The cable for the camera went to the office apparently, so imagery may be some time. You’ll just have to trust me, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of the garden. We got the camera over a year ago, but we had a baby pretty much straight after that, and I never quite got around to reading the instructions. But enough about the camera, this is about living with a small garden.

Some of you in the suburbs think you’ve got a small garden, but by our standards you’ve got a ranch. Of course, some of you are in apartments, and all I can say is we understand. In the last place we had some of the saddest little window-sill pot plants you’ve ever seen. But the Inner Gardner cannot be suppressed, the Bloke even tried to grow tomatoes in his loungeroom. We both had more success with cacti. I kept mint and parsley pots on the kitchen window-sill, and while they didn’t last as long as they might have outside, they lasted a lot longer than a bunch of herbs from the supermarket in the bottom of the fridge.

Garden books will often include a throw-away line like “even the smallest balcony has room for pots of herbs”, and it’s true. There’s enough room for a pot of herbs to shrivel up and die out there. Everyone who’s ever actually gardened in an apartment knows that space isn’t really the major problem. It’s a matter of the right kind of space. For a start, you don’t have anywhere much to fiddle with pots of dirt, or to store potting mix, or a trowel. So you end up doing these things on the bathroom floor, or in the kitchen sink, or on your balcony where you have an audience of everyone who walks down the street. But you’re ok with that, otherwise you’d have moved to the ‘burbs years ago, that’s not the problem. The problem is that the windowsills that are deep enough for your pots are subjected to baking heat all day and you’re not there all day to water them constantly. Unless of course your windowsills don’t get any light at all. Or they’re right next to the heating vent. Your pots on the balcony get mauled by the local possums, it’s impossible to get them enough water, and the old lady upstairs has a show of geraniums so you keep thinking you should be able to make this work.

I don’t know what to do about it. I wish I could help. All I know is that we became much more successful gardeners immediately after moving to the ground floor with an outside.

I forgot to mention earlier: we (err, I, the Bloke does plenty of gardening but he didn’t sign up for the challenge exactly) joined Melinda’s Growing Challenge at Elements in Time. We’re growing more than we did last year, and we’re doing more of it from seed.