- The New Sprout Growing On My Balcony
- A New Sprout
- Last DIY Saturday Event This Weekend!
- CB2 DIY Saturday #2 This Weekend!
- Garden Designers Round Table: The Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA
- Small is the new black
- Quick Tomato Tip
- I’ll Be at CB2 West Hollywood This Saturday at 2pm!
- Container Gardening A to Z: A is for Alliums
- What do Worms like to Eat?
Hi guys, long time no blog! While I was pregnant, I just had too much going on to find time to garden, so I put my balcony on hold for awhile. But now that I have my new little sprout here, and he's sleeping reasonably well (so I am getting some sleep too!) I am thinking about getting back into the swing of things again. What's going on in your container garden?
Hi guys! I realize I haven't posted in a long time, and I've gotten a few emails that are concerned that I am ok. Thank you so much for thinking of me! I am just fine, in fact, I'm pregnant! I didn't realize how exhausting pregnancy can be, which is why I haven't posted. Please hang in there, I hope to be back posting soon.
I had so much fun at CB2 last weekend, we're doing it again! OK, so that's a partial truth. I did have a lot of fun, but the second and third dates were pre-planned. This week we're going to be playing around with the Shore Polyterrazzo Planters and the Galvanized Square Planters.
CB2 West Hollywood 8000 W Sunset Blvd. Saturday, April 28 / 2–4pm (free 2hr parking with validation)I love the modern shape and practical style of both of these planters. The Galvanized Square Planters are made out of galvanized iron. They're coated in a clear laquer finish to keep them pretty for years to come. The Shore Polyterrazzo Planters look like heavy stone, but thanks to a mixture of polyresin and stone, they are actually very light. This week I wanted to highlight the use of top dressing (i.e. a stylish "mulch" made out of whatever your imagination can come up with that will hide the soil). GOT ANY IDEAS? If you need help getting your mind working, there are several ideas in Small-Space Container Gardens. Think wine corks and river rocks… Also, I want to mention the other cool stuff you can see and touch and taste while in the CB2 store. Mikey is an ubertalented floral designer and he will be showing off clever ideas to incorporate fresh flowers into your life. And you'll definitely want to stop by Cindy's table. She brings really tasty stuff from Whole Foods to showcase great summer party food ideas. The artichoke dip last week was DELICIOUS! _DETAILS & RSVP (OR JUST SHOW UP) HERE: DIY SATURDAYS AT CB2 WEHO._
If you have never been to The Huntington Gardens in San Marino (near Pasadena), you must add it to your bucket list. It is one of the most beautiful public gardens I have ever seen. The gardens are HUGE, there are several different themed gardens, a Chinese garden, a Japanese garden, a famous rose garden, and quite a few other gardens that are slipping my mind at the moment. My favorite part of The Huntington-as anyone who has read Small-Space Container Gardens knows-is the Desert Garden. You may be thinking to yourself, "what in the world does a public garden featuring cacti and succulents have to do with a book about container gardening on apartment balconies?" While it sounds like a stretch, I think there is a lot of inspiration to be gleaned from public gardens, even for those of us with teeny tiny garden spaces. The chapter featuring The Huntington is about designing a garden on a long, narrow balcony. My inspiration for that garden was the western walkway delineating the desert garden from the rest of the gardens. It has large swaths of different succulents, all in a variety of intense colors. Deep, dark, purple aeoniums are sanwiched between silvery leaves of one clump of succulents and aloes with sunset orange flowers. It really showed me how bold colors help draw your eye from one plant to the next down the walkway. Think of how boring this same sidewalk would look if it was flanked entirely by green foliage. Everything would blend together: Visiting public gardens also lets you see color and plant combinations you might want to recreate in your own container garden. It's one thing to understand that blue and orange are complimentary colors. It's a whole 'nother thing to see it in person and really "get" how the silvery blue of Blue Chalk Fingers (Senecio vitalis) really helps the screaming orange-red of aloe flowers _POP__!