Your next mission, should you decide to accept it, is to come up with the most creative planting system you can find. It must be as close to free as possible and allow you to garden in a wasted space.

I belong to the sustainablecountry forum and was perusing their garden forum this morning. I found a thread for gardening where there is no space. It got my creative juices flowing as I often hear from family members that they can’t grow food as they have no space when they actually have a lot of space. It’s just full of things like inflatable pools, swing sets and boats, gazebos, play yards and lawn ornaments. The forum displayed such solutions as truck bed liners made into raised bed and hanging planters made from over-the-door shoe holders.

I grow some citrus in the house and a few herbs but not much else. I use the greenhouse for winter salad greens but I’m still intrigued. I am thinking about green beans. I have the light and a bush plant really doesn’t take up much space. So how about it. What’s the most creative planting idea you have?

 I’m going to pretend I’m talking to my sister. I would suggest she drill some holes in the bottom of that old boat that hasn’t seen water in years. Filled with soil and compost, she could grow enough beans for a year if she used some season extenders. That pool could be turned into a kind of greenhouse for lower light plants. The gazebo could hang tomatoes and peppers from the edges and an herb garden would be happy underneath. I’m thinking the swing set would support some squash and cucumber vines and she could plant grow grapes along the top piece. I would get rid of all the lawn art and put in hedges of raspberries and blueberries and plant dwarf fruit trees in the open spaces. The flower beds could be replaced with potatoes, carrots and onions and peas and beans should do nicely on the chain link fence that surrounds the play yard. The play yard itself would hold eight raised beds for beets, chard, kale, peppers, strawberries, asparagus, leeks and turnips.

Now for the garage. Right now it holds the overflow of junk from the house. The cars can’t be parked inside anyway so call it a day have a tag sale. With the space freed up and some money in her pocket she could now grow mushrooms and have a place for bulk storage of staples as well as to put in a counter for some food processing equipment. I would add some water barrels to the exterior and keep two fifty gallon containers in the garage too. She could even add window boxes.

 I forgot about the pool house! She needs a chicken coop and I’ll bet a few rabbit hutches would fit on the deck! The cool thing would be to connect with the neighbors. It’s a small, family friendly little subdivision with a lot of unemployment. Wouldn’t it be nice to form a neighborhood association and discuss using the open space for a couple of goats? Okay. I’m stretching a bit here but a girl can dream, can’t she?

I strayed a bit from my intention which was to talk about the creative use of scavenged planters but this was fun. My poor sister has no idea what I just did to her neat little suburban house. She’s home drinking coffee and watching Regis and Kelly and I have her milking goats and gathering eggs.