scent when it is brushed or walked on. Plus, there are so many varieties! I can have many colors, some with flowers, some bushier, some flatter, and I can grow them all around my pathways. And hey, I can still pick a few leaves sometimes to perk up my omelettes. 12 months ago
I confess, a lot of the reason why I love chives so much is just for their pretty flowers. But I also do quite enjoy their tasty leaves chopped on a baked potato or in a soup. 12 months ago
I got my start of alpine strawberries from a friend who was growing them in gravel by her driveway, as a ground cover. They are extremely hardy. Yet they still produce very pretty pink flowers, and delicious tiny berries! They don’t even need to be fully red to be sweet. I’ve never picked enough to make jam, but the few I’m able to glean every year always feel like a surprise treat from an otherwise hardworking decorative plant. 12 months ago
I think of rainbow chard as spinach’s transvestite brother. It is very glamorous and elegant in the garden. But it’s also a total sweetheart because it takes no skill whatsoever to grow. Just let it do its thing and it will produce for you all year long, year after year! It isn’t perennial, but it reseeds itself easily, while never becoming a pest. I’m always surprised how few people are familiar with it. It is probably the most under appreciated vegetable in the garden. 12 months ago
I never knew I liked spinach until I had the chance to taste my own home-grown leaves, picked when still baby-tender. Now I treasure them, and know I will never be able to plant enough! Even when they grow a bit bigger they are still very delicious, and any slight toughness is handled by a quick sautee. 12 months ago
My family cannot get enough of these! I will plant as many as possible along the chain link fence and use it as a trellis. They are one of the greatest treats of a garden. Normally they are the first thing planted in the garden, and are harvested whenever the weather is still cool. Since my garden is quite shady I will probably be able to grow them well into summer. They also do well when planted as a fall crop. 12 months ago
I’ve never seen it growing in a container, but it is worth a shot. I’ve always fancied the tart pies and jam it makes, though the rest of my family does not.
The plants are perennial and can grow quite large. But I think they are very lush and decorative. 12 months ago
There are many varieties, and someday I will own quite a collection. But the one I want to start with is Pineapple Sage, both for its exotic and sweet flavor and for its beautiful red flowers.
12 months ago
Lavender grows quite well around here, and tolerates some shade. The blossoms dry beautifully and are wonderful to put into dresser drawers to scent your clothes or sheets, and to repel bugs. They also can add an exotic flavor to raspberry jam.
I will have several buckets full of these flowers, I’m sure. They are another perennial, and they reproduce well. 12 months ago
Daylilies are not only beautiful, they are also edible. I’m sure I look odd in the garden center tasting a flower petal here and there, but each variety has a different taste. They are always very delicate, and somewhat sweet. You can eat the entire flower head raw. They are very good in salads, or as decorations on a cake.
I like that they are perennial, and that they can add a splash of color in a somewhat shady spot. 12 months ago
The scent of fresh cilantro is synonymous to me with really good restaurant salsa! No Mexican dinner would seem complete without it. I love it.
Oddly, the seeds are the spice coriander, which has a very different scent. 12 months ago
I prefer the very curly kind because it is especially beautiful. I like it as a “garnish” to my garden, making all the other plants look even better.
It’s also pretty good chopped up in scrambled eggs. 12 months ago
My second-favorite herb. I like it very much in my homemade soaps to give a fresh scent. Also I enjoy rosemary tea blended into lemonade. It gives a complexity to the flavor of ordinary lemonade which upgrades it to the level of a dinner party beverage!
I received a cutting of rosemary from a friend years ago, and it has been growing on my windowsill ever since. It is now quite a pretty little topiary. It is nice to know this plant is very hardy and will probably thrive in my garden, connecting the past to the present. 12 months ago
My favorite herb. I like it chopped and added to a sandwich with tomato and mayonnaise. I adore its scent! There are many varieties, and some day I might have a collection, but to start I will just fill one large bucket with the regular kind.
(My plan in this garden is to have each bucket contain only one type of plant. That way if I see a plant would best be moved I can do so to improve its sunlight, or its composition with other plants.) 12 months ago