Great Urban Gardens: Michelle Miller, LeDroit Park

The garden: Michelle Miller's LeDroit Park roof and patio

What's growing: On the roof I am growing tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, red chili peppers. On the patio/hanging planters: lettuce, cantaloupe, basil (thai, genovese),  purple sage, pineapple sage, lemon verbana, mint, thyme, oregano, cherry tomatoes, summer savory, rosemary.

Michelle says: We have a front yard area but it's taken over by some cranky evergreen bushes that were planted ages ago, so my gardening was limited to containers on the back patio. My boyfriend and I took advantage of the full sun on the rooftop of the old garage that is behind my patio and built a wooden platform to hold some self-watering containers. Additionally, I have boxes and planters around the edge of the patio which allow for growing that doesn't get in the way of our frequent patio-bound entertaining.

Urban gardening lessons learned:
• Self-watering containers are amazing. You can make them yourself and they allow the plant roots to decide how much water they need on a daily basis so you don't over/under water. Important for me, as this is my first time gardening.

• Cucumbers turn yellow and gross if they are overripe.

• Planting and growing are really actually the easy part. It's the maintenance (such as making sure your cucumber plants don't physically assault your tomato plants) that requires attention and patience.

• I'd make perfume that smells like tomato plants if I could.

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