Monday, April 30, 2007

Digging the Neighbors

We've all had them. The neighbor who starts remodeling his house and never gets past the Tyvek stage. Or the one who thinks landscaping involves planters made of toilets or old tires. Recently, when the elderly couple who lived behind us sold their home, we were anxiously peering out our windows to see what omens we might divine. The initial signs were good; they seemed nice enough, with a dog and cat and no oversized SUVs in sight.

Within a week the husband was out with a rototiller plowing up the 100' parking strip. Was it for new grass? Some shade trees? Or were they...gasp...gardeners? It turns out that S'n'K are gardeners of a very serious stripe, planting their city strip with potatoes, peas and berries that were soon followed by broccoli, basil, tomatoes and peppers, all in neat rows or staked with bamboo or surrounded by a "Wall of Water." They've even got hoops and white plastic for our still chilly nights.

Of course I was over there like a shot once their purpose was clear, and I think we may be in for part of the bounty if I play my cards right. S and I have even discussed having a canning party for all the tomatoes that we'll have since, when he got an eyeful of the project, Dave had to immediately put in a raised bed for our own tomatoes that I'd been bugging him to build for a couple of years. Nothing like some new energy in the 'hood to get things moving!

6 comments:

glassylady said...

Who knew I could see my daughters garden on the web. If this garden turns out anything like her previous gardens...you are in for a treat.

Alan Bluehole said...

I'm wary of planting things I eat where people/animals walk and/or pee and/or poop. Am I paranoid?

kab said...

Thanks, glassylady! We already feel lucky to have your daughter (and son-in-law) as neighbors and I can tell it's going to be an eventful summer in the 'hood! Stay tuned...

kab said...

Alan, as a pet owner and gardener, I don't know if you can avoid it. Any well-tilled spot is going to be a target for neighborhood cats, whether it's in your back yard or your parking strip. As for dogs, most owners are good about picking up after them, and S has put a string barrier around the area to keep them out.

Anyone else have suggestions or concerns?

SEH said...

KAB's gardening neighbory here...

Alan, my advise is to wash everthing well and enjoy the harvest! An interesting thing I've discovered since putting in my first parking strip garden...other gardens have been hidden inside a fenced yard, is that it has in short order created the most amazing sense of community amoungst our little neighborhood. I figured I have a conversation or two with curious folk, but I have seen the same families checking out the progress, showing their children what broccoli looks like in the ground, and a new respect for my space from pet owners and their dogs. Sure, there will always be the dog who finds the upmost NEED to pee pee on my raspberry bushes, but I'm willing to live with that over the enormous sense of community my little garden is spawning in our 'hood'. Thanks KAB...we love being here!!!

kab said...

And thus the title of this piece! We love having you here, too. Thanks for your response!