- Author: Betty Homer
Are you an apartment dweller or an otherwise landless gardener who has been dreaming about having a little piece of earth to call your own? Or maybe you are just someone who has a small yard and is looking for additional space to garden? If so, consider checking out the Suisun Community Garden located on Lotz Way by the Marina Shopping Center off of Highway 12 in Suisun City. For approximately $30 a year which is intended to cover the cost of water usage, you can lease a 10' x 10' plot at the Community Garden.
Almost all of the Community Garden's current members have built raised beds to grow vegetables which they are doing so successfully, as the site receives full sun daily, even in the winter. At last check, the author of this post observed corn, tomatoes, squash, tomatillos, eggplants, strawberries, artichokes, beans, carrots, radishes, beets, sunflowers, cosmos, dahlias, nasturtiums, and more, growing at the Community Garden.
As an added benefit, most members of the Community Garden are generally friendly, and will happily exchange gardening war stories and tips with you while you are there weeding, watering, etc. Although vandalism and theft can be an issue at the Community Garden from time to time (this is a common occurrence at ANY community garden), there is usually more than enough bounty for you in your plot to harvest and enjoy. It is also not unusual for other Community Garden members to share their harvest with you.
At last count, there were only a dozen or so plots left, so don't delay. For further information, please contact the Joseph Nelson Community Center at (707) 421-7200 or check out the Community Garden's Facebook page.
- Author: Esther E Blanco
As I start to ponder the complexities of all my thoughts related to gardening, I find myself thinking about vivid memories of childhood gardens long ago, and the need to draw silly analogies from the simplest of tasks in the garden, which seemed to so eloquently parallel lessons taught by everyday life - epiphanies, irony and humility.
It seems to me, that I always want what I can’t have. I desperately pull weeds when they so tenaciously grow without any need for pampering, irrigation, or fertilizer. They even come back when I chop them off and pulled them up -- roots and all. Even, when I am fully convinced that I’ve removed that final pesky weed, I discover the following spring, that it had already carefully spread about 10,000 of its offspring – all now happily sprouting in my yard.
It seems so ironic, my quest to create a perfect garden. I’m convinced that gardens are Mother Nature’s way to humble human beings. To make us realize that we can’t control our lives, we cannot always have things go the way we plan. And in the end, we must learn plan, hope, pray and finally have faith that the sun will shine and garden, like life, will sprout, grow and renew itself again -- weeds and all.
- Author: Sharon L. Rico
Several years ago, my husband and I cleaned out the 3' x 40' strip of soil between our house and our neighbors. There were several roses that were salvaged, but everything else was removed. This buffer zone between houses needed soil amendments, irrigation changes and plants that could handle hot afternoon sun. My husband wanted color and I wanted scent, so we compromised. He purchased two crape myrtles in red and plum and I went shopping for lavenders. Knowing that lavender is a Mediterranean plant, has few problems (root rot, mildew and rust), required little water and LOVED the hot afternoon sun, made it an ideal choice. The flowers would be harvested to use for decorating and smell, a real bonus. Many of the plants located at the nursery would grow too large for this narrow strip. Searching through the plant inventory at a local herb farm, Gros Bleu Lavender (Lavandula x intermedia) was found and it only grew to 13 inches. The plant marker also noted that it had extremely long flower heads and navy blue flowers. Eureka! My search was over and I have not been disappointed with my choice. They finished blooming last month and have been trimmed back to compact round orbs to keep them tidy and healthy, ready to fill out and scent our garden again next year!
- Author: Karen Metz
I've always been enchanted with Naked Ladies, the pale pink flowers that seem to magically appear in late summer. Several years ago they were offering bulbs at a Master Gardener Plant Exchange. I picked up one of the coconut sized bulbs and decided to give it a try.
I did some research and found the experts said the bulbs didn't like to be moved so it might be a while before they bloomed. Okay... Next year lovely strap like leaves, but no flowers. Ditto for year number two. This year, lovely spring leaves that died to the ground, and then, in August , stalks with large terminal bulbs seemed to appear overnight. The stalks shot up rapidly then beautiful pink flowers unfurled.
The common name, Naked Ladies, comes from the fact that there are no leaves present when they bloom. The plant is also known as Pink Lady, Resurrection Lily and Magic Lily. It's not a lily, but is in the Amaryllis family. I'm just happy the ladies finally arrived!
- Author: Sally Livingston
After attending a session on succulent container gardening at UC Davis, I decided to try it. This is my first attempt. When I purchased the succulents, I thought it would be too crowded in the planter but there is space. As they grow, I think it will fill it, but if not I plan to add some other succulents.
There are many kinds of succulents and I just got a few different ones. They have shallow roots so I put rocks in the bottom of my planter. Then I used packaged soil designed for succulents or cactus mix. It is more porous that the usual potting mix and helps retain water for longer periods. This one is located at the entrance to our gazebo and gets morning and early afternoon sun then some shade. It seems to be doing well. I water it about every two weeks slowly with at least a quart of water. But if I forget they are very forgiving. This winter I will move them to a sheltered area when frost is in the forecast.
You might want to try this type of gardening. There are so many different and variety of plants that it is fun to select a interesting combination for your container. And it doesn’t require a lot of care or frequent fertilizing.