"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Saturday, May 07, 2005


I grew up in the country, where the gardening is easy. Except for the family dogs' instinct to dig, of course. And the baking Texas sun. And the occasional water shortages. Hmm. Okay, not so easy.

Urban gardening presents its own challenges. Water is plentiful up here in Minnesota, and the summer weather is more congenial than in the deep south. And we don't have a dog. The primary factor is space. Get creative--if it'll hold soil, pop a plant in there!

Terracing adds space and interest

Decide what kind of layout you want before you go to the garden store, so you don't end up with more plants than you have room for. Leave room for young plants to grow!

Hanging baskets use space otherwise wasted on air.

S-hooks turn windowboxes into fence boxes. We're going to plant more in these, once we find out whether the cedar chips really do keep squirrels away.

Herbs grow well with minimal attention, and fresh herbs are great for cooking and grilling. The more sun, the better.

The potholders on the fence will be playing host to some basil, thyme and oregano I'm sprouting from seeds indoors.

Waiting for tomatoes. Vegetables really don't take a lot of space. We've had great success growing them around and between existing bushes and daylilies.

One lone dill plant one summer turns into hundreds of dill seedlings the next. Reserve your space accordingly! Dill is utterly impervious to the Minnesota winter, and will sprout as soon as the last snow melts.

Catnip, like dill, would probably survive a nuclear strike, much less a winter. This one is in its third year, throwing out new leaves before Easter without fail. You should see it in August. Planting catnip also allows you to get to know all your neighbors' kitties.

Urn! Don't you love that word?

2 rejoinders:

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

No gophers, eh? They've taken to pulling our tomatoes down from underneath the ground surface. One day you have 5 tomato plants, then you have 4 . . .
So much for the dogs earning their keep!

frightwig sounded off...

Nice garden, but I really envy you for that door!