Garden, Berkeley, 2019

Strawberries, salvia, iris, more salvia, thyme

The first glimmer was long ago pictures of some New Zealand cottage gardens. Then the gardens at City of Hope Cancer Hospital near LA. And Mitta Angel’s front garden and riding around with David when he was learning to drive – in Old East Dallas, especially Hollywood Heights, seeing gardens in front of homes – cottage gardens… From my Cottage Garden page – put up in 2003.

Sweet peas on the compost, recycle “corral”

Now I’m in Berkeley, which must surely be the cottage garden (and hippie garden) capital of the universe! We took out the front garden to revision the front – including putting in a fence to keep the deer out. Now, in addition to the beautiful flowers that were here in the front garden before, there is a kitchen/herb garden in front. A pretty curving stone path starts at the arbor and splits to go to the kitchen door (the one everyone uses) and to the front door. No lawn – all flowers and herbs.

Herbs in the front (kitchen) garden:

Going up path from kitchen steps

Lemon thyme
French tarragon
Lemon grass
Sweet marjoram
Lemon verbena

Map of the garden – posted on corral gate

Lemon balm
Basil (sweet, lime and Genovese)

Other good things in front include about 25 ever-bearing strawberries (Seascape and a few other strains). We have two blueberry bushes, which will give a few berries this year. Lemon tree. Lime tree. Garlic is coming up. Raspberries look strong. We put in one Sungold tomato in front. I planted cantaloupes (Ambrosia) and cucumbers yesterday.

I’m excited that this year is the first time I’ve ever grown sweet peas and foxglove. One of the sweet peas is blooming,

Front gate. Sculpture by Bill Sorich.

but I think the ones I planted from seed will need another 3-4 weeks to bloom.

Flowers in bloom right now. There is a beautiful clematis with white flowers on the arbor. Also, the aforementioned sweet peas, manzanita, coreopsis, sweet alyssum, lantana, rosemary, lavender, tansy, rose, blue salvia, butterfly sage, purple bell vine (rhodochiton), maroon salvia, orange-red salvia, iris (from Jean’s father and from Sydney), camellia, helleboros, calla lilies, borage, nasturtium, persicaria, loropetalum, Aztec marigold, and impatiens sodenii. Alstromarium, foxglove, and hollyhocks are budding.

Berries photographed in 2018

And so the garden grows. Baked chocolate chunk cookies yesterday. Gave some to the people across the street. A few weeks ago we got a bale of straw for the strawberries (to keep the berries off the dirt so they won’t rot as they ripen). Now we seem to be growing a fine crop of hay alongside the strawberries.