FIRST, THE LOCATION
Sure, I tried growing vegetables in my front yard last year and switched to ornamentals before you could say “July,” but it was a bad idea from the start. Maybe Ros Creasy can create front-yard veg gardens worthy of book covers, but there was no way I was going to achieve that in my first attempt or probably ever. Plus, in my Zone 7, I’d be looking at bare ground from November til April. Not gonna happen on my watch.
Another option was the sunny, open back yard, the one adjacent to the wooded valley below that’s home to so many critters – so a nonstarter. And there’s the design problem again – how to incorporate food into an all-ornamental setting.
THEN THE CURE
So the obvious solution (in helpful hindsight) was to use containers on the sunny deck – just off the kitchen, a site that’s not on public display or part of a grand view from the deck. It’s where I LIVE in the summer, so noticing every plant every day just happens. Watching a squash flower slowly morph into an actual vegetable? Never happened before in my lifetime. Plucking perfect cherry tomatoes from the vine into my mouth? Ditto. Cherishing weird-looking cucumbers because I watched them grow? Ditto.
But best of all is a grow-your-own benefit that’s seldom mentioned by the media, obsessed as they are with recession-era “victory gardens” – a decidedly healthier reaction to healthy foods, something that decades of dieting never did for this junk-food addict. In just a couple of months I’ve noticed I have a lot less desire for sweet processed crap and more desire for natural, perfect foods, like these. See, it’s not just about saving money, y’all.
Not to mention that this modest veg garden is lush and lovely and a great addition to any deck.