Potted Garden Week 1

I’m about a month late making this post. I’ve been meaning to chronicle my garden from week to week just to share and to also monitor growth and record experiences. So, here goes:

I don’t have much of a yard, and what little yard I do have is indiscriminately mowed by massive machines once a week, so it’s difficult to try planting something in the ground without the mower guys coming and reducing anything and everything into mulch. What I do have is a very large deck, and the means to put lots of pots full of dirt everywhere. I even have a cool little privacy fence as seen on the picture above that I intend to use for climbing plants like ivy.

The intention of my garden is mainly to grow vegetables and herbs, but I also like funky flowers and plants so I plan to assemble this garden piecemeal. For no reason that I want to get into other than that I’ve been on this anti-corporatist kick I’ve tried to find locally grown plants from smaller garden shops and landscaping businesses in the area and have tried to avoid brands like Bonnie from stores such as Walmart and Home Depot. I have found a few cool plants and flowers on clearance at Walmart though; working at a grocery store with a floral department and knowing their fate if nobody buys them it’s almost like bringing home a stray puppy.

Starting on the left is my basil pot. There’s a boxwood basil, two standard sweet basil plants and a purple basil plant. The pot in the middle is a mix of yellow squash and zuchini. Four weeks later these plants have become quite large and I’ve realized I’ll need to space them out into separate pots, which I’ll do later today. The pot on the right is two grape tomatoes that I hope have enough space as they get larger.

These pots are upcycled from cat litter buckets. I’ve basically spraypainted the outsides and punched some drainage holes in the bottom. The pot on the left holds a cetum that is going on its third year on my deck. If I recall correctly, it was a sad little thing that my mom got from her dad. The year before last it grew these wooden sticks with flowers at the top, but it didn’t flower at all last year. I don’t know what it’s going to do this year but it is bushier and healthier looking than ever. The middle pot is the spruce tree Lily got from her school for Arbor Day. I just stuck it in the pot because it needed to get out of our fridge. I think I’ll eventually put it in the ground when it gets strong enough. And yes, I’ll try to find somewhere the edger-happy mowers won’t get it. The pot on the top right is two English ivies (or is it ivys). I’m hoping they’ll climb up the privacy wall. I’d love to do like a trough-like pot across the bottom with multiple ivies and have just a wall of ivy. That’d be awesome.

Here’s my new spider fern, or airplane plant as it says on the tag. I’m new to this plant, and shortly after a few days of rain we had some strong sun and the leaves on this turned brown. I’ve since moved it into a shadier spot where it has some new growth and flowers. There is still some of the remaining brown which I’ve just learned I can prune with a scissors.

The chimes were a gift for Jen last year. These chimes have a beautiful and rich tone and add a relaxing ambience to our yard. They’re Chimes of Earth by Woodstock chimes. I found these at the Green Earth Emporium here in Knoxville.

Here is my Roma tomato accompanied by two gnomes. On the right is a garlic chive that seems to have flourished despite my years of neglect.

Here are my herbs. I have Vietnamese coriander that I found at Stanley’s Greenhouse, Lily’s aloe plant in a coconut head planter thing, Italian oregano, rosemary (for soup this fall, oh yeah!) catnip, and an orange mint plant. The last pot on the right has a bulb I found in my spare soil. I don’t know what it is and I’ll never find out because a chipmunk dug it up and ran off with it.

Speaking of chipmunks, we have tons of wldlife in our little backyard. A creek separates our yard from the yards and houses behind us, so it’s almost like a wildlife interstate and all the house are like little rest stops along the way.

The creek is lined with trees and bushes all the way down our neighborhood, which is probably about a mile or so and into the next neighborhood. We get all kinds of colorful birds including robins, finches (those pretty yellow ones!), wrens, titmice, redwing blackbirds, grackles, tons of cardinals, and bluejays are of the most common.

Our neighbor said there used to be a red tailed hawk living here before the neighborhood became more populated. We’ve also seen a peregrin falcon sitting on the very railing in the photo above. We have a couple of chipmunks that chase each other around the deck, the squirrels empty the bird feeders, and the raccoons scour for food every night (we had a mother and baby raccoon frequent us a couple of years ago!). I’ve seen some opossum up here too.

So, this is the garden as of the 1st of May. More updates in the future as the garden grows! Gardening tips are always welcome!