by Connie Oswald Stofko
JoAnn Yager has a small garden along the fence in her backyard, but the plants there struggle.
“They never grew,” she said, “and it was too hard bending and weeding.”
This year she tried something new. Her reward is that she is surrounded by flowers and herbs and vegetables, plus she eliminated all that bending and kneeling.
Her trick? She used containers on her back deck.
Yager shared her tips during the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens in Buffalo on Aug. 2. It included the Starry Night Garden Tour. This was the last garden walk of the season.
Yager loves that she doesn’t have to bend to harvest vegetables or to deadhead flowers. She can even sit while she plants up her containers.
Her plants are doing much better than they have in the garden. Yager thinks that what did the trick is that she is growing plants in good potting soil instead of the heavy clay she has in her yard. Sun may make a difference, too. When I visited, the garden was in shade, but there was plenty of light on the deck.
Mint, which spreads readily and can get out of control, is contained in a window box. An added benefit is that she can enjoy the minty aroma when she’s inside.
Her plantings originally started as an herb garden, but she has expanded it to include flowers and vegetables. She started many of the plants from seed including cucumbers, beets, lettuce and tomatoes.
Yager enjoys her garden so much, she can’t wait to get home from her job as an occupational therapist.
“This is my therapy,” she said.
Here are some stories from Black Rock and Riverside in previous years: