Friday, May 27

Garden Towers into Garden Jungles

So I have a couple of the initial Garden Tower Project models.  I've been running them for three or four years now, and I always have this great desire to document their progress, and then I just don't.  But I'm still proud of them when I do document them, so why the hell not, right?

For my birthday weekend (mid April), my friends and I all go to the State Farmers' Market in Raleigh because that is the place to buy seedlings and other baby plants.    The Durham Farmers' Market is great for all kinds of other stuff, but Raleigh is definitely whats needed for a big planting project.

I did try to start a lot of seedlings, but there was a pretty high failure rate, I'm sure from the old, and not so well-kept seeds.  No problem, since you can buy tons of plants for super cheap at the market.  The only downside is that I like some cultivars that are rarer, so if I'm feeling particular, I *need* to buy seeds and start my own (Tomatoberry fruits are the best ever, IMO, and those are definitely not ones you find at market)

So here are my garden towers shortly after planting (some stuff overwinters well here, like chard, onions, and snap dragons).  This is April 21!

Same towers (slightly different angle) on May 21  One month later!

My tomatoes and squash are really going out there.   The onions are insane, too.  I can only do so much with spring onions, and I have three different "slots" with them.
I also have stuff in pots - Tomatoes, Ginger mint, Citronella, Snap Peas, Cucumbers.
And I have other things in the ground (as an experiment, I live in a townhouse, so it's a yard, but it's something others mow, so I tried to hug them along fences and the unit where the mulch is): watermelon, more squash, cucumbers, tomatoes.  I gave up on trying to grow luffas - that seemed to fail every year.

My salvia is going really well, which makes me happy because I have a number of hummers that visit every year.  I need to get the feeder up (still), but at least I know they'll come for the salvia, because they always do.

And, with even *more* excitement, my hydrangea, that I planted three years ago actually decided to bloom this year!

My only issue is a lack of bees.  The townhome "community" is rather sterile (lots of grass and boxwoods, nothing flowering), and I rarely see bees until later in the season.  I usually end up pollinating my squash by hand (or by eyeshadow brush, at least).  I'll get some carpenter bees and wasps, but not so much with the honeybees, which makes me sad (though I've planted lots of bee balm, I have a "hedge" of buddleia, and other bee-attracters)


  1. Great plants! I've got a few growing but not nearly as many as you!

    1. I do get to cheat a bit with the mega-50-plants tower ;)

  2. Looks great! I wish I had some kind of garden and the patience to grow stuff - right now we only have a balcony, and since there is/was a lot of remodelling going on out there, I didn't bother with plants this year. Which might be a good thing as my room plants have a tendency to die...sigh.

    1. I definitely do best with plants that I can neglect (except for watering). I miss having a "real" yard and garden beds, but these aren't too bad for a townhome patio garden :)

  3. Beautiful gardens, and good luck with them this year again.


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