DLTK's Blog
"Fridays are for Fertilizer"
A Container Garden for Close-Quarters Living
June 2020

Where Griffin and I live is very tiny (just under 750 sq. ft). We moved from our small-town Ontario house to Hamilton in October of 2019 to make my Ph.D. work commute a little lighter. (I am glad to announce that I achieved official candidacy in January of this year!) Obviously, COVID-19 changed our initial spring plans. For example, I had flights and a trip to Scotland booked for most of June with my friend Sally. Even though I was pretty upset about that missed opportunity, we all have lots of adventures planned for the future and I have been keeping busy with at-home activities.

making a container garden for the deck

With this drastic change of lifestyle, I decided to more deeply document spring and summer routines that I might normally overlook. I have always loved plants and gardening. Growing up, Mom and Dad had the most beautiful gardens. My childhood was filled with more trips to nurseries and garden centers than I care to count; I would like to say that Kaitlyn and I “helped” Mom with pruning, deadheading, and getting our mini landscapes ready for bloom; yet, I can certainly say that I was absolutely no help when it came to the actual landscaping (uh, we saved that labour for Dad). All in all, my most distinct memories include overflowing bleeding hearts plants, the smell of gardening gloves, and slivers from the wooden bucket filled with dried gardening scraps. Also, I remember being obsessed with playing in the sprinkler—probably much to my parents’ chagrin!!

Griffin and I have been loving our plant-potting experiences for our tiny new deck. We find ourselves outside a lot reading, watching TV shows on the iPad, and hanging out with our cat Sonja. But in this, we have also found that we do not have a lot of space to work with!

kitty standing in front of plants

Last year, we had room for lots of perennials, with a side plot, and managed to plant two rows of hosta plants, some salvia and lavender, and a 5-gallon (gal) bucket of cherry tomatoes. My dream is to have a garden trellis for tomatoes that sits adjacent to a lush garden filled with upkept annual plants!

This year, our plan is to keep a few containers filled with woolly thyme, cherry tomatoes, speedwell, sage, basil (grown over the spring from seed) and maybe a few other latecomers. Urgent on our list is a tomato cage to stick in the soil of the current tomato pot—it’s supposed to be a long, hot summer, and I can foresee our cherry tomato plant growing big and tall with all of that extra support from the deck’s railing!

pots and plants

GARDENING NOTES: WOOLLY THYME

taking woolly thyme out of container

POTTING: THYME

planting woolly thyme

GARDENING NOTES: CHERRY TOMATOES

planting cherry tomatoes

POTTING: TOMATOES

preparing soil for cherry tomato plant

GARDENING NOTES: DWARF SPIKE SPEEDWELL

planting speedwell

POTTING: SPEEDWELL

GARDENING NOTES: PERENNIAL SAGE

planting sage in pot

POTTING: SAGE

planting sage

Thanks for following along with our gardening adventures!

The end-of-day shade made for the absolutely perfect time to get these babies planted and ready for summer! With this small-deck-gardening experience, we have learned how lucky we are to have an east-facing home: our deck is a visual representation of full-sun. And by 5:00 pm, we have enough shade to help cool everything off (including us)!

Check out more DLTK's summer activities, and please do take good care!

garden on the deck