Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Back Room Gardening

My "garden" a couple of weeks ago, complete with dog toys.
In case you've been wondering where I've been the last couple of months, I will tell you that I've been right here, fighting off the winter gloom by gardening in my back room. Now, I'm no gardener. Houseplants I like, and they do well under my watch (except for the orchids - don't ask about the orchids), but outdoor gardening - vegetables in particular - is not my forte. I daresay I'm a brown thumb.

I understand that's a little unexpected, what with my herbalism background, but it's true. Every year I start a vegetable garden, and by every mid-July, it looks more like something out of Little Shop of Horrors. So why on earth would I start a bunch of vegetables in the back room of my house?

I'm wondering that myself. Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, or perhaps I'm a hopeless optimist. Whatever it is, this time it seems to be working. Maybe it's the combination of melding a sort of houseplant outlook with growing vegetables that is doing it for me, but the things growing beside my parrot cages are beginning to look edible. There they all are, little recycled containers filled with radishes, green onions, garlic, carrots, greens, even a couple of tomato sprouts, all happily growing beneath the glow of a shop light. I even got help from a guy in a local hydroponic store who I'm sure  wasn't growing any vegetables in his house. Herbs, maybe, but not vegetables. (It was rather psychedelic in there.)

Eventually, I'll plant vegetables in the garden again, and I'll try outdoor container gardening alongside the indoor variations. And no matter where this experiment leads, if it ends in big tossed salads or tears, I'll be writing about it for a new book I'm working on called Suburban Dirt. I'll give you occasional updates as to my progress, and I welcome your input! Perhaps something you say will end up in the book, so please do share your experiences and suggestions.


  1. Diane,
    I look forward to your updates. I as well tried to grow indoor without much success. I would love to make it work so I look forward to hearing what you have to say. I want to share something that I did learn. I have 3 compost bins ( 1 worm compost and 2 outdoor compost). I'm not sure if it's because I used my own soil or what, but our home became overrun with fruit flies! I learned that if you put some Apple Cider Vinegar in a jar.... about 1/4 of the way full (I used an old jelly jar) and poke a few holes in the top, it will trap the fruit flies. I learned this much later and wish I could have known at the time... just thought I'd share.

  2. Let's hear it for leaves and twigs in our hair!