Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Practical Portable Garden

For the first time in over 4 decades I find myself without a real garden of my own.   The house that I'm renting is new and a proper landscape was not installed.  I must have some kind of garden so I started down the path of least resistance -a container garden on the back deck which has flourished very nicely.

The bare front yard was put off as I tried, in vain, to persaude the owners to install a proper landscape.   The owner is not willing to put in a landscape for fear that tenants in the future won't care for it.  Very lame as far as I'm concerned but, it is what it is .  I will probably be here for another year or so and don't want to spend a lot of money on someone else's property.

The other day I noticed that the first container plant I purchased last Fall, a beautiful Ilex Crenata , or Japanese Holly,  had outgrown its pot and needed re-planting.  I brought it around to the front yard to see if there was a place I could put it temporarily.   On either side of the front entrance to the house is a recessed space begging to be a real garden.  The soil on both sides is hard, compacted clay so I am not able or willing to dig it out .   After a good soaking rain the ground was somewhat softer and I dug out a hole and placed the holly in it, right next to the stairs .  I purposely planted it high because of the clay.  I also went to the forest in the back and borrowed some of the good leaf mold and top layer of good soil to surround it.

Since the recessed space is small I started getting more ideas on how I could turn this area into a portable garden that I could take with me when I left.  One thing led to another and before I knew it I had my eyes on a 4 x 4 ' raised cedar garden beg from Home Depot.  This bed will be filled with colorful long blooming annuals for seasonal color.

On the other side of the stairs was the only sign that one of the past tenants had a green thumb - a struggling, diseased rose bush which led to even more brilliant ideas.  Why not do a raised bed of  roses on that side which has a lot of sun ? 

Well, there you have it.   Right  now there's a holly and a rose , a good beginning but it won't be long before its joined by others and before you know it, a real garden will be created .

I know everyone loves before and  after photos and when I'm done I will post them.  Right now, here's my garden plan .  I hope to have it done before the snow flies.  Wait a minute I don't have to worry about the snow, I'm in North Carolina now.   Stay tuned for more updates.


  1. Once a designer always a designer! Carolyn this is going to look great, most of this you can take with you if you move.


  2. Hi Eileen and thanks for stopping by. You can take the designer out of the garden ...but .... I'm planning to take the major stuff with me for as you know gardening is a big investment !

  3. I know someone who has one of those portable garden beds on her deck. Hers has a bottom. Does yours? I'm glad to hear you are getting to do some gardening.

  4. Hey Sue,

    Mine doesn't have a bottom and sits on the ground. I had to dig out the grass and cover it with newspapers before adding the soil.

  5. One of the great things about gardening here in North Carolina is that you can garden almost all year long. The break due to the heat of the summer is often worse than the short break of winter.

    Good luck with the portable garden! A great idea to get your garden fix!


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