Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A garden's story


While I have posted here on the progress of our 1st Place garden, I recently charted the 12-month process in one story for Gardenista:

Rehab Diary: A Year in the life of a Brooklyn Garden


We have been in Carroll Gardens for almost a year, and this July is very different from the frantic one we did not enjoy last year, looking at endless potential apartments with a wide array of outdoor spaces, packing, and getting ready to move.

As I type I look out of a window into the new garden and see at its farthest edge some sunchokes (Helianthus tuberosus) growing eight feet tall. Yes, I measured them this morning. Superchokes. I planted them late last year for their edible tubers and late summer flowers, but also for some botanical privacy, as a leafy screen against an ugly fence. They seem happy.


Last night as we ate pizza (rare take out from Lucali's, nearby) we saw two raccoons trotting after one another along the white birch pole fence.

Bolted leafy greens have been taken out of the farm (the central vegetable plot), many more seeds been sown.

I will travel far south soon, to the southern tip of Africa. While I am away the Frenchman, and then when he joins me, two gardening friends (Julia and Kirstin) who live in the hood, will look after watering. But no one is expected to weed (frowned upon by the United Nations Agreements on Human Rights) and I wonder what I will find when I return. As the weather changes, new species of weeds emerge in waves.

In a brutal age (but would the methods of Genghis Khan, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, the First World War, Vietnam, be less brutal? - we had no social media then to broadcast everything to everyone in real time; humans are not worse, we are just connected) a garden - where sorrow and delight coexist on a botanical plane - becomes an even greater privilege and refuge.

If you can, find one, or help make one.

19 comments:

  1. "In a brutal age....". I love that paragraph and sentiment. Yes, a garden.

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  2. yes a brutal time. i grew up in Baton Rouge. words fail. and with the political world at full throttle this week... where else to go but our gardens!

    see mine at flickr sogalitno
    nothing like yours (cant grow veggies) but its my second (first was a front brownstone plot 8x10) and is 10 this year ... many changes and lots of learning

    onward

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  3. I, too, applaud that sentiment.

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  4. It's a lovely article in Gardenista! well written. Hope you have a good trip home.

    ps: have your Ground Cherries matured? not sure what to expect. so far, i have empty green "shells" ... you?

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    1. Thank you, webb.

      Confession. I did not plant mine. Nothing at all inside your shells?

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  5. You have settled in after 12 months - and haven't you transformed your space! - but (forgive me) I don't sense that this feels comfortable to be your long term residence. Although what and where that might be is a journey for you and the Frenchie to decide! Hope it involves a moggy again tho' - it would do you both good. :-)

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    Replies
    1. We do tire of the compromises that come with apartment life. So no, this is not forever :-)

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    2. You have inspired me to make my balcony into a *modest* garden and it's amazing how much more at home it feels now. Got my first bumblebee yesterday. A dozen plants in pots, suddenly in bloom. Thanks, Marie!

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  6. Just found your blog and loved the 12 month review yesterday on Gardenista - you really have achieved something beautiful there. Lovely sentiment in the final paragraph.

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  7. Hate to be a kill joy.

    But all gardens are a compromise. That's the good news.

    But not everyone has a garden. That's the bad news.

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    Replies

    1. People who say they hate to be kill joys usually seem to enjoy it :-)

      I didn't say everyone has a garden. I said: "... a garden is a privilege and a refuge... If you can, find one, or help make one."

      Which is why community gardens and grassroots gardening movements are so important.

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  8. I bet one of those garden friends will pull some weeds...because if they are real gardeners they will probably get twitchy eyed just seeing it!

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    1. I know what you mean - but they both work long days and I'd feel terrible if they weeded, too!

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    2. Agree with Misti. And if I were there, Marie, I would help with the weeding. It's spotted spurge time, no? Travel well and safely, dear M. Hope all is well with your parents.
      Cheers and thanks for your great Blog,
      Diane in hot high Denver

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  9. This comment actually is about the Abraham Darby rose you used to have. I ordered one and struggled two years with fungus (and later read yours suffered as well). Anyway, a tip on Pinterest suggested spraying weekly with milk. I have done so and have had the most abundant blooms and very few spots on the leaves this year. I love using milk versus toxic chemicals. Just wanted to share this with you and your readers. Lisa

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    Replies
    1. Milk, fascinating! I spray the current roses with Neem for leaf miners, but they really need a different spot - too hot.

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  10. Thank you for sharing the sentiments at the end of this post. They struck me in exactly the right way, at the right moment. I've been immersed in rehabbing a neglected yard this summer, and it's been a solace amid the violence. Lovely description of transforming the new garden, too.

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  11. Those final words are just beautiful. Thank you! Hopefully you have arrived safe and sound in Cape Town by now.

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