It occurred to me yesterday that I had not shared many photos of the garden lately. It's constantly changing - spring blooms already faded, late spring and early summer blooms have opened, and continue to open every day. Tiny vegetables have begun to crown: golden egg zucchini, white cucumbers, red burgundy okra. It's all very rewarding.
The reward could last all year, I thought. If I could only stay a little more on top of my planting schedule then crops might rotate more efficiently; always something to harvest. Meanwhile, as I wait for summer 2012 to appear and offer much anticipated bounty, I buy veggies from Marilyn Staggs at the local farmers market. Marilyn farms 9 acres, in town, organically, and I had the pleasure and treat of a visit to her magnificent garden over the weekend.
Rows and rows of beans, okra, squash, lettuce, cold hardy greens, muscadines, black berries, strawberries, eggplants and herbs cover the red dirt in a swath of lush vegetation. Varying plants and flowers and fruit trees grow from any and all perceivable spots, just the way I like to grow. And she tends it all herself.
Coincidentally, I've been reminded of the trend to replace lawns with gardens. Obviously a fan of both integrating shrubs and flowers with herbs and vegetables and front yard gardening (Southern Living - peshaw!) I have only to devise a physical plan. And now that the lawsuit has been dropped I'm free to think more seriously about how to cultivate our yard. NPR featured a story on Friday on edible gardens, centered around James Alvarez's Nashville lawn, replaced with knee-high buckwheat. Jeremy Lekich of Nashville Foodscapes, also mentioned in the article, runs a replace-your-lawn-with-edibles business. He's hoping to eventually cultivate edible gardens in low-income areas where fresh produce is hard to find, running his landscaping business on a sliding scale.
No doubt I've written about Edible Estates at some point in the last two + plus years of this blog (though I can't find a reference). The design firm created and run by Fritz Haeg implements such projects across the globe. Closer to home is the Edible Yard & Garden company, with projects in Decateur, Georgia and Asheville, North Carolina.
Needless to say, I'm inspired to re-landscape our entire yard, or at least one section at a time. It's a big project I'm dreaming of, one certain to claim a chapter of my proposed memoir, Bacon & Wine, though I can imagine it might demand an entire book, a sequel, if you will: Begging the Bugs for Food. Relieved to hear Marilyn battles the same insects I do, one wonders if abundance is the way to beat them. Plant more than they can eat.
I'll give the project some thought. Here's a little photo album from Sunday evening, manipulated with a new favorite iPhone app, VSCOcam, and further decorated in Photoshop.
**Many thanks to Cathe of justsomethingimade.com for the vintage labels used in these photos.