August 14th, 2013
As I was browsing around over on Pinterest this morning, I was impressed with some of the solutions gardeners found to common gardening problems—organizing garden tools and supplies, protecting and supporting plants, labeling plants, nurturing and decorating. I have also seen some fabulous, clever and cheap garden solutions from garden tours in recent years, so I thought I would pull them out of the archives and share.
I have noticed that gardeners are quite thrifty in utilizing and repurposing available materials. Twigs, sticks and vines can be used to support plants, as trellises and even just for decor.
A series of larger sticks can be pushed into the ground for peas, sweetpeas and other plants that could use a bit of extra support. One year we used branches from mimosa trees that had blown down in a storm to create a cucumber trellis.
If you need to block off a path or area to discourage foot traffic, a collection of salvaged branches can do the trick.
Unusual materials can also be repurposed in the garden for many purposes. I have often seen marine-grade rope draped to create attractive supports for trailing roses and vines.
How about repurposing sandbags? They can be used to create temporary walls, garden seating or raised beds.
Tree stumps can be unsightly and expensive to remove. If it’s large enough, a tree stump can be repurposed as a novelty garden seat, table or planter pedestal.
Aren’t gardeners wonderfully creative and clever?
You can follow my board of garden solutions over on Pinterest.
June 25th, 2013
I had visitors to my potager garden in early June. As they wandered around, one of the men turned and asked, “Just how much time do you spend gardening?”
Part of me started to panic that perhaps he thought I should spend a bit more time weeding and tidying. Then I remembered that these folks weren’t gardeners, so his question was most likely amazed curiosity—something akin to my asking my neighbor with more than 20 cats how many cats she has.
Now, to be fair, I don’t spend nearly as much time gardening as some people I know. My friend at Fairegarden is out scrambling around early in the morning every day of every month of every year. She, like Gail at Clay and Limestone, even don head-to-toe clothing and netting to protect themselves from the tiger mosquitoes in Tennessee. And then there’s Layanee’s Rhode Island garden at Ledge and Gardens—a place so beautiful she must spend hours and hours keeping it just so.
But I do spend a fair amount of time out there gardening.
This year for the first year since we moved here that most of my time hasn’t been spent watering and weeding. Nature has favored us with regular rain and some beds have filled in so that weeds have no place to take hold. I have spent much more time planning and planting, moving plants to new locations and even just walking around and thinking about things.
Although I enjoy the whole process of gardening, from the digging to the hauling to the plant shopping (yippee!), I admit that the best of the best is wandering around and just looking at things grow. I never, ever tire of watching how the garden changes from day to day and even from hour to hour as the sun moves across the sky. I am amazed at the variety (and quantity) of the butterflies and bugs that make their home here. I am grateful for having a sense of smell so that I can appreciate the garden with that sense as well. Honeysuckle, roses, jasmine and cut hay combine to make the air better than any bottled concoction on sale at Nordstrom.
So when that fellow asked me how much time I spend gardening, my response was simple. “Not nearly enough.”