The garden is finally at a place where it compels me to visit about once a day. It's amazing what a bit of foundation work can do. Winter crops are thriving. Weeding is not a chore in the least; it is an excuse to be near to the earth and feel a quiet connectedness. A place to wind down afternoon afterwork.
Just across the Bay Bridge from my small-scale Tilthy Rich backyard lies an inspirational urban farm/movement in West Oakland. Though I have not yet visited the City Slicker Farm there, I have read and followed it online for years now, looking to it as a source of motivation and leadership. (http://www.cityslickerfarms.org/) A few hours ago today was the groundbreaking ceremony of the "West Oakland Urban Farm and Park, a new kind of community park space that hosts space for healthy food cultivation, all developed in partnership with the West Oakland community." Please read the article by clicking on the photo or the link below. Feel good, Tilthy Rich stuff!
I had that feeling of falling in love again today. I did fall in love today. Again. The object of my affection is sitting in my backyard in the rain right now. She's a fertile beauty, she is! Here are a few bare photos of her....
I can't stop stealing a peak at her curves...
...from any angle...
...being next to her, admiring all she has to offer never gets old.
This afternoon we have furthered the new & improved Tilthy Rich garden! Mathews did a fantastic job delivering the pathway bricks and my roommate Jeanette is hard at work offering up her design input! AAAAND...the fence between mine and my neighbors yard is coming down. Coming down in the spirit of coming together. Community is a strong force, especially in this day and age.
A garden make-over is in progress! My friend and mentor Mathews from Malawi and I took the afternoon to gut the garden to make way for new life! Mathews is the finest of human beings and deserving of his own separate post..coming soon.
The garden will be re-written with a focus on the utilitarian: edibles and medicinals, vegetables and herbs, community and social value.
It's fall clean-up time this Saturday morning. As you can see, I've let it get quite out of control. Mine is the one NOT with the impeccable brick paths and new fall starts all in their perfect rows. In fact, the tables have turned completely. My garden was in that state in the past, where his was runneth over in chaos. I'm out to get a hold on this situation!
The garden today :) Lots of florality today this May! Nasturtiums, russian sage, yellows from both calendula and kangaroo paw, and of course some bold rose blossoms. And in the bare soil area, we have beans, corn, beets, and swiss chard germinating. Gardening: forever a process, forever a source.
I have quite an obsession with my birth city. While perusing garden blogs at random, I came across this one about the Georgia Street Garden in Detroit. http://georgiastreetgarden.blogspot.com/ On it was a wonderfully artistic video interview on the history and goals of the garden. My heart swells when something like this inspires in me: revitalization. art. community. gardening. education. rebirth. Enjoy.
Cymbidium orchids grow very well outdoors in San Francisco. They are quite hardy. On my deck outside, where I have 4 large pots of them, it is difficult to grow most annuals & many perennials due to wind and sunny dry periods. Three of four of them are in flawless bloom right now...even with my more-than-occasional forgetful neglect.
Sweet spring smell from these hyacinthes in the middle of winter. :) I love forcing bulbs. It's quite simple: I put a handful of marbles at the bottom of this glass bowl, plopped on a few bulbs and added water just above the base of the bulb. Within days you will see them taking off, and in a few weeks you'll have sweet scents and bold color in the middle of winter!
These babies are a couple of medicinal marijuana plants in my backyard. California law allows a person possessing a medical marijuana card to grow plants for personal use only. Counties/cities have individual rules on how many plants one can grow. The rule in San Francisco: patients allowed up to 24 plants or 25 square feet of canopy; dispensary gardens capped at 99 plants in 100 square feet. Possession limit 8 oz. dried cannabis per patient.
I have never grown it before, but it is looking exquisitely healthy and definitely has that pungent scent to it. Buds are forming already. I can already imagine what the harvest party will be like! I just hope my garden can provide other veggies for those in attendance. I'm sure folks will hungry. :P
On the corner of Bryant St. and 10th St....nine blocks from my house in San Francisco, is a fantastic example of a very artistic green-wall installation. Comprised of mostly succulents, and with a wide array of shapes and flowering specimens. The cascading vines seen in the photo are actually wild strawberry plant trailers.
With its myriad warehouses, this part of town is quite industrial and lacking much greenery, so what a treat to see this creative planting blocks from my house.
Because I am a huge proponent of the "food not lawns" movement, I had to share this story outof Detroit demonstrating the struggle to change peoples', and governments', view of what is the "right way" to garden. Let Julie Garden! Let Julie Garden!!!