Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Garden Is Finally Poppin'

Carpenter bee on lemon balm
I'll tell y'all a little secret about my pride and ego.  Every year, the Baltimore City Farm program has a contest for "Baltimore's Best Gardens" among the 700 or so plots throughout the city.  I refuse to put the money into my garden plot that some others do, and I simply don't have the spare time to spend hours per day clipping away at dead leaves in my garden.

So, in 2010 my very pretty and fairly productive garden won the award for "most beautiful" at our City Farm, and 3rd "most beautiful" in the entire city, which I thought was nice. Note: I would have preferred to win the "best design" award.

I believe that awards for 2011 are being handed out this week, and I'm a bit skeptical about my odds for a repeat victory, based on what my garden looked like at the time of the award inspections.  A month into a severe heatwave simply made my garden look the "least depressing" of many, but certainly not "most beautiful."  "Best design?" Right.  Maybe "best design to avoid catastrophic drought failure."

Of course, now, a month later, the garden looks absolutely beautiful and I'm thrilled with it. To be fair, a few other gardens look much better too, but largely, the gardeners have abandoned their plots.  So look at mine!

Hank's even getting into the action.  He is almost two, and instead of clinging and whining constantly while I attempt to work in the garden, he's mastered such wonderful games as "Run really fast with a 2x4 full of rusty nails," "Oh, we're not picking all of the green tomatoes and putting them in a pile. Got it!", and that olde pastime, "Let's throw squash at bees."

One summer morning's harvest

A silver-spotted skipper (our most frequent butterfly at the garden) on my lemon balm
(grown from last year's seed)

A cuckoo bee or some other new variety of bumblebee on "Purple Haze" hyssop (grown from seed). 

When you look at complex native plants like Lemon Balm, it's hard to argue that at some point,
earth's systems did not have a designer

Not sure why we have to grimace while watering the corn.  It's not even my corn. 

The garden's least-welcome guest - Brown Marmorated Stinkbug on Purple Majesty Millet
- grown from last year's seed


Map Monkey said...

Really nice photos! I am impressed that you grow so many things from seed (and that they look so good!). Well, you must have the green thumb of your great-grandma, who planted things up here at the lakehouse that are still going strong, even after 80 years in terrible rocky soil!

Kirk Mantay said...

Thank you, that is a wonderful compliment :)

And yeah, that mountain soil is atrocious!

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