Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CREATIVE GARDENING IN THE CITY

I've had some people ask me if I've done some gardening here in the city.  With 6000 square feet of urban concrete, it's a little difficult.  The whole lot isn't garden capable, it's partly house, partly driveway, partly garage, and partly water (i.e. pool).  That doesn't leave much room for green space!


With no real "ground" I can plant in, I had to get creative.  I found these two folding stands at a thrift store. Originally, the large one was hunter green, the small one was pink.  Talk about mismatched!  But for $10 for both, it was too good a deal to pass up.  So I decided on black.  I thought it would be a nice contrast with the clay color and the green of the plants. I bought some Rustoleum, matte finish, black spray paint and started spraying, turning them into a nice area for herbs.  I bought twelve 8" clay pots and saucers.  Then I put some gravel in the bottom of each for drainage, some potting soil, and 12 different herbs, that was the best part, and the most fun.

I've got bay, rosemary, three different kinds of basil, garlic chives, onion chives, oregano, flat leaf parsley, marjoram, thyme, and cilantro.  They supply most of our herb needs for cooking, but because they are in smaller pots, they don't last as long.  Still, for most of the Spring and Summer, we have enough herbs to cook with, as long as 2nd Man doesn't go too crazy cooking with them.

What are these you might ask?  Again, using six 8" clay pots (no saucers needed here), I used these great fence pot hangers I found on clearance and created a space for more herbs on an unused section of fence.  I have sage, lemon balm, dill, chamomile, even some catnip (up out of the way of cats, ha).  The way these hangers work is so neat.  They fit into the space between the fence boards, sideways, then you rotate them around and it's just a "ring" hovering in the air that you put the 8" clay pot in.  Works great! 

This is a hanging basket (one of two) that holds our mint.  For those who have ever planted mint in the ground, you know it can be very invasive, i.e. it will spread all over a flower bed and take over.  Keeping them this way keeps them contained.  I have a peppermint basket and a spearmint basket.  It's so nice to snip some fresh mint whenever you need it.

I've always used clay pots as my planting containers.  I like the unified look in the back yard, where there is no color from the container itself, instead the color comes from what's planted in it.  They are so nice to plant in because they let the roots breathe, and you'll end up with healthier plants in the end.  They do, however, require more frequent watering as they dry out much faster.  There is never a chance of "overwatering" in a clay pot (unless your drain hold on the bottom is clogged).  Just remember that when you plant in containers, your plant will be limited in size because of the size of the container it is planted it.  Our herbs never get huge and, as a result, get used up faster, because of this.

Now you know the the reason we want a "real garden" at the farm.  Actual ground to plant in.  And let the plants grow to their full potential.  I want to have specific areas for herbs; a culinary garden, a tea garden, a medicinal garden, etc.  If I can do this in the city, the sky's the limit  out there on 10 acres!  Should be fun.  But more on that in a future post. 

Until then, enjoy!  Plant some herbs, and enjoy using them.  It's easier than you think.

7 comments:

N @ Cheap Like a Birdie said...

Wow, I would love to know where you found the fence pot hangers that go between the slats or a brand name so I could find them near me, they would work amazing in my backyard.

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1st Man said...

Hello! Aren't those fence hangers awesome? Sadly, when I got them on clearance (it was a few years ago) the garden center I bought them at said the company had gone out of business. They were sold without even a package or anything identifying on them. I might just have to see about having some made. Heck, maybe I could make them myself and sell them. I'll do some checking for you. And as a side not, I LOVE your blog. You're doing what I hope to do once we get passed all the infrastructure stuff at the farm. Then comes the fun part of decorating, inside and out! Thanks for visiting, and if you don't mind, I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll.

N @ Cheap Like a Birdie said...

Aww you are so sweet! and by all means add away, I adore making new bloggy friends, it's probably the best part of blogging!

I'm so bummed they went out of business, they would be PERFECT for my back patio area. I think you've got the right idea and I might have to try and DIY something and see what I come up with since I am completely jealous of your awesome fence pots.

Check Out- Cheap Like A Birdie Blog

Cottonpickinfarm said...

So??? How did you both do with DIY Fence Hangers? I'd Like some too! Could you please post pictures of what they look like off the wall? Unattached to a pot? That might help someone come up with how to make them.

1st Man said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by first of all! Yes, I said I'd try to make some didn't I? And I totally packed them up and they are still packed up, ha. They aren't where I can't get to them. I promise to get them out soon and I'll snap some pics of what they look like. I was going to try to make my own and I guess "out of sight out of mind", LOL!

Will work on that soon!! Thanks for the reminder!!

Stephanie Newton said...

Hi!! Im also wondering...did you ever snap those pics? Or come up with your own Diy? I am having an issue with this too! The only thing I can find is the Hang-a-Pot product online only. Surely alot of people do this! Why arent there more products available at our local lowes/home depot? :) Thanks for your help!!

1st Man said...

Well hello there. Dang, I'm so embarrassed, I never did take the pictures. And the last reminder someone gave me was a year ago! Oops!

I think they are still packed up, but you have my word I'll see if I can find them.