The garden above the nightclub
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: Julie Scharper posts on vegetable gardening every Tuesday.
I live in a skinny, crumbling apartment above two nightclubs in Mt. Vernon.
It gets a little noisy at night (one side plays unse-unse, the other boom-chaka-laka), but the rent is cheap and I love the high ceilings and old-fashioned details.
The best part of my apartment is what lays outside my kitchen door: a long stretch of roof just for me.
Last year, tired of not being able to see anything green from my windows, I planted my first garden here. I lugged bags of potting soil and stacks of pots up the stairs and planted flowers, herbs and some vegetables.
As soon as the first shoots appeared, the roof was transformed. Butterflies, bees and birds arrived. Morning glory and moonflower vines wrapped around the bars on my windows.
On rainy nights, the smell of rosemary and mint blew in my bedroom. The gray urban space became an oasis where friends joined me to drink wine and talk by candlelight until late in the night.
This year, I'm planting twice as many flowers and herbs as I did last year, and experimenting with lots of new vegetables. My strawberries are on the brink of turning pink and the first moonflower shoots have muscled out of the soil.
I'm composting for the first time and, like a good recessionista, improvising planters out of everything around.
It brings me great comfort to know that despite all the turbulence and tribulations in the world, seeds still sprout and shoots still grow.