Actress Emily Paul channeled her green thumb when the Los Angeles writers’ strike hit, eventually forming Sprout, a landscaping company that plants organic produce in backyards. Emily believes in simple solutions. To grow edibles, she says, you only need seeds, soil, mulch, and compost. In her backyard, she repurposes old umbrella holders for planters and wine crates for storing supplies. What follow are a few of her gardening essentials.
“Baker has the craziest varieties of fruits and veggies, in colors and shapes I didn’t even know existed. Use whatever you buy that season, since older seeds can spoil.” Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, from $1.25; rareseeds.com
Heavy Petal blogger Andrea Bellamy, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., decided to plant edibles as an inexpensive alternative to hardscaping. She also wanted the garden to fit her modern style. Her book, Sugar Snaps and Strawberries (Timber Press, 2010; $20), devotes the first chapter to helping you find your personal style. Check out some of Andrea's favorite garden accessories on the following slides.
“I’d rather have a better pattern selection [than offered by outdoor fabric] and bring in my pillows every night. I like the bold style of Willa Skye.” Maze Greek Key Pillow Cover, $28; etsy.com/shop/willaskyehome
Glazed ceramic pots hold water well (drill a hole in the pot if it lacks one); this is a modern twist on a traditional style. “I go neutral on big stuff like patio furniture and large planters, and add punches of color with smaller containers and pillows.” 16-in. Jardiniere, $240; bauerpottery.com
If you’re hunting for Maria Finn, check the roofs of San Francisco, where she sets up edible gardens for clients. Maria’s also a writer (she contributes to Sunset) and recently penned A Little Piece of Earth (Universe Publishing, 2010; $20). The book’s simple message: You don’t need acres to grow edibles. “In a small space, you’re not going to live off your harvest, but you can do things like grow kaffir [‘Kieffer’] limes, using the leaves to season homemade curry, or grow ingredients to make cocktails. These ideas make life richer.” Click ahead to see what adds style to her garden.
Urbanites should start with herbs in pots, especially since so often store-bought herbs get thrown away. Set up your windowsill herbs with this self-irrigating container. Delta 20 Self Watering Planter, $38; sprouthome.com