Volunteer Gardener Diaries

When my friend BJ mentioned he wanted help “landscaping” the front yard of his new house, I did what I typically do: volunteer, come over-prepared after having enjoyed a gallon of coffee, haul him to the local garden shop with far too many ideas, and jump up and down on occasion during our progress throughout the day. He had a good idea of what he wanted his front yard to look like, so we knew what we were doing. However, he did mention that he wanted to install a wooden flag pole at some point in the front yard. A lot of people in his neighborhood do this, so he is planning on installing that in the future.

I could never be a hipster. I’m far too willing to show my excitement and happiness at the little things.

In progress

We started with two dirt patches filled with errant grass and weeds and a dusty porch. And one happy dog — Chaco — to watch us work.

Chaco!

Tarped

Tarped

Happy man

We finished with two dirt patches covered with black plastic — to cook off those weeds. And a porch decorated with baskets of hanging flowers, a potted poppy and clean chairs. A bit of weeding. A bit of sweeping. And now, a bit of waiting as the plastic and the sun do their thing. In a few weeks, we’ll put down mulch and plant some native grasses and a tree. BJ also wants to add some gooseneck lights outdoor on the porch for those darker evenings. Once that’s all completed, we will call it a job well done.

Basket of flowers

With any luck, we’ll come close to the glory that is his next door neighbor’s yard. She has one of the best wood porch swings I’ve ever seen. One day this garden will have a cool porch swing too! Not only is her porch swing adorable, but she’s let friends come into garden portions of her yard. It is a mini-community garden with boxes marked off and the whole enchilada. Amazing creativity, this community. I absolutely love the spirit of sustainability and sharing.

I convinced BJ to approach her and see if anyone else would like the two patches of earth he owns down by the street. The ones in front of her home are being gardened by some volunteer. It would be so much sweeter to see this space going to use for food. He agreed.

*UPDATED: Rosie sent me this link and if it isn’t the same front yard! Bravo to this woman, who’s turned her yard into a CSA.

Neighbor's porch

Neighbor's amazing garden

Of course, we celebrated our hour of labor with two hours of happy at a local brewery.

Breck Brewery

Colorado loves its breweries. (I could be a hipster about beer. Pretty to photograph, but otherwise? Meh.)

~K