When Matt and I moved to Seattle, we knew we wanted to live in a dense urban area of the city – one that was highly walkable and that was central to public transportation, friends and family (who live on opposite sides of town). We found such a place in Capitol Hill, just a couple blocks outside of downtown. And, despite my telling myself a year ago that I would never, ever live in an apartment again, here we are!
We moved from a house on 1/2 acre, with a garden that was nearing 2,000 ft2, to a small one-bedroom apartment with a fire escape garden. I have put myself on the waiting list for a neighborhood garden allotment (they’re called p-patches here). But the waiting list for most plots is upwards of 2 years. Sigh.
I was complaining about this to my mother two months ago, and she said, “well, garden here!” “Really?” I asked. “Yeah, sure, why not!” she said, with a faint bit of excitement in her voice. I was surprised. And happy. And boy howdy, I took her up on her offer!
Container Garden – One Half
(Note: clicking on any of these photos will enlarge them for more detail)
So for the past two months, my mom and I have been combining her beautiful ornamental and herb garden with the fruits, vegetables, and herbs I brought from our garden in Geyserville. We’ve amended the soil, we moved a lot of things around and got rid of a couple ornamentals my mom didn’t really like. We picked and chose from our way to many tomato and pepper seedlings, we planted all of the potatoes (yikes!), we seeded the squash seeds Tina sent us (thanks, Tina!), transplanted the garlic, grapes, huckleberries, passionfruit, currants, raspberries, and fig. And then we planted a whole lot more – including, I’m proud to say, several bean seeds I saved from last year!
Wine barrel filled with potatoes – one of four!!
Soybeans – Left 1/2 is from saved seed, Right 1/2 is from purchased seed
(If anything, I think the saved seed grew slightly faster and more robust)
Several types of winter squash, graciously sent to us from Tina,
some summer squash, and garbanzo beans in the bottom left corner.
(Click the picture to enlarge it – aren’t the garbanzos cool looking?)
The plot is pretty small, so we expanded a bit, to the deck on the second floor. On the left side of the photo below, you can see the hose we ran up the side of the house. It’s a temporary solution, but not bad!
Since my mother is planning to build some raised beds next year, we didn’t want to buy expensive pots for just one year. So at my mother’s suggestion, we bought pots made from recycled pulp.
Deck – Right Side
Because the deck gets the most sunlight, we put peppers and tomatoes up there, with some wildflowers to draw the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
One more photo I wanted to share with you – I think some of you will appreciate this. The other day I took the bus to go do some gardening work, and I walked up to the sight below: Mom reading Square Foot Gardening. Yes, I’m a proud daughter!!
At long last, you’ve finally seen our garden. It had a late start because we moved here late and we had a lot of soil amending and such to do. But we’re hoping we’ll still have a decent harvest, just a bit late in the summer. Wish us luck!
Are You Growing Your Own Food?
And for all you veteran growers, how is your garden growing? I’m sure most of your gardens are much further along than ours – what are you harvesting? (Until our garden starts producing, I’m looking for some vicarious growing here – help me out!!)