By Leita Walker
My dream is to be reborn as the love child of Tina Fey, Emily Tepe, and Nate Silver. I’m not sure that’s gonna work out, seeing as there’s three of them, and at least one of them is gay. But can you imagine the combo? Feminist, funny, smart as a whip, and downright earthy. Now there’s a genetically modified organism for ya.
I read Emily Tepe’s book over the weekend and I just discovered her blog. So now I have another thing to distract me. “Hello, my name is Leita Walker, and I am addicted to garden porn.”
Reading books like Tepe’s with all their beautiful photographs can be both inspiring and discouraging. And I got the one-two punch of reading it while at my parents’ house, where I was humbled by five-feet tall sweet pea plants, zucchini plants five times the size of mine, and dozens of ripe red strawberries. My parents’ yard is big enough that they can situate their garden in a completely shadeless spot, and they also have that infamous giant pile of cow manure. But still. THIS IS A COMPETITION AND I AM LOSING. (Have I mentioned I’m both extremely impatient and competitive? Not a good combo.)
Despite all this, I really enjoyed the book. Edible landscaping is my style of growin’ stuff: On a small city lot, I’m not willing to sacrifice aesthetics. And I was gratified to find that after six or so years of trial and error, I’m already doing most of what Tepe recommends, with some success. My kale/nasturtium/zinnia patch looks fantastic. My “two sisters” companion planting of beans and squash (corn seemed like too much of a hassle for the boulevard) is going gangbusters. And my cabbage/chard patch is looking good since I threw in some purple petunias.
Anyone else have a favorite edible landscape combo/design? I’d love to hear about it – please comment below.