I've been an enthusiastic, if only randomly successful, balcony gardener for about five years now. My first year - the one where I was most enthusiastic - was the most successful and I managed to harvest a few dozen tomatoes and three misshapen zucchini. I even had a web site about the garden, a forerunner of a blog. (It was updated about monthly to the expressed delight and fascination of my friends and family.) And this year is the year. This is the year when I am going to invest the money and the time so that I have a proper garden that is pretty AND useful. (I say that every year, by the way.)
When I read Barbara's recent post about grubbing in the dirt, I was eaten up with envy and frustration. I did plant quite a few seeds this year - enough for 8 tomato plants, 2 cayenne plants, 4 zucchini, 4 pea plants, coriander, parsley, and a few others that never sprouted (and the notes on the cardboard containers have leached away). I have two cayenne seedlings, a zucchini and a pea plant. So you can see where I get those negative feelings.
This weekend, I purged them at the organic market. I found two stalls selling tomato plants and herbs and was so excited that I had to drag the stroller to a cash machine 15 minutes away to get some more money. Oh joy, oh bliss! I have a nearly complete herb garden, ten tomato plants and four strawberry plants covered with flowers and strawberry buds. Now begins the race to get them into planters before they wilt. Does anyone know of a store that delivers (non-peat) soil in Paris??
For those who are curious, the plants are as follows, starting with the tomatoes at the bottom and working counter clockwise around: ten tomato plants, lemon thyme (I already have two classic thyme plants), four strawberry plants, a basil (bought that at the supermarket, it's not as healthy as the market ones), a daisy plant, mint (also from the supermarket earlier this week), rosemary (the one I have seems to be reaching the end of its life cycle), two more basil plants, Thai basil and - in the center - oregano.