Monday, April 2, 2012

An indoor garden

There are mischievous plans being made... Dan and I have been plotting and scheming about creating an indoor garden in our eighth floor apartment. We have very tall (14ft) ceilings and potentially the ideal solution is a hanging garden, preferably one that can be raised and lowered for watering. As always the hard landscaping is Dan's department, and it may be a little while before we have all the hardware together for such a contraption. This hasn't stopped the mad scheming of a gardener in Spring though. Credit where it's due, I was aided in this by the transatlantic Amazon vouchers I received for my birthday.

Day 9
The plot thickens...
What makes this endeavour a garden over a collection of houseplants? Hopefully it will be a collection of plants that hang together (pun intended). Not only that, but to be a garden in my eyes it must also produce things you can eat. We cook a lot and we're missing the ability to add fresh herbs to our food willy-nilly for a start. But we have so much light in this space I feel it almost rude to not attempt something grander. Indoor tomatoes for a start - very doable as long as we remember to hand pollinate. I'm also intrigued by the possibility of growing them upside down. Upside down tomato plants could be quite exciting in a hanging garden...

But then the mind wonders and gets carried away. If we have the cash, what's to stop us heading down the green wall route? I've scoured the internet and these wall pockets seem to be the best designed on the market. At first glance they seem expensive - $40 each. However, when you take a closer look, they're pretty big at two feet wide. You wouldn't need a huge number of them to look effective. In fact even just one to start would be great. And I have to remind myself that $40 is only £25, which is easily what an attractive planter can set you back at the garden centre (I've never bought a planter, but that's another story). Plus, plus, plus (trying to convince my most loyal reader and husband here) - they will fit easily in a suitcase to take back to the UK when it's time to move home again.

Garden designers are constantly telling us to think of our gardens as a series of outdoor rooms (I'm still to be sold on that one). I think in my minds eye I'm planning this garden as a series of mini-gardens within our one big room. I want our garden to include terrariums as well. There tragically fashionable I know - certainly if the air of Portlandia around the books I found on Amazon is anything to go by - but they can each be a world on their own. In essence, they allow the creation of discrete habitats to suit particular plants. Instead of finding the plant to suit the position and soil conditions, I can create the conditions for the plant I want. And, if we're going down the route of terrariums, these Japanese moss balls have got to be worth a go, surely?

I am getting carried away now, and I must start a little more modestly. I bought some packets of seed at the weekend and I shall be keeping my eyes pealed for suitable temporary containers to get them sprouting. Basil, coriander and chives to start. Rosemary, thyme and sage will be better bought as plants from the Italian market, I think. Plus a lettuce mix, because if it's grown in the right way it should do well as an indoor crop.

Seed packets

You know, I've just come to the end of writing this post and realised the best thing about this whole scheme - no slugs and snails!! There will be no midnight slug hunts in America... (there are also, alas, no toads and frogs in this scheme, but I have reliable reports from out tenants that the population we introduced back home is thriving).

1 comment:

  1. Those wall pockets look ace! AND upside down tomatoes; best get hanging quickly! x


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