Getting the most out of your yard

Compost

Compost

Let’s talk about getting more out of your yard and garden. A great way to yield better plants while being environmentally friendly is by composting. One man’s garbage is truly your garden’s treasure. Just toss in any kitchen bio-waste (eggshells, veggie scraps, coffee grounds) and you will be on your way to a healthier, happier garden. Composting is great because all of those scraps are packed with nutrients plants thrive on. It is fairly simple to learn, and minimal supplies are required to get started. You can find out how to compost here.

Herb garden

Basil plant in my herb garden.

Another great way to enjoy your yard more is to bring it inside. What I mean is, you can grow your own herbs and vegetables, and cook with them in the kitchen. Some of my favorite herbs to grow and use are basil, rosemary, and mint. I’m just starting my first vegetable garden, full of tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, and chili peppers from seeds I purchased in Italy last summer. It’s about time I bring those puppies to life!

Another fun thing to do is spruce up your living space with some freshly cut flowers from your own garden. I recently visited a good friend and was in awe of her backyard with garden rose bushes, organic herbs growing everywhere and healthy green grass. The best part was, she was nice enough to let me cut a bouquet of her beautiful roses to take home and enjoy. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than fresh smelling roses, one of my favorite smells. I just love it.

Check to see what flowers grow best in your region. In San Francisco, for example, you can grow just about anything because of the mild climate. My in-laws have the best garden, full of fragrant sweet peas, roses, and hydrangeas, along with many others I can’t even name. Stepping into their garden is like walking into a blooming wonderland. Also, just looking at fresh flowers puts you into a better mood, so why not share the love from the outside on the inside, and with a smile.

For all you city-dwellers, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a big yard to work with. You can grow herbs in very minimal space. Wooden garden containers work perfectly for a deck or small patio garden. All you need are seeds, soil, and a little TLC. And to make it even easier, you could just buy grown herbs for a little bit more and transplant them into a larger container for your outdoor/indoor garden.  I have herbs growing just about everywhere, inside and out. One of my favorite places to keep fresh growing herbs is at arms length, right on my kitchen window sill.

 

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