25. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: General · Tags: , , , ,

 

It’s finally time to retire the old adirondack chairs.

 

I have had them almost 3 years now and when I found them on the curb discarded with the trash I didn’t think I could get one year out of them.  They were so delapidated, but thank goodness my husband has the same vision as I do when it comes to vintage stuff.  He was able to patch, replace and repair until he wouldn’t or should I say couldn’t do it any longer.  In his words “the paint is all that’s holding them together”. The chairs had seen their day and I had to accept the reality.

adirondack chairs, sedum

So when he took the rotting, broken chair to the curb, I held on with all my strength to the other one, while protesting loudly that he should find a way to replace the rotten pieces of the one in his hands as it crumbled to the touch where it had broken.  The other chair I carried safely to a corner that doesn’t get too much use.  It looks good, and after all isn’t that all that really matters?

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New ones can’t compare to the classic lake charm look of the old ones. They just don’t make them like they used to. But alas I had to begin looking for new ones because my yard just doesn’t look as good without them and it’s our favorite place to sit when we exchange the events of the day in the evening.  

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By chance, Home Depot had just two left of their inexpensive Adirondack chairs.  We snatched them because they were A. inexpensive (like $38 each) and B because it will take time to find some really cool ones that were built long ago and are still keeping together or at least replicas that look that way, so I need some to fill the gap until then.

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After several coats of shiny red paint they didn’t look half bad.  Of course, they aren’t as comfy or nearly as sturdy as my old ones(in their prime) but they would have to do.

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We need a place to relax and enjoy the show which is our life.

 

 

 

 

 

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     ~”A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. ” ~May Sarton

Using a rain barrel is a great way to conserve water and keep your garden watered for free. 

 It saves one of our most important resources and making a rain barrel is really not that difficult.  With just a couple of simple steps you can make your own.

You will need

 a plastic barrel

 a drill, a hole bit (the size of your spigot)

 2 spigots

 a short length of flexible downspout

 2 hoses

pvc glue

and a jigsaw.

First you need to find a plastic barrel.  (We were lucky enough to be given a large plastic barrel that is used to store milk on a farm.)

Drill a hole about 6 inches from the bottom, (bring your spigots to the hardware store and find a drill bit to match the size of it)

Insert the spigot and seal it with PVC glue.

We also suggest installing a second spigot about 6 inches from the top – that way any overflow can go into a hose directed away from the house. Rain barrels fill up surprisingly fast.

If you like, put a coat or two of paint on your barrel (suitable for plastic).  Choose a color that makes it blend in well to your background.  Then you will hardly notice it while it works for you.

After you select the site for your rain barrel, cut your house downspout  about two to three feet higher than the height of the rainbarrel.     (plus the hight of the cinderblocks.)

Cut a hole in the top of the rain barrel that fits the flexible downspout.

 (*You could of course place your house downspout straight into the rain barrel if you can fit it in without being flexed a bit)

Place the rain barrel on top of a couple of cinder blocks to enhance the power of gravity for hose pressure.

 Insert the flexible downspout into the barrel and then fit the flexible downspout onto your  house downspout.

Next connect your hoses.  (We chose to put a soaker hose on the bottom spigot  so it automatically waters an area under our pine trees that is often untouched by rain.  We also added a regular hose to the top of the rain barrel spigot that will direct any water that overfills the barrel to another location that hardly gets any water.)  Or you can choose to let it fill up and use the water when you need it with a watering can or attaching a regular hose when you need it.

Now sit back and get ready to collect that free run off water that usually ends up washing away down the sewer.

*This is really an easy project but if you are not a do it yourself type of person, there are many rain barrels on the market that aren’t very expensive and you can set up easily.

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“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”  ~Roger Miller

 

 

 

What to look for when shopping for gardening footwear

Going out to quickly to inspect the yard, pick veggies or tend to containers? Clogs are great for slipping on easily and keeping your feet protected. They also work well on hot days to keep your feet cooler especially if you are wearing a molded clog with air vents. Flip-flops or sandals are also great for keeping your feet cool doing this type of gardening.

Going to be digging a new bed or standing in deep dirt that could possibly be wet and muddy? Shoes would be a better choice since they keep the dirt and water away from your feet. Something that fits well when you are working in the mud, using a rake, or digging a hole will make your feet more comfortable therefore making the work more enjoyable.

 

Heavy duty digging in a spring garden? Boots would be the choice I’d make for that. They will likely have safety features that protect your feet when you work with gardening tools, they would be waterproof as well, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

Once you know which type of shoe you want, narrow your search further by using the following guidelines.

