Creatives Space: Maria G.




Maria Gavilanez, like most of us, spends most of her time indoors. The New Jersey wife and mother is a public school teacher and recently earned a master’s degree. That meant many, many, MANY hours either prepping for class or studying hard for the classes in which she was enrolled. Add in the frigid cold of Northeastern winters, and there’s even more reason to stay in.


The hibernation is thankfully over. She graduated in May, school wrapped in June, and the weather has been downright steamy of late. Maria has been enjoying the great outdoors, right in her own backyard. Check out her beautiful and peaceful garden:



This is a butterfly bush….for the most part of the year it looks like just that- a bush- but during the first summer months it blossoms with these pretty purple flowers which attract butterflies…it smells super sweet… this is right next to my stoop.


Small gate leading to the backyard…. We found an old bed on the curb…[my husband] Danny and I re-purposed it into this little gate.


We collect rain water for our plants …we try as best as possible to be green.




A couple of years ago i tried adding color to my back wall …unfortunately I didnt finish so i took a closeup pic lol.









Tomatoes already growing next to mint and green pepper.



Flowers at the foot of our Virgin Mary.



Our center piece…that is not really at the center…..we were gonna trash those bushes …but decided to give them a chance…in no time they were housing Our Lady.




Cilantro and basil growing together in a container.



Tomatoes growing in a container.




More cilantro and basil….my mom…loves adding basil to our pineapple, cucumber juice…yummy and nutricious.




Random plant…we’ve got a lot of those, too.



Our newest addition….a little wing next to our existing fence …we will be building beds to grow veggies here.




A random pic of [my son] Fernando walking on our fire pit! Yes, because he loves the backyard…the yellow steps in the back Danny and I built about 4 yrs ago…it serves as sitting space and a hiding spot for all the rocks we got out of our own garden.


Maria shares:


I would really appreciate any light on This is the site for the Greater Newark Conservancy….I worked for them from 1999 until 2006. I started as an intern and fell in love with what they do.



I do stay in contact with them. Every year I make sure I go to their Mother’s Day plant sale. That is where I get most of my plants. They are responsible about bringing healthy plants into Newark. I recently went to their Happy Hour in the Garden, collecting funds for their high school summer program. Just last Thursday I volunteered my time to serve as a judge in their City Gardens Contest. A must do… especially in August when everything is in bloom.

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