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Archives for April 4, 2014

Spring fever brings out resident green thumbs

There’s something about longer days and warmer temperatures that brings out the inner gardener in people. Even those with a “brown thumb” begin to envision lush, green yards with rich foliage and beautiful colors. Spring just seems to make people want to dig holes and add beauty to their environment.

Many residents enjoy planting colorful new flowers each spring, whether in the ground or in containers, to beautify walkways or porches. Others feel that their yard needs a little uplift by pruning and sprucing up. Maybe the need is to replace plants that are just looking a bit worn or to fill in bare areas. How about planting a vegetable garden?

New homeowners may want to make the landscaping “their own” by taking out present plants and replacing them with something that suits them rather than previous owners. There are even several brand new homes in the community that will need entire yards landscaped. Whatever the reason, planting new foliage is a great way to welcome spring!

One reason Canyon Lake is so lush and beautiful is that homeowners are required by the Property Owners Association to maintain landscaping in a “neat, clean and attractive condition.” It is important to remember that there are certain guidelines that homeowners must adhere to when landscaping. Softscape (flowers, grass, bushes and trees) is generally at the homeowner’s discretion, although there are some rules with regard to tree location. Because some hardscape (raised planters, walls and walkways) must be approved, it is best to check with the Planning and Compliance Department prior to beginning the project. The CCRs with regard to landscaping can be found in the Architectural Guidelines, “Section VII – Landscaping” and can be viewed at

There are several considerations to be made before heading out to the nursery. Experts recommend a walk around the areas to plant to observe the type of soil, terrain, sunlight and water availability. Remember to factor seasonal changes regarding sun position and amount of daylight. Take soil samples and draw a diagram to bring with you.

• Consider irrigation. Think about sprinklers currently in place and what will need to be added or changed. How much hand-watering will be necessary.

• What about sun and shade? Different plants have different light requirements. Many types of plants cannot tolerate the hot summer sun in Canyon Lake and will burn or die. The direction a yard faces will factor in the amount and intensity of sunlight plants will receive. It’s important to note how the angle and amount of sun throughout the seasons will affect plants. A west-facing yard will get the most intense afternoon sun and heat during the summer months. A north-facing yard may get very little sunlight during winter.

• When choosing new plants, water conservation is important. The Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District is asking that residents conserve water this summer. Their website ( has a list of drought tolerant plants and water-saving tips for Canyon Lakers.

• It is very important to know what type of soil the plants will be going in. Most of Canyon Lake is made up of clay and rock, which is difficult to dig and not ideal for plant nutrition.

After a layout is decided, the soil must be treated to best accommodate new plants and acclimate them to their new location. Different plants require different types of fertilizers and/or organic matter (such as peat moss), so it’s best to refer to experts for the proper choices. It’s also important to keep ground water from escaping too quickly. There are several options including mulch, rocks or wood chips.

• With the vastly different terrains within the community, it’s important to think about drainage, especially on hillsides (which may drain too much) or flat yards (which may pool and not drain at all).

• Where to purchase plants is another decision. Local nurseries will have plants that are already acclimated to the area. Nurseries will usually have a larger and better selection than the big box stores, but may not have as good a return/exchange policies. Home Depot and Lowe’s will exchange plants for up to a year. Be sure to ask.

Choosing plants

Finally, the fun part – choosing the plants. The options are endless. Many people enjoy a tropical look, especially in a lake community. However, in an area that is considered desert, the best choices aren’t always obvious or clearcut. Canyon Lake summer days are dry and often over 100 degrees with intense sunlight. Winters are mostly dry and nighttime temperatures can occasionally drop to below freezing. The ground in the community is made up of mostly clay or rock, so conditions are not perfect.

When making decisions about landscaping, there are a few questions that need to be answered first. What is the “feeling” to be portrayed by the yard. It’s best to create some sort of uniformity in landscaping. Does a dessert yucca tree work well next to a tropical banana tree? Think about the views from the street, walkway, driveway and even from inside the home.

Most experts recommend that the tallest shrubs be placed to the back or up against the house, with the smallest to the front or near walkways. It’s usually preferable for the eye to travel to the rear and have all plants in sight.

A good way to decide is to take a drive around the community and see what other residents have done. See what is thriving. Take pictures of favorites and show them as examples to nursery representatives.