_ __ I also realized how many bees and hummingbirds are attracted to succulent flowers. Aloe rarely is listed as a bee-friendly plant, but anyone who has visited The Huntington Gardens during winter will see tons of bees barely able to fly they're so loaded up with orange aloe pollen. And heaven help you if you stand too close to a hummingbird's favorite plant in the Desert Garden. Those little birds have something beyond a Napoleon complex when it comes to protecting their territory! What's your favorite public garden? What tips have you gotten from a great public garden? _THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE REGULAR GARDEN DESIGNERS ROUND TABLE FOLKS FOR LETTING ME CONTRIBUTE THIS MONTH! CHECK OUT THESE OTHER GREAT POSTS ABOUT GARDEN TRAVEL AND BEST PUBLIC GARDENS:_ * David Cristani - Southwest Native/Drought Tolerant Gardens * Susan Morrison - Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA * Scott Hokunson - The Garden Conservatory Open Days Program * Rochelle Greayer - Garden Travel in North America and Europe * Rebecca Sweet - Creative Private Garden in Northern California * Genevieve Schmidt - Destination Nursery: Flora Grub Gardens (I'll update the list throughout the day as other GDRT contributors post their articles)
Isn't this the cutest little window box? I was looking for just the tiny pot to plant some tiny succulents in… What do you think? Any miniature gardeners out there? If you're new to the world of microscopic gardens, Two Green Thumbs is a great resource!
Hi friends! Come by CB2 West Hollywood this weekend to see demonstrations for urban outdoor living. I am talking on April 21 at 2pm about creative ways to use this Pony Planter (Indoor herb garden? Mod privacy screen? Come and find out!!!). There will also be time for Q & A and I would be happy to sign Small-Space Container Gardens too! 8000 w. sunset blvd los angeles, CA 90046 323.848.7111 free parking: 2 hours with CB2 validation public transportation: bus: The DASH Hollywood/ West Hollywood or #2 Metro—Sunset and Crescent Heights stop
Allium is the name of a great genus of plants for container gardeners. "Allium" literally means "garlic" in Latin, but botanically speaking, it includes onions, chives, and ornamental flowers as well. They all grow from bulbs and all have grass-like or tubular leaves with an onion/garlic scent to them when you brush up against the leaves. Because of their bulbous nature, they tend to be able to survive a bit of neglect, great for beginners and lazy gardeners! Here's how to grow several different type of edible alliums on your patio, porch, balcony, roof top, or anywhere else you can stick a pot… CHIVES _Photo by Full Chat_ I find chives annoying to start from seed (they seem to take awhile to germinate, and will only germinate if the conditions are perfectly acceptable to their delicate sensibilities), so I always use plants bought from the nursery. Since they are perrenial, if you buys chives once, you pretty much have them for life. Even in cold climates where hard freezes will kill the leaves, the plant should come back in spring. The plants themselves are very easy to care for. If you're growing them in a pot by themselves, chose one a few inches taller and wider than the pot the plants were growing in at the nursery (a minimum of 8 inches tall and wide). They also make a great "filler plant" in larger, mixed containers. Chives are happiest being watered whenever the soil dries out, but I have inadvertantly forgotten to water my plants for weeks and they perked up and were just fine when I gave them a drink. If you use chives regularly in your cooking, fertilize your plants once a month. If you don't use them too often, every other month is fine. VARIETIES TO LOOK FOR: The options are rather limited, you've got chives and garlic chives (flat leaves, white flowers, faint garlic taste). SCALLIONS _Photo by h-bomb_ Scallions are usually just immature onions, though there is such a thing as a "bunching onion" which never develop a fat, onion bulb and are always eaten as a scallion. Growing scallions, bunching onions, and actual onions are all pretty much the same. Scallions are easy to start from seed. You can start them inside about a month before your last frost and sow more seeds every several weeks for a staggered harvest. As the seedlings grow, if you mostly want the white part of the scallion (both parts are edible), mound up more soil around the base as the plant grows. This will blanch the base and force it to be white. When your plants are ready to transplant outside, I've found windowbox