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City Gardening

September 5, 2008

IMG_2177, originally uploaded by

I don’t know that many people think of gardens when they think of cities. They may think of city gardens but the artistry that I’ve seen on my street was certainly unexpected.

We currently live in an “oasis” on concrete. While our house is certainly nicer then our old apartment our “backyard” is probably slightly larger then our apartment balcony. And to that the fact that it is completely concreted over and well you can see that we don’t have much in the way of green. Our neighbors (many of them long term residents) however are not deterred. They have turned small porches into elaborate container gardens like the one above. They are as diverse and colorful as anything you have ever seen in a home garden and yet they do despite being surrounded by brick and concrete. I am amazed and happy to get to walk past these gardens every day and hope to one day emulate their creativity on our front porch.

Our “backyard” may be entirely concrete but I’ve told that our landlords grandparents grew tomatoes in containers for years here and I plan on giving it a go come spring. Ideally I will cover the concrete with containers (if we had bought the house I would seriously consider breaking the concrete up and hauling it out to have an actual albeit small yard.

We first tried our hand at container gardening this summer with mixed success. We finally found the right routine and types of plants to grow in the long dry summers of Colorado only to move across the country where it is nothing but dry. Needless to say our plants that we brought with us did not flourish. Happily the ones we left behind with a friend are doing very well despite being planted rather late in the season. This year instead of research in March I’m going to research this fall, purchase seeds this winter and get the seeds sown indoors the appropriate amount of weeks before the last frost. The only challenge is finding the right seeds. I’ll have to send all the seeds from last year to the friend that adopted our plants so I’m back at square one. I haven’t found any Philadelphia garden blogs to get information or assistance from but there is a large organic grower right in the city. I’m going to visit their farmstand and pump them for information about which varities of tomatoes and beans and fruit grow well here. Maybe they will even take pity on me and share some seeds 🙂


One Comment leave one →
  1. September 5, 2008 5:48 pm

    You should do well with things like: tomato, basil, eggplants, peppers. All of those do well for me here in Ohio (zone 5). Don’t bother with things like zucchini, they’re so cheap at the farmer’s market I may not even grow them next year.

    You can check out:
    Calendula & Concrete She’s in Washington DC, but it might be close enough for similar gardening.

    Skippy’s Vegetable Garden
    She’s in a zone 6a (might be similar to Philly)

    You might also be able to find a couple people on in your growing zone.

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