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).
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.