Thursday, August 09, 2007

Container gardening

Even though we rent, and our past few houses haven't been very great for growing things, Andy and I both love the idea of having a garden. It's cheaper, it tastes better, and it just feels good. So we improvise. We've gotten a few styrofoam boxes here and there that we filled up with dirt--one came with the fishtank, and two were full of mangos from the markets (sigh... mango season. How I miss you...). They are perfect for growing a few herbs.

We picked up this Perennial Coriander one day--it tastes just like coriander (cilantro to Americans) but it is so much easier to grow.

And of course we have some basil, a favourite of ours and of this little grasshopper.

Other herbs we have are parsley, thai basil, regular coriander, and garlic chives. In with the herbs are some bird's eye chilli plants. I think the flowers are so pretty.

About a week after we moved house, one of the chillis randomly kicked it. Other chillies in the same box are still healthy, as are the herbs all around it. I don't know what happened. All the leaves fell off, and only the chillis were left behind, so we picked them. They are pretty spicy, and will be great in green curries.
Another unsuccessful attempt at gardening was these tomatoes. We got one Amish Oxheart and one Beefsteak, both of which sound so Not Vegan. They were going well, and grew pretty quickly, but then it got freakishly cold and rainy and they sort of stopped growing. These green tomatoes were the only ones that survived, and they weren't growing at all. Rather than moving the tomato plants, we plucked these off and left the yellow, spindly bushes behind. Anyone got any good recipes for green tomatoes?

And last but certainly not least, our pineapples. This one has been with us for about a year. We have two others which are smaller, and one is a rough-leaf pineapple. All we did was cut off the top, then peel away most of the leaves. Then you put it in a glass of water until roots form, and then you've got your very own pineapple plant! Ours hasn't produced any fruit yet, but we saw one in Sydney in a similar pot that had a baby pine on it, so I'm still hoping.

Maybe we won't be featured on Gardening Australia, but I still love our little container garden. It brightens up the patio, and the herbs liven up our meals. Plus, it's a great way to procrastinate on a Sunday afternoon.


Veganista said...

I loved this post! Quite inspiring. We have some herbs in pots too, but they're looking pretty sad right now thanks to a frosty winter. I was interested to learn about perennial coriander because coriander is one herb we have not managed to grow at all. The pineapple plant in a pot strikes me as classic Queensland.

Your new place looks great--seems like a spacious kitchen with plenty of counter/work space!

VeggieGirl said...

what a lovely garden!! I love the mix of herbs you're growing; and the green tomatoes and pineapple plant are stunning as well :0)

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

awesome blog!
i miss living in a place where i can grow things.

bazu said...

How exciting- a pineapple! That's something I'm fairly certain wouldn't have a chance at survival here in Syracuse...!

And perennial cilantro- never heard of it- fascinating.

Even though our garden is pretty puny, I'm damn proud of it- it's really rewarding, isn't it?

Amy said...

Awesome! Your garden is so punk (I think).

Emmie said...

If I had just the tiniest of patios I'd have my own garden, but I live on the third floor with no balcony so it's sadly not for me. I'd love to grow some herbs.

I hope you get pineapples one day!

healthnut said...

Planting herbs and other fresh fruits and veggies is such a great idea - I used to have a basil plant and a chocolate mint plant and I grew very attached to both; too bad we moved though.

urban vegan said...

I wish I had even a tiny terrace to do container gardening--but I don't. I'll have to be happy to enjoy yours vicariously...congrats on your green thumb.