One of the reasons I was excited to move to Nashville and rent out Lauren’s house while she’s in Savannah was the yard. In Atlanta our house was on a narrow crowded street, and the only place we could grow anything was in a couple pots on the front porch stairs, but here there’s space and sun, and just about the perfect growing conditions for a garden.
Since we’re renting and since we’re pretty much just starting out as gardeners, we’re growing mostly in containers for now. Well, we took over the front flower bed with an herb/rock garden and a temporary place to grow our kales and lettuces while the weather is still cool. But other than that we’re growing everything in huge pots. I figure that it’s probably the easiest thing to do for a beginner. Plus, that way we don’t have to dig out huge squares of dirt across Lauren and Neil’s yard.
One day I want to have a big, overflowing garden with a path down the middle of it, just like Alys Fowler’s garden. I got hooked on the gardening show she did for the BBC, and binge-watched them all on Youtube a few weeks back. Alys is a professional gardener and horticulture journalist, but she’s completely unpretentious and creative and thrifty. The show came out back in 2010, before gardening got super trendy and before Williams Sonoma got its own “agrarian garden” section complete with $1500 chicken coops, so it’s refreshing to watch. Alys builds her own mini greenhouse out of found 1930s windows, and has her 1970s hippie friends come over and show her how to make pickles and how to d.i.y. tomato cages out of willow tree branches. While the vegetables are still growing, Alys goes foraging with her dog and comes back and makes dandelion fritters in her beautiful kitchen garden. It’s escapist stuff, but it’s also perfectly attainable (minus the living in England part). And the best part of all is that Alys always gardens in secondhand dresses and skirts and says it might even be easier, so I don’t even have to bother tracking down the overalls I didn’t want to buy.
Right now our garden is nothing like Alys’, but we already have some cherry tomato plants going, and our kale and lettuce seedlings are going crazy. We planted wildflowers for the bees (and, sadly, the birds, which have been eating up the seeds as soon as we plant them, so we’ll see how that turns out) and some strawberry plants that will, fingers crossed, be giving us fruit by June.