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An Incredible Use of SMALL Garden Space

Many of us have small gardens and know the challenges of trying to fit a lot into a tiny space, but what if you basically have NO space upon which to garden? What then?

Well, Baylor Chapman in San Francisco knows that dilemma all too well. She lives in the Mission District – a hip, cool, industrialized section of the city that it is very urban. Baylor is a “green” florist (Lila B Designs) who strives to use local, organically grown flowers in her floral designs.

And there is a great story in that…

But, this post is about how Baylor is also a gardener with basically NO space. And how she has come up with creative ways to garden anywhere and in just about anything…(notice the shutter behind her in the photo below)

We filmed Baylor a few months ago for Growing A Greener World and I wanted to share some of the photos from the shoot. The episode is on Small Space Gardening and we featured two locations with Baylor.

The Deck Garden:

Baylor’s personal garden space is on a deck of just 500 square feet. It gets full sun and no view other than the industrial buildings around her. But in that space, she has created an oasis where she can entertain, read and relax…And the coolness factor is through the roof!

Yes, that is a truck tool box being used as a bench!


Baylor makes great use of color and unusual containers.


Check out these succulent shutters!


And these succulent, metal…thing-a-ma-jigs!

More coolness…

Heck, even the inside of her loft was ubber cool.

The Parking Lot Garden:

For Baylor’s floral design business, she wanted LOCAL, organically grown flowers but she also wanted unusual plants for her brides. Although she found a few local sources, it was not enough when she had larger events…So, she decided to grow them herself. But where?

How about around the perimeter of an urban parking lot?!


That is what she did! She grows tons of incredible plant material in pots around a rented parking lot. The lot itself is still used by a production company for deliveries but the edges were empty…until now.

Baylor’s helper in the garden and floral business is Sophie. Check out

her cute gardening skirt, complete with clipper pockets. Love it!

  FilmingBaylorFilming Baylor

It just goes to show that with a little ingenuity, you can do anything!

The episode we filmed will be airing nationally on Public Television on October 1, 2011. After that date, you will also be able to watch it on our website HERE.

To read more about Baylor and what she does, check out this blog post by my friend Debra Prinzing. Baylor is going to be featured in her upcoming book on locally, sustainably grown flowers! I will be writing more about that book when it gets closer to publication!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • TeresaR says:

    What thoroughly creative and clever is that?! Love her ways of using what little space she has.

  • Karina says:

    Wow that’s amazing! I always feel that I don’t have enough space and can’t create a big garden, but she has definitely proved me wrong! Was the climate for her warm all year round?

  • Yes Karina,

    She has warm weather most of the year. I’m not sure what her zone is exactly, but she does not get snow or any harsh coldness.

  • Karina says:

    Oh I see, if only it worked the same as to where I currently reside. Thanks!

  • I know! Bummer!

    But I do think her balcony planters would work anywhere IF they were just brought in for the winter time. The use of containers is so great!

  • Mrs. Olsen says:

    I just found your blog from a canning collaborative link. I have perused a bit of it and I am loving what I have seen thus far. I am also excited about the show you are working on. I linked it up to my iPad and am excited to watch them over the next while.

    So I have a question that I am hoping you can help me out with. For several years I have wanted to can my own apple-carrot juice. Years ago I bought some for my baby in the baby section, and I thought it was a great blend of fruit and veggie juice. I haven’t seen it sold in the regular juice section, and I would prefer to can my own anyway. Would you have a recipe and canning directions for apple-carrot juice?

  • Hi Mrs. Olsen,

    I know you can put up apple juice because it is a high acid food. But I do not know how you can safely put up fruit-vegetable combo juices. Vegetables have a very low pH and therefore can harbor the botulism spore that can poison you if not canned properly. They must be pressure canned. The minute you add carrot juice, you have altered the pH and you have no way of accurately knowing the exact amount of time and pressure needed to pressure can. You need an extremely high temperature (only available under high pressure) for a specific amount of time, in order to kill all botulism spores. So, I would not do it.

    However, you CAN safely can apple juice. Just do not alter the recipe with ANY veggies. Only do this with apple juice. Here is a link to the USDA guide in pdf form with a recipe for doing this)

    And for more safe canning info, here is a link to all the USDA canning guides:

  • I’ve found that gardening in small spaces is the way to go for most people. Most individuals feel overwhelmed with the idea of traditional row gardening, and right so. Row gardening is a lot of work. I love the way this urban gardener has found ingenious ways to utilize small spaces for the plants.

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