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Post image for DIY Squad: Child Proofing A Small-Space Container Garden

When I was just under two years old, I fell off my parent’s second story balcony. I was playing out there when I saw our cat Yaz in a nearby tree. I reached for the cat and fell through the railings. Luckily I landed on grass and while I fractured my skull, the fracture was along one of the sutures and I didn’t suffer any brain damage. I always thought it was funny that I fell off the balcony, but my mom, who was the one who found me, never could laugh about it. Now as a mom myself, I can empathize with how it must have felt to see your baby lying on the ground beneath your balcony.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve been worrying and researching about balcony garden safety from pretty much the moment I found out I was pregnant. Obviously you should never leave a baby or small child on a balcony or raised deck by themselves. And even if you have a patio securely planted on terra firma, you should still take a few minutes to make it child-friendly, and always keep an eye on your infant. Here are my suggestions for making your container garden a safe place for you to enjoy a bit of sunshine with your child.

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Post image for There are worms on my balcony, and it’s all Amy Stewart’s fault

Have you ever heard of the book The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart? If you haven’t for some reason, it is a fascinating dip into the world of Oligochaeta and the oligochaetologists who study them. In other words, the book is all about earthworms and the…unique…people who have dedicated themselves to studying worms. You would think that earthworms would make a pretty boring subject matter for a book, but the book was so popular and got so much praise (from big shots like Anne Raver at the New York Times) that Amy’s publisher decided to re-release it. Hence the review copy I recently received.

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Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening

March 7, 2012
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This is a great time of year for gardening books. Publishers seem to know that we’re all hungry for spring and help us bide the time with book after book of delicious garden books. Beginners Illustrated Guide to Gardening by Katie Elzer-Peters definitely fits the bill. If you have decided that this is the year […]

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Beautiful Baby Salad Greens

March 2, 2012
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Ornamental edibles are all the rage these days. Which is kind of funny, because the edibles haven’t changed at all, it’s just that we’re all noticing how beautiful (i.e. “ornamental) they are. Take mesclun salad mixes, for example. Did you ever take a moment to notice how beautiful baby lettuce leaves are? There are so […]

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Get your DIY on with “Concrete Garden Projects”

October 24, 2011
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While emailing recently with my publisher (Timber Press), I discovered they had just published a new book called Concrete Garden Projects by Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson. The cover had such cute star-shaped containers planted with spring bulbs that I knew this was a book I wanted to read. Luckily Timber was willing to oblige my […]

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Three ways iron planters can improve your small-space container garden

October 16, 2011
Thumbnail image for Three ways iron planters can improve your small-space container garden

I’m embarassed to admit that Outdoor Iron sent me this planter to review quite some time ago. As you can see from the photos, it’s a very cute planter. I used colorful pots and succulents to add a little interest to a small, narrow space in my parents’ side yard. It sits right under my […]

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Great Book: Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too by Daniel Gasteiger

August 29, 2011
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If you just want a recipe for refrigerator pickles, then skip this book and Google it. But if you want information about living a more sustainable, self-sufficient, home-grown lifestyle, then Daniel Gasteiger has written your bible: Yes You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too. This is the sort of book that makes you feel […]

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Guest Post: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London

July 7, 2011
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Please welcome author Helen Babbs (My Garden, the City and Me) to Life on the Balcony as she gives us a tour of her London rooftop garden and some of the creatures that visit her from time to time. In case you needed any more convincing, Helen’s garden is proof that you can grow almost anything, regardless […]

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Mushroom Growing Follow Up

May 23, 2011
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When I first posted about the mushroom kit I was trying out, it didn’t really look like mushrooms. It looked like a box with a brick of…something. But it looks a lot more like mushrooms now!

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Here’s Something Even Those With NO Outdoor Space Can Grow!

May 10, 2011
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My kitchen sink has been turned into a mushroom kit soaking pool. It’s kind of a jerry-rigged setup right now, with the blue casserole dish waying down the mushroom pack so that it can soak in enough water. Yep. A company called Back to the Roots found me and sent me one of their mushroom […]

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