Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gardening by the Square Inch

In my cardboard-box planting beds, bright slips of rainbow chard and ruffled lettuces (red, green) have taken root. A part of me wants to just grow flowers: clarkia and bachelor's buttons and godetia and nasturtiums. To hell with vegetables. But no. Instead of delphiniums and larkspur and portulaca there will be tomatoes and bush beans and beets.

A neighbor tonight raised an eyebrow to my project and said, "Oh, I see you've done some, uh, landscaping."

I told him that it wasn't landscaping but an eco-hip edible garden plot made entirely from recycled materials, which are also 100% biodegradable. This neighbor, an epidemiologist, looked at me and said, "Oh! Okay!" Then he flashed a barely-discernible twinkle. He got it.

And although he generally seems to take zero interest in gardening, this evening he was engaged in hand-to-thorn combat with the Himalayan blackberry vines which were threatening to overtake his shrubbery. (God Save The Shrubbery.)

My son and I recently took shovels to the roots of blackberries back of the garage. (The falling-down garage.) For 25 years I've put that particular swathe of earth at the bottom of the to-do list, and it felt good to finally get out there and make something happen. It'll be the perfect spot for some giant Russian sunflowers.


  1. how invasive are blackberry roots? You may have to napalm the patch to get rid of them! Then, of course, no sunflowers either....

  2. Personally I prefer Blackberries to Sunflowers, but when they grow in the wrong place Tara has the right answer! NAPALM.

  3. Napalm! Why didn't I think of that!! I'll get right on it.

  4. Blackberry cobbler is really good tho.