With the exception of a 5 year period, my family has always lived in a high-rise flat. That, however, has never stopped my mum from keeping a small herb garden. I’m not gonna lie, as a kid I thought it was kinda weird that she would care for her plants and talk to them affectionately. But now, as an adult, I totally see what all the fuss was about… there’s something very soothing, very therapeutic about tending to a plant (total granny status right here).
In Spring 2012, the husbo & I put together our balcony garden and, really, it started as a casual activity, just to spruce up the outdoors with some fun flowers. We then discovered some easy-to-manage veggies at a local Mom & Pop hardware store, and ended up with full spread of tomatoes, cucumbers and jalapeños! I wasn’t around much last summer to enjoy the crop (that makes me sound like such a farmer, lol) but the husbo constantly iMessaged me photos and couldn’t stop talking about the juicy, crispy cucumbers. This year I made it a point to stick around for the summer and really tend to the garden because, heck, I want to eat homegrown food, too!
Up here on the 17th floor, Mother Nature & I are homegirls. She has been very kind to the plants; providing them with just the right amount of sun, rain & wind, and for that, I am thankful. I’m even going to go as far as saying we have better results this year. More fruits, more veggies and more excitement!
So without further ado, let me introduce you to the gang…
These are our hermanos. There are about 6 -8 of them growing, and in about a week I am going to pick one! I’m just waiting for them to mature a tad more, so they can really develop their flavor & heat. Once that happens, I’m gonna throw them into some guac and it’s going to be great.
Dude, let’s not even get me started on how excited I am about these guys. I think it’s only because
we were I was so skeptical when we bought them… I mean who grows strawberries in their apartment?! We literally went weeks without seeing any progress and the husbo had to remind me to be patient. Then, this past Sunday (all of a sudden) we find these babies! They’re still so tiny and delicate (we noticed a bird took a bite out of one, grrrr) and seriously need a lot of TLC before anyone can enjoy them! That’s talking to you, you damn bird. But eeeek, I cannot wait!
We actually have two basil plants (Baz & Baby Baz) both of which were purchased from our local grocery store’s fresh herb section. I felt so bad about using & abusing the plants (they’re only intended for one-time use) so I put them into tiny, and I mean tiny, bowls and changed the water every day. Needless to say they did well for themselves, up until recently… the leaves would yellow quickly and they just seemed so blah. That’s when we decided to let the little guys go outside, and I cannot tell you what a good idea that was! Literally within days the plants spruced up and flourished among their new friends.
The cilantro was also purchased from the grocery store, but this time we went ahead and just directly planted him outside. I was worried the birds would go crazy and pick on this guy, but he’s done really well for himself and has grown into a great big bush.
Cucumbers/ Yellow Squash
Honestly, we have no idea what is going on here. All we know is that the plants we purchased we labelled cucumbers and they were all in one little section… so they better be something good. These are sneaky little guys, though, they wrap their vines around anything they can get a grab of. We planted them in the same pot as the jalapeños and they weren’t playing nice, so the husbo moved the vines towards the railing. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve grown these before and sort of know what to expect, so we’re patiently just waiting for the cucumbers (or whatever they are) to make an appearance. I’m thinking another 3 weeks? We’ll see.
Last, but not least, let me introduce you to the
Yes, I said Kardashians (I thought it was clever and who the hell doesn’t love them a Kardashian?!) We originally had four: Kris, Kourtney, Kim & Khloe, but over time Kris unfortunately (?) died, Kim plumped up big time and Khloe thinned out. What about Kourtney, you ask? Well, Kourtney – she just stayed the same… boring. If you didn’t already know, carnations are perennials, which means they are dormant in the winter and then come back to life in the warmer months. Much like the famous sisters, these girls add so much sass to the balcony, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All right kids, so that’s the balcony garden for you. Now, if there’s one thing I’d like you to take away from all this, it’s that I very much encourage you to grow something of your own, in your home. I mean, it’s a great activity for your & your signification other to do together, and I hear it’s good feng shui. So go buy yourself a plant, now.