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The Killer Garden

Among the many things that gave us great joy in our old loft garden, the container mini-bog was one of our favorites. Most of the plants were locally grown, which was pretty awesome. With so much uncertainty about life back home in Charleston, we decided to give the container to a neighbor when we moved. It was painful but we felt it was for the best.

Here are a couple of photos of our mini-bog back in Atlanta.

Mini-bog

Pitcher Saraccenia

We’ve been waiting to make a fresh start with a new container mini-bog. We checked with Hyams a couple months ago but with no luck. Michael picked up a few plants at Pike’s while in Atlanta but it wasn’t until he was about an hour away from home that he realized that he’d left them. Poor thing, he was inconsolable for a while and Tyler was at a loss at what to do for the plants as he’s never dealt with any green thing before! We considered ordering some plants online, and The Carnivorous Plant Connection in Asheville looks amazing, but we decided to try Hyams again last week. They had a small selection of carnies this time and we scooped up several and went off to find a container.

We’ve tried finding another shallow pre-form liner like we had before, and even wanted to use the same for the millstone fountain, but we can’t find them anywhere. We spotted this beautiful ceramic planter on sale last week at Lowe’s and thought it would make a lovely place to lay down roots.

Killer Garden

Planted are a Venus Fly Trap, a Butterwort, a Sundew, 2 varieties of Sarracenia. We found the corkscrew rush on the rescue rack at Lowe’s and added it to the mixture. I’d like to find another dwarf papyrus. I think we’re also going to look at some of the larger, more variegated Sarracenia from Asheville to add to our collection, but I want to spend a little time with what we have and I want to make sure I can keep them alive before investing in more!. It’s been almost four years since we lived with them and it seems I’ve forgotten some things.

Happy eating!

The Weekend

Saturday was my second weekend at the Charleston Farmers Market. I’ve had some pretty decent sales both days and some great feedback from Market goers. The first weekend was a little wobbly as I really hadn’t worked out the dynamics of my both displays and such, but it really wouldn’t until I physically set up for a day. I took notes and made changes/improvements and this is what it looked like on Saturday.

I still have a few more things that I want to make to help the bib necklaces look better. I’m starting to think about this tutorial on Design*Sponge.

For Mother’s Day we made a new fountain for my mother (she lives with us). We have an old millstone that belonged to my grandmother and it passed into my mother’s possession when I was a child. It was placed at the threshold to the main entrance of their last home for 25 years. It was one of the last items to be removed when they sold the house.

Millstone fountain

I’m very pleased with it and can’t wait to see the plants we planted in the water to start showing. We’ll add some fish in a few weeks. The water flow is very gentle and shouldn’t be to much for them.

Mom’s having back surgery this afternoon and I think this space is a nice addition to her ‘recovery suite’, as she calls it.

Celebrations

We had a wonderful first day at the Farmers Market on Saturday, Michael and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on Sunday, and the web project I have been working on for some time finally went live today. We gave each other a composter and wheel barrow as anniversary gifts to each other. We were tempted on making our own composter, but with everything on our ‘to do’ list it would have been forever and a day until we would have gotten this finished. So…we decided to purchase one.

It took us a while to get this puppy together and I’m glad to read that others have required more than a pair of hands to complete the job. Michael worked on building/compacting an earthen pad about a foot high to support the bin, and it now sits behind our fence.

Composter

Once again, I’m finding myself becoming keenly aware of our consumption and waste, and how we can better utilize things once they’re past their intended use. We’re actually going to build a large round chicken wire cage to add compostables while things are cooking in the tumbler.

Sunday also meant more time working and improving the garden beds around the house. I found one of the photos I took of the virgin yard last year.

Late June 2010

This is where were are today.

backSideCornerMay2

We moved the second pagoda to the back corner of the yard and planted a few new things in this area.

Far Back Corner

We snuck in a few new plants in the shade garden.

Back Porch Right

And lastly, the ever evolving edible garden area!

