This is how our new balcony garden has fared. K. built boxes and planted a few things. Naively, we assumed nothing bad could happen to our little garden on the third floor. We forgot that squirrels are the Cirque du Soleil freaks of the natural world. What you’re looking at is the result of one of those building-scaling bastards coming in cover of darkness to nibble down everything it liked, then dig a big hole in the southeast corner as a final “Forget you, human!”
What’s next for our garden: building tall, squirrel-proof cages out of chicken wire, then latching them to the sides of the boxes. Once we get that piece of technology in place, we’re going to re-plant some Baker Creek Seeds we picked up over our Christmas trip to my hometown. I’m eager to get another crop of New Zealand spinach—a furry, mineral-tasting veg that makes the best homemade quiche you can imagine.
I never did write that “goodbye garden” post I promised. Actually, that’s not quite true. I wrote it, then my computer ate it. Yes, it is possible to have 20 years of experience using a Macintosh and still, on rare occasions, delete your own work without saving. Kids, remember, always compose your material offline in a text editor. You can’t trust the big, bad blogging software.
We said goodbye to our garden, then went back last month for a visit. Our neighbor, a pretty horrible fair weather farmer, must have petitioned to take over our plot, doubling the size of hers. The fence wall we’d built to separate us is now gone, and she has a glorious 200 square feet of space in which to half-heartedly tend to her pots of cherry tomatoes.
It’s too depressing. The sight of our hand-made fence of salvaged scrap wood belonging to someone else, our soil conquered and annexed by someone who never did succeed in pulling up her weeds, is like a dagger to the heart of this gardener. I’m sure anyone who’s ever community gardened next to a dabbler can understand.
It was a bummer to give up our garden, but we’re looking forward. Onward to better things and hopefully bigger space, either in Upstate New York or here in L.A. (one can dream).