Trees that are popular in Canyon Lake include Queen and Banana Palms for a tropical look, and Willow, Pepper and Crape Myrtle for a more classic country garden feeling. Bushes and/or shrubs that do well include Robellini palms, Hibiscus, Manzanita and Deer Grass. Bougainvillea, Schefflera, Philodendron and Asparagus ferns are also popular and do well. Bamboo does well in the community but must be monitored carefully or it can get out of control and spread rapidly.

For a little color, try California Poppies, Cleveland Sage, Gazanias, English Lavender, Lilac, Monkey Flowers and Daylillies. Rose bushes seem to do especially well in Canyon Lake. Although these are popular in Canyon Lake, the list of options is long, so it’s wise to research before making a final decision.

Many plants do well in pots. The advantage is they can be moved as necessary for temperature, sunlight or to create an atmosphere. They can also be brought indoors.

Spring is here. It’s the best time to plant, so make good decisions and have fun getting dirty, Then step back to admire the beauty of nature and a job well done!

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Former WTSP-TV Doppler radar tower, land sold at auction in Holiday

HOLIDAY — The auctioneer halted his chant for a moment and eyed the 14 people sitting on the ledge of the concrete block building.

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“No need for me to just keep talking to myself,” Louis Fisher said. “Is there any interest at all?”

As it turned out, there was someone who wanted the 5-acre Y-shaped parcel, which once was home to a working WTSP-TV transmitter and 100-foot-tall Doppler radar tower, along with two maintenance buildings and a home for the station employee in charge of overseeing the tower.

Scott Moro, a 28-year-old sales supervisor at a Tampa used car lot, was the winning bidder at Thursday’s auction, though he had nominal competition from one neighbor for the house. He got land and buildings for a grand total of $19,800 including fees.

“I have some ideas,” said the tanned, blond surfer who wore black shades and sipped a bottle of Mountain Dew. He said it included tearing down the commercial buildings and replacing them with homes. The property sits on Solar Drive, in the middle of Holiday Lakes Estates, a neighborhood of two-bedroom homes that lured Northern retirees in the 1960s and ’70s. Moro said his father lives several blocks away and that he decided to try to buy the land after driving by the sites one day during a visit.

Moro made headlines in 2006, when he and two friends were charged with holding up a Tampa pharmacy at gunpoint and taking $220,000 of OxyContin. They were arrested three weeks later in Lee County. Moro pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received probation, according to court records.

The property is unique because of its unusual shape and the fact that much of it abuts more than 60 residents’ yards.

The television station bought it in about 1999, said Johnnie Popwell, an employee at WTSP, which is based St. Petersburg and broadcasts across the Tampa Bay market. It stopped using the towers when the federal government required television stations to switch from analog to digital transmission. It now uses a tower in Riverview that Popwell said allows for better coverage.

“The property is basically abandoned,” Popwell said, though the station continued to mow the lawn and maintain the landscaping at a cost of about $700 a month.

The station had also let residents use the small space that abutted their yards for free.

Bill Menish, regional director for the auction company Sperry Van Ness, said the station recently contacted the company to sell it. He said WTSP didn’t set a minimum bid.

“They said sell it to the highest bidder,” he said “They just wanted to get rid of it.”

The sale drew a handful of curious residents eager to see who held their property values’ fate in his or her hands.

“We hope it’ll be clean and easy,” said Peggy Hamann, who moved to the area with her family about 11 years ago.

Moro promised he wouldn’t play any dirty tricks, such as erecting an unsightly fence and “offering” residents the chance to buy land for exorbitant prices.

“I hope everybody will have the chance to make their back yards bigger,” he said.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.

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Fairview Park committee debates park additions

Panel examines 12 suggestions for the park’s southwest quadrant and approves two: bike paths and landscaping.

April 3, 2014 | 7:13 p.m.

At one point Wednesday evening, Richard Mehren wondered aloud if any of the 34 ideas suggested for Fairview Park last summer were going to be discussed, much less happen.

As the chairman of the park’s citizens advisory committee led the conversation for possible additions to the park’s 95-acre southwest quadrant, he saw idea after idea receiving little feedback and consequently being scrapped.

“Thirty-four items, and we don’t get anybody standing up for them,” said Mehren, a retired dentist.

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Twelve of those items were debated Wednesday, with two receiving preliminary approvals: improving bike paths and planting more native and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Among the 10 discarded ideas was a nature center with bird-watching platforms. The group was split in February on adding such platforms in the park’s northwest quadrant.

Similar concerns were raised about the platforms again, particularly if they would be used as a hangout for illegal activity.

Committee member Terry Cummings questioned a need for them and if they would be effective for watching birds.

