Mon 7 Apr, 2003 05:49 pm
A columnist in today's New York Times talks about the trials of gardening in a very urban situation -
Where the Squirrels Roam, by Brent Staples
Do any of you garden in the midst of a big city?
I do! But, Cambridge is more of a neighborhood city.... We are on tiny little lots here, but there are little yards. The biggest problem is there is lots of shade for most of us because the buildings are so close together.
I used to live in Venice, CA, which is both urban and not so very urban. Our lot was 39 feet across, and we had a small front yard (fifteen feet to the porch) and small back yard. Well, it was great, really a good size to work with.
But many people only have balconies or rooftops to wiggle their green thumbs in...
But this reminds me, I mean to post some of those garden pictures from Venice on the garden photo topic. Soon, soon.
Please do post those pix!
Yes, the third-floor condo in this building has a sunny deck. The only place that gets several hours of sun during the summer. Just enough to grow some tomatoes (barely).
The back yard is maybe 39 feet wide and 20 deep. It is pretty much full, dappled shade. The front yard is in pieces, a small 6'x5' space to one side of the door, a larger space broken up by shrubs to the other side. I've stuck little plants in where ever I could. My landlady loves me!
Little k - a strong fashion here is to grow the vegetables amongst the flowers! It can look wonderful.
I have but a balcony.
I have two VERY happy and now large ficus benjaminas - I did have a weeping birch but it died. I have a slightly unhappy bambooey thing - which needs more light, I think and a big tub of grass for the cats.
A geranium cascades down the wall of the balcony, nearly to the opening of the balcony below - I need to figure out how to trim it without annoying the neighbour!
I have a happy rosemary in a pot, and a big planter to grow vegies/herbs in which goes at the front of the balcony - it is empty at present, because I have to figure out an aesthetic way to catch its drainage.
I shall soon have a bamboo screen to hide the cat's outside loo, empty pots and brooms and suchlike - and then my balcony will be looking lovely!
I also have a little table and chairs and a stone (well, a charcoal cement box with black river pebbles and a charcoal stonehengey looking water outlet) water feature - very Zen!
My balcony is the only very green and bursting with life one in the building - the others seem empty - or have one or two very sculptural plants on them.
I would love to do some sort of very restrained trompe l'oeil (spelling?) on the wall that faces my bedroom - (the balcony is inserted in the space between the bedroom and the wall of the added on firestairs - its opening is at one end - I guess it is more of a patio, or something?) - the look is quite Zen at present - the walls and tiles are a soft, bluey grey - very peaceful.
The light is fierce in the afternoon - and only reflected in the mornings, so it is a difficult space to plant in - I am still experimenting!
bumping this thread hoping for more input on urban gardens, container gardens, balcony gardens...