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.

Growing Goodness Indoors

Growing Goodness Indoors

This blog post was sponsored by Miracle-Gro. As always, the imagery and words are my own. Any images with the pups and/or our son were taken as they interacted under adult supervision in their own natural ways.


Here at our small home-office, we are so lucky to have a compact yet highly usable outdoor space. The yard was one of the reasons why Adam and I picked the cottage to be our first house together. But every other tiny apartment I rented in the past had no garden. 


From my <200 sqft beach studio, to my 300 sqft East Village walk-up, to my shared spaces in DC, Florida, and Upstate NY, I always longed to tend to my own lil’ garden indoors. I know I wasn’t alone in my frustration. Many readers of this blog / my Instagram account who live in compact spaces with no yard and limited natural lighting have written to express similar sentiments. 


For that reason (and for others that I’ll discuss later in this post,) we decided to try the Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System


The easy-to-use Miracle-Gro Twelve unit allows us to grow herbs, leafy greens and flowers year-round without taking up too much space or our time. 


The Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System has a minimalist outer design, which can adapt to the vibe of your home by styling the top in the same way you would dress any accent table (which is essentially what it is at 28” high and 16.5” wide/deep). Or you can stack two of the systems using their dedicated stacking kit, doubling your grow surface without requiring more floorspace.

The Miracle-Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System makes growing fresh herbs and leafy greens simple. First, add plants or seeds to the system. We simply placed our plants in the liner, put the liner in the provided net cup, then dropped the cup into Miracle-Gro Twelve’s base. Water circulates through the system to provide the plant with continual moisture and nutrients that the roots need to grow. There’s also a specially-designed LED grow light for growing plants indoors— at any stage of growth, and at any time of year. 


The Miracle-Gro Twelve app allows you to connect your indoor growing system with Bluetooth wireless technology so you can set your growing schedule, change your lighting mode, monitor your water level, and manage your calendar all from your smartphone.


I found three places where I could set up and plug in the system. I decided that the best spot was next to my desk in the living room/office, which is just a couple of steps from our kitchen and from West’s activity table. I did this on purpose to inspire the lil’ gardener in West, and demonstrate how plants can be grown indoors, too.


Ever since we redid our garden this winter, West has been highly interested in gardening.


Sadly, critters ate most of his plants before he really got to enjoy them.


The experience was valuable, but it was also a bummer. Now, with The Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System inside the Cottage, West is going to be able to eat the food he helps grow. In tandem with using Miracle-Gro Twelve, we will continue to garden with our son outdoors, and we’ll teach him how to transplant certain greens over time.


Since we got the unit at the start of spring, we put it to immediate use with the included Transplanting Kit. The kit includes strong coin fiber liners that hold soil and net cups. The liners allow you to start growing from a plant that's already been started for you, like a Bonnie Plant, and save weeks of growing time.

We put Chocolate Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, and Basil in the system.


Next, we’ll try leafy greens such as Swiss Chard and Lettuce. (But in the meantime, I’m particularly excited for the Nasturtium— I’ve been meaning to introduce some to our home for years.)


Later in the season we will grow new plants from seeds. We already picked out the seeds we want to use because I am ridiculously eager to get started. I’ll share another blog post on that process down the road!

Space-savvy + Low Waste Bathroom Swaps

Space-savvy + Low Waste Bathroom Swaps

Camping in the Cottage

Camping in the Cottage