Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From Holding Beds to Foster Gardens

By the time the first frost arrived last fall, I had some plants that still needed permanent homes. There just wasn’t enough time to get the ground prepared and get the plants in before the ground was too hard to work. I needed a spot--fast. So, I went to “Plan B.” I used the raised vegetable beds, which had already been cleaned out and were ready for winter. These beds became the winter home for my “leftover” plants. Winter turned into spring, and spring was almost summer by the time I had returned both holding beds to veggie beds!

My friend, Betsy, offered part of her veggie garden to her church as a holding bed a couple years ago. She hauled the plants from the church to her garden and gave them a temporary home (and lots of care) until the church chose a new design for their gardens. Last spring, we potted everything back up and she hauled them back to the church. Because Betsy’s veggie garden was holding plants not for Betsy, but for someone else, it became sort of a foster garden!

Over the weekend, I learned that one of my neighbors will need to leave her home and the garden she loves so well. The neighbor who is serving as the caretaker for the gardens right now told me I could take a few things if I wanted them and had space. I took a couple prairie natives. Remembering the sadness I had leaving the gardens at the St Paul house, I offered a section of boulevard as a holding bed for the plants the neighbor would like to take with her, but doesn’t have a spot for right now. She could come back when she was settled and take her plants to their new home.

We have storage lockers and PODs for our stuff and we have foster programs for children and pets, but when I did a Google search for foster garden, the only hits were for the botanical garden in Hawaii. Is this a wacky idea or one whose time has come?

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