Most of you know that I have no garden. We live in a canal community not far from the Pacific Ocean and our land is mostly house and a few landscaped garden beds. and decking. more decking than anyone needs, I’m sure. We could entertain 75 people or more without being crowded if they stayed outside.
As you can see, we’re “A” and there’s not a lot of dirt. That’s the Google map photo so the big deck on the waterside of the pool isn’t there in that photo. Also the house to the right isn’t there any more either… the new owners knocked that down and built a new two story house. They don’t have space for a garden either. I know the canal looks tiny but our pontoon out back is 50′ long so it’s all about perspective.
Our location means that gardening for me is in pots. Small pots, big pots and even some bags. My tomatoes are nearly ready to transplant into big bags. I’m going to take one upstairs to the patio off our bathroom – yes, I know, isn’t that stupid? There’s a long railing and I’m going to grow the tomatoes laterally along the supports. That’s my idea anyway. John just rolled his eyes. Then he said, “How will you get it all up there?”
“You’ll carry it for me, right?” I asked.
“It will cost you,” he said.
So for the time being all my tomato plants are sitting in the sun growing nice roots.
My herb garden has oregano, sage, basil, coriander/cilantro, curly parsley, flat-leaf parsley, mint, lemongrass, Thai basil, chives, dill, garlic chives, thyme, a few pots of chillies and I think that’s it. Oh and a pot of violets. Just because.
Disregard all the dirt on the pavers, okay? My gardening assistant (92) has a tough time getting up and down and I haven’t had time to get it scrubbed. He also had a bit of an issue with the coriander and flat leafed parsley.
Yes, if you look closely all three of those pots have two plants in them. One is coriander and one is parsley – in each pot. He said he’s repot them but I think it’s kind of fun to go out in the dark at night with a pair of scissors and guess. He’s too cute for words sometimes.
He asked if I wanted some dill planted because he found a packet of seeds. Need some? I think we’ll have enough dill to supply the entire community soon. My sweet father-in-law definitely has a very green thumb and he loves pottering around with plants.
I also have a nifty worm farm. Two actually. I followed Lizzie Moult’s excellent instructions for a worm farm and she said to buy 2000 worms. I bought 1200 and you know what those little buggers did? Yes! They had sex. I had big balls of worms doing the dirty in the dirt and realized I had enough baby worms to start a new box.
I went back to the veggie store and paid $2 each for two styrofoam broccoli boxes and now we have two farms. The first box is doing well and my new box is resting and will be fed for the first time tomorrow. Their castings and “tea” should give me big tomatoes. That’s the plan, anyway.
Just so you know that I’m kind to my second best friend, Charlie and he did have a hair appointment today. He’s a totally refurbished dog. Why second best friend? John left me a comment on my previous post inquiring why he wasn’t my best friend. Uh oh. Charlie got demoted.
Barely no more slippers. He hates getting his feet done and doesn’t like his paws touched much at all. He was dark chocolate brown as a puppy and at nearly 4 years old he’s turning gray. That’s what life around here will do to you.
The Garden Share Collective is the brainchild of Lizzie Moult from Strayed From the Table. Every month keen gardeners are sharing photographs of their garden. I’m having lunch with Lizzie on Thursday and taking a tour of her garden, having a chat with her chooks and then eating some of her fantastic food. I figured I’d better do a garden share post and not get scolded.
Visit the Garden Share Collective and follow the links to the other gardens. Unlike me, they have dirt and spiffy things growing. Also, consider joining in and posting photos of your garden. Seriously, if I can post about gardening, anyone can.
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
Looks like you’ve made the most of your backyard garden, Maureen! It’s beautiful, and so is the location of your home! Great job.
Thanks so much for the visit, Georgia, and this is the best place we’ve ever lived. Not the house but the area – wonderful weather, fantastic people.
Frank Mosher says
Really a nice read, thank you. I just came in from weeding in the heat to my “man cave” in the cool basement, with a small fridge always stocked with at least white wine. I am a gardening nut, so I will check out the site mentioned. Thank you again, and all the best!
