Welcome to the Cottage.

The Tiny Canal Cottage® is a 1920's Craftsman-style house by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. This <400 sqft home/office is the full-time residence of Creative Director Whitney Leigh Morris, her husband, their son, and two rescue beagles.

Off-Season Indoor Gardening in Small Spaces

Off-Season Indoor Gardening in Small Spaces

This blog post is sponsored by Miracle-Gro Twelve. As always, the imagery and words are my own, with the exception of precise product descriptions/specs, and any images with the pups and/or our son were taken as they interacted under adult supervision in their own natural ways.

Having a garden is not something I take for granted. With the exception of my childhood home, this cottage is the first place I’ve ever lived that has its own lil’ patch of earth. 


Not a week goes by that I don’t receive messages from readers who express their frustration about not having a yard of their own in which to grow leafy greens. For that exact reason, we decided to try the Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System here in our tiny house and share our experience with you. 


We stacked two systems together by using the stacking kit and can now grow 8 batches of herbs and leafy greens from seedlings right here inside the house. We documented the process— from start to finish— for readers who are curious about ways in which to grow greenery in small interiors year-round.


The Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System has  a 16.5” x 16.5” footprint. When sitting solo, it can pull double duty as end table, measuring about 28” in height.


It’s easy to maximize grow space without using too much precious floor space by stacking two units together vertically like we did here.


A slight modification allows them to link to each other securely, and they can then be attached to the wall for extra balance and safety.


To blend the set-up in with our decor, we topped our dual system with a small number of books, a trailing plant, and a handmade ceramic tray that we prefer to keep high up and beyond our son’s reach.


July 26th, we planted seeds in the provided net cups. 

We selected leaf lettuce, nasturtium, Swiss chard, basil, and cilantro to grow in our stacked units. 


The system can also grow arugula, kale, romaine + bibb lettuce, parsley, dill, sage, oregano, and thyme. 


The plants can grow for up to 2 months, but depending on the variety planted, they can be harvested in as little as four weeks. 


We harvested most of ours on August 19th. 


Not only could we of course see that it was time to use the lettuce, but the Miracle-Gro Twelve app also alerted us that it was time to harvest. 


The app connects to your indoor growing system with Bluetooth wireless technology and allows you to set your growing schedule, change your lighting mode, monitor your water level, and manage your calendar from your smartphone. 


This is particularly helpful to use when you want to adjust the timing of the lighting to suit your personal preference within your home.


West is still as into plants as he was at the start of the year. He continues to ask to plant seeds in the system, trim the plants outdoors, and seek out gardening and seasonal books in the children’s section of the library.


He was extremely excited to harvest the plants with his father after patiently watching them grow throughout the month. 


We hadn’t intended on including him in any imagery, but he insisted on being there with his kid-safe scissors to cut the lettuce. 


He even ate a few bites of the harvest when Adam turned it into a salad for the family— WIN.


Once one plant is removed from the system, it can simply be replaced and start anew while the others continue to grow at their own pace. 


This means that there can be a supply of fresh greens and herbs for your kitchen and decor year-round. 


The leafy greens grown in the Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System ended up yielding more food than we expected, while beautifying our home in the process. 


It also turned out to be a wonderful family activity for us to partake in throughout the year.


Through the end of September, 1% of proceeds of the Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System sold will be donated to No Kid Hungry to help work towards the goal of ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need, such as school breakfast, and after school meals. Learn more via the official website, here.

Our Fleet of “Company Cars”

Our Fleet of “Company Cars”

Zero Hunger, Zero Waste

Zero Hunger, Zero Waste