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Friday Finds (and a growing to-do list)


It’s raining out and I can feel the to-do list getting longer rather than shorter.

Currently the list includes:

  • Weeding. Shocker! It’s been alternating rain and sun, heat and damn near freezing here, which means the weeds are popping up faster than I can grab them.
  • Designing my containers for the year. I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet. By this time I usually have my shopping list with me at all times and I’m picking up things as I find them. Crazy year.
  • Designing a secret project that is coming up in just a few weeks. Can’t tell you more yet!
  • Planting. I actually have a few plants already that need to get in the ground. At least this is a fun job.
  • The little matter of a giant raised vegetable garden to build. Eek.

I’m also working on a couple of garden projects in the basement that involve taking perfectly good new things and changing them. This includes a couple of trellises and a new container. I’m not sure when I started thinking that it was OK to buy something and cut it apart, but I’m embracing my insanity on that one. Hopefully I’ll finish those up this weekend and be able to show you them next week.

Hylocomen japonica
I had to share this shot of Hylomecon japonica growing in my garden. I read about this plant on Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden and had to find it, which I did, via mail order, a couple years ago. It’s now big enough to divide, which I will do after it is finished blooming. I’d fill up a garden with this if I could

Before I move on to more pressing matters, I have a question for you. As you know, we are about to build a very large raised bed vegetable garden and I’ll be blogging and making videos about it as we go. My question is, are you interested in a cost breakdown? I hesitate to even suggest it because 1. I don’t really like to see these numbers on paper, and 2. I can see that it’s going to be a lot and I don’t want anyone to think they can’t do a project like this on some scale. But I will do it if it’s helpful and if people are truly interested. So let me know in the comments. 

The good news is that the area for the garden is to be graded on Monday! After that it’s just laying out and building 12 beds, installing irrigation, filling the beds with soil, putting paver base and gravel on the paths, building a fence and planting them. No biggie right? (Note, I will give you beer and pizza if you want to help and you can have tomatoes in August if you can recommend a good and not crazy expensive fence contractor in southeastern Wisconsin who can fit me in on the fly when we’re to that point.)

I let a flower on the white Thunbergia I have been growing from seed bloom just so I could see it and it was worth it. That throat is as close to black as I’ve ever seen on a plant. I can’t wait to see masses of white flowers scaling toward to the sky in a container.

But onto the good stuff the internet has to offer from this week:

My yard looks much like Beth’s these days, although perhaps a few days behind. She’s right though, it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it time of year.

I know I’m a bit late for Mother’s Day gift ideas, but I have a good one. Roo Aprons sent me an apron to try. I’m not a huge apron person but this thing is close to life changing. I got the half apron (Joey). It has a wide strap with a plastic pinch buckle so you can strap it on tight and that’s good because what you do next is fill it up with harvested veggies, eggs or weeds, which is what I’ve been doing. Then you just flip it down (there are little slip ties on the side) and  it dumps out. It makes weeding so much faster.

Straw bale gardening is becoming so popular. I’ve not done it but I know a lot of people are trying it. Here are some great suggestions on how to get started.

If you’ve been here for any time  you know I love a sharply edged garden bed. Last year I got a gas edger and was smitten, and the topic of edging came up on the California Spring Trials trip (this is what gardeners talk about in a van; what a crazy bunch). But Marianne tells the tale better than I do. 

Did you see Laura’s hayrack project (part one and part two)? Holy smokes, it is mind boggling. I can’t wait to see what it looks like with everything grown in. 

The winner of the HOT flowers giveaway is Heather P! Congrats Heather!

That’s it from here. Have a great weekend everyone and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope the weather lets you get out in the garden this weekend!

6 Responses

  1. Love theRoo apron. Helpful to watch their video. I can’t imagine doing annual planters on a fence as long as Laura’s. I’d go for vines. I always find actual costs useful because for so many projects we can watch or read about, we really have no idea.

  2. I guess you could say that I am OCD about my beds being edged and the lawn as well. Just bought a new battery operated weed trimmer/edger that came with 2 batteries and a charger. Had one of these many years ago and was not sold but my new one is 100% better and lightweight. I have a lot to edge, so far so good.
    Not interested in pricing on your garden, just want to see how you do it, ha! Thanks

  3. I don’t need to know what your veg garden costs are. I can imagine just having a contractor in will set you back some. What I am really interested in is the design and how you carry out said design. I always say go a big and all out that you can. You will never regret it. If like me you don’t have a lot of discretionary money you do as you can. It sounds like you are going to seriously grow veggies. Good for you.

  4. Wow, I’m envious of your raised bed project! I found the cost of raised bed materials to be worth the investment in quality materials. They last and the payback in edibles for your personal consumption and for food pantry donation covers the cost in just a couple of years. Good luck!

  5. I can hardly wait to see your progress – as far as price, if something is very reasonable or very expensive, I think it’s helpful to know (just to keep in mind as ideas spark.).
    Congrats Heather!

  6. Oh my goodness, you are going to be busy with those raised vegetable beds! I’m impressed! I’ll look forward to your posts about it. I’m not really interested in the price, but will enjoy the how-tos and the journey. 🙂 Today’s rain/cold was messed up, and it set me back again with the gardening. The extended outlook looks good. Onward!

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