big bounty on the balcony

This evening I finished planting my vegie garden on the balcony—my first ever, full-on container garden! After spending a crazy long day preparing food for catering and our local farmer’s market, I was so ready to come home, fire up the kettle and get my hands into some soil.

My balcony vegie garden (aka The BVG) is home to: kale, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, zucchini, hot peppers, leeks, English cucumbers, strawberries, three types of basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, chives, coriander and lemon balm. There’s also a mystery plant that someone gave me. I could get all detective-like and identify the leaves, but I’d rather wait and see what kind of veg it brings us. I was also given a packet of beet seeds, so I’ll be on the hunt for just the right deep, plump-ish container to get them started. I’ve got a pretty strong hunch that I’m not completely finished … plans are brewing for a wild mix of salad greens, more fruit, as well a bunch more herbs! And just because I plum adore flowers, I’ve got a corner of cosmos, nasturtium, fairy roses, a gorgeous blush hibiscus, and several pots of morning glories that will wind their way along the railing.

Last week, on recycling night, I hit up my local pizzeria and liberated 10 extra large tomato tins from their blue boxes for herb planting. They used to have fantastic olive oil tins as well, but sadly for us gardeners, they’ve gone the route of plastic jugs. Now, I’ve read all kinds of blog posts from gardener folks who use tomato/olive oil tins  with the recommendation that you buy them at your local supermarket and repurpose them for planting. Seems to me this would entail eating (or freezing) a boat load of tomatoes and dropping far too much cash on olive oil. I say: why buy, when you can hit jackpot on recycling night at a local Italian restaurant or pizzeria?! Less money spent on containers means more money available for what you’re growing. I’m all about scavenging when it comes to gardening, whether it’s funky containers, fallen branches for trellises, cast-offs for their sculptural qualities, or thrift store bits and pieces for some outdoor design flare. And … simply letting gardener friends know what’s on your wish list! Recently, I returned home from a weekend away to find a great stack of containers, a seed packet, and a hose sitting on my front porch. The garden fairies are keeping quiet about the source, but I was elated to receive exactly what I needed!

I’ll snap some photos over the next couple of weeks and bring a little more green into your part of the world. But for now, can we just imagine that we’re sharing a cup of tea from this suhweet pot, and dreaming about bumper crops of veg?


teapot available at: pheasant