The upside of being home A LOT lately is finally getting to some of the projects I’ve always meant to do. One success is the garden! The attic, basement, and garage, not so much.
I love growing veggies and herbs, though normally it’s just a few containers as most of my garden is too shady. Don’t get me wrong … I love the shade and the big trees that provide it, especially in this crazy summer heat. But most veggies need more sun and our sunniest spot was blocked by an old and broken hot tub.
Can we talk about the white elephant in the room … that thing that seems like a great idea at the time, but ends up costing way more than it’s worth and try as you might, you can’t get rid of it? Ours was a hot tub. It lay dormant and drained in our backyard for over a decade. We tried fixing it a few times, only to find trouble with the motor and a mystery leak.
There was a small climate conundrum for me too. I couldn’t justify the extra water, electricity or chemicals to treat the water to make the thing run anyway. The cost to remove it was astronomical, and the logistics a bit like the couch in the stairwell on Friends (“pivot! pivot!”). So, what to do? Bring on the Hot Tub Thyme Machine.
We added a layer of river rock for drainage (and the built-in leak became an advantage), then a crazy amount of garden soil, and the transformation was complete. A big thanks to my teenage son for helping fill it as that stuff was heavy! Now the only thing I needed were the plants.
I had been growing some veggies from seed, and then added a few more from the garden centre. Now this baby has tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, cilantro, dill, chives, parsley, sage, and of course, thyme! The rosemary, basil, mint and peas are in nearby containers.
I can’t decide if this is recycling or upcycling, reusing, reducing, repurposing, or all of the above. Now in the thick of the summer, each day brings a new little crop and a lot of joy.
Wanna dig deeper?
- City of Toronto has some great How-To’s in the Get Growing Guide
- Angela wrote a great Beginner’s Guide to Not Killing Your Garden
- Want to make it social (though still physically distant)? Try Community Garden Groups, (Toronto linked, or search in your city)
- No space? Apply for an Allotment Garden
Check out our UHN Garden stories:
- From University Centre, to Lyndhurst, to Bickle and more, UHN Gardens Show off their Harvest
- Patients, Pollinators and Emergency Power – A UHN Garden Story
- Bickle Centre’s Garden Rehab on Wheels starts its 4th season (5th now, and stay tuned for Amanda’s upcoming blog on how the Bickle Garden adjusted for pandemic safety)