Through the rest of the month, as we celebrate Spring and a return to the garden, I'll be screening videos from The Garden Girl. The Garden Girl, Patti Moreno, is an inspiration to aspiring gardeners everywhere. She'd never even touched a trowel until the birth of her first daughter, and now she's established an urban garden paradise at her home in Boston.
CasaSugar Can you talk about how you were first inspired to garden?
Garden Girl Gardening is a great way to exercise and after the birth of my daughter I needed to get active so I started gardening. Going to the gym can be a chore in itself; with travel time and everything else sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. I found that once I related my gardening to exercise and the notion of supplementing my family's diet with healthy organic food, it all came together for me. It took a while to develop my green thumb; my first couple seasons were pretty depressing.
CasaSugar Does your daughter garden with you?
Garden Girl She does garden with me. The other day she had a play date and they planted their own seeds. It was pretty cool. I love bringing children into the garden; it is part exercise and part science project for children. She’s great with the rabbits too.
CasaSugar Are there any community gardens in Boston that you recommend residents check out?
Garden Girl Community gardens are such a great resource for people that want to garden, but don’t have any space. It’s also a great way to get to know your neighbors. In Highland Park, where I live, there are quite a few community gardens, in fact from Google earth my neighborhood has the most canopy cover and community gardens in all of Boston. I would suggest taking a tour of community gardens around your city or town. They are everywhere.
For more of the interview, just
CasaSugar A lot of people associate gardening with very rural areas. As an urban gardener, what are some of your greatest joys? Greatest challenges?
Garden Girl I think some of the most beautiful landscapes can be brick buildings with ivy growing on it and window boxes with wonderful flowers dripping down. In the city, raised bed gardening is the way to go. You never know what was in the soil, so building a garden up is easy. In just 64 square feet you can grow enough food to feed a family of three a salad at lunch and a veggie at dinner for the entire growing season! Combining industrial cityscapes with nature is a great joy. Using plants that give food brings the whole experience to the next level, I personally want to start gardening on roof tops, I think green roofs are the coolest things. My main challenge is that my New England climate does not allow me to do as much as I want all year long, but I still grow all year in mini green houses!
CasaSugar If someone is a beginning gardener, what’s an easy way for them to start gardening?
Garden Girl I always say start off small and expand gradually. But the key to success is getting everyone in your family involved in the process, and understand that it takes a season or two to find your "inner green," and read and research. Learn from other peoples mistakes, like mine.
Patti has a lot more advice and stories about gardening, so tune in later this week for more of the interview!