This spring is a new adventure for us, since we moved from our big old house on ten acres with various perennial beds, the sprawling black berry bushes and cultivated blueberries, the field of wild flowers and surrounding forest, to our new apartment. Despite the downsize our desire to garden is still a strong impulse. Although novices to potted gardens, we are pleased by the possibilities on our sunny and spacious second floor deck. Already we have planted veggies for now, and later, and flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Although the view from our deck is quite lovely, with a thick bank of evergreens, a sprinkling of crab apple trees and a distinct and distant mountain top, we decided to grow some tall flowers to create a more enclosed and private deck space. I’ve also started sunflowers and cosmos; if all goes well both will grace us with their unique charms later this summer.
Growing tomatoes in Vermont is hit or miss. Season are often too wet or too cool, too dry or too short. There is blight and Japanese beetles to take down the best of your crop. Most summers it is nothing short of a miracle to collect a handful of sun-ripened tomatoes to add to a homegrown salad. But, feeling positive, we thought, let’s start with a heirloom, organic black cherry tomato variety, which purports to be disease resistant, and promises to fruit by late July. Basil and chives are happily grown in pots, and as we are already cooking with these herbs, they easily found an honored place on our deck.
Let’s talk lettuce! We opted to fill our largest planter with several organic varieties and have already had several salads right from this healthy happy bunch!
Flowers are for beauty, bees and butterflies. Flowers cause us to stop. Breathe. See. Flowers are endlessly giving. After a long white winter we crave all the color we can sprinkle around our deck. “Without darkness, nothing comes to birth, As without light, nothing flowers” (May Sarton). Vibrant. Brilliant. Shocking hues. We are brought back to our senses around flowers.
On every table top and in every corner we have placed potted flowers. Each one gives another pop of joy and promise that June is on the horizon. Already we are enraptured with these wonders!
Our rooftop deck is our haven. One that provides beauty and sustenance. It is mid-May, and we have just begun to enjoy our time in the sunshine!