Monday, April 25, 2016

MY PATIO GARDEN - PART THREE

I had previously blogged about my patio garden and the design I created for it as well as my worm composter.  So today I thought I would do a quick video about the actual space that is 99% done.  I say 99% because every garden much live every interior space is a work in progress.  It evolves over time as seasons and tastes change.

Mine was interesting as I had only 100 square feet of space that is 100% concrete and some challenges such as a swinging gate door and walkability to the front door to tend with.

Overall I am very pleased with the space.  The only thing left to do is top dress the 3 raised beds which will be done in another blog post.



On a side note I am going to be doing more videos in relation to California native plants, gardening and some client projects.   Stay tuned for those as my goal is to post one video a week.

Here are some things that I have in my garden...

CA native plants - from Tree of Life Nursery:
Salvia clevelandii 'Japatul' - Japatul Cleveland Sage
Ceanothus 'Concha' - Ceanothus
Dudleya pulverulenta - Chalk Dudleya
Dudleya edulis - Dudleya
Dudleya Lanceolata - Lance Leafed Dudleya
Clarkia bottae - Farewell To Spring
Berlandiera lyrata - Chocolate Daisy

Edible plants - from Plant Depot:
Lettuce
Spinach
Parsley
Cilantro
Dill
Onion chive
Arugula

Planters:
Woolly Pockets
Raised beds from Ikea 
Greenbo railing planter

Composting:
Worm bin
Red Wiggler Worms 

Accessories:
Home Goods
Cost Plus World Market
Craigslist

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

MY PATIO GARDEN - PART TWO

As you may have read in my patio garden part one I recently moved to Santa Ana from Tustin.  This meant that I was not only going to have a space that had a better layout and was energetically better but unlike my last place I now have a descent amount of garden space to play with.  I will do a video of the entire space in a future post.  What I wanted to talk about today is worms and why (if you have a garden) you should have them.

I for the past few years have been trying to live a more sustainable life.  Trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce and just live an all around healthier life.  So when I moved into this place I wanted to not be sending a shit ton of trash into the landfill.  I started years ago by not buying foods that came in any packaging that could not be recycled or reused.  I buy everything in bulk which was a cost savings but I was still throwing the food waste in the landfill and that had to change. So I decided to start worm composting.



I did not want to go the plastic bin route and wanted something that was both functional and decorative.  After some google searching I found this wooden worm composting bin from an Etsy shop called Sacred Resource.  I was drawn to the fact that it was not made of plastic and is far more sustainable than the competition.  It was easy to install and I am certain that my HOA won't huff or puff about it.  I also got some worms (500 red wigglers) from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.   Both products came with some tips and tricks to get started that were helpful.


So far it has been a few weeks since I have been composting and I have learned a few things...

  • Have a bucket in the kitchen to which you can store the food waste until you are ready to put them in the bin.  I bought one from World Market.  
  • Out of 500 worms about half a dozen died. 
  • Onion peels are not liked so much.
  • Avocado peels, tea leaves and tomato peels are a big hit.  
  • You really do need equal (or thereabouts) amount of green and brown waste or there will be an odor.
  • You may get some critters inside the bin.  I have some gnats and tiny ants.  I am sure they are harmless.  
  • Once in a while add a bit of water to the bin to keep the soil somewhat moist. 
I will share updates from time to time.  If you are worm composting I would love to hear about your adventures and if you have any tips for this newbie then feel free to share.

Monday, March 28, 2016

MY PATIO GARDEN - PART ONE

I recently sold my Tustin condo and bought another condo in Santa Ana.  This time unlike the last I have a patio (right picture) that I get to landscape.  Although the patio is in full sun with concrete (cannot be removed per HOA rules) at least it is a space that I can have planters in and whatnot.  For me being finally able to have my own garden is exciting and much like any other client I created a drawing so that I could see exactly how much space I have to work with.  The total area is 100 square feet.  Small with a lot of potential.

I started by measuring the space and digitally creating a site plan.  Then I (digitally) drew two options based on what I was looking for, budget and what would realistically work.  I also have a homeowners association, so I had to take into account their rules and guidelines (in my case it was not that bad).

In designing this space I knew that I wanted not only a California native garden but also an edible one and since I can't plant in the ground I was thus limited to containers.  I decided to have some raised garden beds that I found reasonably priced at Ikea.  I also had some Woolly Pockets, a beige Greenbo railing planter and a pair of green metal chairs from my old place that I wanted to reuse.  I also want to try making a succulent pillow as a fun accent in the garden. Another cool feature that I am really excited about is being able to compost. I found this really neat worm composting system from this Etsy shop.  What I like about this system is that it is not made of plastic and looks decorative.

In regards to a color scheme I wanted to do something different than the interior of my space which consists of more reds, greens and browns.  The existing chairs are green (my favorite color) and the flowers will be a mixture of blue, purple, yellow and white.  I also found really cool green/white/blue outdoor pillows at home goods along with some cool decorative accents.

The idea is to plant natives in the raised beds and edibles in everything else.  Some of plants I intend on using are:

  • Lettuce 
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Dudleya in various speicies
  • Salvia clevelandii 'Japutal' - Japutal Cleveland Sage (purple flower)
  • Frageria californica - Woodland Strawberry (white flower)
  • Berlandiera lyrata - Chocolate Daisy (yellow flower)
  • Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' - Skylark Ceanothus (cobalt blue flower)
In regards to budget...  I knew that I would spend at least $500 on the materials but do not want to go over a thousand.  If you think that spending a up to a thousand is too much, it's actually not when you consider quality.  I could have bought a cheap plastic worm composter but plastic is really harmful to the environment and looks cheap.  The next phase is to purchase all the materials and begin assembly. I am going to buy everything but the plants and get them in place and take one last look to make sure that my plant palette works with my end goal in mind.  Stay tuned as I post updates on my garden transformation.