New homeowner without a garden (Google / Concrete Gardening)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

Tales of a new homeowner without a garden

I realize I’ve been quite slack on the blog front, but I also just bought a house (without a garden) and my days have been spent unpacking, walking around saying “I can’t believe this is ours,” and finding interesting quirks about our new abode. (Such as – after five minutes in the shower the water turns lukewarm. Great for water conservation I guess. Bah Bum.) The first night we took a crash course in garbage disposal design when we learned that our dishwasher wasn’t draining. (It’s amazing what you can do with the help of online forums, a hammer, and a screw driver.)

Now we’re settling in, using the dishwasher (heavenly after three years of hand washing dishes), and it’s really starting to feel like home.  (Even though we have no furniture on the third floor. We might leave it like that for a while – it makes for an awesome yoga room.  Minimal design to the max!)

The street is phenomenal. The neighbors are ridiculously nice. Our next door neighbor said “It’s like a mature college dorm, without the shared bathrooms.” And it really is. Everyone knows everyone. Kids play in the street after work. People hangout their second story windows to chat. Neighbors drink wine on their stoops on Friday nights. It’s what city living is supposed to be about. All the neighbors say the same thing, “You’ve bought on the best block in Philly.”

And most importantly – I’m doing OK without my in-the-ground-garden. We get full sun to our kitchen window, so I have a herb garden growing right on the window sill. (And I’ve used it heaps!) Our tiny alley gets full sun, so I’ve converted an old birdhouse I made with my dad when I was a kid into a petunia basket to hang on the fence. (I love petunias. Yes, they’re everywhere, but they’re so damn cheery!) Our front stoop has been adorned with potted plants. (Once we start to build our finances back up, we hope to put in a more permanent, raised flower bed.)

Another fantastic aspect of this house is that my indoor garden will thrive. In our old apartment we had one tiny window that received sun. I crammed as many houseplants in that window as humanly possible. My friends used to say it looked like a mini-jungle. Now I have a few large windows that get baked with sunlight. My houseplant space has quadrupled. (I’m also going to start making use of indoor hanging houseplants. More on that later.)

The roof deck is blasted by the sun all day.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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