Garden lite

A couple of weeks ago, I was on garden duty while Matthew and my MIL were on vacation.  While there was a ton of work I could have done, if gardening had been the only thing on my to-do list for the week (the weeds were thriving!), my efforts focused mainly on picking (and processing) strawberries, along with a couple of other crops.

The strawberries needed to be picked every other day (at least), which meant multiple, short trips.  Because of the distance to the garden, this is just the thing we usually try to avoid (and why this garden set-up depends heavily on my MIL’s involvement), but it did give me a chance to experience what it would be like to put in a few hours at the garden, here and there throughout the week, instead of Matthew’s current all day Saturday set-up.

I discovered (not for the first time) that gardening in 1-3 hour chunks, in the earlier morning hours, is quite pleasant.  This is what I envision having a garden at our house would be like (with perhaps a few long, intense days here and there).

We debated putting in a single, small raised bed at our apartment, but we’re not sure it’s worth the time and cost for materials to build.  There’s a small community garden within easy walking distance that has a couple of seemingly abandoned beds, so we’re looking into adopting one of those . . .

. . . but in the meantime, we have our little backyard container garden.


Most of these are perennials that come inside (on our sun porch) in the winter.


We rescued this large, potted Meyer lemon tree from the dumpster last fall (fortunately, it was next to, not in, the dumpster).  It looks like our efforts will be rewarded — the tree is LOADED with ripening lemons.


Flowers!  We received the hydrangea as a gift from my aunt and uncle when Gabriel was born.  We don’t want to put it in the ground until we’re somewhere permanent — fortunately, it seems happy enough in it’s pot.  Amaryllis photo bomb — this guy already bloomed once this year (a quadruple blossom!), but apparently that was not enough; it decided to send up another flower shoot.


Figs!  This tree was Gabriel’s buddy on the way back from Florida last year.  If all goes well, we should have a few tasty figs to enjoy.


Remember my curry tree project?  Well, it failed.  None of the little branches I tried to root ever grew, although they did take up enough water to stay alive all winter.  I admitted defeat, and Matthew ordered this little guy [pictured above] for my birthday!

We also have a couple of annuals in pots.


Center back is a sungold tomato plant — fruit is set but not yet ripening.  Center front are some small basil seedlings.  I also have some potted zinnia seedlings, grown from seeds that Gabriel gave me for Mother’s Day.

The eggplant (on the left in the above photo) will be transplanted to the garden next weekend (trying to get the plants big enough to outlast the flea beetles).

Not pictured are potted herbs: rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, and garlic chives.

While large gardens are great for producing large quantities of food, small container gardens (or raised beds) are so manageable and tidy!


  1. My little figgy tree is a tiny baby this year, but I’m encouraged that yours is doing well! I’m now very tempted to give it a Meyer Lemon friend.

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I think it had a few figs set when Matthew bought it in Florida last summer, but it was rather small. Then it sustained some damage when our landlord hit it with the mower (it was in the pot, but at mower-level b/c Matthew dug the pot into the ground to help keep it from getting dry so fast). It stayed cozy (by cozy I mean just above freezing) on our sun porch all winter, and it’s looking happy now! I’m sure yours would enjoy a lemony friend 🙂

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