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In 2005, I started my very first garden in a fabulous sized plot in the shared yard of our apartment in Blacksburg, VA. I learned quite a bit that first spring (e.g. there’s a reason why you should space seedlings a certain distance apart from one another, so as not to create a jungle garden). The next season (same plot) I felt quite experienced and confident in my gardening skills, but quickly realized that each season is different and brings with it different challenges (weather, pests, etc.).

Apartment Garden Plot | Blacksburg, VA

My husband and I then moved to Alexandria, VA, where I was exceptionally lucky to discover that the Chinquapin Park Community Garden was expanding and had some extra, unclaimed plots. My friend, Sara, and I were able to take over 2 plots. What a fabulous summer of gardening. The plots were huge – about 20 feet by 20 feet.

Chinquapin Park Community Garden Plot | Alexandria, VA

Sadly, my community garden plot days are over. My husband and I moved to Washington DC at the end of 2008. We quickly learned that community garden plots are in high demand, and there just isn’t enough of them to meet this demand. We tried to get a plot at the Kalorama Heights Community Garden. Although we live only a 5 minute walk from the garden and they had a couple of openings, as Adams Morgan residents we are out of the “catchment” zone. Perhaps these plots are meant only for those wealthy enough to live in Kalorama Heights. Well, after giving up on getting a community garden plot and being inspired by my friend and co-worker, John (the mastermind behind Grown in the City), I decided to take advantage of my patio and plant a few tomato plants and herbs in flower pots. While we do not get the best light (we’re on the north side of the building), the plants are flourishing.

Patio Flower Pot Garden | Washington, DC

Cherry Tomatoes



Garlic Chives

Since we have roof access, I’m going to take my tomato plants up to the roof so they’ll get full sunlight. Maybe if I ever become brave enough (note: we never asked for permission from our landlord to put our plants on the roof), I’ll expand my small flower pot garden to a full-sized roof garden. Perhaps a project for next summer?