My Small, Happy Garden

sidewalk garden

Sorry, folks! I know I’ve been neglecting things here. Life has gotten away from me a little bit.

We’re still in our current place through late in the year. While it’s certainly not permanent, I’ve felt in a “nesting” mood, so decided to start a little garden. But, of course, there are limitations. I can’t go tearing up the yard or doing anything permanent, so I’ve decided to start my garden in pots. When you start reading some about gardening, it’s amazing how much you can grow in a small space.

I’ve started conservatively with eight pots. I don’t want to go crazy, and I’m not trying to make a HUGE project for myself right now, so I though eight sounded like a nice, round number to start with. Eight pots let me grow a variety of things and learn along the way while (hopefully) giving us some lovely fresh veggies.

I’ve started out with a handful of herbs. I wanted mint for mojitos and mint chocolate chip ice cream and because it smells like heaven. Mint also supposedly grows like wildfire, so I thought it would be difficult for me to mess up. I’m also growing basil—again, because it smells good, and because I think it tastes like summer. Some oregano and lavender (it attracts bees) rounds out my oh-so-fabulous herb collection.

Then come the veggies. I love the idea of heirloom vegetables, but it’s hard to know where to start. I also waited until late in the season to decide to start my little garden, so my options were more limited. I wanted to try our cherry tomatoes because I thought they would be well-suited to pots, but the garden center didn’t have any left. Instead, I went with Roma tomatoes (should go well with the basil and some nice mozzarella) and a much larger kind called Mortgage Lifter. I’ve never tried Mortgage Lifter before, and I don’t know how a larger tomato will do growing in a pot, so this is an experiment.

In addition to my tomatoes, I’m trying to grow cucumbers and pole beans. I didn’t realize how big cucumber vines would grow. These things really sprawl! They also attract a certain kind of bug that likes to eat them. It presents a challenge, but I’m hoping to get a few viable cucumbers out of it. The beans are an interesting plant, too. They grow upward, so they don’t require that much room at the base. It’s fun to watch them grow so far, but I might need to plant more if I really want to get enough to make real dishes from them.

It’s a small garden, but I really do love it. It’s nice to have a reason to go outside and enjoy the weather and fresh air. At the same time, it’s not so large that it takes up all my time and energy. I’m looking forward to seeing how things go.