I certainly don't proclaim to be a master gardener but I would say that my thumb is a distinct shade of green. This year, however, I have moved beyond my normal summer obsession and moved decidedly into the realm of Urban Gardener. What warrants that label you ask? Well, this is the view from my front door:
Pretty? Well, yes, and the fragrances from those peonies are, quite frankly, overwhelming, almost artificial. And I love all the discoveries I make as I poke around my very small patch of heaven. But that isn't what made me decide to elevate myself to the realms of all those Italian men living on Preston Street and vicinity. It was this that did it:
Yup, those are tomatoes, fully staked, growing right there in my front yard. This year, I'm using every available inch to either beautify with perennials, give Emily a patch of dirt to cultivate (and destroy, let's be honest) or grow vegetables. And this year, the vegetables are taking precedence. We have a poorly used cold storage in our basement, a soon to be depleted bank account, and a tiny yard ripe for the harvest.
If you ever walk down Preston Street in Ottawa, our little Italy, you will see tiny backyards filled with tomatoes, the odd other vegetable and herb, but mostly robust, serious, take-note tomatoes. This is no light-hearted undertaking, my friends. This is serious business for these old gents. And I've tasted the bounty when John and I lived on Corso Italia. Our gracious and very old Italian landlords handed over many tomatoes when we handed over our rent (in cash, by the by).
So, I've joined their ranks, at least in method if not in quality. And I'm proud of it. Why shouldn't we use our front yards to grow food after all? Maybe I'll start a little trend on my street, if not a string of tomato thefts.
The backyard vegetable garden has been replanted after the squirrels reaped the rewards of bean and squash seeds and I'm hoping for better luck. Stay tuned. An obsession like this is bound to warrant several more posts. Aren't you all so lucky?
I also have to say: what the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on with the size of these flowers? Check this out....
Okay, so I do have carnie hands, as John readily points out, but still, that's one mother blossom.