Spring is springing and it’s the perfect time to start planting herbs and veggies for the summer. I got a great how-to lesson from my friend José who is an expert in the garden. Below you will find tons of fun ideas on how to plant a spring garden of your own, even in a New York City apartment!


    Our Vegetable Patch

    Here are a few of the herbs and vegetables I like to plant each year:

    • Mint
    • Oregano
    • Marjoram
    • Sage (we've got 4 varieties going this year!)
    • Chives
    • Kale (ours is a bit overgrown this year and even has yellow blossoms)
    • Thyme
    • Basil
    • Parsley

    Planting Beekman 1802 Heirloom
    Garden Packages

    Our friends at Beekman Farm sent us a set of 10 Heirloom Vegetables from D. Landreth Seed Co. for us to plant. Our resident gardening expert, José Marqués, suggested we plant several of them in a mini-greenhouse so that the warm, humid air would prompt the seeds to germinate. Here’s how to plant your seeds:

    All you need are seed trays, moist, nutrient-rich soil, gloves (optional), and a mister.

    First José fills the trays to ¾ with soil, making sure to remove any rocks and big chunks. He then pours in about 4-5 seeds per pod. Bigger seeds go in bigger pods.

    Worms, he points out, are a bonus, as they oxygenate the soil.

    He came up with a genius idea to create partitions in the larger trays, cutting up bamboo sticks from the backyard to size.

    We sprayed the plants generously with a gentle mist of water.

    Then, we zipped up the mini-greenhouse (which you can find at any big home warehouse store) to create a warm, even, and moist climate for the seeds to grow. We will mist twice a week.

    José Marqués

    You can buy your own Beekman 1802 Heritage Vegetable Seeds at your local Williams Sonoma or order online.

    Products and Services

    Chew on This

    A friend of mine sent me these Food and Herb Wheels, which are so useful (and so pretty) for the kitchen. The Herb Wheel shows you which herbs go with what foods, and the NY area Food Wheel shows you what to plant when. The website, run by locavores Carlin Greenstein and Annie Stranger, supports local eating and gardening with tips, information and recipes.

    $20 for the set.

    The Organic Gardener
    (847) 636-2720

    For those of you who live in the Chicago area and are interested in growing an organic garden, Jeanne Pinsof Nolan, the director of The Edible Gardens at the Lincoln Park Zoo, runs The Organic Gardener, a full service landscaping design business that consults with you to install and maintain a functional organic garden for your space. Here’s one picture of just one of her amazing gardens.


    GrowVeg Garden Planner

    Download this tool to make a sketch of your ideal garden, complete with icons for all the fruits and veggies you’d like to plant. The tool gives you handy information about what you plan on growing, including seasonality, water, sun needs, etc. GrowVeg will send you an email letting you know when to plant and when to sow. Click here for a free 30 day trial.

    Selfridges Grow!
    400 Oxford St
    London, UK
    +44 (0) 80 0123 400

    In London, we were inspired by Selfridges GROW! windows and Wonder Room in the month of April and through May 10th. They teamed up with Guerilla Gardening to curate a selection of ingenious garden products for budding horticulturists including Kabloom’s seedboms, which you throw into any barren urban patch to start a spontaneous garden.

    GRDN Brooklyn
    103 Hoyt Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11217
    (718) 797-3628

    Park Slope, Brooklyn’s townhouse scene, is a locus of gardening in New York, with garden stores popping up right and left. GRDN is one of the very first that comes to mind, with its almost sparse elegance and beautifully selected indoor and outdoor garden materials, both functional and decorative. GRDN is also a florist in the same simple and elegant vein.

    Bootscraper, $26

    Terracotta cloche, $49

    Victorian Pot, $24 pre-aged with moss

    Weeder, $20

    Mister, $12

    Photo Credit: Jose Brunner

    Paxton Gate
    824 Valencia Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    (415) 824-1872

    This Valencia St store in San Francisco’s trendy Mission district brings taxidermy, terrariums, carnivorous plants, vintage oddities, and curious garden objects together into this cabinet of curiosities. It’s definitely worth a visit just to take in the owner’s very particular aesthetic. And if you fall in love enough with it, inquire about their design and build services in the San Francisco area.

    Hanging Bubble Terrarium, $50

    Wardian Case, $60

    Bonsai Sheers, $35

    Terrain at Styer’s
    914 Baltimore Pike
    Glen Mills, PA 19342
    (610) 459 2400

    Terrain at Styer’s opened in the spring of 2008, having bought the historic Franklin J. Styer plant nursery. Today it continues to operate as a nursery, and now a café and store with a huge and well-curated selection of decorative outdoor gear. Landscaping services are also available. Their online store is just as well-stocked, with the biggest selection of garden goods out there. Here are some favorites:

    Pinecone Finial, $28

    Pom Pom Dome, $148

    Sussex Arch, $228

    2170 Bandywood Drive
    Nashville, TN
    (615) 383-4882

    My favorite Nashville home store also has an extensive garden supply, and it’s an excellent source of all kinds of Mother’s Day gifts, including what appear to be the most comfortable gardening gloves.

    Gardening Gloves, $28

    95 Spring St
    New York, NY
    (212) 226-8601

    Kiosk is one of the cutest shops in New York, specializing in goods that are always functional and well-designed. The owners travel the world looking for the best goods in every country and organize sales based on their most recent travels. We love this bright Swedish garden tool set.

    Red Metal Garden Tool Set, $36

    479 Atlantic Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY
    (718) 554-0207

    Another Brooklyn gardening institution, Dig, opened 6 years ago. Chuck and Maggie, a husband and wife team, run a full-service landscaping service and sell their cutest finds, including these ridiculously sweet dog and cat topiaries. Prices run from 150 for small breeds to 250 for larger.


    This is just great for the kitchen, a vertical MiniGarden that you can keep your cooking herbs on for a quick grab while cooking.

    MiniGarden, $59.95

    Brook Farm General Store
    75 South 6th St
    Brooklyn, NY 11211
    (718) 388-8642

    Owned and started by husband and wife team Christopher and Philippa, this Williamsburg, Brooklyn store stocks beautifully selected home goods. They have a few great garden goods that are well-crafted, beautiful to look at and made to last. They also take care to source as directly as possible from the original producers. Also, check out their Tourne line, minimal white tableware that Christopher and Philippa design themselves.

    Secateurs, $50

    Market Basket, $40

    Watering Can, $65

    Labour & Wait
    85 Redchurch St.
    London E2 7DJ
    +44 (0) 20 7729 6253

    Functionality, simplicity, craft and good design seem to be the keywords for anything that enters this store. Located in Shoreditch, in London, it’s a wonderful place to find a gift—homeware, lots of tools, minimal clothing and the prettiest cleaning supplies you’ve ever seen.

    Haws Watering Can, £38

    Children’s Gardening Tools, £10

    Dibber & Label Set, £11.50


    For the architects and modernists in the family, Areaware sells Kelly Lamb’s geodesic dome inspired birdhouse.

    Geo-Birdhouse, $95

    Apartment Gardening

    A favorite cookbook author, Amy Pennington has written an incredibly handy manual full of information on how to grow plants in small spaces. The book is full of wonderful tips, recipes and information on all the best things to grow in your home.

    Apartment Gardening

    The goop collection