My Garden

A ginkgo tree showing fresh green growth

A little bit about the garden I’ve got going on, because it’s brought me so much joy (and, at times, frustration). Hopefully you can learn from my odd mishmash of growing conditions. I’ll try to add as many details here as can be, so you can see how things work out!

Six on Saturday

A wonderful blogging format if you’re looking to talk about your garden. Find out how to get involved by checkout out the place where it all started! I like to use it to keep updates of how the plants are growing from week to week. It’s a fun way to get involved in the garden blogging community and hear advice and ideas from all sorts of people. Don’t hesitate to post your own and share a link on my posts!


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Updates from the Garden

There’s always something going on in the garden… even during winter! I love my plants, and try my best to keep them happy. It’s a learning experience.

Don’t forget to fertilize properly. Apartment plants are not subject to all the same conditions as plants in the wild – especially in replenishing the soil contents. Plan accordingly, or be prepared to do a lot of work with fertilizer.

Anyone that has grown plants on a balcony


My Posts

A small rainstorm out over the ocean off Los Angeles

Roundup – January’s End

A look back at what’s happened in January, both in the wider environment and in my own garden. Most notably – the LA smog is back, my garden has new LED grow lights, and South Coast Botanic Garden’s GLOW event is over.

A view across the red rocks in Arizona

The Whole Dang Year

Looking back at the whole year – the lockdowns have had some changes. More plants at home, and definitely going outdoors more often to get some fresh air!

A mix of plants brought inside for the winter

Garden Journal – Christmas Week

Finally putting the old daffodil bulbs back in some dirt (only a month late…), revitalizing some old dirt on the balcony, and sewing some Billy Buttons at the right time of year.

Back in the Day

Some Delightful Plants

Sometimes a plant will really surprise me. It’ll draw me in. Whether it’s the story of it, the mysterious survivability… or even sometimes the strange resistance some plants have to living. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank these plants for the amazing life they’ve shown me.

These are stories about plant that are or have been in my garden. For stories about plants that I come across in the wild, please check out my page on Nature Appreciation!

The Lonely Ginkgo

The Ginkgo is currently most threatened not by disease or the environment, but by logging. Our homes are our own environments. We get a say at what survives, and can even help plants thrive that otherwise might be disappearing.

An old and neglected daffodil bulb showing signs of life during winter.

Deserted Daffodils

After a few store-bought daffodil planters died at home, the dirt lay neglected in a bag on the balcony. Somehow, the daffodils have come back. I’m so excited.

The whole seed kit

Planting the Sun

I’ve got plenty of seeds, plenty of random plastic cups to start the seeds, and potentially some balcony space with regular sunlight. There’s only one way to find out if these things will ever actually grow in SoCal.

The Conditions

The conditions in my neck of LA…

Most of LA is 10b 35-30f
North side of PV hill is 10a 25-30f
South side of PV hill is 11a 40-35f

Balcony faces directly SW

Due to interference from buildings, sunlight can only come from SE to NW, with some interference in the morning (SE-S). Strongest light from mid-morning to evening (SW-NW).

A trough of very dry dirt, spade stuk in it

Spring 2021 Plan

Sizes of Planters, Pots, and Troughs

PlanterSize & ShapeDirt VolumeTypical Soil
Square Wood 1Square
11.5″w 11.5″d 10.5″h
~1400 cu. in.
(.03 cu yd)
Dry upper 1-3″
Moist below
Drains well
Short Ceramic Pot 1Conical
11.5″d1 8″d2 7″h
~450 cu. in.
(.01 cu yd)
Dry upper 1″
Low Moisture Below
Drains well
Square Wood 2Square
11.5″w 11.5″d 10.5″h
~1400 cu. in.
(.03 cu yd)
Dry upper 1-3″
Sometimes dry lower
Drains well
Long Plastic Planter 1Rectangular
7.5″w 32.5″l 8″d(est.)
~1950 cu. in.
(.04 cu yd)
Typically moist
Wet lower 2/3
Drains very poorly
Floods occasionally
Short Ceramic Pot 2Cylindrical
8.5″d 5.5″h
~315 cu. in.
(.007 cu yd)
Dries well
Holds moisture only 2-3 days
Long Plastic Planter 2Rectangular
7.5″w 32.5″l 8″d(est.)
~1950 cu. in.
(.04 cu yd)
Typically moist
Wet lower 2/3
Drains very poorly
Floods occasionally
Very Short Ceramic PotDries very quickly
Colorful Ceramic PigDries very slowly
Moist throughout
Wooden Half-BarrelConical
12.5″d1 10″d2 10.5″h
~1050 cu. in.
(.02 cu yd)
Dries quickly
Somewhat moist lower 1/2
Short Holey PotCylindricalHolds moisture quite evenly
Small Conical PotConicalNo drainage holes, holds moisture in bottom 2/3
Blue Ceramic Fish Pot
Glass Lantern
All the stuff in and around my apartment