Monday, March 12, 2012

Houston’s Allotment Garden ~ Midtown Community Garden

Lately, I have been reading several blogs about allotments gardens. As a result, I became very curious about allotments. For those of you that may find this a new term, an allotment garden is an area of land that is parceled out into individual plots. This is contrary to the community garden in which a group of people would work the entire piece of land together. Allotment gardens are unique to each gardener. In an allotment the gardener is free to plant what they wish on their plot, so often these gardens are planted in a mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
I researched allotment gardens in Houston, Texas and I discovered the Midtown Community Garden. This garden was begun September 1, 2010. The garden has 25 allotments and each allotment measures 4 feet by 20 feet. Currently, each allotment is in use, but they do have a waiting list. A few days ago, I decided to visit the Midtown Community Garden and see for myself how this allotment garden functions.
Upon viewing the allotment garden, I immediately noticed that each garden is truly a star.

The garden is bordered on two sides by this lovely fence. This sign tells visitors the name of the garden as well as contact information.

Peeking over the fence, even on a grey day the garden seems very colorful. I caught the sight of several birds enjoying the bounty.

This is one of two gates that lead to the garden.

This sign states the name of the garden, as well as informs visitors that dogs must be on a lease and kept out of the beds. It also states that the garden is only for the use of members and their guests. Lastly, the sign states that they are not responsible of injuring or loss.

As I am about to enter the gate, I stop for a moment to look at this rose.

Just Lovely!

Each plot is bordered with cinder blocks.

I noticed a variety of different types of support. Going vertical always gives a gardener more space.

Broccoli

I really like this trellis with peas.

Pea

Each gardener had their own labeling system.

Each plot had faucet and hose.

Lavender is very difficult to grown in Houston, because of our high humidity. I must applaud this lovely specimen.

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas and I just love them!

Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)

While visiting this garden, I noticed it had everything you might need in a garden…like a table.

Each plot often had garden art.

Some gardeners painted their cinder blocks.

Straw was often used for mulch.

This gardener already has strawberries.


Kale


Some of these gardeners may live in an apartment or a condominium with little or no space for a garden.

These solar lights will extend the number of hours that they can work in their garden.

I know this pond will attract wildlife.

A bridge to cross the pond…

This winter has been so mild, I believe these gardeners have harvested all winter.

A place to sit beside the pond…

A solar panel to run this light…

The initials of this garden…

Pepper

Many of the gardeners planted inside the cinder blocks.

They also have a barbeque and picnic tables.


Every garden needs a storage shed and compost piles.

Fennel

Fava Beans

Catnip

I really like this form of support.

A board is laid across the cinder blocks and is drilled with hole to accommodate the PVC pipes.

An aluminum pipe is then place inside.

Next, wire mesh is string between the aluminum pipes.

Another plot, they have added wood to their border.

Kale

Swiss Chard

Super Cute Garden Art!

Another table…

Chives

Don’t you just love the purple cinder blocks with lime green dots?

Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll try to visit again. I would love to see this garden in late spring.
If you would like to visit this garden, the address is 2720 Baldwin at Drew Street, Houston, Texas 77006. You can also visit the Midtown Community Garden facebook page to learn more.

5 comments:

  1. Great overview of the garden. It looks like a very nicely kept spot that would be fun to visit at different times of the year.

    Thanks for the explanation of allotment gardening as I had wondered about the difference.

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  2. Lucy, this really made me envious! To have a vegetable garden would be such fun; alas, I don't have enough sun. But last year I decided to participate in my church's garden for the community. We planted crops to be donated to the local women's shelter and the local food bank, and take a few for ourselves. Last year was our first year and we learned a lot and had a decent crop. This year should be even better! I hope you'll go back to your community garden and let us see it as the seasons advances.

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  3. Hi Lucy, a community garden is its own world :) The Fava-Beans look nice, they are not so common here.

    Greetings kathrin

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  4. There are so many great ideas in that kind of garden! And I've always been moved to see the gardeners in the weekends, reunited to share some time and some tips together. This is a great way to have fresh veggies and some friends too! 8)

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  5. This is John, the current director of Midtown Community Garden. Thanks, Lucy, for the wonder photos and review. I think you know more about what is growing than the members who planted! If anyone wants to visit the garden, please contact us at midtowncommunitygarden@gmail.com.

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