In addition to causing some head-shaking in my urban neighborhood when I photograph my supper outside in the natural light, I also have a slightly excessive assortment of plants on my stairs. I miss having a garden since I moved, five years ago, to my little apartment/rowhouse. Since my flat has its own little porch and stoop, I console myself with a diminutive container "garden" of flowers, herbs, and a couple of patio and cherry tomato plants. It occurs to me that there are three words meaning "small" in this one paragraph. Probably, you get the idea of the space I'm working with.
There are a few potted shrubs which seem to survive from year to year-including a barberry and an elderberry. Each year I gussy things up with temporary pretties like a few fuschia, mandeville vine, and the like. I do have a tendency to keep adding plants, whether there is really space for them or not.
I had a little lemon tree, which spent the winter in my office and the summer on my porch. It lives in my office permanently now, as it blooms there, and is presently working on 2 meyer lemons (had 1 last year.) It is clearly happy where it is, and I'm afraid if I move it back, the fruit may drop. I bought a thing or two at the annual May Market, a charming Pittsburgh event where garden clubs take over Mellon park to sell plants, mushroom sandwiches, and fondant strawberries to gardeners playing hooky from school and work. As well as several herbs, I picked up something there called an "oyster"plant. It has lovely stripey leaves with intensly purple undersides. It looks cool with the fuschias.
You see pictured the european blue-white, or "sweet trefoil" from Gerard's Herbal, and also from my little project on the porch. This is the first of my baby utskho suneli, from the seeds I so rashly ordered. Khmeli suneli here I come. (maybe). They look a bit like clover, no? At least mine do. The ones from the Herbal are not so similar to mine.* Hmmm. Sweet trefoil is purportedly yet another name for this close fenugreek relation. I wonder.
I have a few other odd ventures among my usual potted suspects this year. In one pot, as yet unsprouted, are some medlar seeds a friend brought back from Sardinia. One reference said they needed a season of cold dormancy, so they have just recently come out of my freezer, where they spent the winter in a baggie. I will be thrilled if anything comes of them.
I also have a couple of zucchini plants. In a container you say? This probably seems particularly demented, in light of the farm box, and the excess zucchini gifts which appear each summer, everywhere. This is the idea,though- I'm trying to grow them to harvest the blossoms, for they are perhaps my most favorite food ever. And the blossoms just don't get donated. One wonderful year, there was a little bag of the blossoms in the farmbox, but that hasn't been repeated. Do you suppose if I harvest the blossoms assisdulously, they will be provoked to produce more? We'll see, if the plants don't expire before I get a chance to try.
As usual I have pots of chives, basil, mint, rosemary, oregano, thyme and tarragon. This year there is also some lovage, and my gift of rose geraniums. It's no garden, but I get my kicks.
* Actually, the ones in the Herbal look more like methi a/k/a fresh fenugreek leaves, which you can see here, courtesy of the chocolate lady.