Our Summer 2005 Totally Organic Container Garden

     Like many people, we live in a small apartment with little space for gardening. This year, we decided to try making a container garden and see if we could grow anything. We did! Below I have the proof.
     Prior to creating this garden, I did a lot of research. I asked a lot of people lots of questions. I thoroughly researched the subject online and I bought 5 books on vegetable and container gardens (all found in the bargain section at Barnes & Nobles). My research paid off.
     Its really not that hard. Anyone can make a container garden. Its the perfect solution for people without a lot of space or with soil that cannot be used for growing food due to contamination. You can even grow something in a pot on a fire escape. The possibilities are endless. But here's the big question: do they attract toads like a conventional garden? I don't know. We didn't find any toads among the containers, but we did find a pickeral frog and a spring peeper treefrog. If more toads lived in our area, we'd probably find them, too. Next to the house, not pictured, we have a small area with a butternut squash plant and some more tomato plants, plus broccoli and flowers. There is a toad house in there. Next year, we will be expanding that dirt strip a bit and hopefully will add green beans and peas.
     When I began this little project, I really had no idea what I wanted the garden to look like. I only knew I wanted a mixture of edibles and flowers. Oh, and I wanted lots of vines and finally, I just had to have a garden Buddha. Here is one side of the garden. This is to the left of the front door. Its really nice to come home and see all these beautiful things growing there. The home we rent is so bland looking on its own.

Notice the tomato plant needs some water. Actually, these were taken just before we watered. This was a very hot summer and it doesn't take much to make container plants wilt.

left side of garden

Growing in this garden is ivy (next to Buddha in the flowerpot on the wire chair), tomato plants (directly behind Buddha), Moonflowers (the vines behind tomato plant near window), radishes (in big square planter), wildflowers (in short pot next to Buddha), unknown pink flowers sticking out the top of herb pot (thick parsley is growing out the side), and a strawberry plant.

view 2 of left side of garden

Below is the right side of the garden. Next to the doormat you see a white planter with bluebells, a tomato plant, a short terre cotta pot on the floor with more bluebells, a yellow pepper plant with ripe peppers, a table behind the peppers with the remains of a lone sunflower who died, and next to that a flower planter with different flowers planted (most not visible), more tomato plants and a white planter with a combination of basil, parsley, chives and nastrums (edible flowers). It was on the floor right before the white planter that I found the spring peeper (psuedocris crucifer) on night.

Here is our first Moonflower opening at dusk. Moonflowers grow on vines and are in the same family as Morning Glories. Next year, I plan to plant many more of these. They smell beautiful and are really nice for a night garden. They glow in moonlight.

moonflower opening

And here is that moonflower fully opened at night.

Below is a white wildflower. I am not sure what kind it is. It grew from a box of mixed wildflower seeds. Like the white Moonflowers, this one glows in the moonlight.


Here is a great shot of a bluebell flower fully opened and ones which haven't opened yet.


Below is another wildflower like the white one above, but it has a purple cast to it which was washed out by the sun.

Very pretty mystery flowers. I got them for $2 on clearance. No tag. Seems somebody really liked them, huh? I'm glad one of them wasn't chewed on. Notice the parsely leaf on the upper right. We found the catepillar of a Swallowtail butterfly in our parsely. Maybe he ate the flower!

pretty pink flowers

Below is our first yellow pepper. Man, it was good! There is something special about growing your own vegetables. Its so nice to walk outside your door and pick what will go in your salad or stew that night.

yellow bell pepper

Below, this was our first ripe tomato of the season. We've had lots of them since. My husband likes them in a fresh tomato salad he makes with scallions, onions, tomato, basil and an Italian zesty style dressing he makes from scratch. Since tomatos are so rich in lycopene, I add them to crockpots all the time.

cherry tomato

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