Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Garden in Brooklyn

I've been gardening away in our little backyard. I've been planting seeds, pulling weeds, watering, fertilizing, and transplanting little tomato and cucumber seedlings up to larger containers. We're not planting our vegetables in the ground because Greenpoint is on top of an oil spill. Apparently our neighborhood is a Superfund site. Although that kind of sounds like a good thing, because it has the word "super" in it, it's not because it means that we're on a national priorities list of hazardous waste sites. Yippeee! Seriously, I saw a map once and our apartment isn't right on top of the spill, but better safe than sorry. 

For a wasteland, the soil is fabulous! After planting seeds once the chance of frost had passed (not that long ago), we're finally seeing some results. Hopefully the following will serve as the "before" shots and I'll have photos of blooms to share in the summer. 

The sunflowers are off to a good start. 

The Hyacinth bean vine is just starting to take off. I was unsuccessful with my first planting, but then I discovered the trick to germination is soaking the seeds for 24 hours prior to planting. 

My favorite are the nasturtiums, which seem to love New York so far. When I grew these in North Carolina they did much better with a little shade, and really took off when it cooled off in the fall. 

Before we moved in our landlady had planted the garden with some rose bushes, shrubs, and an evergreen tree. After we moved in she planted a few more roses for us and they are all doing well and about to bloom. Here's one of the established rose bushes. 

I've really been working hard on the garden, and I was ready to take all the credit for the results when the vine next door started to bloom. The lot next door to ours was obviously tended to by a gardener at some point. There are containers lining the fence and a garden plot that must have been carefully cared for once. But the only human activity I've seen over there has been limited to a smoke break or mop bucket emptying by one of the Yummy Taco (a terrible restaurant around the corner on Manhattan Ave.) employees. So my pride in my work was really put to shame when this showed up next door. 

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