I responded to a call-out on my Buy Nothing Project group and shared some things from my balcony.
I live in an apartment, which has a shady balcony that’s not ideal for gardening. And while I love growing things, it’s a bit hit or miss. I usually think of my gardening efforts as being more of a failure than anything.
But on the weekend, a young couple in my local Buy Nothing group put a call out for herbs to help build their balcony garden. It turns out they live only down the road, so they walked down and I went and found some things to give them.
Share rather than buy
When we think of setting up a garden, these days we usually think about heading to Bunning or a plant nursery. I LOVE these places. I love checking out all the healthy plants and dreaming of a beautiful gardening future.
But the reality is that a lot of these places are expensive. Also, a lot of plants grow well from seeds or cuttings. It’s likely your neighbours have a few too many tomato plants, too much mint, thymme or whatever growing in their backyard. And often they would be proud – honoured even – to share with you.
A word of warning: it’s always polite to ask before taking a cutting. I still recall my late grandparents – my grandfather in particular – complaining about some neighbours who used to walk by and ‘steal’ their plants by taking cuttings. I’m not sure this is exactly stealing, but I’m sure had they asked cuttings of their plants would have been given readily.
I gave them:
- Mint – once you’ve got a bit of the root structure it can really take off (providing it is in shady place and gets lots of water)
- Aloe vera – this is a bit of a wonder plant that’s super great for healing wounds and relieving sunburn. My plant had taken off and was overcrowded so I was glad to separate out and gift.
- Sage – I grew mine from seed but it can often grow from cuttings (dip them in some honey).
- Basil – I grew mine from a sad looking basil plant I secured from Aldi in late winter – these plants usually have lots of little plants overcrowded into the one pot. I planted the seedlings out a bit too early but it’s going strong now. You can grow basil from cuttings – simply place in water for around a week and then plant out.
- Parsley – I provided seeds and also a few small little plants. I’d planted too many and they were overcrowded.
- Pots – I had a few spare pots that that we weren’t using so I gave them away with love.
All up, around 20 items of cuttings and pots. Best of all, I met a new neighbour AND I felt good about my casual gardening efforts.