Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Urban Garden

Over the past year and a half, we have taken on a joint interest in gardening. It started with building a plant stand outside our kitchen window to improve the view (which is of the building directly next door). We bought the supplies and a few plants at a local hardware store and built it in a few hours. It has been a bit of trial and error to find plants that survive in the mostly shaded area, but here is a picture of the garden today.

We love looking out the window and seeing these plants.

But the shared backyard in our apartment building is a different story. We have been working on it for the last year. An afternoon here, a weekend there, and we have finally managed to turn the over grown ivy covered yard of unknown into a pretty organized and functional outdoor living space. We used bricks that we uncovered while weeding to build the border of a path, while Kevin chopped old tree stumps to fill in the path. We have a designated garden where we have been growing a selection of fresh herbs and lettuces year-round, and harvested broccoli, Brussels sprouts and chard over the winter months.

There is something so gratifying about eating something that you grew. It inspires us to try new recipes, and also to use fresh herbs in almost everything we eat. I can’t remember the last salad we ate that didn't include fresh parsley or basil, and I love that.

Here is a picture from right after we planted our winter garden.

We tried to keep all the plants we encountered, which included breaking up an old planter box filled with jade and geranium plants, and planting them around the perimeter of the yard. Calla lilies that we didn't even know were back there are now cut weekly and replace the fresh flowers I used to buy at the store.

But it’s not all work! We inherited some outdoor furniture and hung some string lights, and find that it is a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and the view when we are not getting our hands dirty.

This is just a little of what we have been up to lately. More to come soon!