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flacommunitygarden5This gardener took a break from tending his rattlesnake beans and tomatoes, and gave us a quick tour.

It was Saturday, and we were rambling around Pensacola’s first New Urbanism neighborhood — a whimsical 20-acre community called Aragon.  We turned a corner and there it was: a lovely community garden, divided into individual family plots and hemmed all around with a white picket fence. Each family has a rectangular plot in the public space, and about two-thirds are currently under cultivation. The garden appears to be designed to encourage its use as a gathering place, with porch swings on one side and a big playground on the other. Brick walkways and trellises of sweet-smelling Carolina jasmine bisect the garden property (our friendly gardener pointed out that the jasmine probably wasn’t the best choice for this location, though, since its big woody roots keep snaking into the vegetables).


flacommunitygarden2Some Florence fennel and a big ol’ rosemary.


flacommunitygarden1Florida summers are hot, hot hot. The community garden at Aragon has a sprinkler system that comes on automatically, three times each week.