Hi Frank and thanks so much for stopping by. I need a woman cave with a cool glass of chardy 🙂
Lizzie does good stuff – I love her blog. Love Charlie’s new look, too. You live in such a gorgeous area! I get the impression it’s rather similar to parts of Florida, both in climate and lifestyle, but maybe I’m misinterpreting things. And I like the idea of growing tomatoes along the railing. Squirrels got so many of our tomatoes this year. Yes, now I have that patch of garden fenced, but it’s a case of shutting the barn door after the horse is gone, alas. Fun post – thanks.
Yes, John, I moved from Orlando to Australia and it’s very much the same. We have hills and mountains – but the rest is very similar. Squirrels can be a real pain. In Australia they’re called skweerils. I tell them they can’t mispronounce the name if they don’t have any. 🙂 We all know they’re skwerels, right?
John can be your best 2-footed friend while Charlie will retain his best friend in the 4-footed category. I’m sure Charlie isn’t as fussy about the narrowed parameter, just give him a snack from your plate and it’s all good.
I wish I still had had a gardening assistant who would work for dessert. (teary moment there) Give your father-in-law a big hug for me. Lovely herbs, I’m envious.
We are very lucky that he’s so healthy at 92 and that he’s with us.
Maureen, you live in paradise. Yes, you really do! I spent a bit of time on the water in my teens, and I can just imagine what living with all that gorgeous blue just outside your window must be like! May all your many lovely pots grow and flourish! 🙂 xx
I hope so. John and I have offices upstairs with doors to a deck overlooking the canal. It’s the perfect place to work because there’s always something going on out there.
Suzanne Perazzini says
Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your home and garden with us. I love those Google Earth ones – it gives such a different perspective to where we live. Even though you have a small area for gardening, I am envious of your array of herbs and tomatoes. The north-facing side of our property has concrete with the grass and garden on the south side, which I am sure would grow very little. I could do the same as you though and grow pots on our decks upstairs. Now to find the time…
I know.. I have an assistant 🙂 He works for food. and attention.
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
Love love love!! When I find a place all I want in the backyard is a deck and patio plants. Like this!
You are welcome to share ours anytime 🙂
lizzie - strayed from the table says
Your container garden looks great Maureen, would love to have you keep us posted on your garden each month. Looking forward to tomorrow. You are in for a treat!
I’ll do my best. My assistant has forgotten to water once and you can’t EVER forget to water pots.
InTolerant Chef says
You can grow so much in pots and you have definitely got lots of variety going on Maureen- you should be very proud of your harvest! You have a gorgeous view our your window for sure 🙂
It’s a lovely place to work but work is about all we do lately 🙂
Oh Maureen, I so admire your garden! I love that you kept things growing even though you didn’t have a yard. We all need to do this! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!
Hello Monet. Every time I see your name I think back to the week before your gorgeous baby with dark eyes was born. Now you’re an old hand at this mothering gig. 🙂
ive recently gotten into growing stuff too! i use to do it in polystyrene boxes but this year i managed to convince my dad to give me half the plot out front!
We hope to see big things from you! 🙂
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I love your potted garden Maureen! I think pots are better sometimes cause you can move them around depending on what you feel like. Can’t wait to see your first tomatoes!
I crave dirt I have to dig, Claire!
Eva Taylor says
I’ m absolutely certain I laughed out lout no less than five times whilst reading your lovely post. You do bring a beaming smile to my face. Love, love your plot and your pots. Makes me wonder though, at what cost from John? 😉
Heh. He’ll use it as a get out of jail free card. John HATES doing chores and I’m not a nag so he’ll put the I owe you to good use.
