5.21.2012

gutter garden update



Just wanted to show off the gutter garden. It's been less than a month since we refilled it with soil and planted it, and it's doing wonderfully. I think, unfortunately, its success has a lot to do with a neighbor's tree that was removed a year or two ago. We're getting a lot more light in that area.

 The garden today.

The garden almost a month ago.

I'm so happy we planted nasturtium. It grows like a weed. Is it a weed? And it's really pretty. We've got radish and zinnia seedlings fighting with each other. If neither starts to flourish in the next few weeks I'll move the strawberries I bought last week from a window box up into the seedling spots.


We picked a colander full of different lettuces and a few nasturtium flowers to have with dinner tonight. My neighbor Paul and I were talking about how to prune the lettuce leaves so the plants keep producing more, plucking from the outside in. I hope that works! It's really, really lovely for this family who so desperately wants a real garden to be able to gaze out at that tiny bit of our own green in the morning. It gives me personally such a calming moment when I glimpse it. 

Nasturtiums on the cover of Plants and Their Application to Ornament by Eugéne Grasset.
I've always been fascinated with how the stem of a nasturtium leaf meets the leaf close to
the center, not at the edge of the leaf. And I love botanicals. Have you seen mine here

Our neighbor "Backyard Richard" threw up some lemons from his tree for us
while we were back there today. Nice!

Many moons ago I lived north of Albuquerque, NM in a town called Bernalillo in the tiniest two room shack. I spent most of my meager architectural intern salary on gardening. I lived literally in the middle of the desert, so I dug furrows into the sand, filled them with store-bought soil, and planted rows and rows of corn. I loved growing corn. Have you ever eaten corn within an hour of it being picked? There's nothing sweeter or more delicious. So good. 

The crazy and sad thing about the year I grew that corn is that there was a plague of grasshoppers that came through in swarms soon after my first ears started maturing. They mowed the crop down in a matter of a week. Like, sawed them down. Never seen anything like it.

Anyway, I'd love to try it again when we get a chance. Being back there today reminded me of how much fun it is to grow food (and what a money pit gardening can be)!






16 comments:

  1. Yum looks so delicious! Enjoy for the rest of us that turning green with envy! (:

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  2. looking very lush and inviting! yum! i typically don't like orange flowers, but nasturtiums have a soft spot in my heart. i just planted some yesterday from seed, so here's hoping they take.

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    1. I just caught up on all the gardening you're doing. I'm jealous! Good for you!

      Nasturtium shoot out so many different colors. When we picked some for the salad, I wouldn't let Stella grab the deep blood red flower, it was too incredible of a color. My husband thinks they taste (the flowers) like peach, I think they taste like funky lettuce with a hot pepper bite at the end. Not my favorite edible flower, but so pretty!

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  3. While you may yearn after my large garden beds I am equally jealous that you have a neighbor who can just toss you some lemons from his tree! I am forever buying lemons and limes. Looks wonderful, nice use of space.

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    1. The idea of being a locavore in your neck of the woods is a much tougher proposition than here, I suppose! Thanks for the compliment. We really got lucky this year with the neighbor's tree gone now. The first year we built and planted this was a big fail. :)

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  4. Your garden looks beautiful! I'm going to share this post on my FB page because I know my mom will see it there and she'll enjoy it.

    I have a black thumb but get to enjoy the fruits of HER labor. Fresh herbs, Japanese cucumbers and eggplants.

    Now I'm craving Cuban corn, you know when they cover it in mayo and that special cheese with a hot sauce. Yum.

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    1. Thank you for tweeting and posting this, Tania. That is super nice of you! You are so lucky your mom is nearby, and a good cook and gardener. That is wonderful.

      I've never heard of Cuban corn, but I'm craving it now, too. Really! :)

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  5. Looks excellent! I keep seeing fun ideas like this on Pinterest. I have to try some of them out after we get the house painted next month!

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    1. Thanks, Stacie! It was easy for us because no waterproofing issues when we screwed the gutters into the fence. If you're thinking about doing this on an exterior wall of your house, you might talk to your painters about helping out with a little flashing or something. If not and just using a fence, go for it! :)

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  6. Such a cool idea for an urban garden! That must be a satisfying salad!

    Sad story about your corn : (

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    1. It was, and the flowers were crazy tasting! It was a sad story about the corn. It was also unlike anything I'd ever seen!

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  7. tiffanie, such a wonderful idea to utilize an oft overlooked space. this is what the future will be about--finding unique ways to do more with less. so proud of you!

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    1. Thank you, Libby. You are so sweet! xoxo

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  8. Hi Tiffanie, I found your gutter garden on Apartment Therapy. I love that you used a galvanized steel one and plan to feature it in my upcoming post about vertical gardens, full link and credit back to you. Please let me know if this is not okay.. great job on it BTW :)

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    1. Hi Shelley. Thanks for letting me know, and I liked the angle of your post very much. Good work!

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