In 2019 my partner and I bought an acre of land just down the street from the land I currently lease. It was an unexpected opportunity that crossed our paths and we went for it.
The property had belonged to one couple for many decades, one of whom was an avid hobby gardener. Over the course of 30 years he transformed this corner acre into various groupings of perennial gardens, fruit trees and high bush blueberries, a frog pond and rose gardens.
Inspired by how much abundance exists among this one acre, I began to imagine growing in a new way, inspired by English and urban gardens, community gardens and bio-intensive farms. I am so excited for what has begun to transform here and the creativity it has allowed. There are an abundance of new perennials being planted out this summer, some started from seed, special varieties just for weddings. An annual garden has already been established housing this years vegetables and dahlias with plans to expand for next season. I have been making permanent trellises for the spring sweet peas and late summer luffa gourds. I am excitedly marking the spaces where climbing roses will be transplanted next spring.
Although I tend to flowers, it’s still incredibly important to me to make space and time (both in the gardens and in my life) to grow food and medicine. I genuinely believe growing these crops is a radical act and it’s not something I take for granted. The summer provides me sustenance that can help to remain through the seasons. The elderberry is harvested and simmered over the stove, apple cider vinegar and honey being added, it’s canned and creates the elderberry syrup that gives our immune systems a much needed boost in the dark days of winter. Fire cider from garlic and cayenne peppers. Fresh salsa to snack on from the tomatoes and jalapenos. Endless pickles both fresh and set aside for the seasons to come. These all come from this small parcel of land.