August 2014 Garden Showcase
Mrs. Marla voted best garden August 2014 The StartOrganic garden of the month is so beautiful that
although the owner would like to remain somewhat anonymous, the veggies will not.
Marla’s garden, designed by her husband,
features a two foot wide bed running along the house, three
rectangular beds with various lengths designed to conceal air
conditioning units and electrical conduit boxes, and a redwood
trellised “privacy” bed in front of the in-law unit. In the winter
Marla grew peas on the trellis. Over the summer she opted for
tomatoes. The plants are now taller than the roof, and the family
eats tomatoes daily.
This is the family’s first year growing food. When asked what her
secret is, a very modest Marla will tell you she is just incredibly
lucky. Marla grows many of her favorite vegetables including
zucchini, sungold tomatoes, and padron peppers, which she
uses to make tapas. Perhaps one of the greatest things about
her gardening style however, is that she is not afraid to try
different varieties of plants like moon and stars watermelons,
white cucumbers, and Guatemalan blue banana squash. Marla
got a mail order seed catalogue, and just went for it. For the
most part, this style works for Marla. She has said that next
year she would like more
peppers and less cucumbers.
One of the biggest pests in Marla’s garden are ants. Ant’s do
not necessarily eat vegetable plants, but they do protect aphids
(which will destroy a garden), they also tend to find their way
indoors. In order to eradicate the ants, we used a simple
mixture of equal parts Borax and sugar mixed in water. Marla
then soaks cotton balls in the mixture and places them where
she sees activity. this has been a very effective, organic method
for controlling the insects. The ants are attracted to the sweet
sugar, and the Borax hardens them from the inside after they
bring it back to the colony.
One thing that Marla values in her garden is that is visually
striking. She picks edibles based on their taste, but also the
way they look while they grow. She believes a vegetable garden
can be much more than a utilitarian addition to the backyard,
and she is absolutely right. Good thing broccoli makes a good
looking plant, because it is one of her favorite vegetables and
will play a huge role in her upcoming winter garden.