Follow by Email

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Alas Poor Octavio...

Spring has sprung and it’s time to start getting our gardens in order. So let’s talk about the difficulties of gardening for those of us who don’t have any outdoor space. 
Last year I decided to start an indoor garden. I wanted to save some grocery money by growing my own organic produce, so I researched small space gardening and was delighted to find that it is not only possible, but increasingly popular, to grow herbs and even produce entirely indoors. I had a spacious office with plenty of sunlight, so I decided to put my garden there. I bought some large planters, good quality soil, an adorable little watering can and a variety of seeds. I planned to grow plum tomatoes, miniature bell peppers, mini lettuces and a variety of herbs. Having been successful in the past at growing these things outside, I was confident I could pull off an indoor garden. 
There was one factor, however, that I hadn’t counted on. My cat, Pilar. At this time she was about four months old and absolutely adorable. She plays fetch, burrows under the covers at night to be close to me, and follows me everywhere I go. She is perfect. She is also a plant killer. 

Don't be fooled by the adorable mustache...she's a killer.

I should have seen the warning signs. Two months earlier, Pilar had murdered the beautiful mini cactus my boyfriend had gotten me as a housewarming gift for my new apartment. I came home from class one day to find my beloved cactus, which I had named Octavio, lying on the floor and Pilar sleeping happily in the now empty planter.  This was to be only the beginning

Her next victims would be my tomato seedlings. Six days after they had sprouted I came home from class to find dirt and seedlings flung across the far reaches of my apartment and a very filthy, very happy kitten snoozing in the planter. Determined to save the rest of my garden, I sprang into action. I researched everything I could about keeping pets out of plants. I tried tin foil barriers, bitter smelling cat-repellent sprays, covering the soil with river rocks, chicken wire covers...all to no avail. I had a little archaeologist cat on my hands. One by one, she dug up and killed all my plants and took over the pots as her own little dirt-filled nests.
Since this disaster in gardening, I have been researching Pilar-proof alternatives to indoor horticulture that are both stylish and affordable. I think I’ve found an easy solution for herbs: small pots like these:

or these, from

placed along a floating wall shelf. Of course, I could buy one pre-finished for upwards of $30, but I think it would be more fun to go to a craft store and buy an unfinished one for $9 or $10 and paint, stain or tile it myself. 
As for fruits and vegetables, the website shows these fantastically modern hanging indoor planters, which would be perfect for mini lettuces and such. 

I also LOVE these hanging terrariums from West Elm, which are quite affordable as well.
All in all, I am feeling hopeful for my future apartment’s indoor garden. I hope this has given some of you fellow nesters a few ideas of your own. Let me know what you think!


  1. I like those hanging terrariums. Are those glass? And you can use them indoors, right?

  2. Yup, they are meant to go indoors. You can find them at I love the almost space-age effect!

  3. Me too. I'm all about things that look like alien eggs. The question is... what kind of hook do they use?

  4. Hello, How do I get in touch with you? There is no email or contact info listed .. please advise .. thanks .. Mary. Please contact me maryregency at gmail dot com