What's growing in your small/urban garden?

fliptx(Houston 9)March 24, 2007

I expanded my garden this year but it's still definitely on the small side. However, I've managed to cram quite a bit in there by using containers, dwarf varieties, and trellises.

I've got over a hundred snap bean plants, some bush and some pole type. I've got three containers of potatoes and one small in-ground hill. It probably wouldn't be worth it just for production alone, but they make really pretty container plants. I've also got different melons, marigolds, butternut squash, an eggplant, several pots of scallions, eight tomatoes, and quite a few basils.

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fannychup(Maryland zone 7)

Wow! It must be great to be in a southern zone. It really extends the gardening season.

I have daffodils and my star magnolia in bloom. I see some grape hyacinths ready to pop in a day or two.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 8:14AM
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Everything's been very slow to emerge this year -- the cold snap didn't help any! I've got primroses and "Freckles" violets blooming, but I didn't see any of the early spring bulbs.

Just running my mind over what I've got:
Rose of Sharon
Lily of the valley
Lady's Mantle
several kinds of mint
Lemon Balm
English thyme
Sweet grass
Toad flower
creesping speedwell
4 different rose bushes
3 different peonies
Resurection lilies
Oriental lilies
Hardy gladiolus
several sweet autumn clematis
several integrifolia clematis
several vitacella clematis
several kinds of daylilies
Tradescantia (blue and hot pink)
Sweet William
several kinds of penstemon
Nodding Ladies Tresses (native orchid)
Cupid's Dart
vinca vine
Siberian iris
German iris
Birdsfoot trefoil
St. John's Wort (I think I'm regretting this one!)
several kinds of sedum

Several re-seeding annuals I imagine I'll see again this year:
Four o'clocks
Black-eyed susan vine

Plants that will come outside as soon as it gets warm enough:
Bay tree
several calamondin orange trees
Key lime tree
several fig trees
several different kinds of scented geraniums
Dancing fairies

Every year there are a bunch of annuals I *have* to have, and there are a handful of re-seeding annuals I count on every year, but my list seems over-long already!
Before you suspect I'm running a botanical garden here, I hasten to say some of these are only 2-3 plants, and I try to cover every fence, every wall, every fire escape I can -- I even garden in the 8" wide strip at the base of the fence in the alley!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 6:09PM
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fernsk(z2 Canada)

My 4 rose bushes emerged from the snow - all green and raring to go. The Hens and chicks are all in good shape - even the ones on the topiary horse. In one area of my little space I have lupins up - the spurge survived, bugleweed seems to be making an effort and some anemonies and japanese Iris are showing signs of growth. Other areas are just having the beginning leaves emerge from the soil and I know that the hosta is there = just hasn't quite woken up yet. Don't you just love springtime as the garden comes to life?


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Hens and chicks in a topiary horse?

Pictures, Fern, please!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 1:49PM
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I'll try to send some pics now, been at this for 2 days. I dont know what iam doing wrong. I have pics at photobucket and cant send from there either! I dont understand abt html.I dont know how to use it. But i"ll try now. we'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 6:32AM
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Gardening in the south is awesome. Here in NYC my favorite things today are: picking & eating my tomatoes, enjoying the ROS (sculpted/pruned into tree shapes), the yellow and red swiss chard, the purple basil, harvesting & eating the figs, enjoying the Redbor kale, the striking hakone and heuchera in the shade. Best wishes to all for a wonderful Fall season.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:43AM
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grovespirit(Zone 9)

Last year in my 10x10 sunny patio area I grew:

Veggies: 2 kinds of eggplant, 5 kinds of tomatoes (mainly dwarf types), 2 okra plants, 3 very productive hot peppers, 2 purple bell pepper plants and 2 ornamental pepper plants, a 6' x4' very productive NZ spinach vine, an unproductive cucumber vine (wrong climate I think), a bitter melon vine, and 24 green onions.


a small pot containing Italian heirloom red-stemmed "ciccorina" dandelions,
a rosemary topiary with Cuban oregano plants sharing its pot,
& 3 pots of basil: purple ruffles, Thai, and cinnamon basil.

