Tag Archives: Santa Rosa gardens

My Morning Bicycle Ride: Food in Yards

huge gardenThis morning I took a bicycle ride through the posh neighborhood just a few blocks away.  I decided to spot and photograph all the food I could see in the gardens – mostly looking for front yard vegetables and fruits.  This particular enormous garden has long been a favorite of mine.

driveway corn and melonsI love to see people making use of driveway dividers to grow food.  Here is squash or melons and dried up corn.

persimmons and rock wallPersimmons in the front yard of a charming house that I have always admired.  But since I was focusing on food growing I didn’t snap the house itself.

pearsAcross the street from the persimmons the neighbors have two pear trees.

squash in the front yardThis is my favorite – when vegetables are used in front yards as part of the landscaping for all to see.

strange fruitWhat the hell are these?  I don’t know if they’re edible but I had to include them because they’re weird and cool.  Also – the same yard had an orange tree.

orange treeHere it is.  Look at all those wasting oranges.  That’s a real shame.

grapes and limesGrapes and limes!  I may have spotted rhubarb too but it was hard to tell and I didn’t want to trespass to find out.

applesSmall apple tree.

semisad peach treeThis was planted in the sidewalk strip and I wish I could do that in my strip but I think the city doesn’t allow it and here in my very busy very city block I think it would get the city’s attention.

driveway tomatoesThe owner of these tomatoes came home just as I spotted them.  I asked if I could take a picture of his tomatoes and he said yes, but I think he was really weirded out by me.  This is another driveway divider as garden.  I love it!

front yard veg boxDamn poor picture but this cute little house put a pretty vegetable box right near their front steps.  Super charming!

squash toms and marigoldsAnd lastly – another veg box in a front yard.  They have another on on the other side of the walkway.  I wish my tomatoes looked that robust!

That’s the end of my posh neighborhood food growing tour.

That was a really nice way to start my day.  Unfortunately, my back is hurting so I’m headed back to bed for a while longer to ice and heat it.  Hope you have a great Monday!

Santa Rosa Gardens

I love this porch decoration.

This is next door to us.  Most of the houses on this street are either old or vintage (it’s an official historic district with signs and all).

I remember when this yard was lawn with some perennials.  Over the years more and more people have been getting rid of their lawns.  I don’t actually hate lawns – I mean I HATE having one myself because I loathe mowing and I think it’s a waste of space I could be using to grow food or flowers – but I think lawns are pretty, it’s just that I’m really bothered by the amount of water it takes to keep them up and how many chemicals people use to kill off the weeds in them and the unnaturally strong fertilizers used to feed them – both of which contaminate natural waterways.  So while I understand that having lawn is something many people enjoy – I can’t help but really enjoy seeing people rip them out to plant drought resistant plants or vegetables or flowers or trees.

I also remember this garden when it was just being planned and planted out many years ago.  It’s filled in beautifully.  The house that goes with it is also quite lovely and has had a lot of work done on it.

Really sweet front garden.

Mulching is really important in a dry warm climate.  This garden looks a little bare.  You have to be patient with gardens and let them fill in.  Sometimes you have to add more later to fill in gaps.

You know nothing makes me happier than to see people growing vegetables in their front yards.  Vegetables are beautiful and I object to the idea that they should be sequestered in the back like servants or the poor relations you wish no one knew about.  Now I sound like I think poorly of everyone who grows their vegetables in their back yards.  I don’t.  I promise.   Sometimes the back yard is the only good spot for them.  I just especially love to see them center stage.

You know I had to share the McMinnville style garden with you.  This is the view from my office and it makes me smile because it’s like the universe was making sure I wouldn’t forget my Oregon adventures and my antipathy* for miniature Japanese maples.

Well, I’m off to shower and make some more hamburger buns.  There aren’t any good ones on the market shelves.  I saw several with high fructose corn syrup in them.  Lordy lou – is nothing sacred?  Seriously, bread requires very little sweetener – just enough to feed the yeast beasts – there is no excuse in the world to be using HFCS in bread.  So.  Making my own buns.  I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

*I don’t really hate them – I just got really tired of the formula for yards in Mac:

mostly lawn+ miniature Japanese maple+a sensible flowering bush+a tiny bed of annual flowers usually cut into the lawn (often in a kidney shape)=de rigueur.

And NO – not all gardens in Mac follow this formula – there are plenty of interesting and pretty gardens that are following their own stars – it’s just that there aren’t enough of them yet to distract me from the ubiquitous same-same.  Still, in the six years I lived in Mac I saw more and more gardens doing their own thing – so I think there’s lots of individuality to come.