Tag Archives: gardening

18 May

DIY Kinetic Garden Sculpture

1aThis weekend my husband and I finally made a sculpture for the focal point of our hill garden.  When we built the wall back in 2004 I had imagined a sculpture in this location, and even installed a concrete tube footing with rebar.  I guess I just never found something I wanted to spend a lot of money on, and there were always things that seemed like a higher priority (plants, ha!) but since my garden is going to be on two garden tours soon I figured I better get something in that spot that was mildly interesting.

We had a few criteria… 1) not too expensive (we ended up spending about $40).  2) not to hard or time consuming to make (It took us a couple hours).  3)it had to be at least 6′ tall to be in scale with the garden (it ended up being 10′tall).

Materials:   We started by going to the hardware store and buying 9 plastic pipes (10′ long pvc schedule 40), some huge landscape nails, 9 solar lights, a metal floor flange with a 4″ extension, and 2 cans of spray paint formulated for painting plastic.  We also used some plywood and a landscape nail we already had.

2

We laid out the pipe on a tarp on the driveway, across two pipes to keep them slightly elevated.

1

Next we sanded off the black bar codes and writing, then cleaned the pipes with a little soap and water.

We spray painted the pipes with two different color reds.  They were pretty close in color, one was more orange than the other.  I tried to do a fade from one to the other, but the paint colors are just so close you really can’t tell.

4

We put 3 pieces of plywood together for a thick base, painted it black, then attached the floor flange in the center over a 1/2″ hole we drilled.

3

Then we arranged the 9 nails facing up, in a circle around that.

The idea is that the metal floor flange would sit down over the piece of rebar that was sticking out of the concrete foundation in the area I wanted the sculpture.  You could also just have a long piece of rebar pounded far into the ground, it’s the same idea, but having it already in concrete was a bonus. The metal flange fit right over the rebar, and even though they are not technically attached, the rebar/flange combo keeps the sculpture from tilting.

6

After we painted the pvc pipes, we gave them a quick second coat.

We put the plywood base into place by just setting it on the existing single piece of rebar coming out of the ground, and leveling the plywood base with rocks.

When the pvc pipes were dry, we put some 99 cent solar lights on the top of each pipe.  The solar lights just needed a little duct tape around the base and they fit perfectly snugly within the pvc pipe (we did check the fit of the solar lights with the pipe at the hardware store to make sure we got ones that fit together with little problem or work.

Putting up the sculpture was then just a matter of literally setting the pipes over the ends of the nails.

7

The pipes bend naturally, and splay out.  When the wind blows they wave a bit, and move.  It is very organic looking.

I was very happy with the result, it is definitely eye catching, and I love the way it moves in the wind.  The solar lights at night are a little bonus.  I think we might go back at some point in the future and do another shorter ring around this one, maybe in yellow!

8

 

 

 

20 Jan

Thinking about what to plant in the veggie garden this year

So, it’s after the winter holidays now and I’m starting to think about what vegetables I want to grow this year.

So this is the 10th year that I’ve had my raised vegetable gardens.  I have 4 of them and they are about 6′x8′.

I’ve gone through many permutations of plan plans for them, starting off with the square foot gardening method with strict string layouts and regimented borders of flowers.  I progressed into a haphazard (read lazy) version of the square foot method with ‘areas’ not defined any more with string.  I’ve planted for early, mid and late successional plantings (or tried to) and I slowly moved towards more of an inter-planting scheme. The last season was one where I let everything lay fallow, and weed covered, as my garden pathways were under construction and I just ignored the forest of volunteer veggies, flowers and weeds until early fall (at which time I did harvest over 50 mini pumpkins from a volunteer vine that I never weeded, watered, planted, or fussed over…best success with pumpkin growing I’ve ever had…ha!)

At this time, mid-winter, I’m anticipating the next season of planting…which actually may be my favorite part…the catalog browsing, dreaming and planning stages.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always getting sucked into the gardening and seed catalogs, and I’ve grown many many things that I don’t even really eat.  I’ve had tomato’s coming out of my ears (I’m not a huge fan of tomato’s really), and have harvested a lot of strange and inedible bitter greens.