Flowers: a mandevilla vine grown in same pot as some Sweet williams, a Yuugao (Japanese vining squash with lovely moonflower like evening flowers), some unusual morning glory vines including a native Hawaiian one, 2 "parrot" heliconias sharing a pot with a rose cutting, 3 fragrant rosebushes, 3 Gerbera daisies grown in same pots as roses, a large deep violet agapanthus, a Tropicanna canna sharing a pot with an asparagus fern, a pikake jasmine shrub and a Stephanotis vine, & a hanging basket containing striped pinwheel phlox and a color-coordinated flowering sedum.

Hedges (they came in the space, I didn't plant them):
6 Ti plants and 2 Dracaenas lining the W and E walls which I kept trimmed back to 3' tall to preserve sun in my garden, and 6 Serissa shrubs on the S wall which I kept trimmed to 5' and grew vines (Yuugao, morning glory and cucumber) on top of, because the condo assoc. said I was not allowed to keep them any shorter than 5'.

In my shady areas, approx. 2' x 10' and 2' x 8':
a huge catnip plant which nearly overran my garlic chives,
a mint plant and some carrots which died of an ant invasion,
6 orchids including a gorgeous speckled Phalaenopsis,
3 bromeliads (2 of which are in bloom),
2 different ornamental gingers,
Dichorisandra thyrsiflora sharing a pot with purple Oxalis,
2 terrestrial Epidendrum orchids in same pot as 2 japanese irises and an angelwing begonia cutting,
2 African violets,
2 red Ti plants,
2 plumerias which I'm trading off due to lack of light and space,
2 anthuriums which haven't bloomed due to lack of light (but still have pretty foliage),
2 gardenias which seldom bloom due to lack of light,
a shade tolerant fan palmetto,
& a lucky bamboo plant.

On my back porch in fairly dense shade:
A purple calla lily and a small fern.

I still have room for a few more plants! To squeeze them in, I can put some lightweight plants like perhaps herbs, ornamental peppers, dwarf tomatoes and salad greens on my balcony area.

I also need to dismantle a big, 4'x4' rotting old wooden planter which I inherited from the last resident, and remove it from my patio area. Not something I look forward to doing, but maybe I can coax hubby into it or hire a handyman to do it. That will make way for more potted veggies, or maybe a square foot garden...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 5:49AM
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lori_londonuk(zone 8-9)

I have a 25ft by maybe 20ft plot, walled and fenced with a small greenhouse. As my mother in law said, 'you've got a lot of plants crammed in here, haven't you?' Only thing in flower right now is a few of the bulbs.

Shrubs + small trees

Myrtus communis
Hebe (don't know the cultivar)
Sarcocca hookeriana var.digyna
Helichrysum italicum
Euonymus fortunei macrophyllum clipped into ball shape
Box clipped into ball shape
Mahonia aquifolium Apollo
Some kind of yellow conifer I'd like to lose but can't face digging out
Laurus nobilis, clipped to a roughly conical shape
Spiraea - a golden leaved cultivar
Convolvulus cneorum
Fatsia japonica
Acer palmatum, about 6.5ft tall, very slow growing

Wall plants

Jasminum officinalis
Jasminum x stephanense
Rose 'Little Rambler'
Rose 'Mme Alfred Carriere'
Japanese wineberry

Herbs and veggies

Bronze fennel
Garlic chives
Welsh onions
Oregano - golden leaved and ordinary kind
Lemon balm
Mint (2 kinds in large container)
Ruby chard
Broad beans


Hyacinths starting to flower
Crocuses in lawn, nearly finished flowering
Lots of different varieties of Narcissus, 'Tete a Tete' now blooming
Muscari which turned up on its own
Spanish Bluebells which I'm trying and failing to get rid of
Anemone blanda
Dutch iris
Asphodeline lutea

In the greenhouse:

Crassula ovata
Agave americana variegata
Aeonium (can't remember the cultivar but uncommon here)
Pak choi
Mustard spinach (I love the stuff when it's baby leaved)
Mizuna (boring, won't grow again)
Punica granatum (which I'll probably plant in the ground outside soon)
Sweet pea, started in January

