August 1, 2012 by Zee
Before this current year, there was no community garden in walking distance and I became curious about the side-yard outside of my building.
The yard was a decent size, South facing with fun sun, but the ideal chunk for gardening was fenced off and overgrew each summer with perennial flowers.
Another plot of yard was in too close of a proximity of the trash cans. Incidentally, things didn’t seem to grow well in that area.
The final spot, toward the street passed the test and with green thumb gusto I carved out time to dig in that dirt.
The task became more complicated when I realized that the water spout outside was not accessible and would have to come from my 3rd floor apartment.
I still meagerly attempted maintenance of my endeavor.
The attempt fizzled out most due to nosey neighbors, eye-balling street boys and even the traffic pattern.
Apparently cutoffs and being covered in sweat and soil is not enough of a conversational deterrent for the wrong type of people.
Still undeterred I looked skyward for a solution and found it. On the rooftop attachment in the hallway outside my walkup. I’d spent a New Years or two out there watching fireworks (on 4th of July the trees obstructed the far away view).
Quiet, accessible and sunny, and close to the main water source of my kitchen sink; a perfect place for a private garden!
We set to work, germinating seeds and placing them in little ceramic pots, then outside on the ledge that was much deeper than I’d remembered..
For a short while it was amazing! To be able to see my little sprout-lings bud and bloom. To spy them in my comings and goings, to be growing something!
Then reality set it.
The rooftop was susceptible to whipping winds which took a few sprouts out by knocking them over and rolling them out of arms reach or uprooting them and scattering the dirt.
A few more succumbed to full sun. The wrong cloudless day combined with forgetful watering and I am sorry to say some seedlings were withered crisp.
And let’s face it, who the hell really wants to climb out out of an oddly positioned window with a wobbly water jug and a curious toddler watching a few times a week for a potential marigold?
Still it was a positive experience.
We actually planned the garden, germinated some seeds, got em in the dirt…And learned from it all!
I appreciate my own life a little more; especially after that time it flashed before my eyes, as I almost slipped on the wet windowsill down a full landing of stairs head first while my toddler looked on, curiously. (Lesson in gardening: don’t DIE in a freak accident lol)
We studied microclimates in the side yard, and wind patterns on the roof. Even a new found appreciation the discipline of weeding and watering (in those that do it of course).
I’d still say over all the experience (of failure) was a success. We called it quits before our clumsy family took a field trip to the ER.
Now have a plot in the park down the street. My green thumb is still itching for some plants at home…
Although I should probably just get a rubber plant and plunk it in the corner or better yet an aloe in the kitchen, I can’t help but eye the window ledge in my living room….