When I was growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, our estate had a designated growing garden where the old horse stables were (great location). My father and I competed for growing the best veggies. We also had black walnuts, persimmons, apples, grapes, peaches, sour cherry, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, pears, and other yummies growing up on the property. Mother kept a tea garden for "healing" teas next to the library window.
And, at our summer home along the Chesapeake, we would plant our garden in the springtime, leave and come back in summer to see it had grown beautifully without attendance. Pecans grew there as well, and off the dock and in the bay we would gather blue crab, fish, oysters and clams.
Growing food has always been a great love of mine, so I am excited beyond belief to be out of apartment life and into a home with a yard. I was blessed to move into a dear friend's home to help him settle in and renovate for his disability and he has enjoyed the garden I'm growing as much as me.
Besides having goji berries, oranges, loofah, grapefruit, Concord grapes, figs, blackberries and pomegranates, I am growing cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, gourds, passionfruit, jalepenos, herbs, yellow squash, and moringa trees.
I utilized the gourds for very very fast growing vine that would block sun on the patio. I did this by pulling twine back and forth from hook to hook between posts and letting it grab hold and go. It makes a green wall on the patio that blocks setting sun. And, the gourds can be dried out, carved, painted and utilized as awesome birdhouses and quirky art in the yard.
I also decided to throw in an ongoing growing art installation. Since I have a Halloween book out in the stores "Adult Halloween! Taking Back the Season," and I hope to have a Halloween party, I thought I'd recreate "Doll Island" the infamous haunted location in Mexico.
A man living on an island in the canal put dolls out to appease a girl who drowned there. Over decades, the island was covered with dolls, aging in the sunlight and storms, taking on a scary appearance.
I have come to call this Art-iculture. Art and agriculture mixed.
I planted corn, pumpkins, melons and sunflowers in and "island" area in the desertscape, I put up a bird feeding area, a bird bath, old driftwood perches for birds to land on and then added dolls among the lush green. The effect is chillingly awesome! (see my blog Ghost Hunting Theories).
A horror garden aside, sometimes gardening inspires art, like this oil painting I am working on -