Saturday, May 21, 2011

Family Friendly Kitchen Table Gardening

Gardening: I crave it. I long for it. I pine for it. Sticking my hands deep into the earth, dropping in seeds and watching them grow each day, it sounds like such a simple pleasure. Alas, we literally do not own or have access to a single inch of outdoor space in or around our rented 800 square foot Vancouver condo. We don't have a deck, we don't have space in a public garden, and we don't even have windows that could accommodate a window box. This is the time of year that all my friends start posting pictures of their beautiful gardens in their blogs and on their Facebooks, and I stare on in envy. Every time I express my desire to garden, a handful of people welcome me to their gardens to do all their gardening for them, how generous... but seriously, there's nothing quite like your own personal garden.  

A few months ago I decided I was going to do something about this craving of mine. I went to Home Depot and purchased one of those little Jiffy Seed Starter Greenhouse kits for $10 or so, and came home and happily planted 10 tiny pots each of parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil, and oregano.  Actually, the process took a bit longer than that.  First I came home and researched every little detail about how to do this; from the temperature of the water I should water them with to how deep they should be planted.  When I soaked the Jiffy pellets, I spent four days waiting for them to get to the perfect saturation (perfectionist much?).  I finally got brave enough to commit to planting the seeds and within a few days of planting, they began to grow.  I can't even begin to describe my excitement.  Each day I talked to my plants with Aias as we put exactly 1 tablespoon of water into each pot.  After a few weeks, the seedlings really wanted more light than I could give them.  Once again the shape of the apartment became a roadblock.  The fact is that if I put anything in front of our giant windows, Aias or the dog would have had their way with them and this wouldn't have been a good thing for the plants or for my little ones.

Morgan could see I was upset about the inevitable fate of my herbs, which didn't stand a change without proper sunlight, so he dug out an old fish tank of his and presented it to me.  He had used the same tank to grow plants years ago, so he had the proper lights and everything.  I was so grateful and excited!  The only question was where we would put this gigantic apparatus in our teeny tiny apartment?  It couldn't go on the floor or anywhere where it could potentially land on Aias, so we were a little short on ideas.   The answer we came up with: right smack in the middle of our kitchen table.  While most families probably have a vase of flowers or a lazy susan on the centre of their table, we have a huge fish tank full of plants.

Since putting the tank out last week, I've since acquired a few more herb plants including Peppermint, German Chamomile, and Lemon Thyme.  I also planted some tiny tree seeds and a packet of seeds we got from our visit with the Easter Bunny.  Within 24 hours of planting the seeds from the Easter Bunny, a seed had sprouted!  I'm really in love with this goofy tank that takes up half of our kitchen table. 

Now I'm excited to share these pictures with you, knowing full well that they will pale in comparison to some of the gardens you'll probably see photographed by your yard-having friends this season.  The fact is, I'm totally ok with that!  Someday I'll have some outdoor space, but until then, I'm in love with my kitchen table garden.

In all its glory, taking up space on our kitchen table!

Aias checking it out. You can see the bamboo in it, temporarily soaking until we turn it into a bamboo tensegrity dome!

View from the top looking down!

Some close ups!

 Hanging out by the plants!
After just 24 hours this seed sprouted; the seeds that are planted in this one pot include Crimson Clover, Sweet Sultan, Purple Cornflower, Mexican Sunflower, Tricolor Daisy, Burpleurum, Sweet William, Mexican Lupine, Love-In-A-Mist and others.

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  1. That is so awesome! What a great idea to put it in a fishtank.

  2. What a great idea! I might have to try this. Like you, I have literally no space to do any gardening and I've always wanted to. Indoors are out as well as we have a cat who will eat ANY plant he comes across. But this just might work.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. Thanks for stopping by Coupons, Crafts and Causes . I hope you had a chance to look around.

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    Have a great Sunday,

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  4. Oh my, I can so relate. Our condo doesn't have much space for us to garden too. Thanks for this post. Maybe my son and I will take a trip to Home Depot this week. I've been wanting to teach him about gardening for quite some time. I'm stopping by from Super Stalker Sunday. Happy Sunday!

  5. Love this idea.. we've looked at them not too long ago, my Tween loves to garden :-)

    Thanks for the visit at 2Boys+1Girl=OneCrazyMom returning the favor
    Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom


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