Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?
Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
– Henry David Thoreau
both of my parents are very good gardeners. over the years they have turned their back yard into a gardening mecca. my mother has an greenhouse that reeks of the mediterranean, with brick lined floors and comfy rattan furniture–piles of italian terracotta pots, and decorative tiles. my father constructed the the green house out of vintage windows that were being thrown away. on the brick pathway around the front and back yards, my parents pass through vegetable garden beds, hundreds of flowers of all types, vintage garden furniture, and a lovely outdoor living space on their deck–complete with cozy chairs and a chandelier.
on the summer nights we spend as guests at my parent’s house, my mom makes a nightcap of mint tea–fresh mint from her garden pressed in a french press. it smells amazing. from my bedroom window i can smell the stargazer lilies, and the neighbors across the street play exotic music.
so–while i can’t rival my parent’s garden, my husband and i do keep a tiny, urban, container garden. this year we decided to foray into the world of fruits and vegetables–aside from our usual assortment of herbs–thyme, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, oregano, parsley, chives, mint and lavender.
in a nearby neighborhood, there is a gardening store that specializes in urban (read: apartment living) gardens: the copper vine. we bought native peas and strawberries and several kinds of herbs. the peas grew huge and sprouted adorable white flowers before giving way to elegant pea pods. we never did get a chance to cook with them, because we ate them directly off the vine every time we saw new ones ripen.
we also planted a native variety of strawberry–which produces small, sweet and concentrated flavored strawberries. from a local grocery store, we picked out some frost-resistant tomato plants–but planted too early. though they had a bit of a rough start, we are now super proud of the 4, small, but daily reddening tomatoes on our plant. we plan to use them for margarita pizza.
now that the peas have died down–we are thinking of adding something else for the summer. my fuchsia starts and geraniums are overloaded with blooms–but we are thinking along the lines of something edible. nothing really tastes as good as the food you grow yourself. and even in our little home in the city, it’s gratifying to serve something that we produced.