rochelle

I had a goal last weekend….I wanted to finish our new pergola in time to  have a BBQ and sit underneath it on the patio for dinner on the holiday Monday.  It didn’t happen, so I am hoping to cash in the rain check for this weekend.

We did however get a lot done and I am hugely proud of what we constructed.

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All that we have left is to finish putting on the roof (it will be open slats) and staining it.  I can’t wait to style it up with fall planters, light up the fire-place (this whole thing was designed to make the fire pit an even bigger garden focal point) and enjoy the late summer and cool evenings of the autumn.

If you care to see the inspiration for the design – it came from a historic structure at a local museum – check it out here.

Despite the extra weight and expense I am so glad we opted to use 6 x 6 pressure treated wood rather than 4 x 4.  It is so much more substantial and the proportions seem to work much better with our weighty fire pit. Don’t you agree?

Images by rochelle greayer

This post is sponsored by Lowes.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 

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Wow, mushrooms are magical — and not in the ‘make the walls start undulating’ way….but really magical….like in the save the world sort of way.

I’ve recently become obsessed with soil (you’d think as a gardener this might have happened a long time ago) but I mean really, really obsessed.  I read Dan Barber’s  The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food* while on vacation and now I want to get a spectrometer to measure the sugars in my carrots and graph that against the levels of trace elements in my soil.

*You must read it. It is excellent.

Between contemplating every aspect of my own soil, and all the things I have learned while gathering of information for a story I am working on (for Issue #1 of PITH + VIGOR) about designing a mushroom garden; without ingesting anything illegal my mind has been completely blown.

The networks that mycorrhizal fungi create in soil are amazing (I had no idea) and this Ted Talk by Paul Stamets lays out some of the most interesting potential uses.  It is worth the time to watch.

-Rochelle

When I built the cobblestone path that would guide you to the (now finished) cobblestone patio, I had a certian thing in mind.  The cobblestones where nice, and I thought it would be wonderful to try and establish creeping thyme between them and I even went so far as to leave some of the stones out so that I had intermittent rectangles that could completely fill with the thyme.  I dreamed of graphc paterns in foliage in stone that released its fragrance whenever I passed….Sounds lovely right?  Wrong…this is what it looked like.  In my garden, the thyme isn’t the week choking thug I hoped it would be, and neither was the tiny sedum that I tried after I gave up on it.  Something needed to be done.

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The big gaps between the stones that were meant to provide root area and encourage beautiful mounding tufts need to go, so last week my mom and I carefully lifted each stone, cleaned all the weeds out and cleared the gravel and soil that was surrounding each stone and we reset them.

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But the weed and gravel removal is only half the soltuion.

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The other half was to fill the path with polymeric sand.  Polymeric sand – unlike regular sand – is polymer fortified and when set (by lightly wetting) it will harden and discourage weeds and insects.  It is so easy to work with, you just sweep it into the cracks. I used it on the patio and it has made the world of difference in keeping the joints clean.  It isn’t soft green fragrant plants, but it is beautiful and reminds me of the streets of some of my favorite European cities.  Albeit not what I originally had in mind, it is a perfectly satisfying compromise don’t you think?

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Images by rochelle greayer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing through the end of the year.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 

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Wow! The last month has been quite a ride. There are just 4 days left in our campaign to raise $12,000 to launch PITH + VIGOR and as of this morning we have just $2889 left to go. We are going to make a newspaper, we are going to build a community! I can’t wait!  This is going to be fantastic and I am so grateful for all of you believing in me and my team and this idea. push itBut first we need to get through these last 4 days….can you help to put us over the top? The perks are pretty fantastic…Everyone who donates gets a copy of the publication….but maybe you want to subscribe or advertise – there are some very reasonable rates. Or maybe you need some help with your garden…we even have a couple perks where I will work with you to design your garden (or even just a portion of your garden).  It doesn’t matter where you live, we will make your garden happen…How fun is that?  If you have questions, thoughts or ideas, by all means let us know (comments or email are always appreciated).  We will build this together.  If you can’t help financially we appreciate all kids of other help too…maybe you can spread the word (tweet, like, share, etc) – as always, the more the merrier.  And if you have already helped… THANK YOU! xo – Rochelle

