The Sustain Blog by Nicole Brait

May 24, 2009

Brooklyn Front Yard

I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for some time. Mostly because, no matter how many times I tell myself I am going to keep a garden journal, I never do. And I know I should. So many times I’ll look at the garden when I get home and think ‘I really should write down that the Salvia bloomed early this year,’ but by the time I get in the door I’ve completely forgotten.

So, here we go…

I thought I’d start off my blog with an amusing story. When I was a kid my Dad always had a garden, a pretty big one by suburban standards. Weekends were when he did most of his work in the garden and often he would wake me up early in the morning to help him weed or plant or look for slugs. And it was always hot and humid and I was always sneezing and getting dirty and I swore that when I grew up I would never have a garden.

About five years ago I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and into an apartment that had a yard. The yard was a wreak. Three foot high weeds, chunks of concrete, broken bottles, a rusty screen door. The task of making this yard usable seemed daunting but I had specifically looked for an apartment with outdoor space so I certainly wasn’t going to waste it.

So, I started cleaning it out. Once it was clear I thought, well, if I have all this outdoor space I really should plant something. I got a few perennials at the Green Market at Borough Hall and planted them in the yard. A friend gave me an azalea, another a basil plant. The plants did okay but not great.

I called my dad and asked him what I should do. He said turn over the soil and add some compost. I started turning over the soil and went to the garden center and bought a few bags of compost and somewhere in there between chopping down weeds taller than I am and picking out a rusty screen door  and digging in composted manure I became a gardener.

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