I found this really sweet bean tunnel over the winter and I’ve been dying to make one of my own ever since! April from Wahsega Valley Farm has an incredible backyard vegetable garden, and as soon as I saw this bare garden structure, I knew it would be a even cooler once the vines started to grow.
I thought I would revisit an old post today. Originally written back in 2008 when I first started this blog – I had the year before bought and installed raised beds from from The Farmstead. I was a big fan then and I am still a big fan now. I am finally able to start to clean up and get the garden ready for spring….and in 2014 – I can happily tell you that these garden beds (now over 6 years old) are still in great shape.
Original Post: There is many a raised bed system that will serve the purpose, but being the anti-plastic purist that I am, there is only one product that I can wholeheartedly endorse and that is those of Tony Davis at The Farmstead in Leverett, MA. They ship these all over the country so don’t feel like you have to be close to get them.
Made simply of White cedar, you can stack them to help with mobility or create a more dramatic look, and they can fit in almost anywhere. I use them in my own garden instead of spending months of back breaking effort eliminating all the rocks.
The bottom picture is an herb garden tucked in behind an old New England tavern that gives a place for the chef the grow fresh goodies for the restaurant.
These go together in minutes. Fill them with rich soil and you are ready to go. No tools required, and you can trust that they stay together and last – becoming more beautiful and charming with age.
I came across this image this morning over on Old House Gardens’ page about forcing bulbs. I’ve never seen such wonderful forcing pots and I would love to find something as charming as that hedgehog crocus pot for some late winter fun (but I’d be thrilled to have any of them!).
A quick eBay search turned up absolutely nothing. Has anyone ever seen something like this? Know a source? Or perhaps you know someone who is making modern day versions? Do share – I would be so grateful.
image from Old House Gardens — originally sourced from Peter Henderson Catalog NYC, 1900.
It’s funny to me how some things become so much more interesting when they are scaled down. Bigger is not always better and less is certainly more. I find that particularly true when considering these diminutive firebowls by Ponkk.
This little guy (known as the Frog King) is only 9 inches wide and just a bit over a foot tall. It burns briquets and small sticks and would be perfect for an outdoor party (where I think a bubbling pot of fondue sitting on top would be an excellent addition).
Slightly bigger (but still quite tailored) is the ‘Bud’ pit (modeled after a budding flower). I imagine a pair of these on plinths framing a path or at the corners of a patio.
But I think my most favorite is this little princess pit (which, for obvious reasons is called the Crown). It is a foot wide and just barely over a foot tall. Perfect for the center of a table and easy to move around to where ever you might want a sweet little flame.
Ponkk has some other interesting fire features that are well worth checking out. All are handmade, quite reasonably priced, and each expresses a unique charm.
images from Ponkk.
It’s January, Are you in planning mode? Yeah, me too.
I’m planning windbreaks and barriers, berry gardens, possibly some new trees too, and the completion of my patio and arbor.
You might remember this post about black slats from last summer (you know where I was all talk about getting the arbor over the patio done – but then it didn’t get done….well this time I mean it). I mean it so much I am planning the containers that will sit at the base of all those gorgeous black stained posts and slats (Note: My optimism about the completion of this is overflowing now that we have decided to hire a carpenter to finish the job rather than doing it ourselves – sometimes you just have to be realistic).
As I plan out the pots and accessories, I am so tempted to add a strong thread of another color, but green and black and white are just so great together that I have decided (at least for this year) I must resist.
I’m big on clusters of pots that go but don’t match; different heights and shapes and one type of plant per pot. Keeping the plants separated from each other – each in its own little manageable world – always seems to work better for me and I can re-arrange much more easily.
What do you think of the mix? Here is my thinking on each choice:
The holidays are over and I’m taking down the remaining christmas decorations this weekend. The house always feels so bare once the tinsel and twinkle are gone. I’d really like to have a box of things that I can decorate my home with after the holidays that are just as exciting as the christmas decorations - A ‘January Box’ to follow up the ‘Holiday Box’. I’d fill it with decorations that embrace the cool clear light, the slowly lengthening days and the anticipation of spring. This Succulent Cushion is my inspiration. (yes…that is actually a pillow….not a giant sempervivum)
I’m still trying to work out which succulents actually do well in the light of an average home here in the north (am I the only one who doesn’t find succulents to be the panacea of ‘easy’ that they are universally trumped up to be?) This cushion, however, seems to be guaranteed success.
Succulent Cushion available at Dot & Bo.
I’ve been to Lowes five times in the last three days. Isn’t that always how it goes when you are working on projects? I never seem to be able to account for all the contingencies for which I will need materials.
This week was (is) kind of nutty. In addition to my own regular writing deadlines and ongoing book work, my daughter is the lead in the school play and it is tech week (for those of you – like me- who haven’t been through producing a play – this is the week when it all gets seriously-hardcore-insane right before the real show). My parents are visiting as well, which means two things – construction projects are getting done in record time and the bourbon in the liquor cabinet is just about gone.
I’m trying to navigate it all by keeping everyone on track, where they need to be, and with the right tools to get their jobs done. It’s part super-mom, part general contractor, part hostess with the mostess, top-chef and part writer. I’m taking moments of solace in my garden and reaping the last of the harvestable goodies for some seasonal decorations.
I showed you this vase a couple weeks ago (here). Want to know how it was made? After a hike in the woods where my son (who has a habit of gathering so many ‘interesting’ things that he generally can’t carry them all by the end of the walk) I saved this coil of birch bark from the collection. To make it into a vase, I wet it (softening it slightly) just enough to be able to slip a plastic water cup into the center. I have been changing out the mix every few days adding something different to pair with the fake red berries. This time, I gave it my best effort ikebana effort by adding stems of Callicarpa.
I am obsessed with Callicarpa americana (Beautyberry) since the shrub I planted a couple years ago is mature and laden with gorgeous eye-catching purple berries. I redressed the container by my front door with a combination of Callicarpa and other garden cuttings to include red-twig dogwood, boxwood, lavender, lighted branches.
I also added a couple inexpensive globe glass light covers (turned upside down) and stuffed with a string of lights to illuminate.
I can’t wait until this evening (hopefully amidst the madness) where I can set up the camera at twilight to capture a picture of how pretty these look when they are lit up. I’ll post an update with those pictures as soon as I can.
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.