The starting point.

We moved to Flutter By 8th in early 2012 and were amazed to learn that our new apartment came with shared backyard access.

Since then, we’ve been working with my neighbors to transform it into a productive green space that’s beneficial to butterflies, pollinators, and people.

The main challenges of urban gardening are 1) soil contamination (the biggie) and 2) shade from non-native trees and condos.  We spent much of our first summer digging trash out of the flower beds, pulling up massive weeds, rebuilding the beds, planting perennials (especially butterfly host plants) and getting insect pests down to a manageable population.

By the end of our first autumn, the garden was starting to look cared for. By the next spring we were ready to build raised vegetable beds, and were happy to learn that many of our butterfly host plants survived their first winter.

Late in May 2013

In 2013, we look forward to increasing our population of native plants, pollinator nectar sources, and to delicious fruits and vegetables from the raised beds.