Lost Arts

…responding to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/a-lost-art/

A few days ago we were asked to think about a lost art that we would like to see revived. As some of you already know, I am pretty passionate about our cottage garden, so that is the art that I would like to see catch on again. Basically, it is a simple concept: Grow food and flowers in your front yard. Each plant has a use — most are edible, some are medicinal — and the flowers attract pollinators and feed butterflies. The result is a rich food crop with little to know need to fertilize. The plants require little water and the idea is to make the most use of a small space. We have converted nearly the entire front yard to this purpose. The asethetic does not please everybody — one neighbour sent her husband over when we first started to tell us that the space was getting “too busy” — but we mostly get compliments. Growing food, helping the bees and butterflies, seems to me a step in the right direction. Water conservation, improved air quality, and months of fresh produce that is tasty and inexpensive — what’s not to like? Our side yard, which is also small, is also becoming a bit of a food production centre. Here we use large containers to grow food, leaving most of the yard for our dog and cat. And I have started a project, which I hope will become a small business, making things using flower petals. In the fall, I think I will try to dye some yarn, right now I am working on beads and manipulating photographs (I have posted some pictures here). If any of this inspires you, check out http://www.craftsy.com/classes/sale?ext=ShareASale_BigCourseSale0614&utm_source=Affiliates-Share%20A%20Sale%20-%20Special%20Promotion&utm_medium=Banner&utm_campaign=Affiliate&initialPage=true&SSAID=941448 — they are having a big sale on classes and many of these are related to lost arts such as knitting, cake decorating, stringing beads and more. I am an affiliate, so if you do try one of their courses (some are free) I will receive a small fee. And now the list:
Here is a list of what we grow:

Front yard (about 12 x 13 feet):

Tulips and other bulbs for the spring, parsley, chives, asparagus, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries (will be transplanted to the back), cherry tomatoes, jalepeno, cayenne, spearmint (in a container), daisies, California poppies, cornflowers, coneheads, black-eyed susans and a wide variety of wild flowers that self-seed. (There are more but I don`t remember all of them — will post photos later this week).

Side yard:

Around the edge on one side: black currants, red currants, blackberries, gooseberries, and a pail with three types of potatoes.

In large containers: Parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, chocolate mint, snap peas, green peas, radishes (which we use for the greens), green peas, tomato, jalepeno, spring onions, shallots and later this summer I will be planting beets.


4 thoughts on “Lost Arts

  1. Very good idea. I’ve always wished more people would plant natural gardens and not boring lawns (and for some, even concrete lawns! Yes, you heard me!) My family’s garden was once commented on: “Ma’am, would you like me to help you remove your weeds?” That comment made perfect sense: Our garden is a jungle. Well, our reply was, “Ah! No! My beautiful plants!”
    Well, to each his own, I suppose.



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