OK, so not really exile. But from a gardener’s point of view, it felt like it.

Eighteen years ago we moved from a house in south Georgia to the suburbs of Atlanta. From a house to a condo.

It had been a tiny house, only about 750 square feet, but the yard had been a good size and we had flower beds, a rose bed, and a vegetable garden. Now we live in a condo.

dcp_066621It’s a very nice condo, as such things go; a two-story end unit with almost twice the square-footage of our old house.But the yard is tiny; a postage-stamp scrap of land that had the topsoil scraped off when they leveled the plot to build the buildings. Like many areas in Georgia, a thick layer of red clay lay just beneath the surface. Not the best soil to try to grow in.

To make matters worse, our building ran north-south with our unit the last one on the north end. The front faces east and gets a solid half-day of sun – from just after dawn to about noon – and then solid shade the rest of the day. The same in reverse for the west-facing back yard (and I use the term “yard” loosely) – solid shade until around 11 AM when the shadow of the house began retreating across the yard exposing any plants there to the hot mid-day Georgia sun. Within three or four hours, the shadow of theĀ  building behind us began shading the yard.

What was I going to do with this?


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