Misc flowering plants

Salvia leucantha
Mirabilis jalapa (still just a tuber underground but came back last year and also self seeded so it'll probably turn up later)
Musk mallow
Verbena bonariensis
Corn poppies - a few always seed
Corydalis lutea (this is a nuisance with self seeding though, I may get rid of it)
Pelargonium tomentosum
Geranium - a few varieties
Campanula persicifolia
Campanula - scottish bellflower kind
Shasta daisies
Echinops ritro

Shady corner:

Sweet woodruff (both this and the bugle are thuggish spreaders but handy for one very difficult spot)
Vinca major variegata - also has a 'thug' reputation but I find it easy enough to keep in bounds compared with the above.
Hypericum androsaemum
Iris foetidissima
Fatsia japonica
Holly (which hardly grows at all)
Lonicera japonica (which grows too much)
Tellima grandiflora
Ivy (relatively well behaved variegated type - I got rid of a particularly rampant one last year)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 9:46AM
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hardin(7 SE OK)

I have daffodils (100's), hyanciths,(1)forsythia,(2)yews, (3)nandinas,(6) yaupon hollies, (4)maiden grasses,(2) geraniums, sweet potato vines,(2) peonies,(2) blue rug junipers,(2) alberta spruce trees,(3) crape myrtles, (6)spireas as a hedge and (1)by itself, ferns, daylilies, ajugas, dianthus, boston ivies, honeysuckles, privet hedges. (1)mock orange, (3)astilbes, summer and spring phlox,(3) silver maple trees, (1) bald cypress tree, (1) weeping willow, (3)dahlias, (1)mini rose, (3) blue pincushions, (1) eastern redbud tree, (1) green ash tree, bermuda grass and a few weeds. And more to be added everytime I pass a garden center...........I know I have forgotten some.....Hmmmm...lets see.....oh and the usual annual flowers for color all over.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:32PM
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lori_londonuk(zone 8-9)

I have a small unfenced front garden to the front of my house so may as well list what's there as well. To the left of my door are cobblestones, growing through gaps are Cordyline australis (a dark red cultivar) Berberis darwinii, Acer palmatum dissectum, possibly Garnet. Libertia grows in a huge self-seeded clump but its colour and form complements the cordyline so I kept it. And ivy grows over the cobbles which I'd really like to eradicate. On one section of cobblestone with no gaps to plant, I have sprinkled dirt then planted sedum spathulifolium so it can spread over them. The grassy area to the right of my door is shared but on my side I removed part of the grass to plant Pittosporum tenuifolium Tandara Gold, Centranthus ruber, Juniperus squamata 'Holger' and sedum reflexum.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:40AM
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Holy cow! You all have a LOT more than I have (granted my space is much smaller)
I had several plants not make it through the winter - some are not coming back thanks to my precious son. ;) What I have so far - and planned
2 Tomatoes (black cherry and green zebra - both heirlooms)
2-3 basil (Lime, lemon, and basil genovese)
1 Rocky Mountain Columbine
1 Oregano
grape vine
sweet peas, or snap peas (my son has been busy "gardening" and pulled the tags)
pole beans (anyone have suggestions for kinds)
2 star geraniums

As soon as it's warm enough, the tropicals will go outside - hibiscus, birds of paradise, and 2 plumerias. (currently in cutting form....)
In the front I have a honeysuckle that I have high hopes for. We'll see what happens with it! :)

I think that is about all the room I have. But I'm contemplating a ground cover besides grass and moss (I'd love moss, but it's FAR too dry here for that. Suggestions?)

Happy planting!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:28PM
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I've packed in a lot since we decided to get rid of the lawn in the front and back. It's too much of a pain to upkeep with our summer droughts and doesn't benefit nature much. Our plan is mostly edible with flowers for the bees and butterflies.

