Friday, June 24, 2011

Scrappy Gardeners Wanted

On June 22nd, The New York Times published an article on the "scrappy" rooftop gardeners of New York, which can be found here. Included was an inspiring slide that also left me feeling grateful for the space we have here in Hyde Park. And a bit puzzled. When you see just how far some people will go to create a little green nook for themselves--on a rooftop--it's surprising that Hyde Park has so much unused land. Whole 1/4 acre lots overgrown with weeds, or worse, covered with enormous, suspiciously weed-free lawns.

But it doesn't have to be that way. One has only to ask one's landlord for a bit of earth.

Case in point. These walk-up units have a large green lawn behind them. Residents clearly enjoy the lawn while reading, having parties etc.

But with so much space, why not designate a small piece of it for vegetables? --Or even a few low maintenance flowers?

Several people tend these plants. They've tilled the soil and planted things and seen to the watering.

I envy them their lettuce. They get about three hours more sun than I do, I'd say, and that makes all the difference.

I'm not holding my breath for some transformation into stylish, quirky, semi-private "urban oases." These are utilitarian plots. But I suspect it's just what the residents have time for, and just what they want. In any case, to see them watering, hoeing, or plucking fresh greens is a peaceful sight in itself.

This plot may no longer be fit for beach towels and BBQ's, but again, there's enough space for that anyway. Good job, gardeners!  AND, if anyone else out there wants to share pics of their own scrappy gardening projects, feel free send them to me at

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