Over the past three decades, my parents have taught me countless life lessons, most of which are too heavy to be addressed here, but I would like to give them credit for their latest gift of wisdom. You see, my parents have this uncanny way with all plant life. It’s really almost bizarre. Here’s an example: My mom still has a plant she was given the day I was born!!! Yes, thirty-one years ago this month, my mother was given a houseplant to celebrate my arrival. Not only is it still alive and well, it is too big to fit in most people’s living rooms! Am I the only person that thinks this is crazy? Up until this spring I had only managed to keep one plant alive in my entire life, and I only had it for three years, then gave it away to a friend because I couldn’t trust myself to keep such a good thing going! So, imagine how surprised I was at myself when I felt the urge to create my container garden. Given my past history and complete lack of a green thumb, could I really be a successful gardener?
Of course, I’ve had a little help. Aside from my parents offering their words of wisdom and genetic predisposition to communing with plant life, I found a great book, Grow Great Grub, by Gayla Trail, that I refer to on a regular basis. It’s like my gardening Bible. It has everything…when to plant, when to harvest, what to plant together, recipes, ideas for creative containers, everything. I recommend it to everyone, but especially a novice like myself, looking for some step-by-step help.
Above you see a few pics of my little veggies…on their way hopefully to blossoming and supplying us with tasty peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, etc. for months to come. I’m already enjoying salads, made with arugula that I’ve grown myself. Doesn’t the food somehow taste better knowing the work, time, care, and love you’ve put into growing it yourself?
I also have herbs planted with my tomatoes, one of Gayla’s space-saving tips. She gives instructions to make your own hanging buckets. I made a few changes, in order to mount mine to the railing of my deck, but you get the idea.
Wish me luck on this new adventure. I’ll occasionally post pictures of what’s growing, and probably ask for help along the way. If anyone has advice, please feel free to send it my way! Gayla has a blog, You Grow Girl, where she posts about vegetable gardening, flowers, offers tips, great ideas, and inspiration to grow your garden bigger and better. Take a look around…your tastebuds will thank you!
Nikki, In Stitches
For the record, the plant you bequeathed to us when you moved is still alive; it is also the 2nd plant I have kept alive, EVER (the other is more than 5 years old which is pretty good!). I can’t wait to see your progress. I’m guessing May in AZ is not the best time to start a garden? I feel like maybe there is a whole separate book needed for gardening in the desert…but I would like to try someday too!
I have a spider plant that is a direct “descendant” from a little spider plant that my Son brought home from school in a paper dixie cup in the spring of his first year in school. I can still see him walking into the house with it in his small hand. He is now 37 years old and that plant is one of most treasured possessions!
How fun to grow container garden veggies!! There is a higher level of satisfaction in preparing food from plants that you have lovingly nurtured! The bggest challenge that I have in doing this is getting the right soil……enough drainage, enough compost to keep those little overachievers happy and growing….Have fun.