Beginning the Garden Fence (Friday Free For All)

I've been busy this week.  I say that as if it's something new but it seems like life is just a matter of varying degrees of busy.  Sometimes you're really busy and other times less so but always busy!  This week I dove headlong into my latest project.  I've been talking about this one for years and I'm just now getting to it!  Those of you who have followed me over the years may remember the vegetable garden fence that hasn't been built yet.  Well hopefully that project will be completed this year!  I'm working on the fence in phases.  The current phase is to build the front fence area. When I'm done my goal is to create something like the picture below.  The grid pattern on the sides of the garden is practical for growing vining vegetables or flowers.  The arbor entry in the middle will also function as…

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Planting a Vertical Garden Arbor with Gutters (Part 3)

This week I've been posting about a backyard project that involves vertical gardening!  It was a fun one that actually went 100% according to plan! (That can't be said for all of my projects!)  Often I end up improvising somewhere along the way. The project involved putting up an arbor and running spray painted gutters between them to serve as planters. A commenter asked in one of the previous posts if I thought this would work on an 8 foot span.  The answer: I don't think it would without some sort of extra support.  Once soil, water, plants, and the weight of the gutter themselves is factored in I believe some bowing would occur in the middle of an 8' or longer span.  However it would be very easy to attach a piece of lumber underneath the guttering to provide that support. For planting the gutter I used a mix…

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Building a Vertical Garden Arbor with Gutters (Part 2)

It's time to show you the construction phase of the vertical garden arbor that I'm building for Lowe's Creative Ideas! In the previous post I listed the materials and dug the holes for the project so if you're just now finding this project you may want to start with part 1 of this gutter garden project! Working on the Gutters The main feature of this project is the gutter planters.  Originally I planned on three 4' long pieces of gutter to make three shelf planter areas but found that the distance between them wasn't as far apart as I wanted them.  I could have extended it lower or added a fourth section (and I may do that later) but I decided to go with two pieces to allow the fence to tie in nicely (if I ever get around to doing that part!) The hardest part of installing the gutters…

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What Would You Plant Here?

Hello home gardeners, I need your suggestions!  You see a couple years ago my dad helped me build the  Blue Garden Shed.  One of the things I was eager to install was a green roof but I determined that I didn't have the knowledge or the money at the time to do it correctly. As s substitute one of the things I incorporated into the shed was a front door overhang.  I made the overhang so that it could be a planter box in effect it could have been a small version of a green roof.  The problem is - I never planted anything in it!  To this day the front door overhang planter box sits without a single plant growing in it. What I need help with are a few suggestions to what would look good in the planter box.  But that's not all, it has to be sustainable. …

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Around Our Garden Landscape

This weekend after all the garden related chores were done for the day, and just before sunset came, I took a few photographs of how our gardens look this April.  I still have mulching, pruning, weeding, and many other things to do but I thought it would be a good time to share some of our garden with you.  These pictures are mostly of the backyard but there is one of our sideyard garden where the arbor is.  The first picture is a wide shot of the backyard.  The lawn in the middle is framed by the vegetable garden to the right and the birdbath garden to the left. One of these days I'll repair the birdbath and get it back out there!  This year has been extremely busy and I've put off some projects in favor of others.  The birdbath is one of the "do later" chores.  You can…

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The Scene Around the Arbor

A couple years ago I was fortunate to participate in the Better Homes and Gardens 48 Hour Blog Challenge. Three other blogs and myself competed with projects subject to online voting to see who would win. The winner took home $5000, unfortunately it wasn't me but the whole project was fun anyway - and it paid for the arbor! My project was the front garden arbor and I've really enjoyed how it helps to anchor the gardens nearby. Three gardens come together at this point (Self Sowing Garden, Corner Shade Garden, and Front Porch Garden) and the arbor ties them together. On the left side of the arbor is the self sowing garden. The gas line is underneath it somewhere and I wanted a planting area that if for some reason the gas line needed to be dug up I wouldn't worry too much about. Poppies will be blooming in…

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The Arbor, Daffodils, and the Front Garden

It really seems that spring has sprung already. The warm temperatures have brought everything to life, I only hope that the plants aren't doomed by the next freeze happens to come along. It's reminiscent of the spring of 2007. Back then we had an early warm-up followed by a hard freeze that damaged a significant number of Japanese maples and crape myrtles. I'll keep my fingers crossed but everything is growing in full spring growth mode and I know we have a few freezes ahead. The daffodils have come alive this week and the front porch garden is starting to thicken up with early spring yellow blooms. There are some gaps to fill in and maybe I can make more by dividing a few of the bulbs later in the year. My arbor has seen some wind damage lately. The diamond shaped decorations on each side have been battered by…

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The September Arbor

Arbor and Moonflower One thing I really like about garden structures: no matter how much rain, how hot, or how dry they always look good! Fortunately our arbor also has the added benefit of a nice annual vine plant (moonflower) wrapping around it. Here is the arbor from the side yard looking toward the front yard. The homemade stepping stones are cured, solid, and very walkable now. Please ignore the cinder block on the left - it's leftover from installing a rain barrel I recently purchased. I've been meaning to tell you about it but haven't yet but I'm very pleased with its performance so far (It's this one from Fiskars)! The plantings on the left are coleus, iris, a Japanese maple (which is just outside of the picture) and a crape myrtle. A few hostas are also mixed into the garden. On the right is the self-sowing garden which…

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GROW Project: Nasturtiums and an Arbor

OK I'll have to admit it the arbor part of this post is an attempt to offset some of the misery that my nasturtiums are suffering. The heat of this summer has been way too intense for any of my nasturtium plantings to thrive so I guess I should just be happy that they continue to survive. Before I show you the current state of my nasturtiums I'll sow you want the arbor garden looks like at the beginning of August. The arbor and the nasturtiums do have a small connection - they are planted near each other! If you were following me way back in the April of 2009 you probably remember the arbor I built for a Better Homes and Gardens contest. I didn't win but I did get to build my arbor while someone else picked up the tab. On the other side of the arbor is…

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