Vegetable tourism? We hope so...the new garden in front of Langley's City Hall is drawing as much notice from Langley-ites as from visitors. The maturing fruit and vegetables turn out to be community building, delicious, and attracting lots of attention. Often groups of people hang out in the garden taking photographs, resting on the bench, picking beans or strawberries, sampling the intriging purple tomatoes.
Volunteers working in the garden spend their time answering questions about the grape-colored cherry tomatoes ('Indigo Rose', developed at Oregon State University to be as rich in antioxidants as blueberries), the handsome, mammoth kale (no, we had no idea they'd grow so large...), the pollinator pathway (sweet alyssum, blooming in white and lavender along the side of City Hall, attracts more pollinators than any other single plant).
Passersby are drawn in by the sight of food growing right out along the sidewalk in front of a public building....well-integrated with flowers, art, blueberries and evergreen hedging to carry the garden through the seasons....everyone is encouraged to taste, pick, and leave some for others. (A curse on the one bad apple, so to speak, who greedily beheaded all the artichokes in the dark of night).
Many thanks to the volunteers who have kept the garden well-watered during this dry summer (Bernita, you're a wonder....), to Log House Plants and Renee's Garden Seeds for donating such healthy plants and special seeds, to Nick Lyle and Jean Whitesavage for the creating such beautiful bones for the garden with their inspired metalwork (check out the bean teepee topped with giant radish), to the Whidbey Island Garden Tour for their grant, and for the Langley Main Street program that makes it all happen....
An orchard on Second Street...the tall, skinny hedge of pole apples fits the scale of the little garden...
The scarlet runner beans are bearing lavishly, growing up to entwine the radish..
The yellow-leafed alpine strawberries along the sidewalk contrast with the thickly ruffled purple kale.