Friday, July 29, 2011

55th/Woodlawn Gardens Revisited

I love before and after photos, and now I can finally offer some from the 55th/Woodlawn community gardens (see original post).

55th St. -- Before

55th St. -- After!
 As usual, I am amazed by what good sun conditions can do for a garden. Look at these monster green beans!

It was hard to capture the dazzling array of zinnias and other flowers on my little camera, so I tried a semi-artsy shot of these orange ones (which I can't quite identify...some sort of coreopsis?).

These giant blue cabbages dominate several plots. They're beautiful, if also perhaps frightful... This one had its own pet frog:

An avid gardener I met on-site eagerly ushered me over to the delicate blooms of borage, which I had never seen before. He was sorry to say they were just past their prime, but we found a few left to admire.

The heat made me appreciate the rest spot in the center of the garden beneath a tall shade tree. In this garden, you definitely want to sit and enjoy everything for at least a few minutes!

See you again in the fall! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

62nd St. Gardens - Guest Photographer

I had meant to go over to the 62nd St/Dorchester community gardens and take some photos, but it is about 100F out today and generally very hot lately. So I am thrilled to be able to publish someone else's photos, namely those of professional photographer Deborah Marcero. Deborah says she is a "first time city gardener" and is enjoying her experience so far. She is also an aspiring aviator.

Her gorgeous professional website can be found here: 
and her (also gorgeous) blog is here:


Please note that these photos are the property of Deborah Marcero. If you wish to use/reproduce them in any way, please contact her via her blog.

Some little snapdragons?...Must have been taken a while ago!

...And a hen?

How can you not want to grow your own tomatoes?

And the gerber daisies...perfect for vases, or just little spots of happy.

Stay cool everyone! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shared: Bungee Trellis


A friend just sent me some pics of an ingenious trellis she made out of bungee cords. They were originally posted on her Flickr stream here. This is a really cool idea because not only is this a case of "gardening with what you've got," but she has found a way to create a privacy screen, or shade screen, that starts at about chest level and rises from there. That means less time is required to grow the vines up high enough. Plus, the morning glory blossoms will soon be exquisite at eye level.

Balconies and fire escapes can be delightful, but you don't always want full sun or neighborly attention. 

The dog's name is Evie. She is very sweet, but pretends to be shy.

And here is a close-up shot of one of the cords ornamented with heart-shaped morning glory leaves. Now she has a good place to plow through books for her exam. I bet Evie enjoys sleeping out there too! Now all she needs is...a hummingbird feeder? Some niger thistle for the goldfinches? Time will tell!

Morning Glory tower

Monday, July 11, 2011

Community Gardens in Sweden

Since my husband is Swedish, I can't resist sharing some photos of community gardens in Sweden. Allotments or "colonies" (kolonier) are rented out as individual plots just as they are here. But Sweden is a country the size of California with about 1/4 the population of California. There's a lot of land to go around, even for those who can't afford a house with a garden.

The photo above was taken just outside a large residential co-op apartment complex. Resting on the edge of uncultivated fields as it does, with thick forests all around, gardeners struggle with (and adore) red deer like this one.

Given that outdoor produce stands (open daily) are a ten minute walk from here, some people focus only on flowers and the cultivation of peaceful, beautiful spaces (below).

But here (below), the allotments are larger, and serious fruit and vegetable growing takes center stage. Roughly 6 separate allotments are visible in this photo:

To my mind, the most notable feature of Swedish community gardens is a sense of permanence. Sheds, greenhouses, and even exquisite miniature houses (for adults) adorn many plots, while a recent article in Dagens Nyheter shows seven photos of a plot that looks professionally landscaped( ). See photo #6 especially. They really do build little houses like that. In my next post, I'll share photos of one very unique space that is elaborate but also possesses a certain DIY charm.

For now, just one more photo. Imagine getting off work, hopping on your vespa, pushing through (minimal)city traffic, and then zooming through the Swedish meadows toward your own semi-private agricultural happy hour.