Tag Archives: gardens

The Itinerant Gardener

lantana
For the moment, GardenGrrrl is an itinerant. This summer I’m living with some friends in a shared house. In September I will be moving to a new city to begin a new graduate school program. Lately it’s been one move after another with little time to establish a garden. In the meantime I have still be assisting friends in getting their gardens started. I will be posting more on various gardens that I have coached clients through.

For now, here’s a picture of some Lantana in the front yard of my summer home. Mostly the garden here is a mess, but despite the neglect the Lantana is doing beautifully. Gardening snobs might not be fans of Lantana because it is so ubiquitous in this part of the country, but it’s the kind of plant that can make anyone feel like a successful gardener. It’s a great groundcover or perennial for places you don’t want to spend that much time on. Lantana does well in summer or part shade and tolerates forgetful watering. In some parts of the country it can become invasive, but I have never seen it cause a problem here in California.

Since I’m only here for another six or eight weeks I have a limited amount of time to get the garden here straightened out. Luckily my roommates have both expressed an interested in learning more gardening, so expect to see more posts in the coming weeks as I attempt to get them started.

The No-Work Way to Grow Your Own Food

As the local food craze has gotten rolling, more companies are popping up to help people grow food in their own backyards. For many busy folks the idea of getting a vegetable garden started might seem overwhelming. Now you can pay someone else to farm your backyard for you. Your Backyard Farmer serves Portland, Milwaukie and Lake Oswego. Check out this cute video describing their services.

A similar company is now getting started in the San Francisco Bay Area. MyFarm provides vegetable gardens to residents in San Francisco and the East Bay. They were recently featured in the SF Chronicle.

While I think these companies are providing a great service for those who really aren’t interested in learning to garden for themselves, I think it’s too bad that more people can’t make the time to learn some gardening basics. I realize that there are lots of folks out there with more money than time, but growing your own food can be a great pleasure and isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. It wasn’t that long ago that most families in this country were farm families and grew the majority of their food themselves. All it takes is slowing down and taking the time each day to observe your garden, noticing changes and taking action. I love to watch my garden grow. Taking the time to notice changes in your plants slows down your persective and tunes you in to the wider world, the weather, the cycles of the moon, and what insects are flying or crawling around your little plot of land. Having a garden is so much more than simply getting fresh organic produce, although some fresh, sweet strawberries might be the catalyst that gets your butt into gear.