Last year was my first season as a community gardener. My first plot was a small half plot in Chaplain Garden off of Pine Street. After having some early season success I heard about a larger plot opening up in the Rock Point North Garden, and jumped at the chance to have more space. I have lived in Burlington for about 10 years, and know Burlington pretty well, but I had never been on the Rock Point property before. Needless to say, I was quite stunned as I drove up the driveway and got my first look at the property.
Since then, the Rock Point Garden has become my favorite place to spend time in Burlington. There are a number of veteran gardeners, and I enjoy just walking through the other plots to see what everyone else is growing. While most people choose to plant primarily vegetables, one of my favorite plots was planted almost entirely with different types of flowers. It was always humming with life, and I’m sure everyone else’s vegetables were benefited by the increased pollinator activity. There is a field to the south of the garden, which isn’t mowed until the end of the season, and in between the field and the garden a strip of the field was planted in native wildflowers a few years ago. There a peacefulness to the Rock Point property that is hard to find anywhere else in Burlington.
I started to get excited for this gardening season towards the end of December when the seed catalogs start coming in the mail. I got a little antsy to get started, so I planted Tomatoes, Basil, Onions, and Amaranth under florescent grow lights in my room about a month ago. I hadn’t grown plants under grow lights before, so I didn’t know how much faster they would grow than they had the year before when I put them on windowsills. Needless to say, it seems I have started everything way too early. To overcome this issue, I decided to build a couple mini hoop houses using ½ inch PVC pipe and clear painter’s plastic. I set them up this weekend while I was on vacation, and the half day I spent in the garden was by far the most relaxing part of my week. I have no idea if they are going to work, but I figure it will be a learning experience no matter what. Sure, I’d rather see everything grow perfectly, but honestly I’m just happy to be back out in the garden.