Thursday, December 22, 2016

Another garden anniversary

Aloe arborescens "Lutea"
It's December, and that means that Pennsylvania Garden is a year older. In fact, it's 8 years old!

Matt and I started the garden in early December 2008 when we were boyfriend and girlfriend, and rented a place on Pennsylvania Avenue. We planted the following plants:

4 Dietes - still doing great!
8 Agapanthus - a feature at the front of the garden to this day.
3 Hakea suaveolens - two out of the three are now solid trees - one fell over and we have to remove it.
3 Kunzea baxterii - no longer with us, their form was too large and floppy for the spots we planted them.
1 Coprosma australis (variegated) - while it's mostly reverted to plain green, this is a really tough border edging "hedge" we still have.
2 Geranium maderense - this seeded around and may pop back up.
3 Ceanothus "King Sip" (ground covering/low) - still doing great!
2 Geranium macrorhizum - not so drought tolerant... gone!
2 Dianella tasmanica - very drought tolerant but deemed too boring in color. We dug them up and gave them away, but did get a variegated version.
1 Aeonium - still doing great!

Since then, Matt and I have been married and bought a house, and Emily and a host of other volunteers joined us in beautifying the neighborhood. We have endured a few setbacks: severe drought meant we lost a lot of plants as a result, and we saw the Mariposa Center Garden accidentally razed by local developers. Our tools were stolen and plants defaced or stolen, but the overall net result of our efforts has been hugely positive I think.

Together we made the Pennsylvania Railroad Garden happen, and encouraged gardeners to use less water and plant things that like to be dry. We held monthly volunteer days like clockwork, and helped people understand how important gardens are to the mental health of a city - as well as creating a tiny oasis for wildlife!

I hope you'll join us in the garden in 2017. A few minutes spent picking up trash, or pulling weeds, is a gift to your neighbors and your neighborhood that everyone appreciates. Happy holidays!

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