My herbs are, I think, doing well overall. Some — the thyme, lemon verbena, marjoram, and stevia — put out a lot of weak, tender growth. I'm not sure what to do about it. Maybe I'll just harvest the spindly bits to encourage more compact growth.
I had a helluva time keeping them watered. At this point I have them on a schedule of every other day. Although, some of the tender (and thirsty) ones like the lemon thyme and the mints get a bit droopy. Last week I forgot to water them until day 3 and almost every plant started dropping leaves. Even the ones that really like it to be dry and I hadn't had any trouble like that from before (the thyme, oregano, lavender, and sage).
I think the design of my apartment contributed to the problem. I have to keep the plants in front of the windows so they get enough light. But the heating vents are also right in front of the windows, so the plants have hot air blowing on them — making them dry out faster.
On the plus side, they keep the air nice and moist. Last winter I had to have a humidifier running full blast every night and sometimes during the day, just to keep the air comfortable. Out of habit I ran it a couple days when we turned the heat on last month, but woke up with condensation all over the windows. Even the curtains were slightly damp. So I turned it off, and put it away. Plants rock :D
I wanted to get some tulips to force for xmas, but I got to the garden center too late to get the ones they put out for fall, so I got an amaryllis bulb instead. A few days after I potted it I saw a bunch of little maggots wiggling around on top of the soil. Ick! So I threw the soil away and rinsed the bulb as well as I could. I didn't have enough potting soil to re-pot it, so I used sphagnum moss. At one point I let it get too wet and a bit of mold developed on the top layer, so I picked it off, and I'm trying to do better at monitoring when it needs water. It won't bloom in time for xmas, and maybe not for New Years. I'll have to make a note to start earlier next year.
The Dirt recently posted about the benefits of green walls (like green roofs, but vertical), highlighting their potential for urban farming. I think that while it's a really cool idea it definitely isn't for every situation. Like for me right now. See, while I wish I could try this out, I don't have a good place for it. I don't want to completely block my view out of the sliding glass doors, and I don't think they'd get enough sun if I put them to the side.
But, if I ever get to build a house or do a major renovation, green walls will definitely be on my "must have" list!
I picked the best one I could find, but I got what I paid for...
It's super cute, but some of the buds shriveled up :( This happened to me last year, when I bought my first orchid. After a couple fell off, I just trimmed the ends off those branches. Luckily, some of the buds are still green and plump. One even bloomed and all the other blooms still look good! So maybe I got it in good growing conditions soon enough to save it.
Aren't the little red freckles pretty?!
And if anyone noticed the black/white photo in the first shot, yes it's an orchid — the photo was taken on our honeymoon to the Biltmore estate. The greenhouse had the most beautiful orchids. So yeah, I have an orchid growing next to a picture of an orchid. :)
So I got a couple more — one for each side of the bed. I spend a lot of time digging through their inventory looking for ones that looked absolutely healthy. This white one I think I made a good choice on — a couple more buds have opened since I bought it a week ago! And everything still looks nice and lush. I'll post photos from the other one tomorrow.
Enjoy some close-ups. I want to know what makes the petals sparkle — so pretty!
Slowly going downhill Strawberries Orange Mint Iris
Still hanging on, at least enough to stay green Alyssum Pansies Petunias Chives
I tried planting a fall crop of lettuce, but in August+September it was too hot, then October was too wet, now they're starting to grow, and I just know there's some bad weather around the corner that'll kill it all. Crossing my fingers I can get a mini-salad out of it before it snows.
Inside, the lemon thyme dropped a lot of old leaves. The lemon verbena dropped a lot too, but I think that's because I accidentally let it dry out. It's really hard to keep everything watered. They're thirsty!
And the stevia is growing some new sprouts.
The herbs make my bedroom smell so good! But they get really thirsty. If I don't water them every day they wilt and start dropping leaves. BUT the extra work paid off when I wanted fresh herbs to make pasta sauce the other day!
When they were nice and crispy I tore off the leaves.
And packed them in jars.
They're really, really sweet. I just nibbled a corner and it was almost overwhelming. It didn't have any of that overcooked broccoli taste the other stuff ended up with either. Yay! I think they'll be nice for sweetening tea.
I'm part hobbit, part Jedi, and a lacto-ovo vegetarian.
I grew up in rural Illinois living a typical farm-kid life — exploring, raising animals and helping my mom around the house and in the garden. When I went to college for landscape architecture, a venture fueled by my love of art and the outdoors, I found I missed certain parts of the country lifestyle.
While in school I first lived in a dorm and then in a basement apartment with my husband. My studies included plants and designing gardens, but my gardening was limited to a few houseplants.
Our post-college, grown-up-a-bit-more apartment gave us a little room to stretch and enjoy the sunshine. My garden started from an innate desire to create, be independent, and take a step toward sustainability.
Today, my garden helps feed my husband and I, gives me a sense of personal accomplishment and provides me with the kind of “green” therapy that I used to take for granted. I hope my garden will inspire others who wish to garden, but don’t think they can because they don’t have a yard or traditional garden space. In some ways it’s easier, in others it’s harder, and it’s all worth it.