Greenhouse Project: Feeling Closed In

It's time for another backyard greenhouse shed update and I'm excited about this one!  You might ask why am I so excited...the doors have been set! This is when I can see that everything is starting to look like I originally intended. The front doors are on after a little bit of repair work. We shaved off an inch of the bottom of each door because of rotted wood. The rot didn't extend far up the door (less than the inch we cut) but needed removed otherwise it would continue to spread.  The doors have been sitting outside for a long time resting on the ground and just couldn't weather the weather! Additionally cutting an inch off the doors helped the doors fit a little better. Here in these pictures I have the door and one window propped closed. I needed to attach a latch to the more stationary left…

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Leatherman Pruners?

I was looking on Amazon at some of the bestselling garden tools recently and I noticed this little tool that I found interesting: A Leatherman Pruning tool. It's a neat idea but as I pondered it I began to wonder exactly how useful it might be. Would it be able to replace my Swiss Army pocket knife I carry everywhere? The Leatherman tool has pruners (which are a necessity in the garden), wire cutters, weed remover, grafting knife, bark lifter, Phillips screwdriver, saw, flat screwdriver, sprinkler tool, bottle opener, and a ruler. That's quite a few tools in one device but when I'm in the garden I usually don't need all of those tools very often. The one tool I would use the most would be the pruners which I'm pretty pleased with a pair of Fiskar pruners (Fiskars UltraBlade Traditional Bypass Pruner) I bought a couple months ago. I've…

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Can You Identify This Rose?

I'm definitely no expert in roses.  Recently I saw this rose blooming at my mother-in-law's home and was curious as to it's identity. The insides of the bloom are a creamy yellow color while the outside of the petals are a kind of red-peach color. The rose has a cluster of four flowers which make it most likely a type of floribunda or grandiflora (For more information on roses: All American Rose Selections).  With such an amazing variety of roses in existence it may be impossible to identify with 100% accuracy what this one is but I'm hoping someone out there might have a clue! I ended up taking four cuttings from this rose bush as well as about 8-10 other rose cuttings of two other varieties. So far in rose propagation I've scored and grand total of one rooted rose (out of 8-10 from the plant swap). I haven't…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday this Thanksgiving! Visit well, eat well, and most of all give thanks for all the wonders of life that we take for granted each and every day. I would like to thank everyone who reads this gardening blog for adding something extra to the enjoyment of my favorite pastime! Without the readers and commentors blogging would be a whole lot like talking to myself (which I have been known to do sometimes!) Also I would really like to thank my parents for all the help they have been with my Greenhouse project so far. I couldn't have gotten this far without you!

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My Simple Compost Solution

You can go out and spend all kinds of money for a fancy compost bin but sometimes a simple solution can work just as well. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a lazy composter. There I said it. I don't get out there to the bin to turn it regularly. I don't check it with a fancy compost thermometer to make sure the temperature is ideal. I don't add special compost ingredients designed to speed along the process. I probably should but I don't. I suspect if I did I would have a lot more finished compost available for my gardens. But as I said, I'm a lazy composter. I'm also a cheap composter. My big bin is a group of 4 pallets screwed together. Three pallets are actually attached and the fourth I use as a loose barrier that I move out of the way on the…

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Persian Shield Propagation (Strobinlanthus dyerianus)

Before the first frost of the fall I took a few cuttings of my Persian Shield (Strobinlanthus dyerianus) to hopefully overwinter it as a houseplant. This was the first year for Persian Shield in my garden and I've only seen it at one nursery around so I wanted to be sure I had some for next year in the garden. Saving a little cash while getting more plants is a pretty nice side effect! It's a very cool plant with it's almost metallic sheen that reflects a mixture of purple and silvery hues in the light. It likes the shade but did very well in a part sun area in my garden. I took as many stem tip cuttings as I could to increase my odds of getting a rooted cutting but really this was so easy I probably didn't need to take any more than 5-6. I ended up…

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Greenhouse Project: My Back

While I can assure you that my back is perfectly fine (at the moment!) I do need to have some work done on the back of the greenhouse shed. A few more things have been accomplished since my last greenhouse update but there are always more tasks to tackle (it seems like I've said that before). Since last time I've fitted a door and two windows on hinges. I also put together a moving wall that will match up with the back door to create a double door for the mowers to come through after use. When I don't need to bring out the mowers I will be able to come in through the back door by just going through the one single door on the left. Once it's all put together I'll show you in detail how it will work. This is the southernmost side of the greenhouse which…

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Reflecting on the End of The Line

The end of the line has come at last for the leaves on our trees. Today I went out and took a few pictures around the greenhouse project and happened upon this image of the trees bereft of leaves in one of the large picture windows I installed on the greenhouse and thought of the Gardening Gone Wild Picture Contest for this month "The End of the Line." The pale sunlight was filtered through the gray clouds that moved for a short time earlier in the afternoon. In fitting with the theme of the contest the picture highlights the end of the foliage but also shows the crooked, snaking, and branching lines that create the structure of the tree.

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November in the Vegetable Garden

As strange as it may sound there are things still growing in the vegetable garden in November and it's not because of our unusually warm weather. Unfortunately there is only one vegetable growing but there are several kinds of herbs that are doing great. All the vegetable garden pictures were taken this morning while a light frost was still covering everything. The one vegetable that continues to grow through the cold weather is the lettuce. It's a Romain mix that I put out several weeks ago that while it's growth is slow is still growing. Lettuce can handle light frosts and has already been through 4-5. Just add a little coldframe over it and who knows how long it will keep growing! Of course Tennessee has a mild winter so if you live north of me your lettuce might not last as long. I planted some oregano seeds while my…

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Greenhouse Project: In The Front

Here's a quick look at the front of the greenhouse. My idea is to have the front side or the view from the house appear to be a small cottage in the backyard. The windows on the front were originally from one sliding window that I separated into 2 approximately 20 inch wide windows.  I say approximately because one is slightly larger than the other but most likely no one except those I tell (like you!) will know. Between the windows the French doors that are currently resting on the corners of the greenhouse will be installed.  The gable areas were left open while I deliberated about what I wanted there. I ran through a few ideas and managed to put together some of what will be installed there.  It involves 4 small 12" x 9" windows that were panes I removed from another window. The window was falling into…

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