Monday, December 28, 2015

A Prodigal Gardener

Taking A Gardening Break

A Prodigal Gardener


Things have slowed down quite a bit with all the projects and planning we had going on. We skipped gardening this year in favor of making improvements to the inside and getting more organized.

With the temperature drops in Phoenix, the girl bees are kicking out the boy bees.  Our plants are going dormant and not much is getting started.  Time to dream of new gardens, and specking out some new interpretations.

Aquaponic Window Farm:
Super Cute And Functional Window Farm

The big dream is an aquaponic window farm, which may not even require a window.  We're going totally aesthetic/feng-shui with a couple of test builds... All in my mind right now.  As with the exterior gardening, the interior should include plants that are for the most part edible.  The little rotund window farm 'planters' shown on right have given me incentive for a couple of variations.

After much research, the 'planters' were revealed to be dollar store hummingbird feeders that needed a few mods to work.  But they are just *so* darling, it makes me want to run out and build one right now. Sensibility requires taking time to plan and gather materials.  I missed out on the hummer feeders, so other alternatives are being looked at.

Elegant Lotus Bowl
In general, reservoirs for the window farms have been quite utilitarian. Going for the aesthetic, again, I'm looking at using some tanks or bowls to house beautiful tropical edible pond plants like lotus, cattails, and lilies.  Also looking at water chestnuts and some surface covering plants like wolffia and water lettuce to help control algae and provide hiding coverage for potential decorative fish species, like bettas.  Fish would be the absolute last to add once it is determined it will all work without putting them in peril.

Worst case scenario, we would have these indoor lotus plants specially cultivated for growing in small containers.  Judging by the lotus bowl on the left, who wouldn't be satisfied with just that?

The ideas kind of daisy chained from the lotus bowl and this aquascaping child of planted tanks meet kokadama.  The resulting aesthetic is named wabi kusa.  Wabi Kusa really resonated with me because our air is so dry in Phoenix; kokadama is not really feasible.

After greedily drinking up all this beauty with my eyes, the
Kokedama String Garden

question became why can't window farms be aesthetically pleasing as is feng-shui?  Obviously, the result is not using all recycled materials, so to speak. It also isn't a cost effective endeavor to save money for vertical gardening. It is all about the feng-shui aesthetic... cost be damned.

The merge of these things isn't really much different from an indoor mini-pond.  We'd just be adding the window farm suspension and plumbing system to grow fresh herbs and lettuce indoors - which require less nutrients than some of the other nutrient hoarding plants we can grow outdoors.

The question becomes "Is it really possible to make a beautiful, self-sustaining aquaponic system for growing edible foods indoors?"

Wabi Kusa As Aquascape With Fish
Or, "Could smaller, decorative fish provide both soothing visual appeal and food fertilizer?"

I'm working on feasibility.  Can you imagine having something so pretty as a statement piece somewhere in the house.

"Oh, honey would you grab the basil, thyme or marjoram from the magnificent living sculpture in the living room?"

Dreaming a big dream...