Growing up in New England, my Mom was obsessed with her gardens. She’d spend her Saturdays in the garden, pruning and planting away. I was fascinated with her passion and joy. She’d often ask if I’d join her, to work with her in the garden. I jumped at every opportunity and always thought how wonderful her gardens looked. Bringing your garden to life is a beautiful thing and the joy of gardening is real!
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When I first got my own place I knew I needed my own garden. In Los Angeles my options were limited. Without my own house I turned to my balcony and any sunny spot I could find. For years all I had was a bamboo plant. My apartment was dark and I ached to grow veggies in my own garden. Four years ago it FINALLY was possible. I moved to a place with a big balcony and sun! WOO! It was time to bring my garden to life.
Much like other pursuits in life; career, family, fitness, and hobbies; growing a garden takes time. I learned which flowers and which vegetables would grow in my balcony garden. Amount of sun, I get four to six hours of direct sunlight, and temperature were big factors. My first successful plant was a beautiful red salvia plant (pictured below with spicy red flowers). I bought it the first Spring I lived in my apartment and it’s flourished in my balcony garden ever since! The salvia flowers year-round and is a constant in my garden. I care for it the way my mother taught me with a little love, water, and lots of patience.
Most flowers I’ve researched won’t survive with the minimal sun that my balcony garden receives. So I was lucky to find these beautiful purple flowers to complement the red salvia (pictured below). They’ve absolutely flourished in my garden! I’ve only had them for the last year, but they’ve brightened up my life and my balcony garden.
What I love most about my garden is growing vegetables. I always wanted to grow tomatoes, so I have! Every year I buy a new tomato plant and I’ve been lucky enough to grow 10 to 15 tomatoes a year. I also had a jalapeno plant that grew delicious peppers for three years. After it died I planted a new jalapeno plant, and I’m waiting to taste its very first peppers this summer.
I wish my balcony garden had more sun and I could grow even more fruits and veggies, but I’ve embraced what sun I have and learned to grow what flourishes! All I can do is love my little plants as much as possible. I care for them and cherish when my plants fruit and flower. I now understand how my mother spent hours in her garden. The joy of gardening is incredible and I can’t wait for when I have an even larger garden to bring to life and share with her like she did with me.
Gardening is one of those hobbies that bring so much pleasure. Even one plant brings joy to your life. It’s amazing to care for something and watch it grow, and I love how just a little love for a plant makes all the difference! I’ll be expanding my garden soon, and pushing the boundaries even more. If you’re looking for more joy in your life, I highly recommend buying a plant and watching it grow!
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Vlogger at BuzzChomp. She’s an actress, writer, and producer. Get lost in her youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram
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