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Small space, big yield; if your garden's limited, here are ways to get bountiful results.

Small space, big yield

Finding space to grow vegetables and flowers can be a challenge, especially when the only patches of ground with full sun are in out-of-the-way places. Whether squeezed into the front yard, pushed into the parking strip in front of a narrow lot, or muscled into a side yard by the driveway, the gardens shown here take advantage of areas that get enough light.

Because these spaces weren't originally designed for flowers and vegetables, owners had to make some adjustments to grow healthy plants.

One of the most important was soil improvement. Maggie Alden added organic amendments--she used mushroom compost --so that her Portland garden (pictured at top of page 251) could handle dense planting. Katherine and Morton Luman filled their planting frames (made of 2-by-6s; see the picture at far right) with topsoil and steer manure.

Watering posed a problem when plantings were far from hose bibbs. Ms. Alden grew her cantaloupes through plastic sheeting to hold in soil moisture; with a little help from summer rain, she watered only twice during the entire growing season. To reduce watering demands, Diane Sly used drought-tolerant annuals and perennials in the parking strip in front of her house (pictured at near right).

Though each of these gardens grows plainly in view of the street, none have been pilfered. Beauty, it seems, wins out over larceny.

Photo: Summer bouquet of feathery cosmos above marigolds, petunias, and bachelor's buttons brightens parking strip in front of Jennifer Piper's house

Photo: Climbing up this south-facing trellis, eight 'Gaylia' cantaloupe plants grow next to brick driveway; slings made of old panty hose support ripening melons

Photo: Streetside garden, formerly a postage stamp-size lawn in front of Maggie Alden's Portland house, packs in about 50 kinds of flowering annuals and perennials, and 16 vegetables. At left, she shows off a bouquet of 5-inch-wide 'State Fair' zinnias

Photo: Parking-strip planting of low-maintenance flowers and perennials (with a path for street access) extends across Diane Sly's 25-foot-wide lot

Photo: Squeezed between Katherine and Morton Luman's driveway and property line, these sun-bathed planting squares hold eggplants, begonias, beets, beans, marigolds, and more
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1988
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