Side Early May

I think that’s enough picture spam for today. I’m off to look for a few things to sass up my booth for this Saturday.

We sure held out on getting those barrels…

Rain Barrel

No really, we tried to wait until next month but we bit the bullet and headed out to Earthfare yesterday afternoon to pick up two 55 gallon barrels. We’ve been eyeing theirs for the past three years and they appear to have the best prices in town, at $69.99 a piece. They’re quite large so when we got them home, we had to move the Hydrangea and Hosta to fit the base { one of the patio pavers }. We were treated to a wonderful rain shower just as we finished! We were amazed at how much came down the chain in such a short amount of time, and just in the one gutter. { video clip } It did allow us to see where we need to make some adjustments. We’re going to add a feeder pipe at the top and we’re definitely going to add a link or two between each cup in an attempt to reduce some of the ‘spitting’.

Rain Barrel

(more…)

Weekend accomplished

So much awesomesauce in the yard this weekend. Yesterday we started seeds for Poppies, Nasturtium, Clary Sage (won’t bloom until next year), Hollyhocks (again, in a year), Sunflowers, Zinnias, Cypress Vine, Chinese Lanterns, Nigella, Marigolds, Morning Glories, Beets, Sweet Peas and a few others I can’t think of at the moment. So, the edible garden now has Tomatoes, Basil, Greek Oregano, Thyme, Oregano, Cilantro, Banana Peppers, Habanero Peppers, Bell Peppers, Pablano Peppers, Serrano Peppers, Beets, Okra, Collards, Squash, Zucchini, Eggplant and Cantaloupe. We’re waiting for the lettuce to sprout.

We recently planted some Hyssop, Rue, Veronica, Lemon Balm, Bee Balm and the Mint is starting to run wild. We bought another tiny creeping Mint that is quite delightful. Trying to grow Fennel for their seeds for the amount of space we have and for the amount of work involved isn’t worth it, but we’re going to grow it to use the bulb in cooking. I’m ready to start another raised bed for herbs and flowers.

We starting installing the gutters along the back on Saturday and added the first of two rain chains. We bought them at Tuesday Morning for a pretty sweet price. They’re obviously not copper but as much as I love it, do we really have to have copper cups and chains? Each chain is eight feet long and we have about a twelve foot drop from the eave so we’re going to pick up some link chain and add a few spacer links between each cup. We’re going to buy the rain barrels soon so in the interim the rain will fall into a large ceramic pot with pea grave that will allow the water to gently trickle into the soil. I also hope to train some vining/creeping plants along the outside of the rain barrels when they go in the garden.

I think that’s it for this edition of the garden report. ♥

I’ll raise you eight inches

As promised, here are pics from the new raised edible garden. We planted tomatoes, eggplant, squash, zucchini, several varieties of peppers, basil, oregano and thyme. I’ve also added a few Nasturtiums we had patiently waiting for this space and we’ll add more companion/beneficials/more edibles in the coming weeks.

Mid-April Side

Also in the picture is the newly hung Green Man at the gate. Very happy to see him out and about again!

Now, on the my first day at the Farmers Market. But only it wasn’t. We were in line for those horrendous storms that hit other areas of the southeast and we really dodged something terrible, and my heart goes out to all who were affected by them. Wind Advisories were in place for Saturday and when we got downtown at 6:00 there were maybe 6 tents set up. The winds were pretty brisk and one of the vendors told us that several others had canceled. Our spot is on Tobacco Road, which was much windier than the King Street side and my stuff can be easily lifted from displays. So we decided to cancel. Unknown to me (as I didn’t check email on the way downtown) was an email telling those of us with fine art, glassware and anything that could be damaged to not feel obligated to come down.

As vendors, are required to have our tents weighted down. Some people use the sandbags that are made for the commercial tents, some use barbell weights and some get crafty. That’s what we decided to do. Michael made these awesome cement weights using pvc pipes, caps and and eye bolt with a washer.

