High hopes filled to the brim with determined and
perhaps overly optimistic enthusiasm have brought me here to stay in Oberlin for this summer to carry out the über monster project of revealing the diamond in the rough. The Johnson House Garden has every potential to be a grounding refuge for those who come & enjoy the blooming environment and will serve as an ideal spot for small chamber concerts, grilling, onegs, and permaculture/conservation workshops. For those who are willing to put in the sweat, sunburn, and mosquito-bitten ankles after long hours and heavy lifting, the garden is a miniature paradise that generously returns the love it receives at equal and greater rates. There is much to be done still but I firmly believe in the diamond buried within (that’s why I do so much digging! Haha just kidding). The dream grows like a potato underground, slowly but surely and will one day be harvested after some digging.
Some of the dreams for the garden include the below listed (and please refer to the drawing for clarification! (*note this will be uploaded when I have access to a scanner tomorrow morning)):
-Trellis System/Bean Haus: This is nearly complete – it is a trellis system that allows vine plants to grow upward so they grow happily. Its completion also provides a much-needed shady spot for us humans to rest under and read or quilt or chat – whatever tickles your fancy. Stay posted for photos to come up as it will be finished by the end of this week! We plan on growing pole beans, hops, climbing black-eyed susans, clematis, and other vines on this trellis system.
-Concert venue platform: For concerts in the garden! This entails using part of a deconstructed boardwalk from the George Jones Farm that would allow fairly small performance/play (imagine a chamber orchestra, etc.). This would also be an ideal spot for grilling, teaching workshops, or relaxing in a non-soggy and level surface that overlooks the garden. Combined with a gravel area designed as labyrinth for seating areas.
-Double Herb Spiral: Like the herb spiral already implemented, an herb spiral provides the ideal well-drained environment for herbs (at least the vast majority – including basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, etc.) to thrive. The first herb spiral has been a major success, so we will continue to make another, bigger one.
-Mulching in-between the raised beds: Incredibly helpful for weed suppression and giving the garden a tidy ambiance. This is a work in progress that involves old sheets from the Big Swap (another RCT project – see the “about the garden” page for more information), a staple gun, and plenty of wood chips.
-Wheelbarrow Speedway: Simply a pathway throughout the garden that allows for flow of foot. Highlighting the garden features is important for connecting the currently rough & segmented garden.
-Vertical Gardening: For space conservation, education, and efficiency. There are many ways to go about this – my vision involves teepee structures, wood pallets, old dressers, and toilets. Stay tuned on this one. Vertical garden will surround the border of the garden.
-Gutters on the garden shed: to collect rainwater from the shed for water conservation. Five-cent goldfish may be added to the collection bucket to eat the mosquito larvae that may start to accumulate in the open bucket.
There are more ideas in my head but I will stop there as to not overwhelm y’all! Stay tuned in to see how these dreams materialize and as always, stop by the garden to help out. I am there from 7-sundown on Monday-Friday at least, and mostly all day on both Saturday-Sunday.