shaped pots to be ideal. Scallions can be grown very close together (about two inches apart), so you can fit several rows of plants in a typical window box. Or, if you prefer, arrange them in concentric circles in a round pot. Their roots are relatively shallow, so anything 8 inches deep or more is fine. VARIETIES TO LOOK FOR: I'm growing 'Delicious Duo' from Renee's Garden at my office. They're a nice mix between scallions with a white base and those with red-tinged bases. Botanical Interests sells an heirloom variety called 'Italian Red of Florence' that has a slightly bulbous, very deep red base. GARLIC, GREEN GARLIC & GARLIC SCAPES _Photo by Joe Shlobotnik_ Garlic is worth a try because you can grow more interesting varieties than what is easily available at the store. "Green garlic" sounds mysterious but it's just the leaves of regular garlic, which you can cut off whenever you wish if you don't plan on harvesting the bulbs below (it stresses the plant out too much for much of a garlic head to form). Garlic scapes are the flower stalks of hard neck varieties of garlic. They're edible and delicious! If it's heads of garlic you're aiming for, I've had the best results in long window boxes or planter boxes. Don't plant garlic you buy at the regular supermarket because it has probably been treated with a chemical to prevent it from sprouting. You'll find the most interesting varieties from mail order catalogs/websites, but organic varieties at farmers markets will also work. Plant the cloves 4 inches deep and 4 inches apart in fall (October for temperate climates, November-January for mild-winter climates). Be sure to put down a balanced fertilizer at the time of planting. Don't let the soil completely dry out, but other than that, ignore them until the leaves start popping up in spring. Once leaves start popping up in spring, keep the soil evenly moist and fertilize once a month. Your plants should be ready to harvest in June or July. Soft-neck varieties tell you they're ready by flopping over. Hard-neck varieties straighten their curled scapes. If you'd like green garlic, simply pop a few cloves of an organic garlic bulb you bought at the farmers market and starting in early spring, stick the cloves in any container that has room for them. Keep them well watered (but not soggy) and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once a month. Harvest the leaves whenever you need a mild garlic flavor in something you're cooking, they will come back for several more harvests. VARIETIES TO LOOK OUT FOR: Chesnok Red is listed by Territorial seed as the best all-around variety for cooking, while Spanish Roja is said to be the favorite of garlic connoisseurs. Chinese Pink is an extra early soft-neck variety that you can start harvesting in May. ONIONS I don't think onions are a good use of space on a balcony, they take a long time to grow and homegrown onions taste exactly like store-bought varieties, but if you insist on growing your own, I've already written about growing onions in a container garden. _CONTAINER GARDENING A TO Z WILL CONTINUE IN TWO WEEKS WITH THE LETTER B!_
In case you haven't heard, I am now a vermicomposter (how could you have missed it, every other word out of my mouth is pretty much about worms! ). I have been feeding them some of my kitchen scraps and it is interesting to see what they like eating and what they don't. And trust me, there is definitely a preference. Onion peels don't seem to be very popular. Here is a list of what worms do seem to like eating: * Coffee grounds, including coffee filters * Tea bags * Most fruits and vegetables (though potato skins, onions, garlic, ginger and banana peels seem to take a long time to get eaten) * Pasta * Grains like oatmeal (with no milk) * Shredded paper * Shredded cardboard * Dead flowers * Egg shells (I wash mine and then crush them into small pieces before feeding them to my worms) Do not feed your worms these things: * Meat, poultry, fish, dairy * Potato chips, candy, and oily foods * Any part of a citrus fruit * Plastic * Rubber bands * Sponges * Aluminum foil * Glass * Dog or cat feces _WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE VERMICOMPOSTING A TRY? THE WORM FACTORY 360 IS A GREAT CHOICE FOR SMALL GARDENS (LIKE BALCONIES, PATIOS, ROOFTOP GARDENS, ETC). YOU CAN GET 10% OFF BY ORDERING IT HERE: HTTP://WWW.NATURESFOOTPRINT.COM/LIFEONTHEBALCONY_ * * * * * _I received the Worm Factory 360 for free from the manufacturer. Here is more information about my review policy._