I’ve been seeking ways to add edibles to our landscape. Last year we added a pot garden to an unused space at the back of our patio where we grew herbs, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and peppers. Jim linked the pots into our garden drip irrigation line to help with the watering chore, because in the summer our pots need a timely, daily drink.
This week I decided to use several fifteen gallon pots that were leftover from planting trees for clients to expand our growing space. But I don’t like ugly black pots on the patio. So I let my frugal wheels turn in their typical Better-Homes-and-Gardens-kind of-fashion, with a Mother Earth twist.
Put a shovel, dirt and some green in front of me and I can easily make something pretty; fabric? – not so easy. But I faced the task with stubborn, frugal courage. Armed with a staple gun, scissors and string, I was able to dress my pots in coarse and thrifty burlap gowns. It was a daunting and painful task, bending over my workspace in the hot sun, wrestling with my vase-shaped dress-forms. I have a few puncture wounds to prove my courageous tangle with pot-dressing.
In the end, however, it was worth the effort and the pain.
I have expanded our ability to produce herbs and veggies in a space that was previously underdeveloped. This year, we are growing three varieties of tomato: Early Girl, Sweet 100, and Cherry. We are growing three kinds of pepper: Jalapeño, Anaheim, and Golden California Wonder. I am trying Sugar Ann Snap Peas, using dried yucca stalks for support. We also have a crop of lettuce, reddish, spinach, garlic, and Swiss chard, as well as several kinds of herbs: mint, rosemary, lemon balm, basil, cilantro, parsley and chive.
A few pots still host flowers, like our lush, red geranium, because flowers sprinkle the landscape with color. And the marigolds I tucked in with our veggies also help to ward off bugs.
Living behind a 30 foot span of tall, white Oleanders, we have a flock of healthy hens who add to our landscape and our food-scape in several ways. Yesterday, while planting my new “burlappy” pots, I let some of them out to play with me. The chickens benefit from the new pot garden, too. I use herbs in their nest boxes and feed them clippings and spent flowers. And, pretty girls that they are, they like to pose for the camera.
I am looking forward to the crops that our new pot garden will produce. And in the meantime, I am enjoying the beautiful array of shapes and colors that decorate our patio. I hope you consider squeezing a pot or two, or more, into your corner of the world.