Friday, June 3, 2011
mazimizing my growing space
i constantly find myself marveling at how much useable growing space there is wherever i go. as i walk around my neighborhood i drool over my neighbor’s front lawn, i envision bushels of food harvested from a nearby abandoned lot, and look up at a local restaurant's flat roof and think green! having limited growing space has definitely helped bring out the creative side in me, helping me to think outside of the box to squeeze in as much as i can, however i can. before i give up or tell myself there is just not enough room i stop, look around and begin to marvel at my own space as to how much more we can do. below are a few ways we have managed to squeeze in just a little more.
building living roofs on structures gives a whole new dimension to one’s growing space. last year we built one on top of our rabbit hutch to grow salad greens and herbs. we have designed our new chicken coop with a living roof as well.(pictures soon to come) a big dream is to also build a living roof over our back porch where a bee hive will live.
i recently created a living table where i placed a piece of a milled stump over a planter and stuck succulents and herbs in the open cracks. more growing space but also allows a place for a glass of lemonade.
another way to maximize our growing space has been to grow on the strip between the sidewalk and the street. this area is technically public property, but it is our responsibility as the property owners to care for it. rather than grow just grass, we grow a variety of plants including strawberries, kale, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, gooseberries,currants, herbs, horseradish, swiss chard, rhubarb, ferns, and perennial flowers.
our backyard space has transformed over the years as well. when we first moved in, it was just grass with a cyclone fence around it. we removed the fence and slowly began to add plantings that grew around sandboxes, and play spaces for our girls. now that they are getting a bit older and use the sidewalks, streets, and alleys behind our house for more of their play with friends, we began to really fill things in.
instead of replacing the fence we built a rock wall and planted shrubs and tall growing perennials. The plantings give us privacy, are beautiful and even feed us.
i love window boxes and was thrilled when my grandfather built the ones that hang below our dining room windows. in the early spring i plant them with lettuces. i then grow annuals and herbs for the rest of the season.
you would think with such a little space that there would be an end to it all. but there always seem to be a little more room for something new. hmmmmm, now how to fit in that greenhouse?