Front south: spirea and a hedge of I don't know what that the neighbors kept hacking even though it is our property - all existed when we bought the house. Since there are now gaps in the hedge, I've been adding Washington hawthorn and blackberries I dug up from suckers from the north side of the front yard. I also have four pink wiegelas, golden sedum, Adam's needle yucca, three rose bushes planted this spring with garlic, and one pink honeysuckle. I also planted some poppy seeds this spring that I think are finally sprouting when I looked yesterday. I planted lily of the valley three years ago and am finally seeing them come up after being totally MIA last year. One chain tree.

North front: A lot of full sun areas. Tulips, various alliums, blazing star liatris, crocus, flame grass, butterfly bush (this spring), periwinkle, lavender mountain lily, lollipop hellenium, alpine rosy bells, polar giant coneflower, daffodil, a mulberry tree, pink honeysuckle, north hedge of Washington Hawthorn, two blackberry bushes that provide me with a lot of suckers to relocate to south side, one coral berry bush I bought for the birds but they don't seem to like it as much as the wasps do, one fall gold raspberry, two kiwi gold raspberries, two elderbery, an everbearing strawberry patch, and a bunch of different daylilies, Two top-hat blueberries planted last year do not seem to have made it through winter. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff whose names totally escapes me. I also planted some seeds I traded last year that I'm anxious to see if they come up. I planted two bee balm plants and one borage plant this week.

I have juniper bushes that grow along the house in the front that are a big mess. I've wanted to dig them out but the spouse disagrees because they keep the house from getting too hot even though they are slow growing. Our front faces west. Some parts are as high as the roof but in a very untidy way. I cleared out a lot of lower branches to discourage the neighborhood cats from hanging out and mating under there and keep debris out that the winds blow in. That left a messy gap so I planted snow-on-the-mountain a couple years ago that has really spread out. I also planted some black-eyed susans seeds this spring. Two years ago I planted windflowers under there but haven't seem them come up. While the spot is under the bush, it has about 3.5 ft clearance and gets full sun from the west after 1 p.m.

Back yard: This year I planted four (one in front) paw paw trees and two more cherry bushes (had 4 already) and three different blueberry bushes. We have three grapevines - two we got this year and only one left from previous planting but I am moving to a different spot near the new ones.

I have a lot of herbs, grapefruit mint, ginger mint, curly mint, mint julep mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, horehound, feverfew, roman chamomile, sage, salvia, lemon basil, lime basil, spicy basil, cinnamon basil, lemon thyme, two other thymes, chives, three different speedwells, parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, two scented geraniums, bay leaf, bronze fennel, lavender, passion flower, scullcap, two figs, mullein, lion's tail, stevia, betony, Chinese wolfberry, patchouli and others probably.

I am growing about 10 plants of tomatoes (5 varieties) and about 10 plants of hot peppers (4 varieties), arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce, radiccio, three different carrots, beets, onions, horseradish, brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, more strawberries and watermelon. I have seeds to plant more vegetables but haven't decide what and where. I get more potting mix and containers each payday so I'll keep planting until it's too late to plant for the season.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 5:14PM
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jessicavanderhoff(7 Md)

My backyard is like ten square feet-- I've got eight kinds of tomatoes, a zucc, a cuc, a pumpkin in a bucket, and one purple pepper plant. It's all sort of running into each other, but I'm totally excited to have fresh veggies!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Another great thread from the past, I thought I'd bump up. I don't have a fraction of what I ddid at the old apartment building -- yet!

But I love seeing the lists of what other people made possible, and addingg to my own wish lists!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I live in a Mediterranean climate, and have 2 side yards (10' wide by 50' long), and a courtyard. One side yard has 2 trellises, a drip system and wine grapes planted on the trellises. Next to the wine grapes are containers with citrus, blueberries, figs, olives, basil, and (forgive me) the dreaded "invasive" mint!! I have a few roses and marigolds here and there, and a couple Iris's. I have Rosemary, Thyme and Chives too. Garlic thrives here, so I plant those babies when they have green shoots, and dry them on the grape vines. Fresh Garlic is sooooo wonderful!

The other side yard is a canvas yet to be painted! I have about 120 cuttings (half look like they will survive) of Pomegranates, Wine Grapes, and Figs. Those are the paint for the other side yard!