Subscribe Here: 

http://igg.me/at/pithandvigor/x/2557982

 

mini meadow garden Since seeing this container planting over on Garden’s Illustrated’s website earlier this summer, I have been all sorts of obsessed with mini meadows in pots.  This lovely thing was grown from seed, so my own experiment to re-create something similar with have to be added to next year’s ‘To Do’ list….but my patience for this look can hardly stand the wait so I’ve been casting around for options to create it. Like, right now. The key to this look is to toss aside the Fillers, Thrillers, Spillers way method of container planting.  Opt instead for a mix of upright plants and use them repeatedly (but not in groupings).  They can be at varying heights, but their open habit should be obvious allowing for the tops to mix and dance together.   Have you experimented with this look?  As I try it out I will certainly learn a few tricks that will happily share later. meadow style garden containers from rochelle greayer  www.studiogblog.com Shopping for plants, I think the key to this will be to use just 2 or 3 and mix and match different varieties to create textural interest and exciting but simple color combinations.  Here are somethings that I think would be good to experiment with.

images: Top – Gardens Illustrated, Proven Winners Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Proven Winners.  I am not an employee of Proven Winners and all opinions are my own. See the other posts in this series

We’ve been in Belgium for two weeks now – filling our time slowly with the treasures of the region.  We are staying in Brugge, and I’ve been fascinated with often seen medieval houses that usually have a name and number printed on the side.  These ‘Godshuizen’ tend to also have pretty little gardens attached, so I spent a day riding my bike to all that I could find here and made a study of them.

Godshuis in Brugges by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

Literally translated, Goshuizen would mean ‘Houses of God’ but this translation is a little misleading.  They are not churches or places of worship but rather they are houses for the poor and needy.  They are in fact housing for the poor, needy, elderly and widows and widowers that were built by rich families and corporations as early as the 14th century.   Sometimes the houses were constructed by corporations or guilds, for their members who had lost their income or were unable to work because of illness, handicaps or other mishaps.

Goshuis garden in brugge belgium by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

Most of the time these houses form a complex around an inner courtyard where the inhabitants can get their water and grow vegetables in little gardens (though most of the ones I saw, contained many more flowers than edible crops).

goshuis garden in brugge belgium by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

They also typically have also have a chapel where the people are supposed to pray for the souls of their benefactors – but this is the only religious obligation.

Godshuis in Brugges by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.com

Many of these remain today and many of them have the sweetest most charming gardens.

ehinops and goldenrod garden by rochelle greayer www.studiogblog.comClick through the gallery below to see more!

-Rochelle

image by rochelle greayer

Did I mention I am in Brugge, Belgium?  Yes, I am here with my family on a much needed vacation.  But PITH + VIGOR’s indiegogo campaign doesn’t rest, so I am checking in regularly; working on all the behind the scenes networking that goes along with making this campaign successful, every morning before my people wake up and we head out across the low countries on our bikes.

(And I am taking lots of garden pics to share later)

But here is the big news:  WE ARE MORE THAN 25% OF THE WAY THERE!  Which is very exciting, but as great as that is….we still have 75% left to go.  Can you help out?

Of course if you haven’t already subscribed yourself – please do.  This is an exciting project that I truly believe will benefit every gardener in some way or another.  A strong community-building publication will be enjoyable to everyone with a copy, and it will help small businesses and local establishements thrive, and it will make the resources for all gardeners more accessible and successful.  Everyone wins!
Subscribe to Pith + VIgor Newspaper and Digital Magazine

If you are able to help out even more though, we have some additional incentives:

If you can refer more than $400 worth of contributors from your own network we will send you a signed copy of my upcoming book.  

or

If you are a business (or a blogger, or a Non-profit, or whatever…) and can refer $400 worth of contributions then we will give you a free directory advertisement in the first issue. (and if you can double that, certainly a much bigger ad is in order!….we will discuss)

Please help us spread the word – a community newspaper like this is best when it grows from grassroots support.

Share it on your social networks, send it in an email, blog about it – if you need help with ideas, images or content, let us know – we will send you whatever you need!

Here is how the referral works:  

First – Make sure you are logged into your indiegogo account.  When you are logged in, use the share buttons or if you prefer, you can copy and paste the web address of the campaign (so long as you are logged in when you copy) and either will allow us to track the contributions that come from your contacts in the indiegogo campaign monitor.  

Can you help us over the top?  

I appreciate everything you can do! – Rochelle