Suburban Container Garden

My landlord obviously thought they were doing their tenants a huge favour by creating a low-maintenance garden.  Look at it: no lawn to mow, no pesky herbaceous borders to keep up, just a few trees and plenty of space to sit out in the summer and have a barbecue.

June 2007

This was the garden when the letting agents showed us round.

November 2007

And this was the garden after we’d been in sole charge of it for a few months. That’s nature, abhorring a vacuum, right there in front of you.

I decided my gardening adventures were not going to be limited to weeding comfrey out of someone else’s rockery (although I have been known to do so as an occasional nod to suburban mores), and since a) reaching the top of the allotment waiting list, b) earning enough money to buy a smallholding anywhere in the UK other than a remote Scottish island where self-sufficiency would be a punishing gruel and c) persuading Scientist Boyfriend to move to rural France all seemed equally unlikely and distant, I decided the best way forward was to make the best of what I had.

I scavenged containers from all and sundry: some came with the house; my father donated some pots for my herbs and some wooden wine boxes, which I varnished and drilled holes in; Scientist Boyfriend’s mother’s house move unearthed a motley selection of old terracotta pots and a wooden lavatory cistern; and I acquired an array of plastic pots for seeds and seedlings thanks to a generous Freecyclist.

I attempted to grow some winter spinach, but I put it in too late and it never got big enough to be appetising. My first proper season, however, should see some of the following things become edible:

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • lettuce
  • rocket
  • pak choi
  • strawberries
  • blueberries

There was also one small, square bed at my disposal which was to house some peas and beans and I planned a selection of herbs for the kitchen and patio: mint, rosemary, tarragon, chives, parsley, a few varieties of basil, marjoram, lemon balm, sage, thyme and dill – Scientist Boyfriend is half-Swedish, so dill was non-negotiable.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any room for hens. They will have to wait.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly Linss  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hi,

    I wanted to email you so that it doesn’t look like I’m trying to advertise on your site, but I couldn’t find your contact info. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve recently started a website called patiofarmersguild.com, where we talk about urban/container gardening, self-sufficiency, relearning lost arts, and many related topics. I’m contacting you because I really enjoy your website and I plan to add a link to your site on my links page and I wondered if you wouldn’t mind doing the same for me if you like my site. I’m also looking for contributors, so if you’re at all interested in submitting an article, I’d love to hear from you.

    Sorry again for leaving this as a comment. If it looks too much like advertising, please delete it.

    Thanks for your time!

    Kelly the Patiofarmer

    Reply
    • 2. sproutingbroccoli  |  May 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Kelly,

      Like your website and the pictures of your patio garden. I’ve bookmarked it and will have a more thorough look and add a link to you when I’m less busy! Feel free to link to me btw. I might be interested in submitting an article too – I have a half-written one on my computer I’ve been meaning to do something with…

      Reply
      • 3. Kelly Linss  |  May 15, 2009 at 7:11 am

        Oops, it looks like I responded to me and not you. Here’s the message again:

        Thanks so much! I’ve added you to the links page under “Blogs we read”. I’d love to publish an article of yours. I really enjoy your writing – that’s why I contacted you. Just drop me a line if you have something you’d like to submit.

        Thanks again,
        Kelly

  • 4. Kelly Linss  |  May 15, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Thanks so much! I’ve added you to the links page under “Blogs we read”. I’d love to publish an article of yours. I really enjoy your writing – that’s why I contacted you. Just drop me a line if you have something you’d like to submit.

    Thanks again,

    Kelly

    Reply

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