As we move into March and much of the nation is sloshing through a long, bleak month, we in Southern California are enjoying the absolutely stunning glory of spring gardens. Making your way through the greater Hancock Park area you can’t help but enjoy the riot of bold petals in every pigment imaginable. Glorious!
But another trend is also emerging – combining or featuring edibles in gardens that face the street. And why not? They’re pretty in the sunshine, and even prettier on your plate for dinner.
Now, I don’t have a much of a green thumb but I do so admire those gardeners with the talent and knowledge to make all things grow gloriously, in their front and/or back yards. One such friend recently sent me a link to a website Sprout Robot that actually gives you specific planting guidelines for your zip code, to get your vegetable garden producing in top form. The cleverly drawn site is simple to use – you enter your zip code and it’ll tell you that it’s the week to start your lettuce seedlings, then give you specific, hand-drawn instructions whether you’re planting in containers or beds. The Spoutrobot Guides make it look easy – perhaps even fun enough for your kids to read the guides too and start helping you prep those beds. And even better, you can sign up for the Sprout Robot Plus service that sends you packets of seeds and plans perfect for your location, at the appropriate planting time of the year.
But back to those beautiful front yard vegetable gardens. The finest local example, often featured in garden tours and in magazine spreads, is the side garden in the 200 block of S. Windsor that is chock-full of flowers and vegetables. The Gilbert garden is elegantly rimmed with clay tiles filled with old coffee grounds – keeping the snails from chewing up all the salad greens before the gardeners can. A perfect solution for a pesky problem.
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.