It’s nice living in town and getting to know your neighbors. When I working I just didn’t have time to get to know anyone. I was rarely home.  So since I have been home and have a small terrier, I have had the opportunity to become friendly or friends with many of the neighbors simply by walking the dag and taking a minute to say hello.

That is how I met Ann. Ann is a fantastic gardener. She got me interested in gardening simply by making lunch using her veggies. There is nothing like fresh from the garden veggies or heirloom tomatoes.

Last year I planted willy nilly. This year I used the Square Foot Garden Guide.

What is square foot gardening? Square foot gardening is a simple method of creating small, orderly, and highly productive kitchen gardens. It was invented by backyard gardener, retired engineer, and efficiency expert Mel Bartholomew as a better way to grow a vegetable garden.

Above is the lettuce and arugula bed.  We also planted in one square foot, on each end, climbing vines to go around our breakfast room window.

The beans above – same method. The blank spots on the side are 1 sq foot for cucumbers and/or melons and the climbing trellis to get them off the ground.

So how did this become the community garden? Ann planted a ton of seeds while I was planting something else. She isn’t going to garden this year due to a knee replacement, but she enjoyed helping at my expanding garden and pops in regularly to see the progress. (We added three more raised bed sections this year – so there is a lot to check up on)

Andrew and Jennifer, a younger couple with kids who always gardens, were a little late getting started on their garden this year. They have a busy life with kids and work – I remember those days. Well – I had extra plants and rather than jamming them into the beds, like I did last year, they are now growing quite happily at their place. And Jennifer has mentioned that once the peppers are ready in my bed by the alley (shown here) she’d be happy to pick a few. 🙂

Last year they, along with Bill and Jane (our other neighbors) contributed many of the hot peppers to my pepper jellies – which were a neighborhood hit!

The best part about gardening is that our block has now become a block of friends which makes home feel cozy – like a community should.

It’s nice to know the neighbors and their children (for those that have them). It’s also nice when the children knock on the door to ask about playing basketball in the drive, or to sell us a candybar for a fundraiser – and we know who they belong to and their name.

It’s nice to ask the more seasoned gardeners for tips or to give them a new tip on getting rid of aphids or how to keep the stray cat out of the garden (The net in the one picture).

There are other neighbors too that are interested in the garden and have stopped over to talk. Doug and Doreen  – Jody who we’ve known the longest and loves beets – and MaryAnn who loves strawberries and gardening too. In fact, we’re talking about starting a Ladies Garden Club Night this year once it gets nice enough to sit on the back porch. You don’t even have to garden.

So – the garden has become a community garden. A point of interest because many of my neighbors garden too, or are fascinated with the odd varieties I plant.  I tell them that the pink celery, the many colorful peppers, the white strawberries, funny beets and more, are what happens with a sewer plants a garden. It has to have lots of color.

So if I’m not posting freebies or classes or new designs – you know where to find me. I’ll be in the garden and talking to the neighbors.

Don’t worry there will be plenty of rainy days – and I’ll be posting recipes based on things from the garden – and those preserved lemons.

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