Until recently, I've been a garden purist. You either have plants growing straight out of the ground, or you stick them in terracotta pots and group them here and there around the paths. I wasn't a fan of planter boxes and cutsy pots mounted on fences.
But my garden is small. And those pots along the path can look like clutter if you're not careful. It was time to "go vertical."
The previous owners of the house had two planter boxes mounted on the fence. One was hidden behind our palm tree, and the other was by itself further down looking rather lonely. I moved the hidden one closer to the lonely one and voila! I now have more planting space.
The box on the left was planted with Nasturtium 'Alaska Mix' and the one on the right was planted with the "haricot verts" that were collected a couple of seasons ago. The nasturtiums will cascade nicely over the box. I'm hoping the bush beans will do the same. It depends on how "bushy" they are!
My other task of the day was planting out the fava beans. I overheard someone on the radio say that fava beans are a "cult vegetable, especially in California." Hmmm...I'm not exactly sure what is meant by that, but I am a native Californian and I do love fava beans. They're great in risotto or pureed with salt, pepper and lemon juice for a yummy spread on bread or crackers with pesto.
I just acquired a digging fork to loosen up my soil a bit. My puppy that likes to tromp through the garden from time to time, and I'm not that light-footed myself. The tines on the fork have the perfect spacing for planting out the fava beans. I poked the fork down into the soil an inch or two along the fence. I then placed a large bean in each hole. I don't lose my place while I'm planting. Once each hole contains a bean, I go back, cover up the holes, and water. Super easy! I'm sure I'm not the first one to figure this out.
This sure beats getting out the dandelion weeder and drawing lines around my beds. Not bad for an hour's work in the garden. I'm now dreaming of large pods filled with creamy fava beans.