How does one go from an expansive suburban yard with raised beds, bees, and hens in California to a 2-bedroom apartment in downtown Seattle?
It was difficult to walk away from an imminent harvest of almonds, apples, figs, squash, and tomatoes, but family is more important, and it was time. I did manage to can some tomatoes before packing day, however!
Sounds of nature
I do miss the sounds of the hens and the sight of bees busily going to and fro, but Seattle isn’t without its’ sights and sounds of nature. Instead of egg songs, I hear the cry of seagulls and cawing crows. Pigeons are common, but not on my 7th-floor balcony. I have seen various bees and mayflies. And I am not without a garden.
Choosing apartment plants
Choosing which plants to bring and which to leave behind took some thought. Aside from physically moving the plants, I had to decide how much space to dedicate to them. Herbs were my first choice. The chives, oregano, peppermint, stevia, summer savory, and thyme came with me. I transplanted all my saffron crocus bulbs into various pots of succulents. And I brought my strawberry pot planted with groundcherries. Next year, I may make room for some tomatoes or squash. I have to finish unpacking first.
Apartment gardening poses some unique challenges and opportunities. As always, light and temperature are critical factors. Living in a corner unit in a southwest-facing building, we get plenty of light. Since we have a balcony, I can give my plants access to pollinators.
Water conservation isn’t the same in Seattle as in California, but I still use the dregs from my dogs’ water bowl to water my plants. I figure the bits of dog food and who knows what else might help feed my apartment plants. Without a compost pile, I’ll have to rethink how I feed them. (The plants, not the dogs.)
If you’ve gardened in an apartment, what advice do you have for me, the New Kid on the block?