Statistically speaking, I live in a city that has more grey days than sunny. So when those first sunny spring days emerge, I feel antsy and jittery, like a kid or a sheepdog that has been cooped up for way too long. All I want to do is soak up the sun and lay in the grass.
I recently tried to work through one of those perfect spring days, since I had a lot on my plate, but my output was pathetic. My to-do list remained largely unchecked, and I should have just embraced my restless need for outdoor time. My sunshine fail had me daydreaming of having a little backyard garden spot where I could both work and reduce my Vitamin D deficiency, or alternately, where I could ignore responsibilities and dive fully into those rare sunny days.
In addition to providing respite from the doldrums, gardens have the power to bring people together, whether through a backyard dinner party or providing a space for a community to gather. Here’s a roundup of garden inspiration for green dreams of all scales. Happy gardening! —Quelcy
Image above: Last time I was in Philadelphia, I asked a few food purveyors for leads on local farms and urban agriculture projects. Rightfully so, everyone told me to check out Farm 51. When it comes to using a garden to build community, florist/farmer Andrew Olson and photographer Neal Santos are shining examples of grit and heart. The lot next to their West Philly Victorian home was a prime example of urban blight, but the two have turned it into a community space where they sell fresh produce, honey, and flowers, in addition to hosting Filipino pop-up food events.