things and places for homes and gardens

Operation neighbor’s garden: an update

Friday 23 July 2010 - Filed under General

Notice anything fancy? Do you see it? I am typing this post from what some might call My New iPad. But I call it Purse Computer. In case it is not perfectly clear, I am a serious nerd at heart. I love the gadgets. Ever since laptops have been a thing, I have rarely been spotted without a computer bag in tow, but it is a new day. With the arrival of Purse Computer, I am now a nerd incognito. How do I look?

operation neighbors garden / lettuce
Earlier this year, I staged a takeover of the neighbor’s front yard. Not because I coveted their sunlight that I don’t have in my own yard, but because I’m HELPING. Really. But as a totally innocent comparison, I tried to plant lettuce in my own yard. 5 months later, I have come to accept that nothing edible will come from my own potager. However, in the neighbor’s garden, it worked. I made lettuce. Ta Da!

operation neighbors garden / cilantro
Gardening next door had me more budget conscious than usual, and for the first time ever, I planted most of the garden from seed. What do you know, it works! I got a few little cilantro plants going. It seems very fancy to be able to go pluck a few leaves for a quesadilla, without having to make a special trip to the store, and without throwing away most of the bushel when I can’t get through it in time. As I’ve heard is typical, the cilantro quickly bolted, but it’ll reseed itself now, won’t it?

operation neighbors garden
I’ve been really excited that people have been guerilla gardening in my guerilla garden. First lanterns and birdhouses mysteriously appeared, but now there are plants in there that I didn’t plant. At first I thought it was the actual neighbors working in their own yard, but I asked and it wasn’t them. Who knows what it is, some oniony garlicky looking bulbs, not my area of plant identification expertise.

operation neighbors garden
Not all volunteer additions are winners however. Someone is apparently concerned that the peas don’t have anything to climb on, and some makeshift stakes have been added. I had read somewhere that native americans planted corn and beans together, and used the cornstalks as the support for beans, so that is why I haven’t provided anything for the peas to grow on, but I might have to replace these particular additions with some bamboo stems for a bit more natural look.

operation neighbors garden
More mystery plantings. While the neighbors aren’t the ones doing the new planting, they are getting into taking care of the garden. I went to water one day and found the ground already moist. It appears they bought a brand new hose, and I’ve been seeing them sitting outside as a family, while the little girl that made the birdhouse waters the plants. I’m hoping she’s falling in love with gardening as a hobby, and in fall we can plant up the garden with cool season crops together. One day in winter I was working on some fence repairs for their dogs, she came out and helped me for hours, so she appears to have the patience of a gardener.

operation neighbors garden / pea
I haven’t had any actual success with any sort of crop. Maybe I got started too late, or maybe the morning shade is too much, but I still have hope something will happen. The peas are flowering. That’s a good sign, right?

operation neighbors garden / blueberry
It looks like we will get ONE blueberry this year. I hope next year we get a slightly more generous yield.

operation neighbors garden / tomato
And there is sign of an actual edible fruit: one Tomato. Here is where I out myself as the total jerk that I am. As a non-tomato eater, while I know that tomatoes are one of the most popular plants grown, I have always found them to be the most boring of plants. I never understood what the big deal was. However, now that I have planted one of my own, I’ll admit it’s pretty much a miracle that something is happening on that plant. Behold, I have made Outside Food.

2010-07-23  »  megan

Talkback x 5

  1. tina
    24 July 2010 @ 7:38 am

    I finally figured out how to comment. When I can’t see the comment box I get very confused:( A gadget person I am not. I do think the cilantro will self seed though I’ve never gotten it started in my own garden. It likes tons of sun. I think it is so neat your other neighbors have been helping out. It is amazing what one person can do. You really made a difference in this yard.

  2. ricki - sprig to twig
    24 July 2010 @ 11:31 am

    Kudos to you for cultivating a next-generation gardener.

  3. Grace
    24 July 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Megan, The idea of having Internet access anywhere is indeed tempting. I never thought I’d be a nerd myself but… yep. Not rich enough for an iPad yet though, I mean Purse computer. Who’d a thunk?

    I learned years ago during my vegetable gardening obsession phase that growing outside food is VERY labor intensive. Things would go wrong. Always. I found that I just didn’t want to work that hard just to be discouraged. Especially when I could buy the produce at the grocery or farmers’ markets. But, admittedly I am not as altruistic as you, with your neighborhood garden. This I love!

    It looks like people are planting their sprouting pantry produce.

    From the looks of it, your blueberry plant is very healthy. I predict a bumper crop next year. And thankfully you won’t have to wait nearly so long for that tomato!

  4. nonlineargirl
    25 July 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    I have to agree with Ellen that tomato leaves smell terrific.

  5. Isabella Cake
    24 August 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    The lettuces are certainly wonderful! I would love to use those lettuces for my salads! Just wonderful! And the tomato is looking great. However, for the blueberry, I hope you get more luck next time. LOL