Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vertical gardening, indoor gardening, TED Talks,transplanting herbs, snail mitigation, the internet is a dangerous thing

Vertical gardening.  Doing it.  We have a beautiful alcove-y space right  in front of two picture windows  in our kitchen.  The windows have  lovely southern exposure.... Sun all day!   You would think that this would be  a great place for the table but its not. The kitchen door opens  right into it and,  with the table and chairs there, it makes for a cramped feel and bruised knees   coming into the house.  I had already moved most of the large houseplants into that area for the winter but I still wasn't satisfied.  It was a waste of perfectly good sun and space so I did the most logical thing and   installed 4, self watering,   vertical  garden boxes on the sills.   On last week's waxing moon in Taurus, I seeded chives,chamomile, lettuce, basil (lots of basil), mint,parsley (and for jimmy) some feverfew.  Twenty plants in all. Some of which I plan on switching out at a later date.  This is just the beginning of my vertical indoor garden.   Eventually  The 3x5 space will be an indoor wall of edible  vegetation, supported by natural sunlight.  In the  mean time  I have checked everyday since planting to see if we have sprout. 
We have a few more of the vertical boxes to go out on the  deck/veranda this summer.  I was snuffling around at goodwill  a couple of weeks ago and found  a couple of the 'as seen on tv'  tomato hangers   for $2 each.  For $2, I can experiment with them.  The marketing for these things is over the top, but real gardeners have given them mixed reviews.  Expectations are low.
 I saw a photo on google images where someone had taken a shoe rack, hung it on a wall outside and filled the pockets with soil.  They had large, healthy, vegetables  growing out of it.  The internet is a dangerous thing.  A space challenged gardener in  New Jersey can post a picture of  what they did on their 3x3  balcony and someone in Seattle can see it and say... 'That's a great idea, I'm gonna do that too'.  And then there is the TED Talks.   After watching the one on oxygenating houseplants  I ,slowly, have been   collecting  houseplants  that are very good  for the indoor environment.  I perceive this as  important,  since we folk in Western WA spend pretty much 8 months of every year with the doors and windows closed up tight to keep out the damp and cold.
We have about 6 weeks to go before  we  start our nursery in the basement.  Jimmy and I sat in front of the fire last week making lists and diagrams of what we were going to plant and where.  There is an element of uncertainty  in our plans because we have to have our widow-maker driveway  redone and it runs right between   our best garden plots.  Right now it looks like we might lose the  herb garden in the front.  So, part of the plan is.... where to put the  'new' herb garden.   We  brought many of our beloved herbs with us from the old place and I will have to apologise  as I dig them up and transplant them yet again.  We have a bed in the back that  cannot be snail mitigated because of its location.  The rosemary, thyme,sage and tarragon  should do just fine there, as snails have no interest in them. Gardening in the puget sound is often an exercise in compromise.  The land here is rich and fertile but it has a mind of its own. Work against it and failure is inevitable. Work with it and  the land  will yield great rewards. 

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