Sunday, September 13, 2009

West Asheville Garden Stroll - Part 1

If there was a theme to the West Asheville Garden Stroll I would have to say it was urban homesteading. The neighborhoods in this part of town are vintage. The houses looked to range from the mid-1920's into the mid-1940's with a few from the 60's thrown in. The gardeners and home owners who opened their gardens for the tour were all quite young. The houses and gardens were in various stages of being reclaimed and reused for a new generation.

The number of vegetable gardens on the tour in this urban core across the river from downtown was most impressive. Sustainable and organic gardening for food and pleasure has firmly taken root in West Asheville.

The McGahey home was the only new house on the tour. It is a passive solar home and the first large chunk of the developing grounds was devoted to the vegetable garden.

A red Pennisetum species and Stachys byzantina soften the deck that looks out over the food growing area.

The vegetable gardening season in this neck of the woods is winding down, yet the raised beds still had a lot going on.

Falconhurst Community Garden is in a large open greenbelt that serves as one giant backyard, at least visually, for houses that are relatively close to the street out front.

I don't know what they are, but they are big.

This community garden is in its second year and serves 18 families with 2500 square feet in production. They had sweet potatoes. I likes me some sweet potatoes. I may just have to try growing them even though I think it is too cool up here.

There were also two bee hives to help in pollination and I would bet some good honey.

Next up is the Cherry Tree Gardens, two neighbors, the Fulton and Hall families, blending into one shared garden. This garden is also in its second year, the result of a large dead cherry tree that had to come down, taking the separating fence with it. Some of the cherry wood now lives on in a new front porch looking over a wildflower meadow instead of the typical lawn.

One of the things I enjoyed about this garden stroll more so than the Haywood County tour last year was that these were not landscapes. They were gardens, often quite new and in process.

Here edible runner beans have been incorporated into the landscape.

An Urban Paradise surrounds a restored 1920's bungalow, the Patterson and Marshall home. A stock tank makes a fine raised bed in a narrow sunny spot beside the driveway.

This four year old garden was an intricate maze of gravel paths filled with specimen plants, various seating areas and a lot of little details making full use of a small backyard.

I liked these brightly colored Adirondack chairs.

Really liked the chairs and this Malaysian Palm Grass, Setaria palmifolia 'Rubra Variegata'.

A small pond with waterlilies and fish also found a home in this Urban Paradise along with several vegetable planter boxes beside the garage and rain barrels, rain barrels and more rain barrels. Mountain Rainwater Systems is their business and one of the sponsors of the garden stroll.

Planter boxes spilled from the porch of what looked like an apartment above the garage.

The Minicozzi's place was the only actual home open for the garden stroll. Their first two years on a corner lot have been spent restoring and remodeling the existing home. The major garden work so far has removed a surround of chain link fence and several old sheds. A new stone patio invites them outside to plan for more privavcy as a garden grows.

The new kitchen wing has a full view out to the garden area.

The Bernard's Pajama Garden is so named because the owner often finds herself wandering out into this flower filled vegetable garden still in her pajamas. It was jammed packed even in the end of season winding down phase.

The late blight was quite evident on all the tomatoes I saw in folks gardens. It feels a bit better knowing I wasn't the only one who got blighted around here.

More West Asheville Garden Stroll coming up. It gets even better.

My Hughes satellite ISP has been particularly ornery the last few days. It takes an excessive amount of time to upload pictures, but the show will go on.


Pam/Digging said...

What a fun tour. Those colorful chairs ARE great, and the fence looks like a work of art.

I know what you mean about being disappointed when a purported garden tour turns out to be a landscaping tour, or, as I've found in Austin on occasion, a nature preserve tour. Those can be nice too, but they're very different from a garden tour.

Lola said...

Nice stroll. Chairs are unique. Never thought about using stock tank for raised bed. May have to consider that.
It will be nice to continue the stroll with you.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! What a great garden tour. I'll have to catch one of these tours one of these days. I'm not sure why you complained about the ISO setting on your camera because your pictures are great! I too love those bright chairs and I love that iron pot in the picture with them. I love all these gardens you have shown so far and am looking forward to seeing more on the garden stroll in west Asheville. By the way...did they have the Haywood Garden Tour again this year?

Christopher C. NC said...

Pam all of these gardens were tended by the owners as far as I could tell. That is what made them real gardens. The bamboo fence was very cool, but a little too dainty for my needs.

Lola, Pam from above is the queen of stock tanks in the garden. Check out her blog sometime.

Siria, the pictures could have been better that's all. That pot was for fires it looked like. I did not go on the Haywood tour this year because I did not see it advertised anywhere. I would assume they had it, but I do not know for sure.

Jennifer said...

Hi Christopher,
Those big pink things in the wheelbarrow are Candy Roaster pumpkins, the best eating pumpkin in the world.
Found your blog while searching for pictures of our tour. Thanks for sharing your pictures and experiences of it!

Jennifer of Falconhusrt Community Garden

Christopher C. NC said...

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for that info. I would most likely have better luck growing pumpkins than sweet potatoes. I can grow me some nice squash up here. The stroll was incredible. Y'all did a great job.