PlantTherapy: Leaving the Garden Behind

2008-05-11garden.jpg

So I promised a peek in at our tiny garden...before we leave it. Back when I began submitting pictures to Maxwell, I was another busy New Yorker trying to find a few minutes to stop and smell the roses - and never had any intention or expectation of growing any.

We are packing up and moving from our apartment soon. I don't consider myself a real gardener OR garden blogger by any means, and yet here I am very sad to leave these plants behind...

A view of the original space.
A view if the garden two years later, in early spring

A few years ago we moved to this co-op which had a tiny, neglected garden area. It had exhausted, cracked soil that eroded with every rain. Plenty of people had stories of a time years ago when the lot overflowed with greenery. I slowly started to carve out a few minutes here and there to plant a few things, and to use that time to unwind from my busy city work.

The little garden became an outdoor classroom. Each blossom a mark of success, and each plant lost represented a lesson learned. Either way it felt enriching. I was most surprised at how many of the co-op's children would come out and pitch in, and who had never had a gardening experience. One young child actually thought I lived in the garden, and would come out to search for me. Here are a few of this spring's successes we'll be leaving behind:

Hostas in spike and bleeding hearts.

Fragrant hyacinths and hardy geraniums.

Peonies and heuchera.

Hellebores and daffodils.

The next place will not have such a shared outdoor space, but will instead have an area tucked away just for myself. But I just may seek out the local community garden; in all honesty, gardening with and for others was unexpectedly rewarding. I think I will miss it very much.

matt at apartment therapy dot com