Archive for July, 2012

Today while perusing Facebook, I saw a link to an article about a resident who was fighting his city over whether he could keep his front-yard garden.

According to the article, the city viewed the garden as a “blot on the landscape” and demanded that he convert his garden to sod. With the help of a lawyer, the resident appealed the citation against him and won.

The article goes on to quote a city official who said that, while the resident had the law on his side, it didn’t make sense to have a front-yard garden. After all, everyone knows gardens belong in the back yard, right?

I had several reactions when I read the article, the first being, “You go, gardener!” Followed by noting that his garden looks much neater than mine!


The photo above shows one view of my front-yard garden. A view coming from the other direction:


Now my yard is a bit different than the Missouri resident’s, mainly because I have a row of crepe myrtles crossing the front. In the spring, the trees are surrounded by tulips, iris, and wildflowers, creating a show of pastels for the passers-by.

I’ve also planted flowers all along the perimeter to shield the deer fence and add some color:



Another thought I had when reading the article was this: While it might be traditional to have your veggies out back, what if, like me, your back yard is not sunny enough to grow summer veggies?

And why should someone grow sod when they can instead have a garden to feed their family? When I visited Ireland and Peru, I was impressed with how many rural landowners made the best of their space, including having gardens and animals in all areas of their yards.

The city official was concerned about how the garden would look in the winter. I don’t know what that gardener plans to do, but I plant cover crop. Last year’s clover received rave reviews from the people walking by my house.


I don’t know if the resident lived in an area that has a homeowner association with rules on landscaping. I don’t live in such an area, so I am free to do what I want with my yard.

And while it might not be to everyone’s taste, my garden looks beautiful to me. It brings me joy — and lots of produce and cut flowers!

Besides, I’m not sure a sodded yard could compare to the beauty I see in a homegrown tomato.



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In true Olympic spirit, the dog and cat have put aside their differences … to nap.

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I, like Socks the cat (pictured above), have absolutely no motivation.  I blame it on the heat of the summer.  Normally around this time, I’d be taking a vacation and sitting on the beach.  But since I’m not doing that this year, I’m instead sitting in my house, looking at all the things that need to be done — and not doing them.

It’s interesting giving yourself permission to not do.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no workaholic.  But I do tend to work seven days a week doing something or other.

…There’s my garden that needs massive amounts of work (please ignore the weeds in the pathways, disregard the bean plants that need composting, and oh yeah, quit reminding me that it’s about time to start the fall garden!).

…There’s the fortunate problem of canning/cooking/preserving the produce from my garden.

…There’s the small side business I was attempting to develop (though is now on hold while I train for the Camino).

…There’s my house that hasn’t seen a clean window in two years (disclaimer: I do clean the inside of the windows, I’m just too lazy to do the outside).

…There’s my dog that requires a lot of attention (bless her puppy heart).

…There’s the ferals (Socks is one) that need trapping/spaying/neutering/immunizing and socializing.

So I have plenty to do, but what do you find me doing these last few weeks of July?  Well, I am still canning/cooking/preserving, but other than that, I’m taking a break from my home work.  I’ve got a stack of books from the library, there’s a DVD from Netflix coming in the mail, and a nice cool spot on my couch to sit and enjoy a watermelon smoothie.

I tell myself that all those ongoing garden/house/pet projects will be there in a few weeks, when my motivation comes back. So, since I’m not having an official vacation this year, I’m allowing myself to be lazy at home.   After all, those windows aren’t going anywhere!

How are you spending these hot summer days?

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Tonight’s dinner was 90 percent from the garden: corn, yard-long noodle beans, a small tomato, and kale which had kindly reseeded itself amongst the cover crop. Also, a thrown-together concoction featuring my zucchini, garlic, basil and okra, along with store-bought onions, green pepper, mushrooms, canned tomatoes and chickpeas.

I love my garden!

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