I am a city girl, but sometimes I complain about not having a yard and google Asheville farmhouses. A classic “grass is greener” situation. In reality, I have never displayed a green thumb and barely use my only outdoor space, a small wooden balcony. Admitting this to myself, I decided to embrace what I have fully, instead of uselessly dreaming of what I do not have. The result is my new urban garden! My south-facing balcony gets strong direct sunlight for most of the day and finding plants that thrive in such an environment was easy.
On Saturday, I biked to my neighborhood garden center (Fertile, for locals) and loaded up on flowers: roses, begonias, daisies, and a window box for mounting.
To transport the plants, I simply zip-tied to my front rack a wine crate that Mr. Dottie found in our alley (free!). This served the purpose splendidly. The plants were packed in enough that they did not jostle or fall over.
Back at my condo, I transferred the flowers to bigger pots with more soil. Lucky for me, I snapped up several terra-cotta pots that my neighbor left in the basement when she moved (free!). These were a big score, as transporting heavy pots would have been difficult.
I learned via gardening blogs that I need some larger material at the bottom of my pots, below the soil, to help with drainage and avoid root rot. I had enough wine corks for the first pot, but then I was at a loss and not up for another trip to the store. Mr. Dottie came up with a plan to collect rocks from under nearby L tracks, which sounded kinda gross, but after only a few handfuls each – and after picking out the broken glass – we were set (free!). :)
On Sunday, I returned to the garden center for herbs and vegetables. Same bike set up as before. I got sage, rosemary, basil, thyme, tomatoes, and banana peppers!
Mr. D stuffed another flower box in his pannier.
Then we got back to work potting. Getting my hands in the dirt – like a kid again – was fun, even though the dirt came from a bag. (I was able to buy organic potting soil from the nearby grocery store, allowing me to walk home carrying the bags and avoid loading the bike up.)
Now I have a real live urban garden – complete with herbs, veggies, and flowers. Once I prove to myself that I can keep these guys alive, I plan to go back for more. And I’m working on some seedlings (green beans, catnip, flowers) that hopefully will join the rest of the gang outside soon.
As a final touch, I scored two barely-used patio arm chairs from Craigslist, which the seller delivered for a small extra fee.
I could not be more excited about my tiny urban garden! Now I can sit outside and enjoy my personal oasis. :)
Plus, I’ve already roasted a chicken using my own herbs – delish!
Does anyone else have an urban garden? Or do you have an actual yard with an actual garden?? I’d love to hear stories and tips.