An Urban Garden

After I saw a bear in our back yard last summer, and had reports of a mama and cub tearing fences up in other yards, I decided to do most of my gardening on our balcony above the front yard this year. Out back I still have some chives and the cherry tree, however. I am not growing as much as I usually do, since I like going to the Farmer’s Market nearby on Sunday mornings to find a few things like green beans, which I really enjoy. And the local Pomme usually has collard greens in.

I have a thyme plant that is about 12 years old now, and it has survived numerous winters and droughts. That thing is so hearty. I finally replanted it this spring because the pot was falling apart! My husband built a few cedar planter type tables a couple years ago, so on them I have some other herbs: cilantro, sage, various mints, basil, dill, oregano, and chives. I said no tomatoes this year, but cheated and bought a plant in May. I also love the smell of jasmine on a soft summer night, so am growing one now–and also have a hanging strawberry plant. A few of the plants below are perennials and are doing well from last year.

Thyme out of focus




Back to front: basil and sage


Back to front: Cuban oregano, regular oregano, and dill




Art Knapp has 20-gallon burlap bag pots, which are cheap compared to pots that size made of ceramics or plastics. Just planted some big pumpkins in this bag and smaller sugar pumpkins in another bag.


Various mints (geraniums in the back)


We have a lot of spotted towhees around. I think I got this photo from Wiki, can’t take credit for it.


Tomatoes on the vine. I already harvested a couple for some home-made guacamole. So good!


It’s been a  very busy day, but the kind that I love. Getting dirty, working out my back and arms by carrying 60 L bags of potting soil up into the house and outside, planting, watering, weeding, moving cedar plant boxes from the back yard to the front, etc. My husband did another sweep of ridding the back yard of the invasive blackberries that have to be removed every week or so. Then he spread some grass seed in the front yard. We get crows and raccoons digging up the yard each spring, looking for chafer beetles. We just have to remember to get some nematodes this year, to prevent that.

This evening we went to the organic market for some collard greens and various spices/seeds (mustard seeds, etc.) that seem to be in quite a few vegan recipes I want to try. Lately I’ve been digging it with home-made salsa (secret family recipe) and a vegan pasta with whole wheat spaghetti in a light garlic/olive oil sauce, with eggplant, onion, and sun-dried tomato. I love this time of year so much. I feel my blog posts may be recycled in a sense because every spring I plant and think about the seasons. Which brings me to getting excited for fall and trying to grow pumpkins yet again this year.

I tried growing pumpkins last year in the back yard. They seemed to do really well until pumpkins began forming, and then something would eat them. I could see the pumpkins being slowly eaten until they rotted. I then tried again and put a mesh fencing around the plant, but it still got eaten. I’m hoping a balcony space in a pot might work, but we’ll see. I planted just in time for the growing season. Because these plants are on the balcony, I may build or buy some sturdy trellises–otherwise the vine spread might be a little much. I hope they turn out. I know they need some fertilizer with high nitrogen formula in early growth and high phosphorous later.

As always, I begin thinking about my American Thanksgiving months in advance, and I’m already planning it. We decided not to do a short summer trip to the states in July, but do want to take some time off later in the year. I was going to maybe get to see an aunt, uncle, and cousin in a few weeks, but mentioned today that maybe they can come up for Thanksgiving instead–and it’d be nice if my brother would bring my mom too. The more the merrier.

Well now it’s back to tending to the garden just a little more. I came inside a while ago just for a quick break.

Leave a Comment