[gardeners] Where I garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 02 Feb 2000 20:19:40 -0600

Saw several posts here from folks letting us know where they garden and
live so thought I would chip in.

We live in SouthWest Louisiana, about 30 miles from the Texas border
where I10 crosses. As a matter of fact we only live about 4 blocks from

Miz Anne (my wife of 39 years), Sleepy Dawg (our Rat Terrier female),
and I are, I suppose, urban gardeners. We have a fairly large house on a
city lot that's about 70 by 150 feet so we garden mostly in the back
yard. The front is reserved for lawn and various flower beds that Miz
Anne tends plus a very large white oak tree.

The back has a slope such that the edge next to the house is about 6
feet higher than the back fence line. In this area we have a 17X24
raised bed garden for veggies, a 30 inch X 90 foot strip garden down the
west fence line that has flowers, veggies, and fruit trees. An 8X12
green house attached to the east end of the main garden, a 12X22 herb
garden that runs up to the south side of the carport. And down the back
fence line we have 10 blueberry bushes, a short row of Sunchokes, a
short row of raspberries, and a couple of Mayhaw trees. Slotted around
in the rest of the area are a Ponderosa lemon tree, 2 kumquat trees, 1
aprium and 1 pluot tree, and a Kieffer pear tree, all dwarfs but the
lemon tree. Additionally we have a group planting of azaleas, gardenias,
and various other plants up next to the driveway and under the 3 large
oak trees that are there.

We actually grow enough veggies on our intensively planted plots to feed
ourselves, a number of friends, and have some to give away to the local
soup kitchens on occasion. I do most of the preserving, canning, and
freezing, also the cooking and shopping, and Miz Anne does much of the
"heavy" work around the place, ie mowing and raking. We both crawl
around in the dirt planting and harvesting. Sleepy Dawg mostly lies in
the sunshine napping and guarding us from any boggles that may be
around. Lately she's shown an increased interest in the greenhouse so I
may have some mice overwintering there.

We're both semi-retired, I work about 20 hours a week and Miz Anne is an
art teacher and artist. We left the corporate rat race in 1991 just
prior to my second heart attack (wish I'd waited until after money wise)
and found out we could live on a lot less money than we ever expected.
Our needs and wants are modest so life is indeed very good for us.

It is the middle of our winter here, temps in the low forties at night
getting up into the high fifties during the daytime but with windchills
from the north wind making it uncomfortable to be outside much.

It is also the time of year when we start our seeds for planting out in
March. Right now we have 4 varieties of pepper, 3 varieties of tomato, 2
varieties of eggplant, and 1 variety of edible gourd started and growing
under the lights in my home office. Sleepy and I spend a lot of time
tending them, ie watching them grow, and I'm trying to teach her to blow
on them to help them grow better but she doesn't seem to understand the
concept. ;-)

I'm also the listowner for this modest group of gardening fanatics and
inherited it long enough ago that I can't remember exactly when. We've
still got most of the first half dozen folks to sign up although a few
of them are lurking a lot.

Anyone else out there?