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December 2008

Best of 2008

by Fern on December 31, 2008

in General

I started this blog back in July and I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a lot of fun talking about container gardening with fellow plant lovers (and future plant lovers). Thank you very much for visiting Life on the Balcony, it would have really sucked to just talk to myself.

I’d like to especially thank regular visitors like Gen of Northcoast Gardening, Louise of Buddy Garden Blog, Jen of Muddy Boot Dreams, Nancy of Soliloquy, Cindy of A Walk Down the Garden Path, TC of The Write Gardener, Alexa of Invisible Bees, Julie from A Succulent Life, Prue of Totally Inept Balcony Gardener (which isn’t true!) and Adriana of A Victory Home Garden. If I forgot someone, please accept my apologies! Thank you all for your tips, advice, encouragement and commiseration! Blogging has been a whole heck of a lot of fun for me, and I hope for you too.

If you’re bored and looking for something to read before you head off to a New Year’s party, here are the top five posts according to unique page views:

  1. Need a little natural mosquito repellant? (35,134)
  2. Container farming for beginners. (31,412)
  3. Cats should eat cat food; keep your cats away from your plants with these simple tips. (1,275)
  4. Balcony privacy was pretty popular. Part one. (1,237)
  5. Part two. (883)

p.s. To all you lurkers out there, I hope you’ll pop in from time to time and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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Over at The Jew and Carrot — a really wonderful blog about Jewish food issues and ethical, local, organic food in general — guest blogger Sarah Newman brought up an interesting documentary called Food Stamped about food stamps and whether you can really eat healthily on our government’s food program for the poor. In the movie, the documentarians try to live off of $50 for food a week, and supplement their diet with some vegetables and herbs that grow along their driveway.

It seems as though Sarah generally liked the film but had a few critiques, one of which involved the driveway herb garden:

And, what if they don’t have tidy herb gardens lining their driveway, like Shira and Yuval, to add nutritious and tasty ingredients to spice up their somewhat bland foods?

The implication being (I think) that it isn’t possible for poor, urban food stamp users to grow their own herbs, or even better, their own fruits and vegetables. And certainly not on a serious budget. I have to say, I heartily disagree! I thought I would round up some of the posts I written about growing your own food without access to an in-ground garden or even very much room. Even a windowbox provides enough room to produce tomatoes, blueberries, herbs, and more.

Growing Your Own Food:

Frugal Gardening:

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What Rain Does to a Balcony Gardener

December 29, 2008

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about protecting a balcony garden from the rain? I thought I would share some photos of the pots I couldn’t move or otherwise protect. Before: Note the pot in front and how nice the variegated aeonium looks. Note the lush leaves in beautiful shades of chartreuse […]

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Gardening Resolutions

December 26, 2008

What are you resolving to do differently this year, in regards to your garden? I’m going on the record as having the following goals this year: Do a better job of sticking to my fertilizing schedule. Improve my gardening records kept on My Folia. Eat/preserve/freeze everything I grow (this year I was unprepared for the […]

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Lighter Pots, Less Soil Wasted, and a Way to Recycle Plastic Bottles

December 22, 2008

Think all three can be accomplished with one tip from a Master Gardener? Yup, they can! Backyard Gardener published a list of 100 tips from Master Gardeners in their January issue. Some tips are better than others. I plan on posting the better ones here. Last week, I posted about a tip to make choosing […]

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Gardener Gift Giving Roundup

December 18, 2008

We all have gift giving on the mind! Not exactly surprising, considering that Chanukkah starts in four days and Christmas is four days after that. A few weeks back, I wrote up a post with some gift suggestions, but if that list didn’t do it for you, quite a number of other people have written […]

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Do You Plan on Starting Seeds Indoors?

December 16, 2008

It seems hard to believe, but in about a month or so (depending on where you live), it will be time to start seeds indoors. Photo by joaobambu Seed starting, for the uninitiated, is pretty simple. By sowing seeds inside, in the warmth of your home, you can get a month or two head start […]

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Using a Colorwheel to Create a Beautiful Balcony Garden

December 15, 2008

Backyard Living Magazine recently asked 100 Master Gardeners to give their best  gardening tip, and I thought I would share a few of them in the coming weeks. Master Gardener tip #2 is to use a color wheel if you need help figuring out a color scheme for your garden. I thought this was a […]

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Holiday Cheer And Indoor Greenery, Win-Win

December 14, 2008

I’m not Christian, so I wouldn’t exactly be the best source for innovative ideas for Christmas decorating, but I really liked Rachel’s idea, and it’s perfect for my fellow small apartment dwellers.

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Did You Know You Can Grow Jasmine Indoors?

December 11, 2008

You didn’t know that? Me neither. But Cindy over at Walk Down the Garden Path is having a fun series of posts, “12 Days of Gardening Gifts,” and day two is a hanging basket of jasmine meant to be grown indoors. Can you just imagine how amazing your house would smell with a blooming jasmine […]

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