June 24, 2012
This amazing greenhouse was designed by Studio Besau-Marguerre in Hamburg in collaboration with Adrien Petrucci. It comes with a leather strap, which, aside from being fashionable, is also practical as you can move this small greenhouse inside or out as weather permits.
June 1, 2012
This is my entry for this week’s photo challenge. It means summer to me because I love mixing edibles in with my flower beds and I find that artichokes look particularly good in a perennial bed. I love the way their leaves are structured. And I love artichokes!
March 17, 2012
I ran across this post about creating an Herb Spiral on Antony Jones’ web site The Kale Yard. It is an amazing way to grow a number of different herbs that require different growing conditions in a small space.
According to Anthony the idea behind the Herb Spiral is “to get as many different herbs as possible in a confined area. The spiral and the subsequent hight differences mean that you create a number of different environmental conditions which normally would not be possible in a small space.”
The link to directions for how to build an Herb Spiral are here at The Kale Yard.
March 9, 2012
For those of us who grow tomatoes, and that is just about everyone who has a vegetable garden, many have probably noticed that there are often little nodes toward the bottom of the main stem of the plant. ‘What are these?, we may have asked ourselves at some point.
They are the root primordia. The root primordia is the earliest stage of root development. If that primordia had been underground it most likely would have developed into a root. This is why, when I transplant my tomatoes I plant them 3-5 inches below where they were in the container. I know it is a little sad to watch your tomato plant shrink in size as soon as you put it in the ground, but, in the long run you will have a stronger healthier plant.
Occasionally the nodes can signal an overall health problem with the plant so keep an eye on it. But the primordia are almost always harmless when above ground and beneficial when below ground.
February 13, 2012
Wolfe brings up a point which I thought was very interesting;as a litmus test for climate change.
During World Wars I and II people planted vegetable gardens to supplement their food supply and help ensure troops would have enough to eat. The smallest spaces were used to grow food. People grew lettuce on their windowsills. The gardens were truly a country wide effort.
You can read the entire Garden Rant interview here but the part I found really interesting was this:
Q: In The New American Landscape, you recommend “cautious exploration” with less hardy plants on the part of gardeners. Why not wild experimentation?
A: Actually, gardeners can lead the way here, figuring out how we can take advantage of the opportunities offered by a warming climate, because it’s not their entire livelihood at stake, as with farmers. Maybe we need Victory Gardens in a new context, that of climate change.
I think this is a wonderful idea. A lot of people think you need a good size suburban backyard to have a vegetable garden that will give you anything substantial. To that I say three things. One, Pshaw. Two, Not true. You can grow more than you think in less space than you thought possible. And three even if you only get four tomatoes and two cucumbers that’s four tomatoes and two cucumbers more than you would have gotten if you hadn’t had a garden at all. And let me tell you you haven’t REALLY had a tomato until you have had a tomato straight from the garden.
One way to ease into a Victory Garden is to add some edibles into your ornamental garden. Here are two sweet potato vines planted in a small raised bed around a Honeysuckle shrub. Most of the Sweet potato vines with pretty foliage don’t produce potatoes but these do. And they are tasty.
Plus remember my post about Living Walls? You can do that with edibles as well as ornamental plants. At Woolypocket you can buy products to create a Living Wall of vegetables, herbs, ornamentals or any combination thereof.
As far as figuring out where to begin with your new Victory Garden there are a number of books dedicated to vegetable gardening in small spaces. Two of my favorites are Joy Larckom’s Creative Vegetable Gardening and Designing the New Kitchen Garden by Jennifer R. Bartley.
Joy Larckom is a Garden Writer and Horticulturalist. She is a master at creating interesting and unique looks for an edible garden. The way she combines different colors, textures, vegetables, herbs and edible ornamental flowers is just short of, dare I say, brilliant. This is a link to a wonderful article she wrote for The Guardian in the UK.
Jennifer Bartley is a and garden writer. The underlying theme of her book is that it is rewarding to feed your body from your garden but twice as rewarding to feed your body and your soul; something you can do by creating a vegetable garden that is not only functional but is also en expression of your creativity and beautiful to look at day after day.