Friday, May 16, 2008

My Garden Command Center

Every gardener has to have a place to keep their stuff - the Garden Command Center. The only place I have for that is the back patio. There are couple steps down from the back door, and a slanted cellar door takes up a lot of the space - not to mention the trash cans have to be here. So there is not a lot of space.

I trash-picked a little green table to hold my buckets of tools and stakes. I have an old tin pretzel can to keep bigger stakes in line. The wooden drawer is a trash find waiting to be used. (Sensing a trash-picking theme? Oh wait, I'm recycling.) I keep a box of plastic pots on the cellar slant, and a pile of salvaged berry baskets I am going to use to make gift planters later in the summer.

We do at least have a little shed attached to the back of the house, to hide my tool mess. All the houses on the block had them at one time, but many have been taken out in kitchen expansions. It is decorated with what I like to think of as "metal sculpture." It's really a guitar-shaped CD rack, but I like it as outdoor art.

And then there is the chair, from which I survey my garden domain. My big waxed cardboard box that I use to mix soil and fill pots. My pot supply. The little row of things rooting and germinating. And then my sidewalk lined with containerized plants. My "solar clothes dryer" - and you can see that two other neighbors are using their solar dryers, too.

See my grass? I think of it as a mulch bed. It's so small we cut it by hand with a grass shears. No mower. I like to use the pavement throw my weeding and cut grass. I let it dry out and then use it to mulch, except for the pile of seedy weeds and diseased things, that goes into the trash. I can't make a big enough compost pile to cook the seeds. The chair is where I sit to think about cutting the grass.

In a city, you have to focus on your own narrow strip of the world. You *really* want to avoid looking to the left. The neighbor's little construction project has been going on for two years, in fits and starts. I guess he keeps running out of money. It's a clay and beer-can wasteland right now, but the mud wasps absolutely love the foundation pit full of standing water. I can't really put in a higher fence without losing the air flow and full sun across the whole yard, so I have developed my powers of "ignore". I do harvest useful rocks there, and we got a lot of science lessons out of it - geology, erosion, soil profile, how a foundation is poured....

Amazing how many photos are required to document such a small garden.


jayedee said...

hello! my name is jayedee and i'm a trash picker......errrr.....i mean recycler too! i remember the days when my husband trash picked and i complained! now i'm out there with the best of 'em!

LisaZ said...

I love your photos! And commentary. You do have skinny yards there in Reading, don't you?

A friend of mine from college here in MN went to high school in Reading in the 80s. Her parents are now in MN but lived there through college and beyond. I visited them once, with her. All I really remember is going to the outlets, though!

Glad to see all the line-drying of clothes, too. You have a great blog!

Lisa in MN

Matriarchy: said...

Isn't it a small world? The outlets used to be a big thing here. But then every town figured out they could have them, and it stopped being unique to Reading. We do still have a few, but nothing like it once was.

LisaZ said...

Matriarchy, thanks for the recipe for curried split pea soup in the crockpot. I'll try it. Have you ever made it without the ham bone? I love ham but I made a veg. one for times we don't have ham or much meat (because it's hard to store...) The ham bone makes split pea soup taste so much better, but I was hoping for good taste without it!

Lisa in MN