Elevate Difference

Victory Garden Supplies

The Victory Garden project continues. While there have been temporary setbacks, a portion of the lot is overturned, sod torn up to reveal a formidable substratum of solid clay, and it occurs to me that the garden might need a path once April showers subside and leave May mud. Neighbors have been kind enough to show me their backyards, and this appears to be a common phenomenon. The gardener can turn to any one of a variety of containers to use as seed starters—the plastic box that held the strawberries that I sliced this morning provides a perfect example—and empty bottles and jars can be buried, upended, to border beds as decorative elements. However, that leaves stepping stones.

I have managed to scrounge a heap of scrap granite, broken corners of stone sheets that were supposed to become kitchen islands in condominiums, a nice variety of shades, silver and charcoal gray or a tigerish ocher to mottled maroon, but those with more resources or who favor a more uniform look could find themselves concerned with the environmental soundness of their materials. There are companies that provide pavers from recycled goods. Enviroglas is indeed made of old bottles, and is available in shades ranging from refined earth tones to a vivid red. They also offer Enviroscape—a mulch made of polished glass bits. (The bright blue might make me feel like I was living in an aquarium.)

If the feminist gardener prefers a brick-like veranda, VAST composite pavers are made from old tires and plastic bottles. One permaculturalist acquaintance uses tires liberated from roadsides as potato planters, but with the appropriate processing, old tires can be reborn as attractive and sturdy squares to step on. Also, these are much lighter than concrete, and seeing that I'm going to be doing any installation myself, that's another advantage. I'll put the path between the kale and the tomatoes.

There is a linguistic phenomenon known as the "garden path" sentence: "The horse raced past the barn fell." Another example is "Someone ate every tomato." Syntactic ambiguity: did one individual eat all the tomatoes, or did more than one person eat each individual variety? These distractions can be fun, but time may better spent trying to cultivate Fox cherry tomatoes, or perhaps Brandywine. Wish me luck.

Written by: Erika Mikkalo, May 23rd 2009