Thursday, July 9, 2009

Missing my garden

I've been away most of the time since last Friday, first to New York City and Norwalk, Connecticut, and now eastern Ontario, to be with relatives and for other reasons. I did squeeze in a brief visit back to the Minton Stable Garden on Monday, where I picked about a pound of peas and another head of lettuce. There has been some communication among Steering Committee members about some of the disorder in the garden, including toys blocking the paths, as well as garbage and other items strewn about. The gravel paths were established when the garden was redesigned around 2004, but these past couple of seasons it seems that the weeds have taken over. I spent most of my hour at the MSG jabbing at the crab grass, dandelions, pigweed, clover and other weeds that have come up between the pebbles with my cultivator, but in many cases I had difficulty pulling out the roots, so I'll be back soon to finish. The committee sent out an email to all the gardeners about keeping the place tidy and reminding them about weeding the sections of path abutting their plots. It's the community gardening equivalent to shoveling the sidewalk in front of one's house after a snowstorm.

I was too busy to take any photos of the MSG, so I'll share a few from the gardens I have encountered in my travels. In the Chelsea section of Manhattan, I had a chance to walk along the High Line, a old elevated freight railway that has been redesigned as a park. An interesting feature is that some of the plants that had been sprouting up on the abandoned rail bed have been incorporated into the new landscaping. It was a little surprising to find intentional plantings of various species of crab grass and something that looked a lot like purple loosestrife, which has been known to wreak havoc on river habitats.Today at Upper Canada Village, an attraction consisting of historic buildings and actors portraying life in the mid-1800s, I envied a few large vegetable gardens, including this very tidy one that could feed a small town.As nice as the weather has been, I'm a little anxious about how my plants in Boston are doing. Allan, one of the MSG gardeners, sent us a link to some information about a tomato blight that has caused some devastation, so I'm eager to check my plants for brown spots on stems or some other signs. However, it appears to have been harming plants bought from big-box stores, so perhaps the heirlooms and other varieties we've started from seed won't be affected.


Bryan Bunch said...

Enjoy your travels. The garden (and more weeds) will be there when you get home.

My tomato plants that went into the garden on May 9 are covered with fairly small green tomatoes, but I see that in the past two days the lower branches are turning brown. Up until then, the plants were lush and healthy. The second set, which I planted about the end of May, still looks perfectly healthy. I am assuming that it is the regular blight that lives in the soil. My garden is big enough to rotate the locations of tomatoes every year, but then I end up going back to the first site the following year. Last year I mainly planted blight-and-wilt resistant varieties, but that did not help much, so this year I did some that were just interesting tomatoes, like an Italian Oxheart and the Polish Black Kint.

Dan said...

That looks like a great place and the veggie patch is pristine. Never been to this part of Ontario before.

Giulietta Nardone said...

Sally, you could tour the US finding community or otherwise retrofitted gardens in the urban landscape. Would make a neat book. Ashland's garden looks quite nice! They've experienced some plant issues with all the rain. What kinds of plants grow in the rainforest? Maybe we need some of them.

Giulietta the Muse

Sally said...

Bryan, from what I've heard and red about the tomato blight, you might want to look into it if some of your branches are turning brown.Hope your small green tomatoes grow into larger delicious red (or orange of whatever color they should be)ones!

Dan, that area is not as interesting as Toronto, but if you are out that direction, Upper Canada Village and the bird sanctuary next door would make a nice day trip.

Giulietta,that would be a fun book idea! Maybe it could include the Harrison Urban Garden located on a rooftop in the Sound End. I have been hoping for an opportunity to see it. I hope to make it to Ashland soon as well.