Adventures in flora, fauna, food, and the great unknown.

The beginning

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When I moved from an attic apartment in Jamaica Plain into a beautiful first-floor place in Brookline, one of the things I was most excited about (aside from the high ceilings and lack of precarious stairs) were the windows—specifically, that there were so many of them. It seemed to open up a world of possibilities, and I knew that it would help breathe life into my houseplants—which, although all quite hardy, were receiving far less light than they would have liked. But a few weeks later, when I decided to poke my head out of the study window, I noticed two shelves set up for window boxes. My first experiment in gardening was about to begin.

My mother came up to visit shortly thereafter, and we went to Mahoney’s, a local garden center. It was love at first sight (I truly can’t praise this place enough—it’s beautiful). The options seemed limitless, and I wanted to take all of it home with me. Of course, that was impossible, but the selection process itself was exciting, and I came home with a lovely set of plants: Solenostemon hybrida “Redhead” (coleus), Senecio cineraria “Silverdust” (dusty miller), and Vinca minor (creeping myrtle). Although our study gets some wonderful light in the afternoon, I was still limited to plants that thrive in partial sun, and I wanted to stick with perennials as much as possible. The coleus is featured in the center and should shoot up the tallest, the dusty miller is in two of the corners, and the vinca, which provides the groundcover and spill, is in the other two.

One of my two window boxes, a few days after planting.

Two weeks later, everything seems to be settling in nicely. The coleus and dusty miller look happy, and they’re starting to show some new leaves. More apparently, the vinca is sprouting new growth from the soil, and it’s even graced me with a single flower:

Vinca is generally a spring bloomer, but this little flower came out all the same.

This is the first time I’ve really had space to garden, even if it isn’t much space, and I’m loving every minute of it. There’s something immensely satisfying about tending to plants, and I truly look forward to the time when I can manage to get my own community garden plot and start growing my own vegetables. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.


Author: JD Doyle

Bookbinder, knitter, spinner, singer, runner, vegetarian, & sometime poet.

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