We’ve been planting a lot of seeds this year. It’s been a time of a lot of changes and one of my favorite places to take it all in has been in my garden. I’m a novice gardener who has a small urban yard in a borough of NYC. Urban gardening has always amazed me. Amidst the bustle of city life, I now have this small oasis where I can plant the smallest seeds and watch them burst into full bloom before my eyes.
I’ve focussed on perennials that are low upkeep. The past two years at my apartment have been an experiment of what takes and what rebels against the combination of love and neglect I offer. Starting with a plot of earth and an inheritance of some gorgeous rose bushes, I’ve added pathways and a bird feeder to make this small patch feel like home. We have a stump that’s slowly decomposing that brings an annual wave of beetles that arrive so fattened that they fly as if drunk. These are the birds’ favorite snack so throughout early summer we hear contented chirping as robins and white throated sparrows cheerfully gobble them up. Our roses bloom mid spring and if the rain is consistent will continue to blossom throughout the summer. Bouquets of yellow, crimson and sweet pink dabble my garden and each week I can venture out to grab a new arrangement.
This year, I’ve added more herbs as well as hearty tomato and kale plants. The tomatoes have been my true prizes. It’s been a phenomenal year for tomatoes and peaches once more. The last two years I was saddened beyond measure with the blights affecting crops and keeping my favorite summer dishes well out of my reach. This year, I’ve celebrated with homemade bruschetta, peach crisps, decadent BLTs and quiches that make use of my favorite summer crops.
TIP for tomato plants:
Plant them in the sunniest part of your yard and water them DAILY.
Last year, I let nature do my watering and was surprised to find the desiccated remains on returning from a trip. My mother told me my plants needed more water when she visited and I thought she was crazy- I had sprinkled them that very day. She looked at me and took control of the hose, soaking the plants roots for a solid 10 seconds (which I would have thought was flooding my precious little potted beauties). The next day, the leaves were greener, more resilient and it appeared as if the very plants themselves had perked up. Okay mom, you were right. I also had tried to move these pots from their preferred spot in the sun last year and put them in a more aesthetically pleasing section of my yard with 1/2 the daily sun. That didn’t work…at all. It’s a hard lessen for me to not simply put things where I want them to be but actually take into account their needs. But when I do these simple things the results are breathtaking.