meet my garden

I think I read somewhere in the last year that to garden is to essentially have hope or a plan for the future. I fully believe and embrace this. For the past 4 years, my garden has slowly expanded from 1 tomato plant on my fire escape to a garden that my landlord deemed a fire hazard (2013, 2014, 2015). Now, I live in the burbs... and while there are many perks to this, the highest for me is time spent outside... and specifically in the garden.

This garden is very much me. I hate to buy things when I can make them - or find them. The garden is exactly that. During my daily (or twice or thrice daily) beach walks, I slowly gathered things that helped me shape the layout. I couldn't love it more. At this very moment, I think I'm done collecting "lobster bricks"and driftwood. I call them lobster bricks because they wash up on the beach from broken lobster traps. Every now and then I get lucky and get a whole brick - but honestly it is just as fun to get the little pieces.
After several months of carrying bricks around the neighborhood, someone finally asked me about them. This guy on the beach last night asked me if either of the bricks I was carrying had names on them. They didn't - but it caused me to look into the names I did have. Apparently this guy learned that his family name also belonged to a brick company (Schultz). I had several bricks that said "Stiles" on them. A few seconds of Googling led me to learn that the Stiles and Hart brick company is currently the only brick manufacturer in Massachusetts and has been around since 1886. Pretty cool.
When I began to look at plant markers, I was astounded at how expensive they were. All I wanted to know was which plant was which ... and not spend "a lot" of money on doing that. After a bunch of Pinteresting, I didn't feel much closer to a solution. Then I took a lunch walk to the hardware store and came up with the idea of using paint stirrers. Genius. The dumb Cambridge hardware wanted to charge me 41 cents each and I needed 30. So I went to my local hardware store and it went like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to buy some paint stirrers
Them: They are free.

Me: ... well, I need 30 of them ... which is why I'd like to pay you.
Them: They are still free. 

I'll do another post on what I ended up actually planting ... because this post is already about a lifetime long ... and I have 6 varieties of tomatoes to talk about.

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