Posted in 1 Garden

Garden Inspiration Finally Flowing ~~~~

I was not feeling too guilty for doing so very little in the garden at the earliest sign of spring.  (I’ve spent way too many decades being dutiful!)

Instead I try to trust, as much as possible, that my intuition will find the perfect balance between giving my body the rest it needs and giving this home and garden what it needs.

And, sure enough, we waited, and waited some more (not counting the fun of creating the fountain* last month), and suddenly last Sunday, after a lazy morning, a single project seemed appealing, then the next, and the next!

By the time the day was over, we’d accomplished a dozen things on NO to-do list – but better than that, the projects were far more creatively approached than if they had been something we had to do!  Know what I mean?  

Inspiration is worth waiting for!  

Tomato start is surrounded by four garlic cloves, with parsley behind and basil in the stone terrace just below. Dead plant cuttings (to the right) keep the cat out.

Greg had played music the weekend before at the Farmers Market and had been tipped a young tomato start, which we’d planted alongside a cut celery bunch.

And that was about it for our entire spring planting  – except for those few lettuce and herb seeds months earlier.

Browsing through Carrots Love Tomatoes** (a great book by Louise Riotte!), I remembered that I should surround my tomato with parsley, basil, and garlic, each for different reason, and suddenly we had the boxes of seeds out again, and lots of things seemed exciting to get in the ground!

I really love basil – not only for its culinary specialness – but because it is a very healthy food.  I call it “good medicine.”  In Louise’s book, I read that it also keeps flies away.  Last summer, with our chicken coop a new responsibility, I’ll admit there were a few times that we accidentally let flies become a small problem.  (But don’t tell anyone!)  

And I realized that basil would then provide at least five purposes:  food, medicine, fly deterrent, beauty, and flowers for the bees.

So I determined that I would plant basil in a half-dozen pots (besides in the bed near the first tomato), so that I could grow them in the sun and then move them into the shaded sitting area if we ever had that fly problem again when friends were visiting.  Neat, huh!

This old chair makes a perfect stand for basil (in the big pot) surrounded by small pots of miniature wildflower mix.  Beneath it is room for a pot of something that needs shade, and in front, there's room for another pot of basil!
This old chair makes a perfect stand for basil (in the big pot) surrounded by small pots of miniature wildflower mix. Beneath it is room for a pot of something that needs shade, and in front, there’s room for another pot of basil!

Right next to the sofa, mostly in the shade, was an old wicker chair, in the sun, that might be thrown away (or burned or used as garden stakes), but I’m not ready to do any of those things yet – so I used the chair seat to create planting space for the first pot of basil.

Then I realized there was room for four smaller pots around it.  Greg was rummaging through the flower seeds, and we agreed a mix of “miniature wildflowers” would be beautiful in front of the basil and next to our seating (where we spend a great deal of time in the summer).

Since the futon sofa is wide, there was room for yet another pot of basil in front of the chair.

AND I realize that the space beneath, because it’s shady might work for some shade-loving plant.  Ginger?  I don’t know.  I’ll look it up and report later.  Let me know if you’ve tried ginger, or if you have another good idea for such a shady little microclimate.  (Small lots need to use all the space creatively.)

And now that I’ve put up this photo with the sorry-looking chair, I think I’ll use some old cane matting standing up in back to obscure those broken pieces.  And maybe I’ll tie more cane mats around the black pots to help them keep cool.

(I saved lengths of cane mat over a decade ago, and have continued to use and reuse it all these years.)

Can’t wait to post this shot when the back and pots are made pretty and the plants are up!*

We did lots more, but I hope this is enough to inspire you for now.

Have fun!

Make art you can live inside!

* If you missed the multi-purpose fountain, please check it out here, or see the video here!  And we’ve realized a fifth use for it:  When the breeze blows, the water bowl  creates a natural water-cooling effect for the chickens in the shade under their house!

** The link to the Carrots Love Tomatoes book should take you to a page at – a very important alternative to Amazon, if you care about have a diversity of booksellers in the world.  AddAll lets you compare used book prices from large and small booksellers, from Amazon to little stores, everywhere, and links to their pages!  Please spread the word about this important site!