Sunday, May 4, 2014

Garden Tour

For the sake of privacy and security, I won't mention the city, but, there was a great Garden Club garden tour I was able to attend this weekend.  The tour was open to the public and a great way to introduce the community to the Garden Club and it's mission while also inspiring community spirit and fellowship.  

     The gardens were volunteered and hosted by individual homeowners.  Each homeowner presented their garden with their own personal flare.  One gardener had visitors sign in.  One gardener, took regular circular tours with 8"x11" photo print outs of the fruits that were not in season or the blooms in full bloom.  One gardener insisted you walk her yard on your own to discover the secrets hidden there.  All the gardeners were available to answer questions and no one held back on their tricks of the trade or 'secrets'. 

Everywhere there was a garden, there was an idea to take home.

Two gardens featured hydroponic that are actually stacked drip systems.  One used soil, the other a perlite growing medium with a fish emulsion pumping through the system.   Both ladies were growing two hundred plants in a space 18" x 10 '.
bananas and blueberries
 in mushroom compost
compost by the truckload
     We have had trouble with our blueberries growing in our sandy Florida soil.  They will survive in amended soil for a time then, suddenly fail.  answer...plant them above the soil in mushroom compost.  This gardener even named her local outlet for buying mushroom compost.  A little research online shows me this growing material is available through garden centers, landscape resource outlets, mushroom growers and even excavation companies.
papaya, collards, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, olive trees,
persimmon, peaches and an herb garden in a space twelve by twenty feet

This garden, with fish (koi now and West Nile Perch in the summer) is surrounded by seasonal flowers and room to work in some herbs.  But, in the back yard, there was a garden in a discarded wood pallet, plant tags made from pruned branches marked with a wood burner, fruit trees neatly mulched, tomatoes growing everywhere and a lovely garden featuring an edible but beautiful kale that is nice enough to grow in a front garden.  The gardeners also gave small packets of heritage seeds to everyone who visited to encourage growing non genetically altered foods.  

tin can tinman scarecrow
     Even the art gardens had something to teach a prepper.  For example, nothing is wasted.  Anything can be put to use as something else.  The tinman was a cute use for cans, but the bottles in the photo with the fence are covered with grout and pressed with shiny bits that are pretty but then....they are used as soil retention and borders that also keep in moisture.  The artist also said when the sun hits them, the colored lights dance around the yard and she has no troubles with birds pecking at the fruits or vegetables she's grown in the past.  So, pretty little scarecrows, who knew?

mosaic tiled bottle border

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