Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Ten points to the person who knows where the quote in the title of this post comes from.

So the girl who lived in this apartment last lived here for three years. In that time, she put in a garden in the backyard and she did a really good job. The town where I live is very industrial and the houses are all about three inches apart (no, I’m not exaggerating), so it’s a good piece of luck to have the space for a garden in the backyard of the apartment.

The garden is sturdy, has that great blue door and is covered in chicken wire so the pigeons can’t get in. We have a serious pigeon infestation at this apartment. To the point where our friend Devon’s offer to come shoot pigeons with a BB gun is growing on me. The pigeons have also taken to roosting on our porch, which sucks big time because now it’s covered in pigeon poop. So on our list of things to do this weekend is buy some screen and screen in the porch. And scrub pigeon poop.

Anyway, the garden has three raised beds built in pallets, which I spent some time Monday (when the temperature got up to a whopping 50 degrees!) weeding and cleaning up the garden area. To the left of the fenced-in area, I’ve started a compost pile. Still trying to figure out how to discourage the neighbors from tossing their trash in it. Since Shawn and I apparently live in eastern Europe (I’ll post a pic soon to illustrate that point).

We plan to cover the garden in white plastic too so it will be more like a greenhouse. It still gets pretty cold here at night until well into June. Here’s my point illustrated:

36 degrees at 11 a.m. in May. Ugh.

The plastic will be roll-up-able, and we can clip it up with clothes pins to let air circulate so it doesn’t get so hot inside in July and August. But to protect against those June (and probably July) frosts, we’ve got to get something up. Oh the trials of living at a mile high.

But despite the weather, there’s hope. While I was weeding and turning the soil over (it’s great soil, too), I noticed some small rhubarb plants pushing up. Yay!

Last night we went to a fundraiser for the community garden, which is also conveniently two blocks from our apartment, and I’m planning to get involved there too. They need some help composting and building raised beds. Huzzah for putting my master gardener class to use!

One fabulous outcome of the evening was that there were some seeds and tomato plants for sale. And guess which variety of tomato plants? Cherokee purple! Cherokee purple is my favorite (at least of the heirloom variety tomatoes I’ve tried, which isn’t very many). And since the little guys were such a deal ($2 a plant, with one dollar going to the grower and one dollar to the community garden), I couldn’t resist. Let’s hope I don’t kill all three of them. I’ll be planting them after Memorial Day, as per the suggestion of one of the community garden ladies.

Well, I’m off for the day — lots to do! I’ve got to get some freelance work done, design a brochure for a client (I’ll post photos of the final product) and get some lettuce and flowers in the ground!

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6 thoughts on “Il faut cultiver notre jardin

  1. Yay! It’s so cool that you have become a gardener! You will have to teach me all about it. As for the pigeons, 2 suggestions:
    1. Rubber snakes
    2. Water gun, and not a tiny one, one that shoots a decent sized jet.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! We’re also going to try and find a plastic owl to put out too. I hear that helps scare the pigeons off.

      I’m going to start planting in the next day or two! The plants I can put in the ground before the last frost date are Tonda di Parigi carrots, ruby red and rainbow chard, chives, walla walla onions, a couple different kinds of spinach, romaine lettuce and snow peas. I’m going to plant a ton of flowers out front too in this weird little yard we have in front of the apartment (it’s about two feet deep and eight feet wide). Here’s hoping it all goes gangbusters!

  2. Hi! I was just tipped off on this post by a mutual friend. Sounds like you’re living in my old apartment. A friend and I were the ones that built the Hope Garden! We built it all from stuff that we found at the dump or in dumpsters! I painted that door blue. 😛 The rocks were hand picked near the Big Hole River and the bricks for the steps are actually from the alleyway when the city dug it up last summer. I snagged a few as they are pretty cool and handmade cobblestone.

    I’m sooooooo happy that you’re using it! It makes my heart swell knowing that you’re going to continue to garden in it. What a dream come true for me!

    I had posies in the front. Be careful! There are some nasty thorned sumthings growing in there that I tried to kill!

    Hope you can keep the place clean considering all the trash across the alley! The Health Dept. has been called many times! 🙂

    I just posted a picture yesterday of the garden from last year when I had sunflowers. You can check it out here.http://maizehutton.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-you-can-make-with-wooden-pallets.html

    Have fun and good luck planting!!!!

  3. Great to find your blog and best wishes growing your garden and friendships in Butte, America! I’m delighted the Garden of Hope is being tended by such talented and energetic people. I’ll check back often and cheer you on from warm, sunny & dry New Mexico.

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