Monday, March 7, 2011


Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a full vegetable garden in my backyard. Thanks to my dad’s green thumb we had everything; grapes, blueberries, squash, rhubarb, tomatoes, snap peas, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, peppers, strawberries, lettuce, corn, pumpkins—you name it, we had it. It was something I took for granted and now I really miss having. Unfortunately, I don’t have a big backyard so I have to make do with what apartment living offers me. A decent sized balcony.

As an avid Sunset Magazine reader, I have found myself glued to the gardening section the past couple of issues dreaming of what type of vegetables and flowers I would grow in my garden. I was pleasantly surprised to find all sorts of tips and tricks for gardening in small spaces on their website here. I was sold! I decided to start my own little garden on my balcony.

Saturday morning, I headed out to the nursery and became completely overwhelmed when I saw the amount of different plants, flowers and vegetables to choose from. Since I am really limited on space and since this will be my very first garden of my own…I wanted to keep things simple. I decided on tomatoes, an assortment of herbs, and some flowers. There were shelves and shelves of all sorts of different tomatoes with all different names so I called my dad for help. I learned there are two types of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomato varieties tend to reach a fixed height and ripen all their fruit in a short period of time. Indeterminate, also referred to as "vining" tomatoes, will continue to set and ripen fruit until killed off by frost. I went with an indeterminate variety called Sweet 100 which are a type of cherry tomato…the more tomatoes, the merrier! For my herbs, I decided on Rosemary, Cilantro, and Basil. As for flowers, I went with a Lavender plant, two Ranunculus plants, yellow Daisies, and Calendulas. This where I got stuck. I didn’t like any of the gardening pots the nursery had to offer, so I decided to go ahead with my purchase of all of the above plants and find my pots elsewhere.

To make a long story short, I still have not found any pots that I like! The Rose Bowl Flea Market is this coming Sunday, so I plan on trying out my luck there. You can almost make anything a garden pot, as long as you have a hole drilled in the bottom for proper drainage. So, I figure I can get pretty creative with this project…wish me luck!

Here’s a picture of all my pretty picks I brought home with me from the nursery.


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