think spring!

Since I haven’t been able to write much (ok, at all) these past two months, you can imagine how delighted I was to find a guest post in my email inbox from my sister!

I haven’t forgotten about ya’ll, I promise.  I’m just taking some time to enjoy my little girl and adjust to our new lives together.   It’s amazing how fast the days fly by anymore.   Abby is doing great and growing like a little weed…don’t worry, her chubby cheeks haven’t gone anywhere yet.

So, for now, and with the promise of spring just around the corner…please enjoy this guest post from my sister Erin!   And she knows what she’s talking about folks…with a degree in Horticulture and owner of a landscape design business…this chica knows her stuff. 

Hello to all the loyal readers of Janna’s blog. It’s me again, Janna’s big sister, stopping by with a guest post. I bet you’re hoping for an update on baby Abigail, and as her Auntie, I’m here to tell you she’s pretty much perfect and absolutely adorable! However, today’s post is supposed to get you thinking about spring. Correction, I’m guessing that you’re already thinking about spring, so this post will hopefully get you ready to be a creative gardener.

You might remember Janna’s series of posts last spring on the Square Foot Garden that she and the Hubs researched, constructed, planted, tended to, watered and loved into successI had fun watching their garden grow and I learned a lot about the SFG technique. I know lots of you probably have your own wonderful garden to tend to, but some of you, like me, don’t have a big space to grow salad fixin’s. Enter the container garden.

I’m here to show you that containers are not just for pretty flowers, although I DO love pretty flowers, and they can be used to grow all sorts of goodies, especially if you get creative with your containers. Last summer I grew a variety of vegetables and herbs in containers throughout my yard. I mixed these containers in with my flower pots and it not only looked great, but it worked! Take a look below but please note that the photos were taken in June so some of the plants are still small (especially the basil…it was waiting for some summer heat!)

This is my ‘kitchen garden’ pot that sits right outside the side door to my kitchen. It has chives (that overwinter outside in the same pot), parsley, and basil.


Here is a collection of containers; the wire basket is lined with a coir mat (available at most garden supply stores) that holds the soil in. The basket has snap peas climbing a bamboo tripod and red leaf lettuce around the base. The medium pot has spearmint growing for mojito night! Mint is an aggressive spreader so I recommend planting it in a large pot, ta-da problem solved! And the small pot has a sad looking basil plant that did eventually come to life and get larger!


A strawberry pot has pockets up and down the sides and is perfect for growing strawberry plants. You can rotate the pot so that the sun exposure is even and you don’t have to worry about strawberry runners taking over your garden. I bought strawberry starts at the farmer’s market and planted a cilantro plant in the top. YUM.


Here is another creative container. I had to beg, and I mean BEG my husband to keep this old fashioned claw foot bath tub for our yard. I attempted to do a quick spray paint job on the outside, which needs to be touched up, and I still don’t think he was happy about it, but look at how many things I can grow in here! We’ve got romaine lettuce, a cucumber plant, and three different types of tomatoes growing. I like the ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomatoes, the’ Yellow Pear’ cherry tomato (looks just like it sounds), and we tried the ‘Early Girl’ standard tomato. All three produced, although the cucumber plant didn’t have quite as much luck.


I also couldn’t resist sharing a photo from two summers ago, when my little farmer was helping with the tomatoes in the tub.


The last photo is showing that you can incorporate garden and flowers in a group. I’ve got an old copper trough filled with green leaf lettuce as the backdrop, along with 2 pots of flowers. There’s a pink calibrachoa and a purple dahlia alongside. I think the green leaf lettuce really makes the pink and purple stand out. Fun.


So there you go. If you don’t have a SFG or a big garden plot, start looking around your house and garage for containers that you can convert into garden pots. Be sure all your containers have drainage holes in the bottom (you might have to get out the drill) and put a 1” layer of rocks or gravel on the bottom before you add soil. Get creative with color and texture and see what you can come up with! Happy Spring!

Happy Spring indeed!  Doesn’t her edible container garden look amazing?   And how awesome to just “step ouside” and snip some chives for your eggs, or mint for your mojito.  I can’t wait to see what Erin plants this year with her little helper.  Thanks so much for the post sissy!



  1. Always impressed by our sister. :) She does such beautiful work and makes it look so easy. I have always loved her containers….now I just need to find some fun ones to use my green thumb.

  2. You are welcome! I’m looking forward to warmer days and getting ready to plant my containers again this year. My little helper wants more strawberries! It will be fun to see what you and the Hubs put in your SFG.
    ps. My overwintered chives are already coming up in the kitchen garden pot. :)

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