Bzzzz June 27th, 2013

I have finally given up on squatting on the ground next to the driveway potting up garden containers. That’s right. I squatted when I potted. No more. I have a new potting bench.

We recently had a carpenter out to do some repairs on the house. While he was here I handed him a photo of a potting bench I saw on Pinterest.

Potting bench on the shady side of the house

He gave me an unbelievable price to knock it together.

This potting bench is tall enough that I can have two large and one small galvanized garbage cans below. The large ones hold potting mix and leaf compost. The smaller one holds bags of grit, vermiculite and such.

There is also a step running the length of the potting bench so that I don’t have to stand in the mud on rainy days. The step also allows me to drag the garbage cans out onto the step without having to lift them on and off the platform below. So very handy.

The potting bench is located on a shady-ish side of the house next to the outdoor shower and a hose. This is where I gather plants I have divided and potted, where I harden off seedlings, showcase my collection of Guy Wolff pots and otherwise hold plants until they get into the ground. It doesn’t entirely cover the unsightly heat pump units, but it does distract from them.

Guy Wolff clay pots on the new potting bench

I am happy, happy, happy not to be a squatter potter anymore.

Posted In: Gardening, Gardening Life

Tags: , ,


Bzzzz July 6th, 2012

Remember spring?

April, May and June were so very lovely. Winter departed early giving us a chance to get outdoors, tidy and plant our veggies weeks before we would normally consider emerging from inside. I, for one, was exhilarated by the fireflies in April, the balmy May breezes, the lovely June evenings eating dinner on the patio.

Well, early June that is. It got pretty ugly last week.

Potager in June

Potager in June

The confluence of thunderstorms that I learned is called a derecho (prounounced “deh-REY-cho”) blew through here near midnight on Friday, June 29.  I was sound asleep when I was rudely awakened by howling winds and two terrified Papillons tap dancing on top of me. Yes, our little dogs sleep with us. That’s just the way we roll.

I tucked one little dog under one arm and the other little dog under the other arm and whispered reassurances to them. There was wind blowing. There were crashing sounds. And then…the most terrifying sound of all. Three battery backup systems started beeping. The power had gone out.

Now, if you don’t live in a rural area you may not have the full appreciation for how bad it is when the power goes out. It’s not just that we don’t have lights, air conditioning and internet. We don’t have water. No showers—even cold ones—no toilets to flush, no water for the plants. Nothing. And being at the end of the power grid (or so it seems), we can pretty much count on being low on the priority list when it comes to getting power restored.

Daylilies in June

Daylilies in June

We suffered through Saturday and Sunday with none of the comforts of civilization. It was nearly 100 degrees both days. Despite buying ice and trying to save food, we lost most everything in two refrigerator/freezers.

We were giddy with joy when the power came back on Sunday night. It took hours and hours to cool the house back down and most of Monday to clean up the refrigerator messes. Going to the dump following a power outage is not for the weak. It takes a strong stomach and strong arms to do the dirty task.

june potager2b

You might think my whining is complete. But nay nay!

We may have power, but it’s still miserably hot and our area is in moderate drought conditions. I spend my days working at the desk and taking breaks every half hour or so to dash outside, move hoses and hand water plants. From time to time I put down the hose to pick Japanese beetles from the beans, rhubarb and roses and drop them into a jar of soapy water. If the jar isn’t handy and I see one I just squish it with my bare hands. I am fearless!

Cone flowers

Cone flowers

Things look a bit ratty here and there from the heat, drought and chicken scratchings. July is, so far, the cruelest month. But we’re getting beans, cucumbers, squash, leeks and herbs. The lettuce has turned bitter, but the Swiss chard is in. Tomatoes are growing and so far I see no signs of the fusarium wilt problem we have had the past two summers. Perhaps all that solarizing last summer did the trick?

The gardener’s life is not always easy. But it is quite often rewarding, even during cruel times.

(Click on the photos to embiggen.)



Posted In: Gardening, Gardening Life

Tags: , ,


« Previous PageNext Page »