“What do you mean I don’t help around the house? I vacuumed last week.” I blame his mother for spoiling him – the baby of the family.
e / dig in hobart says
hello from another garden share collective member! you have a great selection of herbs – most of mine have gone dormant for the winter, though i was pleased to see some soft new growth on my thyme bushes! and i’m supremely jealous of anyone who can grow tomatoes in the winter.
i’m off to look thru out the rest of your site now…
wow, lovely to meet you. I bet it’s a LOT colder in Hobart than it is up here in sub-tropical Minyama. 🙂
Your tomatoes in pots are doing much better than mine in the garden! And Charlie looks so well coiffed. I had to giggle at John’s comment and Charlie’s demotion 🙂
I’m coming right over! I know you’ll be making all kinds of fantastic things with your potted garden. I’m chuckling over your dirty worm sex club boxes. 🙂 I have 2 composters that have become the same thing. Of course I have to peek (frequently) to see what’s doing in there. Oh, and tell John that Pammie said to suck it up or he doesn’t get to eat anything from your garden. I have to remind Craig of that as he hauls the stinky bags of chicken manure to my garden. It shuts him right up.
Oh I think John just wanted a gimme for when he doesn’t do the things he’s supposed to – like empty the rubbish or when beer o’clock lasts too long. 🙂 He’s pretty accomodating.
Hotly Spiced says
You do very well with the lack of garden beds. You do wonder why someone would build all that decking and no think to leave a little strip for at least a lemon tree. That’s lovely that you’re getting 92 years of gardening experience! Love the coriander/parsley blend. It must be lovely to wake up to that view every morning. Charlie looks very cute and ready for the heat of the summer xx
LOL I was cooking his bacon and eggs for breakfast and looked across to his computer and he was reading the post and laughing. A friend stopped by and Rob told him that I made stuff up and I invited our friend Paul to have a look at the pots. Rob burst out laughing.
What a very interesting neighborhood. How did you get that picture from over head – Google earth? I’m impressed on how you’ve managed to still have a garden when you yard is a deck. Very, very clever! And you even have a worm farm!!!
Yes, I said it was an old Google Earth photo. I have TWO worm farms. If my tomatoes aren’t brilliant, I have no excuse.
Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking says
I love your mini garden and the place where you live is just fab Maureen. I am sure the weather is amazing, too. Thank you for sharing and have a lovely week!
The house is old, Sandra, but where we live is really special. 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
This is really impressive Maureen – it goes to show what you can do even with limited growing space! Now you have the best of both worlds, with canal views and no extensive gardening but still plenty growing 🙂
Not sure I’d call it extensive 🙂
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
I am very impressed with your garden. My husband informed me this afternoon that I had killed the parsley (again)!
Oh no. Watering is important 🙂
I’d be totally distracted with the view from your house and never get any work done, let alone any gardening. I like the idea of taking pot luck with the coriander & parsley I’m glad you’re leaving them be – no pun intended!!
It was distracting at first but now I only look when boats go by. or the dog woofs at a bird.
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Maureen, seeing you join the garden share collective makes me smile, see you DO have a green thumb! Your pots are doing wonderfully, and I’m sure your worm juice and Sunshine Coast sun are going to produce some superb toms in Summer! LOL at worm sex…oh dear!
well, I AM the ORGASMIC chef, Lisa! I know about those things.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Maureen, best of luck with your garden although from the sounds of it, you won’t need any luck! Hey if you can get the worms to multiply, then I’m sure the plants aren’t a problem! 😛
Between me and you, Lorraine, the worms did it on their own. 🙂 Need some herbs?
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
What a lovely visit inside your life Maureen. Thanks for the peek! You have a wonderful spot – and I would totally give up my grassy lawn for one likes yours. Anyway – you’re doing a great job putting together a pot garden – it all looks so happy. Did I tell you I want to come for a visit? I can cook and could possibly sweep those pavers too 🙂
You’re in. I’ll keep the broom warm. 🙂
Rachel Cotterill says
Wow, Maureen, I had no idea you lived right on the water like that. How gorgeous! 🙂
it is a lovely spot to work in, Rachel!
