Happy 2010

Posted Friday, January 8th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

It’s been awhile since the last communication.  I just came back from the East Coast the other day.  I am so happy to be back in warm Southern California where I don’t have to wear pants under my pants!

I’ve hit the ground running here with three new garden projects to begin.  Here at the Farm Apartment I am going to transform the front window in our living room into an indoor garden.  The Window is the entire reason I moved into this place.  We have the corner apartment on the second floor and our view is filled with giant, lush trees.  At the moment, my husband and I have our desks set up against the glass so we can look up from our writing to gaze out at all the action.  All day long we watch busy hummingbirds, fat bellied bees, daring squirrels.  My favorite spectacle is the majestic flock of crows that swoop, dive and swirl as they zoom past  every day at sunset.

I plan to reorganize the space so that we can still enjoy the view while having room for lots of edible plants.  Whenever I’ve tried to grow anything in here in the past, it has been immediately attacked by aphids, so I’m ready for battle.

Out back, I’m going to start a container garden on my teensy, shade shrouded porch and in the common space of my apartment building.

Also – I found a yard to garden! All of my whining about not having space has paid off.  My friend’s mom, Judith (a truly inspired painter of animal portraits) offered me her entire backyard!  She only lives about 10 minutes away.  So I’m going to get a raised bed garden going.  What should I grow?

My third gardening project is one that is truly inspirational to me. Along with a few other volunteer gardeners, I am working with the nonprofit WISE and Healthy Aging to transform a previously unused space into a vegetable garden for their Adult Day Service Center.  The WISE Center provides a safe place for elderly adults with all stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Creating a garden for the benefit of those at the end of their lives will be a powerful manifestation of many of my own beliefs and values.

I heard about this opportunity through Santa Monica’s Garden Registry program.  Turns out, this is going to be their first big yard-sharing project.  How’s that for being on the van-garden?

So there you have it.  From zero to three gardens in 1.5 months flat.

Let the apartment farming begin!



  1. melanie watts

    It will be interesting to see photos of all 3 of your gardens. I’m especially interested in the things you will be growing in front of the big window.
    And yes it really is that simple, put the seed into the ground, bury them no deeper than the size of the seed. Really tiny seeds need only to be pressed into the soil surface. Add water, not too much, you don’t want to drown them, and wait.

  2. Anarchy in the Garden

    Congratulations on all your projects!Sounds like you are off to a busy 2010.

  3. Kay

    Oh! I need to subscribe to your blog so I don’t miss updated entries – glad you’re back in SoCal!

    Wow that’s all great news on the gardening front. Having a backyard just 10 minutes away is a real gift. I do raised beds and containers here in my teeny backyard too. Have you started your beds yet? Need a hand? It’s a bit of work getting them started but lots of fun! Don’t forget to make room in the corner for a compost pile…

    One last comment about your volunteer work with the senior center. You are spot-on about the value of gardening for folks at the end of their lives… I will never forget making a container garden for my Mom in a tiny Kansas backyard a year before she went into hospice, one of the last gardens she was ever able to enjoy. She loved tending it and eating vegetables she had grown, it connected her with her past and gave her a sense of purpose and peace.

  4. Evangeline

    Hi Kay! Thanks for the support. I am really psyched about the backyard. It opens up all of these possibilities. Right now I’m researching where to get materials for raised beds – cheap! I’m picking up some wood I found on Freecycle, we’ll see how far that gets me. Thanks for offering to give me a hand! If you didn’t live so far away I’d take it. However, I’ve signed up husband up to help me out, and he’s pretty handy.

    Your description of the garden you started for you mom is so moving. I hope you write about it some day. I remember my grandpa, in the last days before he went into nursing home had three tomato plants. Some days it was all he could do to get out there and water them, but he checked on them every day. Having something to take care of really kept him going. I feel really fortunate to be a part of this project.

  5. Evangeline

    AITG – Thank you! All of a sudden I’m sooo busy!

  6. Hayley

    Evangeline. Sorry I’ve missed your posts. Don’t worry about aphids. They were destroying our rose bushes and I got a bunch of ladybugs and they totally decimated the aphids. Got to follow the directions and put the ladybugs on at night while they are sleepy or they’ll fly away. Also, there’s something you do w/water. Maybe water the base of the plant right after you put them on. Good luck w/the window garden sounds great.

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