Sunday, September 9, 2012

Missing summer? Garden Steps: "Staycation"

The High Street Veterans Community Garden started three years ago in the High Street Veterans Public Housing Apartments. With advice and funding obtained by Bountiful Brookline and support of the Brookline Housing Authority, volunteers without previous gardening experience turned a brick and concrete terrace into a lush, productive garden that now serves 10 families. In this column HSVCG volunteers share step-by-step what they do each month to grow food in their garden at the top of the steps.

Recollect on the summer season with this late installment of "Garden Steps"

I am a member of High Street Veteran’s Community Garden and a preschool teacher at Clinton Path Preschool here in Brookline. I'm often too busy to work on our community garden but this past week and a half I've been on a "staycation" and have worked on "pulling weeds and picking stones" to help my garden grow.

The plantings include "summer skies" Delphinium, Sonoran sunset,  Hyssop, "tiger eye gold" black-eyed susans and a butterfly flower called Asclepias. Along with bee balm, sweet william, impatiens, marigolds and more nasturtiums the butterflies, hummingbirds and bees will want to move in. The garden is really on its way! The garden kitty called Spike agrees with me.

Also on my summer staycation, I pulled the garlic that was planted last October and the spinach that was going to seed; and replaced them with Swiss chard and kale. I pulled out the bolting radishes and planted carrots in their place. I planted purple bush beans, more cilantro, basil, dill and parsley. Then, transplanted jalapeno peppers to a better spot.

Our community garden has been harvesting peas, spinach, lettuce and garlic in June. Now that it's July, our "Pinot Noir" pepper seedlings supplied by Allandale Farms are sprouting beautiful "black" bell peppers. The tomatoes and cucumbers are covered in yellow blooms. It's hard to wait for our vegetables, but meanwhile, the garden is covered in flowers. Marigolds, Petunias, Morning glories and Nasturtiums are everywhere in the garden; and on the Fourth of July, we planted a butterfly/hummingbird garden also thanks to Allandale farms perennial sale.

I love taking care of this garden.  It has made my vacation peaceful and happy.

Writer: Terry Gould, Preschool Teacher
Editor: Kathy Nichols, Program Coordinator