The Wine Box Garden Starts for 2016

A combination of rain and a busy schedule kept me from planting my garden goods, but finally, this past weekend, the rain stopped and the sun came out...and I got busy. I wasn't really "late" in getting things planted...just anxious.

People often ask me if they can take a look at the garden - they're curious about how I can fit so much in a small space. I know others are skeptical because I'm probably not following "the rules" in terms of plant spacing in all cases.  But, I've planted many things in these small boxes/spaces for a few years now and am getting the sense that things are OK here. In the end, I just want people who say, "I have no space for a garden" to give it a second thought.

I've also started a "Garden Journal." Just a quick entry in there for now (you can read about my mysterious holes in the dirt and an eggplant thief there). I'll post throughout the season about the good, the bad, and the ugly out there. Gardening has its share of all three.

This video gives a tour of my 2016 garden at its start. Warning: It's not the best quality, but it's a bit comical - the wind blowing through, the neighborhood kids running through my yard, and more...hope you enjoy the tour. If you have any questions or comments, let me know!

My garden plan - everything in place - for 2016. Details below.

My garden plan - everything in place - for 2016. Details below.

  1. Potatoes: Yukon Gold, German Butterball & French Fingerlings
  2. Yellowfin Squash
  3. Sun Gold Tomatoes
  4. Provider Beans
  5. Royal Burgundy Beans
  6. Oregon Snap Peas
  7. Sugar Daddy Peas
  8. Patio Snacker Cucumber
  9. White Eggplant
  10. Jackson Cucumber
  11. Zucchini
  12. Sweet 100s Tomatoes
  13. Ancho Peppers
  14. Classic Eggplant
  15. Beets
  16. Calliope Eggplant
  17. Jackson Cucumber
  18. Javelin Parsnips
  19. Rainbow Carrots
  20. Nelson Carrots
  21. Lettuce (Mix of Lollo Rosa, Green Salad Bowl, Arctic King, Buttercrunch)
  22. Swiss Chard
  23. Sorrel
  24. Slicing Cucumber
  25. Genovese Basil
  26. White Eggplant
  27. Sunflowers
  28. NJ Devil Tomato
  29. Rutgers Tomato
  30. Caiman Tomato
  31. Lavender
  32. Blueberries
  33. Strawberries
  34. Celeriac
  35. Monica Tomato
  36. Black Cherry Tomato
  37. Purple Cherokee Tomato
  38. Valencia Tomato
  39. Indigo Rose Tomato
  40. Black Beauty Eggplant
  41. N/A
  42. N/A
  43. Classic Eggplant
  44. Italian Parsley
  45. Italian Oregano
  46. Vertical Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Mint (multiple varieties)

I'll be sure to post my progress (or lack thereof) throughout the season.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine