Hello, welcome to my urban jungle--I mean garden! If you're reading this it means you love gardening, want to learn to garden, like helping the planet, or have a need for blue haired garden girl in your life.
If I'm lucky you love all of the above!
I know that first posts can be very very long and prose heavy. But not here (at least not today)!
If you want to know about my past, check my About Page. If you want to know about the present me and see pretty pictures of the garden you'll be watching grow, then stay here!
I'm a permaculture gardener and designer located in Orange County California. That's in SoCal for those of you in the know. I'm in growing zone 10a but juuust close enough to the ocean to grab a cool wisp of air that allows stone fruits and avocados to grow in the same place.
How I got so lucky, I don't know!
Now, I know permaculture gardening sounds hippy-ish and complicated. But it's not--at least not as much as you think. It's both a way to grow food but also a philosophy and lifestyle! I'll write a whole post about it soon, I promise!
Essentially it's working with nature, not against it, to grow an abundant and diverse amount of food for yourself. But because I rent and can't put anything permanent in the yard, a lot of the more major permaculture garden things I'd like to do I can't because, well, I like not getting kicked out. So 99% of my gardening is done in pots and raised beds set on concrete.
That's right, concrete.
Behold, the back half of my garden! Note the many many pots! The amount of pots has no end. I'll give you a running list a little further down so you too, can ask me the question every one else does, 'but what are you going to do with them all when you have to move?'
Why do you think I put them all in pots?!
Obviously they're my plant babies and will go with me to whatever patch of land I'm lucky enough to purchase!
There are a total of four raised beds, each one four feet by four feet, and a small six foot by six foot green house that I use to grow and sell seedlings seasonally as a local small nursery. I had my first mini run this spring and I'll be doing another sale in the fall and winter!
A thing you might notice as you join my garden is that many of the pots are placed in odd circular patterns. This is a permaculture method! It's my version of a 'keyhole' garden, which allows me to step inside the middle and reach all kinds of produce from my fruit trees and whatever vegetable, herb, or flower is growing beneath it. Which is yet another permaculture method!
The plants I grow around my potted fruit trees are called 'guilds' and comprise of herbs and vegetables that fertilize and protect the tree, and since they're so densely packed, it also keeps the water from evaporating in the sun! The trees shade the low vegetation and the vegetation feeds the plant and me! It's a win-win-win for all of us!
There's a lot to be said for permaculture gardening--everything helps each other out--including helping bugs and humans alike! The bounty from my garden this year has been great! I would've gotten my very first avocados of the year except the yellow finches picked off all the tiny baby avocados! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? You can bet I'll be netting them when they bloom again!
And would you look at all this abundance in the pictures?! I've already eaten most of my blueberries (some are still hanging around) for the past 2 months, along side my boysenberries, lettuce, carrots, and raspberries (although those are still going too!). Now it's bean, cucumber, corn, and tomato time! I've also got squash, kale, and swiss chard growing, and soon peppers and melons will be joining the fray!
Aside from my garden, I'm also a yarn spinner and I've been busy spinning roving (that's the fluffy fleece that's ready for spinning into yarn) that I got from my trip in Ireland this May to knit up hats, gloves, and blankets for me and my family.
And by family I mean my mom, who's the only one who appreciates it!
I'm also taking herbalist courses at Herbal Academy to become a more proficient herbalist (I've self studied since I was a teen), and doing several hands on workshops in learning how to build strawbale homes, earthbag homes, adobe bricks, earthen floors, and earthen plasters! That's right, I'm on a mission to prove that we can live and create with nature even in the suburbs!
Now before I leave you all for the comfort of Netflix and Hulu (don't worry, I'm also knitting!), here's a breakdown of my potted plants! And I know what you're thinking--that's a lot of fruit trees!
But they're all also crammed together and are perfectly happy! So if you think you can't grow trees or berry bushes in pots, I'm here to prove you can!
And while this list looks insane, keep in mind these aren't in massive pots. Most of my berries are in 10 gallon fabric grow pots and the grape vines are 5 gallons (very small! But they're happy).
-2 types (alas I completely forgot their names, but they're two different types)
-Carmen Avocado (produces year round once established)
-Bacon Avocado (tastes like bacon at the end!)
-Mystery citrus (has yet to bear anything. I grew from seed 3 years ago)
-Banana (Never told what kind)
-2 Lapins Cherry (self pollinating, but 2 is always better)
-2 Santa Rosa Plums
-1 Fruit Punch Pluery (plum/cherry hybrid)
TOTAL: 21 Fruit/Nut trees (and counting. Oops)
Berry Bushes & Vines
-Pink Lemonade Blueberry
-Bluesharp Blueberry (supposedly year round fruit)
-Baba Red Raspberry (super flavorful!)
-2 Black Raspberries
-1 Boysenberry (1 is all you need!)
-Einset Grapevine (SUPER yummy)
-Jupiter Grapevine (purple. Supposed to taste like grape juice)
-Merlot Grape (Apparently makes a good eating grape when not made into wine!)
-Bob Gordon Elderberry
Berry Total: 14 (and counting. Sorry not sorry)
If you have any gardening questions, please e-mail them to me for a chance for them to be answered in the weekly newsletter that comes out every Saturday!
Love seeing your posts. I am a transplant from Colorado and am learning the new way of gardening here. We too can only plant in pots and I’m trying to figure out how to keep them healthy. So far no only have a mandarin orange and tomato in pots. Congratulations and thank you for all your valuable information.
Congrats on your blog and website! I’m in the Facebook gardening group and it’s very cool to see you spread your wind and fly!
Brilliant first blog and very informative. I have blueberries in pots and they aren’t doing very well even though they’re in the correct compost. I’m blaming the extraordinary heat we’ve had so early on this year😬. Good luck, I look forward to reading and seeing more.
I love the first blog!! I didn’t realize HOW MUCH you have in your garden – it’s AMAZING!!
I’m intrigued by the two types of elderberries and want to see pics of them.
Congrats on the website, blog, and business venture. :)