It was a real treat last week to visit both Gary Edmondson’s and Dr. Bob Randall’s garden. It was garden tour given for those taking the Organic Vegetable Certification class at Urban Harvest. It started on Saturday at 2:30 PM at the home of Gary Edmondson, who is the Education Director at Urban Harvest. Gary has a sprawling garden in an older residential neighborhood on the south part of Houston, near Stella Link and Loop 610. It was easy to spot while driving up to the home. There was no front lawn. In it’s place were fruit trees and an eclectic mix of informal garden beds.
The front and side of the house that face the street are filled with flowers, fruits and yes even a lettuce patch adjacent to the sidewalk.
The backyard is where most of the food production is. Raised beds no more than 8 inches high occupy most of the space. Nothing goes to waste, even the compost bins are made from repurposed commercial refrigerator grates.
Gary explaining how arugula is harvested, bagged and sold at the Urban Harvest farmers market.
Swiss Chard looks so pretty growing in this bed with it’s attractive red stems and large crinkled green leaves.
Inexpensive and reusable tomato cages made from reinforced wire used for concrete.
Personally, I prefer to use the Texas Tomato cages which are galvanized and fold up when not in use. They also make a single-piece version that is 5 feet tall in two diameters (18 in. and 24 in.). I purchased them through a wholesale supplier here in Houston.
An old plastic garden stool adds a pop of color and comes in handy when working in these low beds.
Gary recycles all of the yard waste in a hodge podge of compost bins.
Malabar spinach while growing here in Houston in the summer is growing around the base of the circular compost bin.
It is a vine and you can learn more about it here.
Another part of the garden in the back is segregated for the chickens. Gary’s four chickens provide about a dozen eggs per week.
Back around to the front of the house, there are more beds, wildflowers, and fruit trees. Some very pretty White Yarrow Achillea millefoliumin full bloom near the driveway, reminds me of Queen Anne’s Lace.
Finally, a pomegranate tree is in full bloom.
Pineapple Guava, (Feijoa sellowiana) in bloom.
You can learn more about this fruit here.
Indian Blanket flower Gaillardia pulchella
Pink wildflower that you see along the roadside in spring is Evening primrose Oenothera speciosa Nutt.
Pretty mock orange blooms in late spring. Philadelphus x virginalis ‘Natchez’
Next week, Part II of this tour continues at the home of Dr. Bob Randall, founder of Urban Harvest. Check back.