I was outside today playing catch with our dogs and thinking about how our outdoor spaces are different from what others in the past may of considered. On our urban city block, new neighbors are moving in since people are passing away and change is inevitable. I was out in my yard the other day working on clearing out my squash beds and preparing for fall/winter crops. I looked over a few yards and noticed one of my new neighbors was putting in a new brick porch out back. The older lady that lived there had gone to a nursing home , and the other neighbor decided to sell their home after her husband passed away in the spring. Two families purchased these two homes so they could live next door to each other which is a pretty neat idea. The grandparents can help the younger couple as they try to work and raise their kids. How neat to grow up next door to your grandparents. I have enjoyed their addition to our city block since they are always outside working, or hanging out.
I am enjoying the changes of plants and people to the landscape of our city block. We live close to our downtown area and have walkers and bikers on our main road all day long. If you try to work out in your yard, it may take you all day since you spend a lot of time chatting to people walking by or visiting over the fence. When we moved here back in 2000, all the lawns were mostly grass and old landscaping that was overgrown. Every year I kept adding more, bee friendly plants, fruit bushes, native plants, vegetables to create biodiversity on this old city lot. Over the years, I have noticed more people taking out the old bushes and putting in new gardens. It is nice to see all the new “bee friendly” plants being put into the landscape. One definition of “landscape” describes it as a “dynamic backdrop to people’s lives”.
People can’t afford to go on vacations all the time due to work schedules or financial restraints, so they are changing the landscapes of our cities. Today People are creating urban homesteads right out their backdoor, front yard, side yard, balcony, or sharing community gardens. For many years, we were so dependent on the grocery store for all our food. I was fortunate to be blessed with a family that valued growing food on their city lot. I grew up near Chicago, Illinois. For many years, I watched my grandparents (that lived across the street from my cousins a mile from our house) growing food on their city lots. Our home did not have a large lot, but my mother and father always found space to grow food. We had fresh greens, tomatoes, beans and apples, and food for winter eating, too.
It took me getting cancer in 2000 to change the dynamics of our landscape. My cancer is “slow-growing” which means it is not curable, but it is manageable. This means I had to find a way to battle my cancer long-term. I had to change the dynamics of our “family landscape” or the way we live life.
Reduce Stress. Simplify life…
Grow Food right where you live by getting outside and changing the landscape….
Plant more native plants on city lots…
Our Urban Potager is filled with food, family, friends, and neighbors on a daily basis. Isn’t change great!