It’s that time of year when my mind turns to the season of harvests and scarecrows begin to crop up around doorsteps and driveways in my neighborhood. Here, in this garden plot, a pair of sun ravaged umbrellas turn their summer jobs to a twist on the familiar motif. As their skeletons begin to show, I imagine cobwebs may extend their useful life through the end of October!
Ruffled white irises bloom in the foreground. The community garden is a wonderful place to experiment with seasonal crops that might seem unsightly for your front yard. And it’s an amazing resource for those times when you may not have a garden of your own, the landlord won’t let you dig in the dirt or your balcony doesn’t get enough sun to grow mold.
Another great thing about a community garden besides the obvious; community and garden (and gardeners are some of the most generous, lovely people you’ll ever meet), is that there is a consistent water source. It won’t replace the need for hosing down your plot to keep veggie crops producing in summer heat or sprinkling tender new seedlings on their journey to plantdom, but there is an automatic overhead sprinkling system in place which has saved my garden plot more than once.
To the question of organics. Yes, some community gardens are strictly organic, others not so much. As you might guess, enforcement would require garden police, which just seems antithetical to the whole experience of gardening. While most gardeners I know are concerned with growing food without the use of chemical fertilizers and weed killers, many flower enthusiasts have different goals – namely growing big beautiful, bountiful blooms. Since there is no plan to eat the flowers, there isn’t the same focus on organic methods. If I’m growing “organic” tomatoes next to your award winning roses – well, you see the problem. The soil and water don’t discriminate between plots. This doesn’t stop me from my organic ways in the garden. Scary, I know, but then so is this sun-beaten umbrella!
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