“A platform would be like fishing,” he said. “You’re always in the wrong spot.”

Committee member Ron Amburgey pointed out what he saw as a contradiction: The park’s nature activists seem “perfectly fine” with having the Harbor Soaring Society there — whose powered airplanes noisily whir about the sky — yet couldn’t express enthusiasm for bird-watching platforms.

The group also rejected adding an archery field, skate and dog parks, and roller hockey surface.

Resident Cindy Black called the roller hockey suggestion “ridiculous … that and the archery. I don’t know whose bright idea that was.”

A dog park in Fairview was suggested years ago, though ultimately rejected, Mehren said.

“If it’s been taken out, leave it out,” said resident Margaret Mooney, who called the idea “destruction of the park.”

Amburgey, quipping that he was “speaking on behalf of all those dogs in the city,” said he would favor adding a dog park, but elsewhere in Fairview Park.

The Bark Park on the other end of town, near the Orange County Fairgrounds, is very popular, he said, and the city’s Westside could use one as well.

In March, for the southwest quadrant, the committee rejected plans for softball/baseball fields, basketball/handball courts and soccer fields. They approved ideas for adding picnic structures, improving information kiosks and better protection of the vernal pools.


Letters pour in

The committee was flooded with nearly 50 letters from various people asking for more athletic fields in Costa Mesa — a change from most of the correspondence the committee receives asking that the 208-acre park be kept as passive open space.

The letters, sent between March 6 and April 2, primarily came from parents whose children participate in Back Bay Rugby at Parsons Field, a school district-owned facility next to Fairview Park.

They wrote that the city could use more athletic field space, but did not specify that the fields be added to Fairview Park.

“I support proposing more playing fields here in Costa Mesa,” wrote Ilene Herman. “My daughter plays for Back Bay Rugby, and they currently share one field for their practices with sometimes up to four other teams per day/night, including rugby and Pop Warner football. It is becoming very crowded.”

Mel Kong, however, wrote that Fairview Park should remain natural: “We don’t need another playground or parking lot. We need green space. A place to listen to the wind and watch the clouds. A place to be one with the creator.”

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The Garden Guru: Embrace the darker side of the landscape

We gardeners are certainly a curious lot, and this is the time of year when our minds start cranking out questions. Without a doubt, the one that I’m asked most frequently: “What kind of grass can I grow in the shade?”

It’s something that crosses almost every homeowner’s mind as shade trees grow larger and shade patterns become broader and heavier.

We Texans love shade, but it’s not good news for turfgrass. St. Augustine and fescue, our two most shade-tolerant grasses, both require four to six hours of direct sun in the summer if they’re going to thrive or even survive.

We’ve spoken here before about how you might be able to salvage such an area for turf. I won’t go into great detail again, but it involves determining for sure that the heavier the shade, the worse the grass does.

That usually means that you start at the trunk (heaviest shade) and work your way out to the drip line. If it’s a shade issue, the grass will get progressively more vigorous as you move away from the trunk.

If you decide that shade is indeed involved, and if you’ve already tried St. Augustine (fescue requires too much water here), perhaps you can remove one or two low-hanging branches so that more sunlight can reach the grass early or late in the day.

Those are the steps if you’re insistent about having turfgrass beneath trees. Let’s assume that you’ve tried those without much success. Rather than wasting more time, money and effort hoping that some miracle grass will solve all your problems, it’s time to move on.

Here are the next two most common questions I hear, along with my comments in reply. First: “Can I add fresh soil to cover the bald spot beneath my shade trees? I’m seeing tree roots, and I think the soil has eroded.” My answer is almost always to discourage bringing in any new soil beneath trees.

Oh, if you can see actual erosion, where that area is significantly lower than the surrounding area, I guess there might be a time when that could be needed. However, those are very rare, so think before you react.

What is almost always the case is that the tree roots have grown larger and worked their way out of the ground. Almost all large trees have 90 percent of their roots in the top foot of soil. As the trees’ trunks grow larger, so do their roots, and those that are closest to the soil surface actually grow up and out of the ground. Covering them accomplishes nothing. They’ll merely continue getting larger, until once again they’re up above grade.

Your only good solution: Leave them in place. They’re part of the character of the tree. Don’t risk harm to the tree by bringing in soil.

One of the best ways of concealing those roots and the bare soil as well is to establish a new planting bed to grow where the grass is thinning and dying. And that’s precisely where the second most-asked question pops up: “Is it OK to make a circular bed — a tree ring — around my tree, so I can grow flowers around its trunk?”

