Angie has named her little piece of heaven "New Balconia". And it may be tiny, but it's an instant lush green oasis the second you step outside. Every time you do so, you feel instantly more relaxed. Its hard to narrow down what is best about NB -- the custom ivy trellis, the "booze garden" (filled with herbs to use in cocktails), the fig tree, the bamboo tree, or the little aromatherapy center Angie set up next to her adirondack chair so that she can sniff some rosemary and/or sage while relaxing with aforementioned cocktails. There's a different view and feeling from both sides of NB, and Angie says she's made some wonderful memories with friends out there. NB is the one physical thing she'll miss when she moves from the DMV.
When not quilting or hanging out with her grand-babies, Elaine tends a simple, rustic DIY garden in her Maryland home of the last 25 years. She has always loved gardening, but since retiring she has put a renewed focus on growing her own fruit and veg. Every year you will find tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, strawberries, basil, chives, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, parsley and edible flowers. Some years kale and squash makes an appearance, others years, zucchini. She shares the wealth of her garden with her friends and neighbors and has effectively ensured that my yard-less city kids know how to prepare earth for planting, what seeds belong to what crops, how to plant them (how deep, how far apart), when and how much to water, and best of all, when to pluck and enjoy.
Vivian and Hajj Turner
In Vivian's words: "Two little boys that are eating lettuce and fighting over cherry tomatoes. This garden has transformed my family’s table and my cracked open my sons’ world. My kids now understand where vegetables come from. What sunshine is for and how the rain and the bees help us have food on our table. It’s also challenged me, their mama, to figure out what to do with a haul of eggplants, basil, and squash (answer – squash soup and vegetarian lasagna. Lots of vegetarian lasagna). It has forced our family to slow down, spend time outside, and get our hands dirty. We are also learning about composting and why anyone would invite worms to live in their house. It’s changed the way we see the world and inspired a new appreciation for what it can produce. Without chemicals. Just as nature intended.”