This year, I think I’m going to try my hand at cucumbers.  I’ve actually never had good success with cucumbers, but I tried the most delicious brined pickles this winter (Bubbes brand from Whole Foods) and they were so delicious I thought I’d like to try my hand at brining my own fermented pickles.  So I see some trellises in my future, probably made from the bamboo I took down that was previously made into my berry cage.  I see buckets of brined pickles and can’t wait to start looking at the growing pile of catalogs by my desk to choose several varieties of cucumbers to try.

I don’t think I’m going to grow tomatos at all, since several of my neighbors do, I will have plenty when they start sharing.

I do think I’ll get some nice lettuce going, and onions and leeks.  Also carrots and beets.

So in the mean time, before I start my indoor seeds, I’ll just be dreaming and planning of spring…Yay!

 

12 Aug

July 2011 Garden Photos

Sunflower planted by Chipmunks

Wow, July was a very dry month for us here in Missouri…although the total amount of rainfall was near normal…that 3 inches all came in the first few days of the month…and then nothing for the rest of the month.  Things have struggled in the drought and heat this month…there were several weeks of very high temperatures…many days in the triple digits.  It has been almost impossible to keep up with weeding chores because of the heat…so things are getting a little overgrown in places…it is always difficult to stay motivated to maintain the garden when it is so hot, and this summer was a record setter!

 

Read More

02 Jun

Serviceberry Jam (and Strawberry Jam)

These are the homemade strawberry preserves made with sugar

Today I had the house to myself and I decided to embark on my first Jamalama (Jam making and canning) I’m doing Serviceberry and Strawberry. Of course the first thing you must do when jammin’ is turn the music mix up real loud…I hope you like Jammin’ too…we’re jammin’ he he :)

Read More

31 May

Two Month Garden Time Lapse

The Backyard Layout is very Formal...which ties together the whole design.

Here is a time lapse video of my hill garden from April 1st 2011 to may 31st 2011.  It begins with the forsythia in bloom in the pot, and some bulbs.  Soon the serviceberry trees bloom white and everything starts turning green.  The Siberian Iris in the pot are growing, and when they begin blooming the bearded Iris do too way to the left of the image.  The hill garden blooms in very light pink from the primrose and is also very purple from the catmint (although the video doesn’t show it well)  Towards the end you start seeing the serviceberries turning red and our ladder is out so we can pick them.  There was a lot of rainy days during this two months…and we did some entertaining towards the end of the video.

26 May

May 2011 Garden Photos

Native Pink Honeysuckle macro

May was a great month for the garden!  I spent a lot of time out there and am pleased that it looks as good as it does.  It has rained quite a bit and everything is extremely green!  I stepped back for some of these photos so you can see the design of the garden more instead of focusing so much on individual flowers.  I hope you enjoy taking a tour of the garden, I wish you all could see it in person because the pictures just don’t do it justice.  It is like a garden of paradise out there, with so many birds and animals, flowers and fruit, I am truly one lucky gardener!

Read More

03 May

April 2011 Garden Photos

Strawberry Blooming

Here are some photos from my garden in April 2011.  It was a very rainy month and some of the photos really turned out nice…they are worth a click to see the larger image because the thumbnails really don’t do them justice.  I particularly like the way the rain droplets look…I think my favorite photo is the Solomon seal, but the strawberry photo is a close second…actually, I like them all.  The rain this month has made everything very green and vivid. Read More

30 Apr

April 2011 Garden Time Lapse Video

backyard

Here is the first time lapse video of the garden….April 2011

Note the video begins with the forsythia in bloom and the hill still brown and not cut back or mulched.  Then the serviceberries bloom and the grass and hill start to turn green.  The next installment for May should show the hill burst into bloom, pink and purple!!!!!


Read More

14 Oct

2010 September Garden Photos

Erie viburnum / Viburnum dilatatum 'Erie'

Here is a collection of photo’s showing what is in flower in my garden during September 2010

Its getting close to fall but there is still a lot of diversity in the showy flowers and plants this time of year.

Read More

21 Jun

June 2010 Garden Photos

hibisucs

Time for another tour of the garden!  June is a big month for the garden!!! Things that were small in the beginning of the month are huge now.  Beans and corn that were still seeds a month ago are now over 5  feet tall!  Here is a gallery of photos I took, mostly from June 21st (solstice) so you can see what is blooming and how far along some of the vegetables are.  Click on the thumbnail for detailed descriptions and larger photos.  Everything is grown organically. Read More

All Content Copyright 2010-2014 Sprawlstainable. All Rights Reserved. Website customized by DeweeseDesign Powered by: WordPress