Field of Science

Urban gardening ignorance & defeatism

Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn is a NYC person, and this usually means two things: they are opinionated and they don't know crap about gardening.  Now Liz is entitled to her opinions, but to label urban gardening a bunch of lies, well, that's not something TPP will up put with. Liz has a bad combination: ignorance and defeatism. First is to realize what you can and cannot grow for yourself. You are not going to supply yourself with tomatoes or enough salad greens to matter, not unless you've got an abandoned lot to convert into a garden of some size.  One of my former students does this in Seattle, and some of these community gardens are quite wonderful and very productive. Liz lives in Manhattan, so perhaps she is without such educational resources, and basically she's left with pot gardening on a patio or terrace, or around a street tree.  One of the best things to do with such a limited space is to grow fresh herbs, a big pot of mint for your mojitos and juleps, and a mixture of basic cooking herbs: rosemary, parsley (another decent size pot), basil and Thai basil and purple basil, and some chives. Now you could grow a cherry tomato, but Liz has never seen a full-grown one before and probably thinks they're little plants with little fruit. TPP has had to prune cherry tomato vines in a 7 foot cage with hedge trimmers, but it produced 2 quarts of tomatoes a day at its summer peak.  You need a damned big pot to grow a vine like that, and if you have your soil (Liz, please, dirt is something under your finger nails and in certain types of books and movies.) delivered by FedEx, well, there is a basic problem isn't there?  As someone in the comments pointed out, re-purposed soda bottles (or wine bottles - Liz is an urban sophisticate after all.) can provide almost continuous watering for pots. Some nice pots of flowers or just put your hanging basket plants outside for the summer can make your terrace a much nicer place. So basically Ms. Dunn simply has no idea what she's talking about based on limited experience with something she doesn't understand. Is this how she pays her bills? Amazing. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter's birthday gift one year was a trip for the two of us to Toronto. The flowers! I was amazed at the lush plantings in the downtown area, and was imagining that residential neighborhoods might be filled with pocket gardens, flowers, and vegetables. If I had the (time, money, strength, chutzpah) I'd be operating on the down with grit up with green agenda - cities not excepted. City folks! Go, go, go.