Isn't this fun?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:07PM
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Wow! That sounds like a fantastic orchard!

Have you grown the pomegrantes before? I've seen the dwarf varieties offered as houseplant/conservatory plants and they look really pretty.

My two container figs are just about to go outside for the season -- altho' I'm zone 5-6 we had frost over the weekend, so I've been hesitant. But they're rarin' to grow.

I imagine a drip system is mandatory for you -- is it an off the rack or home-made set-up?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:31PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

alison, yes. I have grown pomegranates before. Even the standard poms can be grown in a container and kept small. I have one dwarf in a container, and it bears dwarf poms too, so I made sure my new ones are the BIG fruit kind.

I really like the fig forum here at gardenweb. They helped me a lot to understand the whole fig thing. This is the first year for my fig to bear fruit. There are several baby figs on it now.

You are right! A drip system is mandatory with our summer heat! The drip system was set up with parts we purchased here and there. There are 2 timers. One for the grapes/blueberries, and the other for the figs, pom and citrus. I think we have 1/2 gal emmiters, so an hour on delivers a gallon to each plant. The grapes get hit twice a day, and the other fruit get 3 times per week.

I'm going to do a fun thing with the new grape cuttings. I plan to grow them all in containers! They won't be on a trellis. They will grow one big trunk, and the top will be cut so they form a crown of canes that hang down. They will look like small trees. The varieties are zinfandel, primitivo, syrah, tempranillo, and a few others. Lack of space forces you to get pretty creative to jam everything you want into your little piece of the pie!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 10:11AM
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Wow -- Like a "weeping" grape tree?


    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 2:22PM
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Where we are living right now has 3 huge pecan trees in the side yard, 1 peach tree that's covered right now, and I have my veggie plot in the backyard that has lots of tomatos in containers, 3 different types of squash, 2 zuchinni, 2 different types of cucumbers, 2 different types of watermelons, 2 different types of pumpkins, orange, red, and yellow bell peppers, Kentucky wonder pole beans, Cherokee trail of tears pole beans, and Yellow pencil pod black wax bush beans, eggplant, carrots, swiss chard, strawberries, onions, garlic, and okra. My herb pots on the front porch have basil, cilantro, oregano, dill, chives, sage, and parsley. My veggie plot is not really that big, so I only have one or two hills of each plant

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Zone 7a/b here (right on the transition), in North Carolina.

In ground:
tomato (yellow pear, currant, sungold, beefsteak)
cape gooseberry
jalapeno peppers
yellow squash

yuzu (2)
eureka lemon
naranjilla (also known as lulo, or 'bed of nails' plant)
ice cream beans (also known as pacay)
red guava
green guava
strawberry guava

The container plants aren't mature enough to bloom or fruit yet. The calamondin and one of the yuzus are grafted, and growing like crazy, so I think they may be to that point within another year.

The others are seedlings of various sizes, so I have quite a wait fro any blooms. Lemons especially are GREAT foliage/ornamentals as well - of all the citrus, it has grown beautifully, and the scent of the leaves is beyond belief.

The guavas are lovely, though they are extremely slow growers during their first year, which I assume is why they are so well-suited to containers. The 7 month old green guava is only about 5 inches, though it has budded it's first branch.

The naranjilla is the greatest surprise. Some of them are very spiny - mine lacks the spines. It's a really majestic plant - 4 feet at 7 months, with 15-inch, hand-shaped leaves (a little like eggplant leaves) which are covered in dense peachfuzz. The whole plant is really furry. The leaf shoots start out magenta or purple, with pale green veins, and as the leaf grows, the coloring reverses - big green leaves, with pale veins, and the peachfuzz on the veins is a deep purplish-brown color. They are sensitive to frost and high heat, LOVE lots of water, and they prefer filtered sun, so they do need a good bit of attention, but they can be very striking plants.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:23PM
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I am a balcony gardener mostly. Unfortunately , there are too many rats, alley rabbits, and wild dogs in my industrial zone neighborhood to successfully grow veggies in the mud pit driveway/ garden. Here are my plans for this year... as copied and pasted from my journal and some of it has gone outside already.
Once again...this is a cut and copy of my happenings and plans...pardon the type os and run ons, it was like a scribble only in typing.
Downstairs in the muddy dirt driveway next to my car:
1) old grandma craigslist transplanted wisteria: survived!!!! YAY!
2) Tons of muscari and mint planted on top of the dug up rats nest. Growing!
Allysum growing despite the starlings.
Hostas growing
32 pips Lilly if the valley not growing!!!!ERRRRR!!!!!!
Tranplanted lavender Growing!
Grapes trimmed and growing.
Lilacs , small but alive
Borage growing.
Pink hollyhock growing
transplanted rose of sharon no sign of life.
Mint growing

