We popped over to the community garden yesterday afternoon with a frozen pail of compost. I thought I would take some pictures so you can see what it looks like in the middle of winter.
As you can see, not much is happening. Drab and dull. We stop using our plots between October/November and March/April depending on the season.
If I wanted to really maximize the space, I could construct some cold frames within my plot and grow cold hardy greens like kale, mache, and spinach. And I would, but unfortunately the lane-way that leads to the garden is typically treacherous terrain through the winter months. We haven’t had much in the way of snow and ice this winter — it’s the first year since joining the garden around seven years ago that I’ve been able to get to the garden gate with relative ease.
Instead, I grow edible perennials as a strategy for extending the season. Cold hardy, perennial herbs such as garden sage, oregano, marjoram, chives, garlic chives, mint, and ‘Egyptian Walking’ onion function as the bones of the garden, holding in the soil and offering up a harvest that starts in the early spring and lasts straight through to the late fall.
There are also a few self-seeders including calendula, chervil, bloody dock, lovage, shiso, lemon balm, and chamomile that pretty much grow themselves. They can be a curse or a blessing of plenty depending on how you look at it.
Over the years I’ve also added a few small fruit bushes including gooseberries and American black currant, and several strawberries (wild and alpine types) as a way to get garner yearly crops that don’t require seasonal planting.
This is a wild geranium that showed up one day. I always let a few survive since they’re not too invasive and I like their pretty little pink flowers. As you can see, it is also proof that plants don’t necessarily “die” during the winter, but stay alive in a dormant stage underneath the snow.
And it looks like we’ve had a visitor in our absence. I noticed new graffiti in a couple of spots along The Beer Store wall.