Tent Weights

Saturday did turn out to be a nice day as we’d been very fortunate in skirting the storm, but we were told that Tobacco Road still had some pretty fierce winds and were wise to have canceled.

When the gardening gets tough, the tough get scattered

Mid April

This space started as a clean slate this year. We added Creeping Jenny and Asian Jasmine to the front area of the pond on Sunday. The Hostas around the corner are getting huge for their second year, andw e’ve been patiently waiting for the Caladiums to show themselves. I think I may have planted them too late? We may just have to buy a few. I need to see what Hyams has in their stock as I haven’t been very pleased with Lowe’s selection.

The bed on the opposite side of the porch is the one with the most returning plants this year. When we moved into this house in June, we brought with us several plants that had to get into the ground. It wasn’t till the end of the month before we had time to plant them, which was not the most ideal. We have another area on the other side of the house where the majority of those plants are located, but I’m not feeling it, hence the lack of photos. The fence bed needs more structure and that will come later. It’ll be easy for me to dig a trench for the recycled bordering material. I think we’re going to have to wait until next year before we will build the path from the gate to the patio. We’ve just seeded the yard and will remain content with that for the time being. I also stuck the Loquat tree in this section for a little height.

Mid April

Mid April

We built the box for the raised vegetable bed on the side of the house yesterday. It measures 10′ x 4′ and I think it’s an ideal size for starting out. We have to get more dirt tomorrow and then we’ll plant. I am intending on planting several things in front of the bed such as another Loquat tree, a few Oleanders, Bee Balm, banana trees and some other odds and ends. By the time we’re finished, the bed itself won’t be visible from the street. The picture below was taken yesterday and I was standing roughly where the back of the bed is now sitting.

Mid April

I think we’ve done pretty darn well in the amount of time we’ve lived in the house. We’ve decided to hold off on the front until later, as I want to focus my energy getting the side and back areas lush, lush, lush! That, and finishing the patio. I’ll post photos of the edible garden soon. We completely forgot to take a pic before we started but I don’t think it will be hard to imagine how it looked.

Tales of the Market coming up!

Bon Weekend – Full Frontal

My gardening obsession has reached a fevered pitch recently and we’re going to address the main front bed shortly. The above photos were taken the day we looked at the house. I love variegated Pitosporum (the small bushes in the front), but they have a nasty fungus on them. Actually, most of the plants in the front are infected with something. Apparently we’re not the only yard suffering. The other bushes, mom knows their name, also have to go. I’m just not a fan. In their place we’re planting a loquat tree, white oleander and some lower growing plants. One of our sago palms is already in the bed and we have another sago inside that will now make it’s home outside. I’m in hopes of eventually having a curved palm or two in the front. They cost more, but I love their lazy slope.

I ordered some Hakone grass (aka Japanese Forest Grass) from Hyams this week. Oh Hyams, it has been my secret desire to work there for most of my adult life. Maybe one day!

{ Grass photo credit: BHG }

Juicy Fruit

This weekend’s gardening adventure was our first foray in handling fruit trees. We purchased an Improved Meyer Lemon tree and a Navel Orange tree. There were a few varieties of the oranges and I would love to go back and pick up the Blood Orange tree at some point. We were also hoping to find a grapefruit tree in the mix but alas, not. We’ll have to stay diligent with weekly and perhaps bi-weekly nursery visits. Though there are few flowers left, the scent wafting around the orange trees was divine. Bitter Orange blossoms are used to make Neroli essential oil, but the fragrance from these varieties was enough to send me into a state of complete bliss. I took a bit of effort from Michael to lure me away so we could make our purchase and get our new additions home.

I really, really hope they do well.

{ Photo credit: Sunset }

While I’m waiting on help ticket answer.

I’d like to shout a big ‘Thank You!’ to Offbeat Home for using a some of our old loft patio garden photos!

Late Spring / Early Summer 2007

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