Courtyard oasis

My daughter’s tiny little apartment over near the campus has a tiny little shared courtyard, overlooked by her bedroom window.  The courtyard is meant to be shared, and all the residents are encouraged to use it and care for it, but she has taken it over and it doesn’t seem like her fellow residents mind at all.

In that tiny little courtyard, she has a container garden full of beautiful plants.  This is not any ordinary container garden with herbs and small vegetables, although she will plant them in a week or so.  This container garden is full of lush green trees.  Small trees, mostly, although as you can see, not all.  She grows them in containers, not because she wants her garden to stay small, but because, like most students, she moves frequently.  She loves her all of her plants far too much to leave them behind.  Who can blame her with plants like these?

One of her favorites, and mine, are the banana trees that takes up much of the courtyard.  While my banana trees are planted in the ground outside and are all brown right now, hers is planted in a Rubbermaid container which she brings inside when it freezes.  Because it has been kept from the freezing weather (yeah, we did have a few days of it) it hasn’t gone dormant.  I love the big green leaves and the way they shred along the veins.  Soon they will put out a funky reddish flower or two, and then the bananas will grow.  These trees grow very small bananas that taste pretty much like the ones you buy in the grocery stores.

Did you know that you can use banana leaves to wrap meat in while roasting?  I’ve heard that it stinks mightily, but the results are great.

What the garden has most of is lemon trees, and a lime tree that was supposed to be a lemon tree, but somebody didn’t mark it correctly.  That one is technically mine, but she has taken it away since she knows that I do not have the gardening gene.  The Meyer lemon tree is full of flowers right now.  There are also little tiny lemons underneath some of the leaves, but I couldn’t get a good shot of them.  I am really hoping that the limes grow well, but so far there aren’t any flowers on that tree.

Koshka, the jungle kitty, loves this courtyard garden.  She was a wild cat in her infancy, and used to be allowed outside, until she started venturing toward the street.  Now she’s an indoor jungle kitty, but she is allowed out into the courtyard at times.   It may not look like much, but as far as she’s concerned, this is heaven.


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