When I first started my business, Lauren Nitschke of Nitschke Natural Beef, took me up on my offer to water her plants while on vacation. Visiting her home for the first time, I was taken by the landscapes she had thoughtfully created. All organic, of course. During that hot summer, I tended her trees, landscapes and vegetable gardens. I watered mainly in the evenings and was greeted by the music of a bullfrog singing in the koi pond. Daily, I listened to the gentle hum of bees buzzing around the flowers and enjoyed the butterflies dancing in the yard. It is nothing less than an oasis in the heart of North Oak Cliff.

When not tending her Oak Cliff gardens, Lauren is an organic steward of land and cattle in Jefferson County, Okla. Recently, Lauren and her husband decided to leave their beloved OC home of 28 years to live full time on their cattle ranch in Oklahoma.

Their house, with its wonderful outdoor space, is on the market.

Growing vertically

No matter how much you have, I say space is a premium. That is one reason I teach folks to grow vertically any chance they can. Traditionally, beans and peas are grown up poles or trellises. Did you know you can train tomatoes to grow up a string? Also, you can grow any kind of melon or squash up a trellis as well.

Amazing as it seems, the vine will hold onto a sugar baby watermelon or cantaloupe easily. If you are so bold as to grow a black diamond watermelon, you will need to give it support, and pantyhose will do the trick. For the kiddos, a Jack-Be-Little pumpkin teepee is a fun addition to the yard.

Garden Lady’s green dates to remember

• April 14 at 11 a.m., Garden Talk follow-up at Repotted on plantings from March 3 class.  We will specifically focus on tomatoes.

• April 19 at 6 p.m., A Community Cooks at the We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College