I hate to sound like a negative kind of guy, but that’s not usually a good plan either. Almost all flowers require as much sunlight as grass or more, so they’re likely to face the same fate. And those that do survive probably won’t bloom very well. Even the shade-loving types may have trouble competing with tree roots for moisture and nutrients.

But, at least for me, the really big reason I don’t use tree rings is purely personal. I’ve never thought that trees’ trunks were their most beautiful feature, and I’m not fond of drawing undue attention there by planting color right up against them.

A plan that works

My own solution is to develop elongated and irregularly curved beds to enclose the trunks and shaded areas, even extending a few feet farther to allow for future growth of the trees’ canopies. My goal will be to establish a shade-tolerant ground cover there — one that can act as a neutral green transition from the tree to the turf.

I use generous amounts of regular mondograss beneath our pecans, but I also have large beds of liriope, wood ferns, aspidistra (must be covered in cold winter weather) and even purple wintercreeper and Asian jasmine.

I like color in our landscape as well, so I’ll find a few pieces of garden art that are tasteful and that bring compatible colors to their surroundings.

I also have large concrete stepping stones arranged in groupings of three or five toward the outer edges of the ground-cover plantings. Those stones allow me to place large containers filled with caladiums, begonias, coleus and other shade color atop the stepping stones in the growing season, then leave them as neutral elements during the winter.

Texture is also your friend when it comes to bringing interest to your shade garden. Use plants with a wide variety of landscaping textures. Aspidistra contrasts with wood ferns for shorter plantings.

Oakleaf hydrangeas look really nice alongside most hollies if you want something taller. Or mondograss alone has a nice, soft texture about it if all you want is low ground cover.

Neil Sperry publishes Gardens magazine and hosts “Texas Gardening” from 8 to 10 a.m. Sunday on WBAP AM/FM. Reach him during those hours at 800-288-9227. Online:

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SPRING INTO GARDENING: Bucks County Gardens plans two days of fun at …

Mama’s Little Helper

This reference site for parents in Pa. and N.J. features a calendar of local (and many FREE) events, coupons, giveaways, directories (classes, places to play, story times, consignment stores/sales), helpful articles a blog!

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Landscape garden fair seek sponsors, vendors

The third annual Central Florida Landscape Garden Fair, scheduled for May 3 and 4 at Discovery Gardens at the Lake County Agricultural Center, 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, is accepting sponsorships and exhibitor- and food-vendor rentals.

Sponsorship levels range from $250 to $750. Exhibitor fees are $75 for a 10-by-10-foot space and $140 for a 10-by-20-foot space. Food vendor spaces also are available. Discounted rates are available for nonprofit organizations.

Forms and registration are available online at or by contacting Tina Chavez at 352-343-9647 or The deadline is Friday .

The event will feature exhibitors specializing in landscaping, gardening, irrigation, composting, hardscapes and more. There will be various presentations featuring Teresa Watkins on Florida-friendly landscaping; Steve Earls on square-foot gardening; Tom MacCubbin on edible landscapes; Anne Keller on geocaching; Karina Veaudry on native plants; and Brooke Moffis on hot plants, cool looks.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4.

Easter events

•The Cagan Crossings Farmers Market in Four Corners at Town Center at Cagan Crossings on U.S. Highway 27, a quarter-mile north of U.S. Highway 192, will host its Spring Fling Easter celebration from 4 to 8 p.m. April 11. There will be an Easter-egg scavenger hunt for children. Children can visit the South Lake Art League’s Artist’s Boutique and decorate an Easter craft for a $3 donation.


• DreamCatcher Horse Ranch, a nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates horses in need, will have its fifth annual “Easter Egg-stravaganza” from noon to 4 p.m. April 12 at the ranch, 10639 Toad Road, Clermont. Activities will include pony rides, Easter-egg hunt, arts and crafts, Easter bonnet parade of horses, carnival games, hay rides, bounce house, cookout, prizes, vendors, bake sale and more. DreamCatchers’ show team will present a riding demonstration while riding some of the rescue horses. Admission is free. There is a small fee for activities, food and vendors.

All proceeds will benefit DreamCatcher. Details: or 352-398-5491.

•Eustis Memorial Library, 120 N. Center St., will have its second annual Easter-egg hunt from 10:30 to 11 a.m. April 16 for toddlers, who can walk, to ages 6.

