Spruce Up Your Alley w/ Sunflowers

Our AlleyAround these parts, we have these things called an alley.  Some places we go, people say… A WHAT?  They don’t get it, we try to explain… and it just doesn’t translate.  So we will explain, but forgive us if you have alleys where you are from and we go all third grade on you.

An alley is a road that splits a block of houses in half long ways – so that the garbage man can drive his big garbage truck and pick up the dumpsters of trash.  There are several big dumpsters on each block and you take your trash out to those dumpsters as needed and they are picked up twice a week.  Just imagine (if you don’t have an alley) that instead of putting your trash in trash cans by the street on trash day – you can throw them in a big community dumpster on your block and the trashman takes that instead.

Yeah so… I just won the championship for most boring intro to a blog post. 

**waves**

Thank you… thank you.

So, that leads me into the whole point of this damn post to begin with.  Alleys are normally pretty boring.  Lots of people fail to even mow their alley or take care of it whatsoever (since the only people that see it are folks throwing away garbage & the garbage man).  It is kinda sad each time we see an alley for whatever reason (stalking people’s real garden) or as we have done a crap ton in our life… moving.  It is sad because lots of people pay money for plots each year.  In this strange land-for-granted place we can’t run a mower over it, or rake it… nothing.  No one can do a single thing to help the looks for the ‘back’ of the house.

Our neighbor's alley - ewww.

Well – we are calling BS on this whole thing. 

Seriously.  This has went on for too long and so as we have learned in our lives… if you want something to change.  Change it.  Or else you are just someone else bitching about it.  Sorry for the language.  I am sure some older woman just clicked the little red x in fear that she just got a virus.  An evil one that changes the internet to say fowl foul language and talk about donkeys and bacon alot.

You just got it lady… the Double Danger virus.

Back to this alley.  Our alley when we moved in looked like the garbage truck driver had shook out a few pieces of trash a time or two by accident.  Not to mention the previous owners kept their wood there and so that had left some debris.  Add in an occasional off the wall item, like a weird lil neckalace that says…

JC Necklace

Which happen to be my first & last initial.  I will leave it at that.  Nice & creepy.  And don’t tell me it stands for Jesus.  Because I want to believe that someone, possibly a stalker left that in the alley where they knew I would be raking in an attempt to lure me back to be given some kind of prize of money on a reality TV show.

That is what I want to believe.

We fell off track again.  Let’s move back to the alley and what we are doing with it.

The alley has been something we have put off messing with (much like the people who lived here before) for the past 6 mths or so of our living here.  But Saturday morning we dealt with it.  It really wasn’t all that big of a deal.  It just needed raking.  The weather was perfect (65-70ish) and other than STEPPING ON A FREAKIN’ NAIL that went ALL THE WAY THREW MY SHOE AND INTO MY FOOT… it went fairly quick and painless.

With a bit of hoe work, the alley was ready to be SUNFLOWERFIED.  I’m stuck on [caps lock] today.  Be lucky you didn’t show up for […] day.  It gets stupid.  I mean I use a lot of […](s) anyhow, but come on a […]-heavy day.  It gets stupid.  I’m just saying…

Pretty simple, we planted some Mammoth Sunflower seeds and some normal height sunflowers in front of that.  Like we said… pretty simple.  We hope to create an attractant for bees… and hell – maybe it will feed some of the BILLIONS OF BIRDS we have (more [caps lock] fun). 

Mashala Planting Sunflower Seeds

After we were done – watered it, which is a lil tougher than normal watering… because it is on the edge of our property line as it is… plus over the fence with the hose.  You get the idea.  But got it watered none the less.

Planted Sunflowers in Alley

So that is it… for now.  The guy down the way actually filled his with veggies (or is in the process) and setup a nice irrigation setup.  We will take pics of it soon, so you can see it.  We hope to do something similar if possible in the coming years.  So much wasted space.  We hope to reclaim that land and fill it with edibles.

Do you have an alley or some piece of land you salvaged for a garden?  Tell us about it.  We love to hear stories of using what you have to garden!  Hope you enjoyed ours.  If you haven’t – sign up for our RSS feed.  You can sign up for email updates and whenever we post something new… you get emailed about it (right Sheila?).  It is an easy way to keep up with what is going on with Double D.  We are getting into our favorite part of the year, BBQ & Gardening Seasons.  A little bit for the guys & girls.  Something your husband can enjoy… and not feel ashamed after going there.  If you know someone that would enjoy our site, tell them.  Pass it on.  Email them.  Tweet them.  Reddit us.  Stumble Upon us.  Digg us.  Do whatever it takes to spread the word.  We love meeting new people and helping people learn more about Gardening & BBQ.


6 thoughts on “Spruce Up Your Alley w/ Sunflowers”

  • 1
    Heidi on May 4, 2009

    What a great idea! I was thinking about the watering issue when you wrote about it, so I’m sure you’ll figure something easy out. The necklace thing is just odd…and yes, creepy. OR…maybe it stands for “Just ‘cuz”.

    I can’t wait to see the beautiful photos of your sunny sunflower patch. A real ray of sunshine in a rather drab habitate. Good for you.

  • 2
    Angela on May 4, 2009

    I also have an alley and a alley garden! Everyone in town can see mine when they drop off their mail at the post office. I planted the garden because I like to show of my gardening skills and I wanted people to STOP throwing their garbage there when they drove by. It was pretty much a garbage pile covered in grass when I moved in.

  • 3
    Colleen Vanderlinden on May 5, 2009

    I’m so happy to see you planting your alley! I posted on my blog a few weeks ago about how beautiful the alleys in my part of Detroit used to be—people planted berry bushes, hollyhocks, sunflowers—you name it—in the alley. Detroit started fencing off the alleys in most of the neighborhoods and started curbside trash pickup.

    Can’t wait to see how your alley garden progresses through the summer!

  • 4
    Rob O. on May 5, 2009

    Planting sunflowers is an excellent idea! Some of our nearby neighbors planted a variety of Cannas in their alley and they not only look great, but smell kinda nice too.

    It occurs to me that in addition to beautifying a space that usually goes overlooked, this project might have the additional effect of making it even harder for snot-nosed punks to deface the backside of your fence and it also would probably make it a little more difficult for a would-be intruder to scale your fence.

  • 5
    Eva on May 6, 2009

    Are you up to date on your tetanus shots? I’m serious. Nails in the foot are bad business.

  • 6
    Benny on May 12, 2009

    I agree with the tetanus shot James, you had better go and get one. The alley will look great, I can’t wait to see the pictures of it later this summer.

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