Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Fantasy Garden

One of my favorite things over at Gayla Trail's "You Grow Girl" website is the Grow Write Guild prompts. Every two weeks, there's a new prompt for those times when you want to blog but you've got writers block.

This week: Describe your fantasy garden.
At first I was slightly unsure what to write. How can I even begin to describe my fantasy garden? I would make a blog post so long, no one would ever put up with me long enough to get to the end of it. So what I've decided to write on is somewhat of a spin on the fantasy garden idea. It's basically what I'd do if I won the lottery (after I paid off my college tuition). What I'd love to do is take big, old, abandoned houses in whatever city I end up living in, and turn them into "Garden Houses"
The first step of this would be, of course, to reclaim the house, revive it so it's livable again. Revamp, refurbish, renew and make it something beautiful again. It wouldn't have to be perfect. Quirkiness is a virtue, in my opinion. And the whole point of the project would be for the house to be in an urban setting. Learning to garden in urban environments is, I think, something we're going to have to do a lot more of in the future. 
Next would come the fun part. Gardens everywhere. Gardens in the yard, gardens in window-boxes, hanging baskets off the house, a greenhouse in the back, seeds starting in a sunroom, potted plants inside. And the ultimate goal would be a place that would be able to have classes on sustainability, how to start a garden, how you can successfully feed your family from your garden. 
One idea that I've thought about is having upstairs rooms to rent out, preferably to gardeners, horticulturalists and horticulture students that would help with the management of the house. Another idea would be having a seasonal cafe or market which uses some of the produce from the gardens around the house (either to sell or put in cafe meals) to help raise money to help run the house. I'm no businesswoman so I'm not terribly sure if that idea would make any sort of money, but hey, this is just my fantasy. But mostly I just want to help people grow food, especially if fresh produce is not something they see often in their diets. 
The whole idea would be to take something old and forgotten, fix it up and make it into something full of life again and to spread that life into the neighborhood around it. It could be a center for community outreach, and help be a place groups could plan new gardens in the area and expand outward. I think any area of a city looks better with more green and I think it makes people feel better too. Maybe it's not the solution to all the problems some neighborhoods face, but it might make life just a little bit better.
So my fantasy garden is more of a fantasy project. And I'd probably need tons of money to make it happen without it being a huge risk. Regardless, this would be years and years in the future if I ever make it happen. Until then, it'll live happily in the corner of my brain where all my crazy ideas come from.

11 comments:

  1. I should let you know, that at least where I am, this is already (sort of) happening, with communal community gardens on empty lots in residential areas - and the lots of money is coming from corporate donors. If you want to make this a reality - you should! it's great! - take a couple classes on grant writing, find an NGO willing to back the project, and start applying for funding. Well, maybe finish your degree first. Sometimes the owner of a lot is happy to see it maintained, if you're willing to track them down and ask.

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    1. Yeah, that's happening here in the Twin Cities as well. I love the idea. :) I think it's great to do something with land that would just sit there otherwise. Eventually (obviously I'll get my degree first) I'll hopefully be looking into a project like this though. :) Thank you for the encouragement. :)

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  2. I love this idea! You should do it! You could probably apply for grants, especially if you could spin it as an educational project (surely every school in the area would want to bring kids for classes and field trips...)

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    1. Thank you! That's an awesome idea. :)

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  3. Oh, your fantasy combines my two passions, gardens and old houses. How fabulous. Such great ideas. Dreams can come true. I hope yours does.

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    1. Aren't they a lovely combination? And thank you, I hope so too, in some form at least! :)

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  4. Wow, sounds fantastic! I love the idea of finding old houses to refurbish, wouldn't it be great to have an unlimited budget? I really love your ideas of how to raise funds to maintain the houses though. Seriously, you could be on to something here! You just need to find investors, you don't have to be rich! :-) It is amazing how gardens bring the community together, very cool!

    Here's my dream garden... My Dream Garden

    Amy

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    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed your post as well. I dream about being able to have a tropical garden too. Probably makes sense, living in Minnesota like we do. Just having a garden year round would be heaven.

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  5. Well, I hope you win the lottery - or start a non-profit when you graduate. I like that your focus is urban gardening, although your dream garden could happen just about anywhere.

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  6. Thank you! I've been thinking about doing something along those lines when I graduate, but I have a few more years to go before I get there. :)

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  7. Who knows, maybe in a few years, you’ll have the money and be able to afford making this dream project. For now, you could go on keeping this idea, or even start formulating a plan on how you’re going to make this fantasy garden come true. Good luck!

    Darrell Gardner @ Living Colour Gardens

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