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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Urban gardening

has its challenges. Foremost is the lack of space, given that the area is (no surprise) heavily populated with humans and contains the roads on which humans like to drive their motor vehicles. Plants have to be tucked into the areas between buildings, sidewalks, and streets. What I have discovered, however, is that many don't mind. Our front lawn strip has become quite a lively, colorful place.This bed of mostly native plants and their cultivars is always busy with butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.


Because I have no discipline when it comes to plants, another bed between the sidewalk, street, and stop sign is home to daylilies, irises, and other lovelies that I can't resist (and that attract hummingbirds). 

Tough plants like rudbeckia, monarda, and echinacea ask for almost nothing and put on quite a show. They really don't seem to mind being three feet from the sidewalk.

A streetside garden is a strange mix of public and private. Before such a garden can exist, someone has to decide to create it, hoping that the neighbors won't mind. Once it exists, it becomes an object of public comment and, one hopes, enjoyment. Many conversations have taken place while puttering in the garden, and I have enjoyed the sight of total strangers taking photographs, not realizing that the gardener was weeding, hidden behind a tall plant.

Of course, the public nature of an urban garden can have disadvantages. This Orienpet lily lost the top two feet of its bloom stem when a passerby decided to remove it and take it home.

But the plant keeps blooming, anyway. There is probably a message there.

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