Think gardening requires a lot of land and loads of knowledge? No way! See how easy it can be to start your own garden – on your porch, deck, or patio, no less! – with help from Amanda Gentis of Handmade Mood. Get into growing your own fave fruits, veggies, and herbs with this helpful how-to.
There’s Always Room to Grow
Although our Texas summers can be long and hot, I’m completely spoiled by our mild winters and early spring weather. Each year, as the trees start to pop up with their new green leaves and the grape Kool-Aid-smelling mountain laurels blossom, I fantasize about planting a backyard garden full of my favorite herbs and a veggie or two. My biggest hurdles – outside of not being a natural plant-whisperer – are my co-backyard habitants: Brie, our five-year-old German shepherd, and Vivienne, my precocious almost-three-year-old. Between the two of them, they take up a lot of backyard space, and they aren’t exactly helpful gardening assistants!
Hayneedle.com had everything I needed to create a manageable kitchen garden right outside my living room, on the deck we spend the most of our outdoor time. This space was transformed from a plain brick wall into a beautiful, useful, productive garden. The 40-in. Coral Coast Bloomfield Wood Elevated Garden Bed was the perfect length to plant several types of lettuce, a serrano pepper plant, and all of the herbs that I usually buy at the grocery store – including basil, thyme, chives, and more. The elevated bed is easy to work in – it doesn’t require much bending over, and the height is perfect for keeping my nosy dog from digging or lying in it!
Adding Additional Edibles & Artistry
Flanking the garden bed are two Coral Coast Cape Maye Weathered Wood 18 x 18 Planters. On the right, in the spot that gets the most sun daily, is a variegated lemon tree. I thought it would be so fun to incorporate a fruit tree, and the planter is large enough for the tree to happily thrive. On the other side, I now have a trellis to support a flowering vine to take advantage of the vertical space on the wall. It helps add color and interest without taking up anymore of the deck’s surface.
To further take advantage of the wall and the afternoon shade from the house overhang, moss-lined baskets hold maidenhair ferns. Adding the huge Letter G Metal Wall Art makes the deck and garden feel like a natural extension of our living room; I love bringing unexpected indoor elements outside.
I couldn’t let the space in front of the planters go to waste, so I took the opportunity to add some serious color splashes with bright pink geraniums in light-weight terra cotta-colored Madison Planters. Container gardening doesn’t have to be boring! Also, down in front, a Madison Planter houses two kinds of mint. Mint is a space hog, so containing it in its own pot is the prefect way to ensure it doesn’t take over other plants’ real estate.
Occasionally mint changes its mind on its lighting needs, so the ability to move it when needed (same with the other plants, too!) is such a benefit to container gardening. Also, there isn’t a need for big pieces of equipment – a simple set of basics for planting and a watering can should do it.
I’m so excited that we’ll have this fantastic resource for fresh lettuces and herbs this spring as well as herbs and peppers for summer; I can hardly wait to harvest our first lemons! The addition of beautiful plants and greenery has transformed our little deck into an absolutely lovely living space that makes me want to be “in the garden” every day.
—Amanda Gentis, Handmade Mood