To reserve a spot, stop by the library’s circulation desk or call 352-357-5686.

• The Friends of the W.T. Bland Public Library and Mount Dora Kiwanis Club will sponsor an Easter-egg hunt at 10 a.m. April 19 on the front lawn of the library, 1995 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora. Children 10 or younger are welcome. A parent or guardian must accompany children. Kids may have their photograph taken with the Easter bunny; bring your own camera. There also will be a face painter, a balloon artist and snow cones. Children who turn in their collected eggs will receive a goody bag with candy and treats. Parking will be available in the Church of Christ parking lot, 1801 N. Donnelly St. The library will accept nonperishable food to go to the Lake Cares food pantry.

Details: 352-735-7180, Option 5.


• South Lake Philosophers Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at the Kehlor Building, 466 W. Minneola Ave., Clermont. The club is looking for amateur and seasoned philosophers to join roundtable discussions and presentations and an academic leader. Details: Choice Edwards, or Nick Jones, 352-394-4700.

•Trout Lake Nature Center, 520 E. County Road 44 Bypass in Eustis, will have its end-of-the-season membership luncheon meeting at 1 p.m. Sunday. Bring a covered dish to share.

• LIFE, a social-support group for widowed persons, will celebrate its 17th anniversary with a combined luncheon of its Leesburg and Tavares groups at 11:30 a.m. April 10 at the Leesburg Community Building, 109 E. Dixie Ave. Keith Manson, a musical humorist, will entertain. Lunch buffet is $10. Reservations: 352-787-0403.

• The Lake County Conservative Founders’ Club will meet at 6 p.m. April 10 for a social followed by a meeting at 6:30 p.m. in El Moro Room at Mission Inn Resort and Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills. Peter Strimenos, president of Family Dynamics, Inc., will speak about the Hills of Minneola, a major home development centered on a new Florida’s Turnpike exchange in Lake County. Details: John Brandeburg,

• Lake Harris Toastmaster Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the second, fourth and fifth Thursday of every month at IHOP restaurant, 10322 U.S. Highway 441 across from Lake Square Mall in Leesburg. Visitors are welcome. Details: 352-234-6584.

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Vegetables to plant in April, pruning advice, weeding reminders and other … – The Times

Vegetables to plant in April include cantaloupe, collards, corn, cucumber, cucuzza, cushaw, honeydew, lima beans, luffa, Malabar spinach, mirliton (plant sprouted fruit), okra, pumpkin, snap beans, Southern peas, squashes, sweet potato (plant rooted cuttings), Swiss chard and watermelon. Plant transplants of tomato, peppers and eggplant.

  • Be sure to mulch newly planted beds of shrubs or bedding plants with a two inch layer of leaves, pine straw, pine bark or other materials to control weeds, conserve moisture and keep the soil from packing down.
  • If needed, prune spring flowering shrubs when they finish blooming. Have a definite purpose in mind before you begin to prune, and prune carefully to achieve your objective. Avoid shearing shrubs unless a formal, high maintenance, clipped look is desired.
  • It is very important to pull up and dispose of cool season annual weeds such as annual bluegrass, henbit, bedstraw and chickweed now. These weeds are currently setting thousands of seeds that will plague you next winter if not removed now. If they are in your lawn, mow with a bag attachment and dispose of the clippings
  • Plant caladium tubers or started plants in this month through June. Caladiums are excellent for shady areas and combine beautifully with ferns, begonias, liriope, impatiens, hosta and coleus.

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MFA’s Art in Bloom April 26-28

Get Daily discounts and offers on sporting events, plays, concerts, museums and other events around town

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Groves seniors learn gardening tips

April 3, 2014

Groves seniors learn gardening tips

Mary Meaux

The Port Arthur News
The Port Arthur News

Thu Apr 03, 2014, 05:50 PM CDT

The joy of gardening can be appreciated by people of all ages, just ask  Jeanene Ebeling.

Ebeling, horticulture program assistant with Texas AM AgriLife Extension, met with upwards of 20 people at the Groves Public Library during an Adult Life Enrichment Series regarding gardening tips for seniors on Thursday.

Gilbert and Vera Lege of Groves went from the Groves Senior Citizens Center where they had lunch to the library across the street to learn helpful hints. The Lege’s have amaryllis flowers and bluebonnets plus some vegetables as well.

“I always have my Texas AM jalapeno,” Gilbert Lege said with a smile. “They’re mild.”

Pat Donnelly, who took home a basil grow kit as a door prize at the event, was pleased with the seminar.

