Flower Box Awards: Edible Garden at the Spotted Pig

Owner: Ken
Gardener: Tommy of Urban Green (he stops by and tends to it about once per week)
Location: 314 W. 11th Street, New York City

This garden came out of nowhere as we rounded a corner, prompting us to snap off a few quick shots. A quick e-mail to The Spotted Pig yielded a great description of the garden by the very man who was hired by the owner, Ken, to put it in place.

In Tommy's words: When ken approached me to design the garden for the Spotted Pig, he had only one request....that most, if not all of the plant material be edible. The pallette of plants is as follows...

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  • Early Girl/Supersonic/Cherry Tomatoes
  • Italian Eggplant (white)
  • Millett (the seeds are harvested for whole grain breads)
  • Sweet Green Peppers
  • Cabbage/kale
  • Horseradish
  • Rosemary
  • English Thyme
  • Purple Sage
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint/Spearmint
  • Sweet Potato
  • Golden Oregano
  • and one small apple tree

The care of a vegetable garden has its challenges, but all in all it's not too bad. I have this garden watered every morning (as container plants in full sun dry out faster than plants planted directly in the ground). I visit the garden once a week, primarily to tie up/stake the tomatoes (which are about 7' high now) fertilize, and spray for whitefly (most vegetables are highly prone to white fly infestation as they have large, fleshy, tender leaves....especially the tomatoes and eggplants). As fall approaches I will replace the tomatoes and other veggies with grasses, this will keep the whole thing looking good till about the first week of december. I highly recommend to any one interested in having a garden, mixing in some vegetables with your flowers. It gives the garden a more humble earthy look, and you get a large return on a small investment.

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Dear Spotted Pig,

We think it's great that you are excited to have a garden at your restaurant and have weathered the ups and downs of having your garden outside for the public to enjoy. From what it sounds like your neighbors also have given it a thumbs up, which doesn't hurt. For anyone wondering about managing a veggie garden in the city, this is proof that you can do it!

We have a little gift in the mail to you: a pot from Ecoforms and seed packets from SelectSeeds.com to help make your gardens grow. Enjoy!

Best,
matt at apartmenttherapy dot com

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.