After perusing through Instagram using the hashtag #containergardening and the like, I’ve decided that’s definitely the way to go. It means getting past the way my dad gardened. It means giving up on an actual “in-the-ground” concept and abandoning digging in the ground every spring for good. It also means giving up weeding and opting for a more sensible approach without putting strain on my back, a back that’s getting older by the minute.
I’m stoked to get started.
Inspired by the Home Depot commercial and the sexy voice of Josh Lucas where he encourages everyone to, “Let’s Do This,” I went shopping. I purchased bags and bags of soil, along with cute little seedlings and starter plants, anything that might produce pretty, aromatic yield. I treated myself to a new pair of gardening gloves, a few new containers, although using the concept of a neighbor, I already have a lot of “junk” containers to toss into the mix and some gorgeous ones I got on sale last month to celebrate spring.
I’ll document my progress on Instagram: @ vickie.mckeehan.author
But first I have to spend the weekend putting it all in pots. Woohoo! I can already see several upsides. I’m thinking of getting a dog soon and won’t have to worry about the little thing digging up anything I plant. Smaller space means using less water. Or so I hope. My back is already celebrating an easier time of it.
After spending most of my morning pulling weeds, there’s something to be said for container gardens. No tugging up milkweed (very long roots and back-breaking stuff), no yanking up dandelions (a piece of cake compared to pulling up milkweed). According to Mother Earth Living you can grow anything from artichokes to zucchini in containers. I’m about ready to put it to the test just for the “no weeding” idea of it. Maybe I’ll start collecting pots of all kinds like the lady down the street who can grow anything in old shoes. No joke. She has dozens of odd things she uses to grow daisies, beans, even tomatoes. Me? I guess I’ll figure out a way to turn my patio into a garden. To hell with weeds. Weeds suck.
Every day should be Earth day. But that’s another post. Start small. You don’t need a green thumb to grow simply things like onions, beans, and lettuce in your own backyard. Teaching kids to plant seeds is teaching them about where their food comes from and gives them an appreciation for the earth. If space is a problem, think about joining a community garden, or co-op. You’ll take turns caring for the soil, weeding, and watering. Make it a family affair! When it comes time to harvest, you’ll be amazed at what your portion of the yield will be.
It’s also a great way to get to know your neighbors.
Looking for a sweet-smelling addition to your spring garden? Try pineapple sage. It blooms late summer into the fall. the long stalks produce gorgeous crimson flowers. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love this perennial that also doubles as an annual in certain zones.
If it’s a rainy Saturday like today, soup is on the menu at our house. A vegetable chowder is the best way to use up all the veggies I didn’t use this week. Celery and tomato get tossed into this recipe. I’ll serve it with hot cornbread. Yum!
Does anything smell better than a summer stroll through lavender? It’s taken a learning curve for me to grow it—bright sunlight and the right kind of soil. It likes its own space, doesn’t like to be crowded into a pot or a flower bed. I guess you could say it doesn’t like to share. But what I’ve discovered is to prune, prune, prune. Deadhead all the brown stuff and do it quickly, otherwise the part that’s just bloomed and wilted will take over your entire plant(s). As for the soil, I was told to add in limestone or sand to let it drain, drain, drain. So don’t spend years making the same mistakes I made. With a little research you can come up with the right mix to grow lavender. Just remember it doesn’t like to be neglected. But when it blooms, the fragrance is well worth the fuss. And you can’t beat the purple color that invariably brightens up a spot where white daisies and hydrangeas thrive. If you’re hesitant to grow lavender, take the plunge. What used to be a failure in the garden, is now a summer staple for me. I love the aroma. For that alone, I make the extra effort.