Kitchen Belleicious says
okay first of all I love where you live- right off the water reminds me of being home! Secondly, there was this certain segment on the show Shark Tank last year where these inventors came up with a hanging garden blocks for small spaces and people with no yard. it was pretty awesome. I will look it up and send you the link- just so you can see it
I like that idea!
The Café Sucre Farine says
You are a green thumb wizard Maureen! Wow, very impressive, your deck gardening is. I think Charlie is adorable, if you need a doggie sitter, call on me!
You promise? You come over, we have dinner, we’ll leave and you enjoy the area. Feed the dog. 🙂
You just put me to shame. We have dirt, but our garden is in pretty sad condition right now. However, we are working hard to change that. We just planted basil, tomatoes, and lettuce…basil is doing really well! Tomatoes…ok. As for the lettuce, we are losing hope.
Yay no more slippers for Charlie! Although I kinda like it when my dog has them..I prefer them over deer feet which is what he has after he gets groomed.
OMG I must use deer feet! We never really have total deer feet because he hates having anyone touch his feet so it’s always a slap dash affair.
What an amazing place to in which to live! Wonderful photograph and you have certainly excel in pot planting. Such healthy plants and tomatoes. Wonderful job with the worms as well, we have worms through the garden so I have never bothered much with a worm farm – is it worth having for the worm wee?
The worm tea and castings will grow ANYTHING so yes, I think it’s worth it. 🙂 Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment!
Your ‘garden’ is really impressive Maureen and I did pick a few tips from your very interesting post. I live in an apartment in one of the most populated cities in the world and hence there is a huge space constraint. Your post is very helpful especially for people like me!
Thanks! I got a lot out of your pizza post too!
“big balls of worms doing the dirty in the dirt” – absolutely hilarious! 🙂 Oh girl, you crack me up. 🙂 Just yesterday I decided to do a lot of pots this year. I’m letting my garden run wild with herbs and tomatoes and greens and will use pots for the other things. 🙂 I’m hoping they’ll be easier to keep safe from goats and birds this way. 🙂
I was at Lizzie Moult’s place today for lunch and next door has 5 big white goats complete with beards. They could all have been Billy Goat Gruff. I thought of you. 🙂
Taylor Thums says
This whole idea of the garden share collective seems great. It really can be great for those who really don’t have the luxury of nurturing a garden in their backyard. I live in an apartment and your idea fills me with the hope that I too could fulfill my wish of having my very own garden.
Thanks. As long as there’s a spot with 6 hours of sunlight, you can grow something 🙂
Yay for your sexy worms! They’re obviously happy in their little house if they’re breeding. How fabulous! You’ll have to keep us updated on how the balcony railing tomato trellising goes – that could end up looking pretty fabulous!
Cass @foodmyfriend says
This looks a lot like Sylvania Waters near my place Maureen. Or Sussex Inlet. My grandparents used to live there and they had the weirdest man made beach 😛
Melissa Loh says
Your collection of potted plants for a garden is very impressive! My tomatoes have finally given up, so I’m very jealous of your crop. And well done on the worm farm! Those guys can be so productive and worth a little bit of effort to maintain.
My worms are as happy as can be and eating up all the food I give them. I’m glad I did it and it only cost the dirt, the straw and the worms. 🙂
You live in a beautiful place!! So dreamy……long back we visited Austin, Texas, and saw a very similar community with beautiful houses that visitors up the hill stood and gawked at. For a second I was transported back there, lol!! You are so talented, making most of what you got. But I LOVE your FIL…he sounds so cute, and with a green thumb too. Sigh!! I have an FIL who wouldn’t know how to water plants asked to…but he does cook up a storm when in mood. Loved the post.
Mary Frances says
YOU are too cute!! Your father-in-law must be a hoot…. and I liked Charlie with long hair.
What do you use those worms for?
Such luscious herbs and violets. Your tomatoes are growing brilliantly. I would give up a dirt back yard for your location, anyday 😀