By Mark Montoya
HOT! That is what I have to say about gardening this week. Do as little as possible right now. This is not the time to be digging and planting in your garden, but to enjoy what you planted months ago…and maybe pluck the occasional weed or two. Maintenance, which includes watering, mowing, edging and blowing, is about all you should do.
Since less gardening may give you some extra time, you may consider reading or just looking at pictures. Carole King and Karen Pell have just put together a glimpse of Montgomery’s historic neighborhoods in a book published by Arcadia. Charming and nostalgic photos represent a southern paradise of pleasant houses and tree-lined streets. How could those people have lived in this heat without air-conditioning? That they did so, and created a lovely environment as our inheritance is something to be thankful for.
For the more adventurous, the care and maintenance of your garden doesn’t have to stop at your property line. Simply maintaining your own garden takes time and a lot of water, so everyone in our older neighborhoods should take time to admire and thank the ‘keepers of the trees’. These folks spend their extra time and energy watering many of our younger trees. Karen Benton, with the help of the Old Cloverdale Association, organized a small army to keep trees, newly planted by the City, alive in this hot weather. During the past 3 years, this army has included Joe Lenoux, Chris Harnady, Michael and Rosi Smith, Jean Smyth, John and Nancy Hartsfield, Bill Stone, Willemijn Kenzer, Joe Petranka, Michael Conden and numerous others. These folks have embraced their neighborhood as their own garden. Thanks to all of you for keeping our City’s investment alive.
Mark Montoya is a Montgomery native who first learned gardening from his father. He has designed, planted and nurtured gardens in our city’s neighborhoods — both old and new – for twenty years.