“I loved it,” Donnelly said about the event.

Donnelly enjoys gardening and said she’s like to see more seminars such as the one of Thursday that deal with specifics on gardening and other topics.

Ebeling told the group that gardening enriches people physically, mentally and spiritually and increases a person’s physical activity.

And while aging can cause diminished physical strength due to arthritis or limited mobility there are still ways to enjoy gardening such as : gardening in five and 10 minute increments and work your way up to 30 minute increments if possible, utilizing an “enabling” garden which is elevated with raised bed so the gardener doesn’t have to bend over and using hanging plants and window sill herb gardens.

Vertical gardens such as growing beans and cucumbers along a fence or chicken coop wire is also a way for people to enjoy gardening and make sure you have a place to sit and rest if needed.

“If you can go and sit in the shade and check your plants you’re more likely to do that,” Ebeling said. “Plus you can avoid constant stooping and squatting.”

Gardening in the early morning or afternoon is a good way to avoid the heat of the day and she advised the group to wear lightweight comfortable clothing.

For more information on gardening or other such topics contact the AgriLife office at 1225 Pearl St., Suite 200 in Beaumont or call 835-8461.

The library’s Adult Life Enrichment Series will continue with The Art of Making Cheese on April 9. The class is limited to 20 participants.

Thursday, May 8 and 9 is a two-part class on Making Coiled Basketry and requires a $5 donation for material costs. Only 10 to 12 students will be scheduled.

Thursday, May 15 will be The Art of Making Wine.

For more information about the classes, call the library at 962-6281.


Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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Short on Space? 5 Tips for Gardening Indoors with Limited Space

Just because you live in a small space doesn’t mean you have to forego a flourishing and productive garden! With a little creative planning, you can have a vibrant garden that doesn’t crowd your lifestyle. Here are 5 ideas for maximizing your gardening space when your space is limited:

1. Think Tall and Skinny

Tomatoes, bamboo, onions, lemongrass, beans, and other vine plants are ideal for small spaces, since the bulk of their growth goes up. Plant in skinny containers on the floor or table top, and guide vines or stalks to more available real estate above.  Or try planting small varieties of citrus trees that use smaller pots, have slender trunks, and take up most of their girth with their bushy leaves and fruit up top. Sunny, sweet blooming citrus trees are a sure-fire way to brighten up any space, large or small!

2. Think Small and Compact

Most herbs are perfect for small spaces because they generally grow in smaller, compact bunches, and are trimmed regularly when used in cooking. Basil, thyme, and other small herbs, strawberries, micro greens, as well as bush and dwarf varieties of vegetables like beans and cucumbers are perfect for a countertop planter in a sunny kitchen. Succulents are also a lovely idea for limited space, since they grow slowly, take up little room, and are fairly low maintenance.

3. Be Creative with Space

Think outside of the flower pot on the floor or herb box on the kitchen counter. Take a look at your living space and see if there are any ways to creatively maximize what’s available.  Try stacking pots, hanging recycled plastic bottles, canning jars, re-purposed shoe organizers or bags, filling small dresser drawers or wooden pallets with plants, or hanging them on the wall like this succulent wreath. Or you can try to combine two types of plants in one pot, like tall, skinny tomato plants in the same pot as low, bushy basil. Both can grow together without encroaching on each other’s space, and since they are companion plants, will aid in the flavor and growth potential of one another.

4. Go Up

You may not have much available space on your floor or walls, but you can easily hang plants from the ceiling in pots, or try making some beautiful string gardensMany plants do well in hanging containers, though they may need a bit more frequent watering. Grow plants on top of bookshelves and armoires as long as they get enough sunlight.  Also, there are special planters on the market, such a the Polanter or terra cotta strawberry pots (not just for strawberries), that are specially designed to grow plants vertically. If you are crafty, you can try making tower containers at home out of PVC pipe or a small flower pot, wire fencing, and landscape fabric. And if you’ve got some handy construction skills, why not create a vertical salad garden out of your wall?

5. Hang Out

Don’t forget to account for the space you may have access to outside of your home. Build or attach planters to windowsills, and balcony railings to have fresh green growing things right outside. If you have any exterior walls, try affixing old rain gutters and filling them with shallow-rooting plants. Check indoors for any staircase railings that might be ideal for planting boxes.

So don’t despair if you’ve a hankering to plant, but lack the space. A little creative planning is all that stands in the way of a lush garden in your home!

 Image source: Maja Dumat / Flickr

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