Multipurpose Landscaping

Last year many evergreen trees died. My neighbor had to remove three. Unfortunately, the largest provided shade for my southeast picture window. I needed a fast, temporary source of shade.

I decided to use vegetables!

The magazine, “Our Iowa”, sends out 4 seeds of genetically modified corn. This corn can grow over 15 feet tall. They have a contest to see who will grow the first 20 foot stalk. There were pictures of the corn stretching up to the second floor. We planted our four seeds in front of the picture window.

Then I addressed the issue of the sun entering my window from the east at seven-thirty in the morning.

The garage is to the east of the window, so I could not plant corn in the cement driveway. There is a small rectangle of dirt between the driveway and steps. My husband built a lattice panel, attaching it perpendicularly to the house. We planted cucumbers to climb on it.

I have a small basement window to the west that lets in a lot of heat. We planted green beans in front of it and sweet corn in front of the south bedroom windows.

All of these provided some shade for the house and veggies for the table.

I saved the best ear of corn for seeds for next year. I plan on harvesting seeds from the tomatoes and cucumbers, too. I want to plant two rows of “Our Iowa” corn, starting at the driveway in front of the sidewalk, to provide more hours of shade. I think I will plant climbing Peas on the lattice as the cucumbers did not climb very high.

The corn did not grow as tall as I expected. A farmer told me they looked like they needed nitrogen.

He said, “Go pee on them.”

I didn’t…but I think next year I will add miracle grow!

Since the weather has cooled, we pulled all of the vegetables. Now I get the benefit of the heat and light from the sun on my picture window.

As you can see, the local deer approved of my temporary shade.

Deer eating the corn leaves.


Deer eating the leaves of the cucumbers we planted by lattice.


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