In honour of spring and given that we have a pretty great outdoor space considering we live in an apartment building, Akis and I decided that we were going to go about planting some 'life' outdoors. Recalling the great balcony garden my friend Molly had when she and her husband lived in Edmonton, I was determined that we too could have a contained veggie garden. Recognizing that our biggest constraint was space, I started to do some research to find out what options I might have. After hours on the internet, I came to discover that paying 19.95 + shipping and handling for one 'topsy turvy' planter was perhaps a bit excessive, we started looking at some DIY options.
Having planted some seeds, I purchased a wire basket with a coconut liner and the first semblence of what may be in our garden started to take shape. The plant was pretty tiny, but this gives you an idea of where we started. (and yes, that is a hummingbird feeder in the background)
I also opted to plant some lettuce, spinach and rocket. Akis monitored the boxes daily for a week until the first signs of live emerged. He has been diligently watering and the are doing much better here than they did when I had my old apartment. Guess it must be the full afternoon of sunlight!
The previous tenents left us some wire caging which we have held onto, just in case we can find a use for it. I know, I know, how very 'Jim' of me.
So excited about expanding our wee garden, armed with the knowledge that for $42.97 we could purchase a planter box, Akis and I balked at the price. Once again, turning to our now very handy resource, we 'googled' making planter boxes. Having seen Dad create various items for the house, the creation of a simple box didn't seem as though it would be too difficult, and so with measurements in hand, we headed off to Home Depot.
One thing I must say is that Akis enjoys Home Depot. It would seem that there isn't anything like it in Greece, and having all of those tools and supplies in one building makes him rather excited ~ he isn't quite sure where to go first. As it was on this trip, we needed to pick up many things, including wood and a saw!
Armed with our required materials, we stopped at the Garden section which for us seems to be a dangerous spot to go. With a couple bags of dirt, some more flower seeds, Akis becomes attached to a new iron planter for his flowers. So in the cart it goes. $98 and change later, the savings from building and not buying the $43 planter seems to be a bit lost on us. Also lost on us is the fact that whatever we purchase needs to be transported home in a Miata. Yeah, 6' pieces of lumber, 2 bags of soil a wrought iron planter and some seeds may not fit that well in a Miata that well. All I can say is it was a good thing it was sunny!
So back at the ranch, after unloading out supplies, Akis very quickly moved to his top priority, which was mounting the planter on the wall and getting his new seeds planted.
The second part of the task proved to be a bit more time consuming than either Akis or I thought. The inability to run to the workshop to cut the wood into the desired lengths meant that Akis and I were left with the 'manual' alternative. We were required to 'improvise' on some of the tools, like a square, that I have previously taken for granted from 'Jim's workshop'. The resulting efforts were somewhat lengthy and slightly noisier, but in the end, the box did come together ~ it only took us about 9 hours of labour. All told, I think that puts our time at about $1.19/hr, and we were somewhat a bit more 'rustic' than the finished product at Home Depot, but at least you can say it was made with love...