Monday, July 23, 2012


The veggie garden is growing by leaps and bounds! I believe the last time I posted about this project, it was just a big dirt space on the ground. Now it's all green and floriferous:

I put a gazebo in the center and planted scarlet runner beans all around. Come end of summer it should be a tee-pee of runner beans.

I found an old white plastic table and chairs lying around and repainted them turquoise with a couple cans of spray paint from the local hardware store. Now they look brand new again and live under the gazebo:

The gazebo is topped with an owl to try and keep the birds away. I don't really think it works all that well, but it looks cool none-the-less (full disclaimer, we lost the finial that was supposed to go on top of the gazebo and had to come up with an alternate topper):

The sunflowers are looking great:

The zucchinis are beginning their never ending onslaught of zukes:

The radishes have been harvested:

The turnips and rutabagas are being harvested as well as the broccoli:

The cilantro has gone to flower:

The California poppies are gorgeous:

As are the California bluebells:

The Scarlet runner beans are climbing the gazebo at a rapid pace and are blooming:

Up here in the PNW, the Nasturtiums are ginormous and flowering crazy:

And then there are the peas, chard, and bush beans which were growing huge and tall. And then.....

Munched!! Nearly to the ground! By whom? One guess:

Deer! And not tiny deer, either. Great big northwesty type deer. I caught two in the garden chowing down on the peas and tomatoes. So we had to get a fence up quick. And a tall one at that.

The fence is going up here:

We used deer netting that was 7 feet tall and wrapped it all around the garden. It kept them out for 2 days until they decided to try and jump it. That resulted in a downed fence, but spooked deer. They left the garden alone that night and we put the netting back in place with a few extra poles for more support. They have not made another attempt at jumping the garden, but we did see them outside the edge of the garden this morning looking in longingly at all the tasty veggies.

I'm sure they will be hatching some nefarious plan to get back in the garden walls. Maybe I'll pop them one with a paintball gun next time. Then all splattered in pink, they will be mocked by all their deer friends and the humiliation alone will be enough to keep them away from the garden.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Got Stumps?

If you live in the PNW, I'm sure you do! Here is what I did with one in our yard.

What was once a giant old growth tree is now a stump - and a big one at that. The property across the street was cleared by a developer and as a result, this tree had to be cut down or risk it falling on the house in the next storm. It seemed so sad to me to let what was once such a grand several hundred year old tree sit there all alone and be useless. What to do with said stump? Eventually it would become a nurse log, but not for many years. In the meantime, I decided it could have a glorious new life as a grand flower pot holder and backdrop to the monolithic boulder garden that nature had already provided me with:

A bunch of weeding around the boulders left me with a fabulous grouping of rose campion and out of this picture is a grove of foxglove growing at and on the base of this stump.

To create the hanging parts on the stump, I found three 5 dollar plant hangers at the local hardware store and also dug around the garage to find several 3+ inch screws 'cause the tiny ones that came with the hangers were so not gonna hold these onto this stump. Nopers. This bad boy has 2+ inch thick bark in the thin spots! I recruited the hubby to drill these into the stump and then found some ginormous hanging baskets at the local farmers market to hang from them (and they had to be really big - this is no small stump!).

Next I had to find a giant pot to set on top - and it had to be really, really big. A medium or even kinda-large pot would get lost on top of this big stump. After looking around, I finally found one at Costco of all places and filled it with flowers.

Getting it up on top of this giant stump was quite a feat in itself  by the way; big thanks go to the extra-muscular hubby for placing it up there. A very tall ladder and much clever maneuvering later and it was in place. I couldn't even water the thing until it was on top as it would have been much too heavy even for for Mr. Muscles to move.

Here's how the pot on top went together:

One giant non-ceramic pot from Costco (ceramic would have been way too heavy to get up on top of the stump). Don't laugh. It was a nice looking giant pot and was fairly cheap considering the size of the thing.

Two large clearance hanging baskets of yellow petunias. (I can't believe these were on clearance - they were gorgeous!)

Two pots of campanula.

A six-pack of lobelia.

A four-pack of creeping jenny plants.

2 bags of local organic potting soil.

A watering can of water and a scoop of miracle grow (which I only use in pots and not on in-ground plants).

I took the petunias out of the hanging baskets, stuffed all these plants in the pot together, and arranged them so I thought they looked pretty, and ta-da!:

Gorgeous pot to top the grand old stump with. It turned out better than I thought it was going to. I just love it when that happens. :)