Scenes from a Community Garden in Winter

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Welcome sign at community garden

I think “Peace Love Relax” and “Welcome” are fitting messages for the garden, especially on Christmas Day.

When I visited my town’s community gardens on a recent sunny day I saw not a single gardener, but plenty of signs of life.

Socializing

Chairs arranged around fire pits are more popular than ever this year, but here they’re a long-standing tradition, especially on Sunday mornings.

The same garden even has a kitchen. Coffee is served.

From beneath a fig tree the gardeners can survey their garden.

Pure Decoration

Since these gardens are out of public view, there’s no need to prettify them like some gardens I’ve seen in D.C. When you garden there, in a wealthy neighborhood with great views of the National Cathedral, you make an effort.

But here outside the Beltway, for a clearing in the woods, even the most modest ornamental gesture is noticed. And at least by me, appreciated. 

Storage

Gotta have it. No one lives across the street from these gardens.

And with NO WATER SUPPLY for these gardens on city property (wth???), storing water is everyone’s number one problem. 

Every container imaginable is put in the service of holding water, and gardeners are an inventive lot. 

Unfortunately, the lack of water makes gardening there less accessible than it needs to be. 

Growing

I saw evidence of some impressive gardening know-how in these gardens – which isn’t surprising for a garden so close to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

Just for Wildlife

One plot has been reserved for pollinator-attracting plants only.

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