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June 2016Up on the Roof
Out in the dog pen, someone ate my snow peas first, then the fava beans then, after that, my ‘Rainbow’ chard among the roses and nepeta.
Getting older and being busy is a tough mix for clearing out an overgrown dog pen/vegetable garden so I took the easy way and started an off-the-cuff roof/balcony/container garden with the man in my life, Julian Sparacino, in Scranton, PA, with what is known as "found objects."
First item: a wooden end table with storage compartment found on a roadside. Julian removed the top and drilled holes, then planted Greek oregano, lemon thyme, and Italian flat leaf parsley that miraculously survived winter on the kitchen table, and borage seeds. Next we found wooden crates and planted poblano peppers, and seeds of ‘Rustic Style’ arugula and ‘Redina’ organic French red leaf lettuce.
From my garage, I enlisted an old wooden ammo box that once held ammunition during some distant war. Now it holds thriving young’uns of kohlrabi, cabbage and ‘Lacinato’ kale. We have enjoyed our first harvest of seeded ‘Regiment’ organic spinach and ‘Tuscan Baby Leaf’ kale that grow in a terra cotta bowl just outside the kitchen door. ‘Dukat’ dill in standard terra cotta grows beside it on the second story balcony.
Down on the ground against the white-washed building, ‘Better Boy’ and Siberian heirloom ‘Black Prince’ grow in pots abutting a colony of blooming Prickly Pear planted here 12 years ago in the crack between wall and slate path.
Meanwhile, ‘San Marzano’ and ‘Pompeii’ plum tomatoes, ‘Big Beef’ Beefsteak tomato and ‘Trieste’ bulbing fennel grow from a second seeding in a flat now under Julian’s care. It’s not easy riding in the back of a pick-up at 65mph and keeping your hat on!
Finally (for the moment), sunflower seeds will soon sprout against a sunny garage wall.
**All photos by Julian Sparacino
** All seeds from Renee's Garden
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