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Abundance in the Plant-a-Bar

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Nasturtiums about ready to start cascading over the edge of the planter

During the third week of April, I traveled to Cornelius, NC, where my daughter and family moved in early March. Longtime NYC area residents, they asked me to brighten up their yard with plants. I mailed them the most recent Gardeners Supply catalog to give them ideas.

To my great surprise, my son-in-law took me literally and decided his first venture into edible planting would be the Plant-a-Bar. He had just won a basketball pool and was feeling flush. It arrived the second day I was there. He assembled it in the empty dining room and together we lugged it outside. Perfect fit!

On Day One, I planted the seeds I had brought with me from Gardener’s Supply: arugula, basil, cilantro, cornflowers, pole beans and nasturtiums.  I put them in flats and selected a sunny window indoors. Thinking their emergence would be after my departure, I showed my daughter how to mist them twice a day.  They were up in four days. Some climate!

My last day there, I transplanted everything but the nasturtiums.  My daughter paid close attention to the process.  I targeted each edge of the bar except the folding shelf for the nasturtiums. I promised they would cascade over the side in time.

We bought the peppers, rosemary, dill and thyme plants locally. I wasn’t the least bit sure anything would survive nor did I want to risk burdening this new-to-gardening family with slow seedlings.

As of today, they’ve enjoyed the first arugula and cilantro crops, made pesto with the basil and consumed the early jalapenos. The cornflowers are just starting to bloom in the row behind the nasturtiums. This is a dynamic color combination.

While I was planting, one of the neighborhood watchdogs passed by. “What a good idea!” she exclaimed.

“It’s a bar and it’s from Gardener’s Supply in Vermont,” I replied.

After I saw the most recent pictures, I’d be surprised  if she’s not hoping for an invitation to the cocktail hour.

Anne Byrnes

Anne Byrnes, a Gardener’s Supply customer, gardens in South Burlington, VT, where her challenges are “too much shade and far too many squirrels.”