Sunday, June 13, 2010

# Post

How Does My (Muse) Garden Grow?

My patio from just inside the slider door.
With Midsummer just around the corner, I find people talking about gardening wherever I go.What everyone is growing--and how they're growing it--is a hot topic whether I am at work, the local home center, or over on Facebook. So while everyone's busy chatting about gardens, I thought I'd show you mine.

What does gardening have to do with a writing blog? I often take my laptop out and write by the pool or on my deck swing. Quite "zen" and inspirational! Although this deck is west-facing in a desert climate, I've tried to make it a place to relax and let romance writing flow.

My swing folds out into a bed!

When weather permits I log decent time on my swing. With temps in the one-teens in summer, patio time from July and October is limited to early morning and late evening. But for now, this is a sanctuary that expands our tiny living space--and you can't beat a west deck to catch awesome sunsets!

The view over our railing

I love where I live. When we were shown this apartment, we walked in and the blinds were thrown open to this view, which reminded me of a resort in Hawaii I'd once stayed at. I was immediately sold and haven't regretted it since!

Breakfast harvest

Our patio isn't just a place to write and relax--I've tried to make it functional as well. I grow fruits, veggies, and herbs along with plants and flowers. While heat and lack of irrigation (no water faucet!) makes it a challenge, we are firm believers in sustainable living and work to expand our little harvest each season. The plants also help deflect heat and reduce energy costs, and all our lighting is solar.

I've adapted the following methods into my container gardening (you can Google each of them for more info): Square foot gardening, companion gardening, vertical gardening, upside down gardening, lasagna gardening, organic gardening (exception: a neighbor turned me onto "Super Thrive," a vitamin boost my plants love. It's at Home Depot, but the tiny bottle can be hard to spot next to the big fertilizer packages).

In short, we do just about everything under the sun! The next thing I want to try is a living wall, to cut heat even further. In any case, I've currently got the following "food" growing on our deck:

*Swiss Chard
*Pole Beans
*Japanese Eggplant
*Sugar Baby Watermelon
Yes, pumpkin and watermelon! These space-hoggers will take up the end of our deck before long, but much less room than normal since both are being grown vertically.

I confess that once I got started taking photos of my deck for this blog I couldn't stop. Think I'll post the rest on my Facebook. I hope you enjoyed my garden tour!

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