Here’s a glimpse of the swimming pool that became a garden, now in its fourth year -hard to believe it’s been that many already.
We actually took a step backward this year, in a way, because we expanded the garden by taking out more concrete, and so we undid some of our work from last year. But the garden recovered nicely and is doing well, especially considering our cold, gloomy June. The monster plants on the right are tomatoes, which are already starting to bear fruit.
This year we decided to expand the garden that used to be a swimming pool. We broke up the decking that used to surround the pool.
We had to tear out the old drip system, and I’m redoing it now. We had to undo some of the plantings as well, since the paths and beds are no longer quite the same. Because the pool is about 70 percent bigger, we added a central bed. We edged the beds with bricks and made the central bed an oval shape. It amuses me to think of the result as a tiny Getty Center garden.
The pool garden — the garden that used to be a swimming pool — turned out so well that we are expanding it. We hired a guy to break up more concrete from around where the pool used to be. It only took him about an hour. The result will about double the area of the garden. Here’s a little section that we’ve pretty much cleared out (this is the corner where killer tomatoes launched their imperial ambitions):
In April we filled in our swimming pool and turned it into a garden. This is what the garden looks like at the beginning of August.
We don’t live in one of the warm inland parts of the East Bay, but we have nonetheless managed to harvest tomatos, peppers, eggplant, and more.
Well, three weeks, but we were away on vacation for one. Recently we filled in our swimming pool, which has now become a garden. I had some plants in containers waiting to be transplanted, and I’ve planted a bunch of other stuff as seeds. The garden is still a little raw, but I’m reasonably happy with the progress so far.
The flowering plant at left is Matthiola incana (perennial stock); it’s fragrant and does well in our climate. You can also see an Iochroma coccinea and a Cussonia spicata, among other plants. You can also see the drip irrigation system I’m installing.
Our garden lies in what Sunset calls “one of Northern California’s finest horticultural climates.” We are located in an area of wet mild winters and dry mild summers — a Mediterranean climate zone. It’s region with unique challenges and opportunities. I love gardening here.
Approaches to gardening are strongly determined by scale. Our garden is a small family garden. Its core was formerly a swimming pool. Often we might be growing just a single plant in a container, or a handful of plants, where a larger-scale gardening operation might be planting long rows of crops. Over time we have adjusted to find the right balance for our home garden.
All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even
Watch it sprout.
A mind like compost.
— Gary Snyder
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