Saturday, September 12, 2009

Greening the Back

My front porch gets a lot of garden love. I mean. I don't have "space" or "a yard" for a garden, but I've experimented with container gardening for the past four years here with varying successes and it has sort of become my most satisfying hobby.

Right now on the porch I have rosemary, chives, snapdragons, yellow squash, tomatoes, (dying) bell peppers, a homemade topiary, a bunch of herbs whose names I know not, and a couple other plants that are cute.

So with the maybe 10 sq feet space that all of these things fit in, we're sort of at plant capacity in the front right now. But I'm not satisfied. These plants are surviving, and thriving as best they can, and I'm very proud of them - but I finally decided that I needed more space and was ready to take on our back patio area.

We live in a townhouse in San Francisco. There's a big community grass area out back that is perfect for the dogs, but the space that we call "ours" is relatively small. I haven't paid too much attention to it even though we see it constantly, but once I realized that shade plants were just as fun as sunny plants I started day dreaming about what we could do with the back patio...On a budget.

So today Jon and I cleaned up anything that could be thrown away. An old barbecue, a lot of pine needles, an unappealing door-mat and the dry soil in my spare terracotta pots.

We had a few long wooden boards from when Jon worked on the house in Oakland that we kept, and with $10.00 worth of cinder blocks we made a really simple shelf for some shade-friendly plants.