on the stairs level 2

olive oil can full of garlic growing and happy
paintbucket full of wisteria trimmings left outside and alive(?)
bucket of mint no sign of life.

bucket of mint.. no sign of life.
2 5 gal buckets of carrots of all colors growing.
on the stairs level 3
tons of mint in pots no sign of life.
pail of chives overwintered outdoors loving it!
pail of giant lovage root overwintered out doors coming up
Mint in cauldron, living despite the starlings.
overwintered rosemary DEAD!
2nd batch Yellow violas doing o.k. first batch the starlings ate.
mini roses, were fine now ERRR(??)
peas peas and more peas outside and loving it.
nasturtium, no sign of life.

Indoors Growing.
1 ft lacinato kale
2 pots of arugula
overwintering french tarragon
Crazy ass ginger root.
2 genovese basil
3 types of oregano
2 types of mint.
I type of lavender
1 type of thyme.
1 pot of parsley
1 overzealous rootbound african blue basil

Ready to transplant ASAP( c'mon weather!!)
giant sweet genovese in file box just like last year.. same time same method same place. (Snuff out the starling first this year!)
outdoor lacinato -bucket
3 4 inch pots of parsley- Balcony in crates
12 black nasties- all over
3 day and night- nasties all over
an bunch of emperess of india- nasties all over
Black prince tomatoes balcony in 5 gal. giver rest away
cherry tomatoes -5 gal give rest away
striped roma-milk crate give rest away
italian paste -crate give rest away
5 mini strawberries. top crate
okra, 5 gal bucket.
# blueberry plants ready to put in container in front of car.Make mix
purple pole beans for the deck supports 5 gal bucket.
blue lake beans for landing/ deck rail.. 5 gal bucket
yellow bush beans for landing 5 gal bucket
black and purple carrots for landing 5 gal buckets
12 wormwood/ for near Any rat entry and exits in mud pit back yard.
1 wormwwod for use up here.
7 black holly hock/ back yard
20 sunflowers of dif varieties and heights. along the dysfunctional driveway gate
various fox gloves. who knows where i will put those.
20 lambs ears... near the trellis. under the wild ass grape vine that will fruit this year.
Johnny jump ups ready to go
Allysum. ready to go(???)
Billions of summer savory.. ready as soon as they are.
Trade trade Trade!!

mint - fine.
Af. Blue basil- 30 cuttings doing overly splendid.
oregano rooting.
thyme -rooting
swwet potato from counter rooting

Affix old ladder to bldg. for hanging planters for herbs.
find a place for chamomile.
Find Black Purple Silver or White plants and have a ton of stuff to trade.
clover for under shady grapes, maybe GODZILLA clover!
plant munstead.

Get rosa rugosa for hips
try the vert garden thing with the stakes. and steel (???)
find a crappy old clawfoot to grow out of in the back mud pit.(???)
Tame them grapes to feed me.
Kill those damn rats and flush out those starlings first thing...
and , paint the grill
And get a heliotrope, saffron and opium poppies because i like them. :)
Find a place to hand black fuscia figure out cool bucket/ chain design to hang in negative space of skyline.

Kill the tree of heaven next door when no ones looking.
Kill the stump of a crap tree in yard and dig it out this year.
Patch big rat holes in wooden fence.


I got a ton of stuff to do.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 12:50AM
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