Style

  • Looks – Lets face it, we all like shoes that show our personalities. Great, nice looking, colorful shoes make us not only look good but feel good. Just putting on a pair of bright colored or flower covered shoes makes me want to go out and play in the dirt, or splash in a puddle. If you aren’t headed to the garden, most gardening shoes look great when you are out and about doing errands. People will envy your style and daring choice when really you just like fun shoes! So don’t keep them just for gardening, wear them often!
  • Slip on and off-ability – This is a biggy! If the footwear goes on and off easily, then you are more apt to slip them on when you go out there to just “take a look at your plants”. We all start out that way and before we know it, you have half your garden weeded or a new bed dug up. Gardening footwear instead of your bedroom slippers or flip-flops will work best in this situation. Boots or shoes that have a kick-off ridge makes leaving your shoes behind a no-handed deal, so look for that feature when choosing your pair.
  • Another reason easy on and off is so important is, if you have to run in the house for a second, it’s so much nicer when there are no laces to deal with, or buckles to close. You are more apt to slip them off and therefore keep your house so much cleaner. Let’s face it, when we come back inside from gardening we are usually too tired to mop the floor. Energy spent on gardening is so much more like play than work. Save the work for rainy days.Stretchy at the top opening in shoes is a great feature for on and off as well as comfort! The whole point of good shoes is to keep your feet dry and clean. A snug top keeps dirt out as well as debris, so make sure the top of your shoe or low boot is snug enough to do this task without being too tight. It’s really important to keep you comfortable. Nothing worse than having to stop to get a pebble or stick out of your shoe when you are in the gardening zone.
  • Comfort – Fit is really important. Too loose and you get blisters and you could easily fall. Too tight, you could get blisters and you won’t likely wear them. So make sure the fit is good and they are made to do the kind of gardening you do. They shouldn’t need a break-in period. Put them on and they should feel comfortable. Simple as that.
  • Waterproof – Wearing shoes that are waterproof is especially great if the dirt is wet or deep. No one likes a shoe full of water or mud so when looking for garden shoes, try to find ones that will keep your feet dry and comfortable ~that leads to more time gardening. ~Don’t worry that waterproof means sweaty. Most of the better shoes are made with linings that keep your feet dry and at a comfortable temperature as well.
  • Safety – Having a shoe that protects your toes as well as your arch when using tools is always a bonus. Garden shoes protect your feet from dirt and germs that can lead to all sorts of issues. Not to mention protecting that pedicure.
  • Easy to Clean – Finding garden shoes that will clean up quick and dry fast makes them a great choice. Let’s face it. Your shoes get dirty in the garden, being able to hose them off and know you aren’t ruining them is really important.

So those are the things to keep in mind when you give up that pair of flip flops or old sneakers that you garden in, or when you decide that sharp rock you stepped on makes barefoot gardening seem unwise.

This is a repost of my article published in about.com http://containergardening.about.com/od/reviews/a/Choosing-Garden-Clogs-Shoes-And-Boots.htm

Ranger Ladybugs Purple Dragonfly Garden ClogsTime to dust off the garden tools and think spring.

This should include being prepared for the first nice spring day by knowing which shoes, boots or clogs you will slip on to greet the new year of gardening.  Some folks may say they prefer an old pair of sneakers, flip flops or just plain old barefoot.

That’s fine, but wearing a pair of gardening shoes will extend your gardening time and pleasure so more can be accomplished and enjoyed.

I’d dare say that most people that experience a good pair of footwear in the garden will be hard pressed to venture out there again in bare feet.  Not to mention the pedicure problems that can be avoided as well as health and safety issues for your feet.

Warm feet that are dry and safe make it easier to stay out there long enough to accomplish the task at hand.  So whether you prefer clogs, boots or shoes, there are so many to choose from at Garden Shoes Online.

Do your feet and back a favor !

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May all your weeds be wildflowers.”  ~  Unknown

I was reading some of my old blog posts and came across this one which I had written just a month or so after I began my blog.  It was fun to see that I still feel this way about gardening as well as the difference in my posts from then until now.  They were much longer and personal which I miss but I have found that less is more when writing about my life in the garden because bloggers are busy and they don’t want to read a book, just a quick post.  With that said, sorry about the length of this one, it sums up a lot for me, so indulge me please…..

June, 2009~In my garden today, I pruned, dead headed, fertilized, transplanted, watered and admired.  After a few hours of trimming, edging,  and all of the other things I mentioned, my back ached and my hands felt cramped, but my heart was full and my brain completely entertained with the beauty and calmness that a garden brings.

Eventhough I was hungry and tired, I gladly carried on until all the chores  were complete.  Luckily I am blessed with a husband who also enjoys being out there and making our yard and garden a haven for tired souls  that love to be “working” with nature.  When he was done with his duties, he even made dinner for us as I used every available bit of light I could squeeze out of the day- (Today was the longest day of the year).  What I realized as I was out there is that one of the things I love about gardening is that you are never quite done.  You can only do what you can today and save the other million things you think of while you are doing todays things, for tomorrow.

 I find myself planning next year’s  tasks while I work on this years garden.  Of course, the forementioned wonderful husband nods and agrees to my big plans as if he intends on carrying out every project I dream up, no matter how large it is or unrealistic it is, he humors my enthusiasm ~I love that about him! OR maybe it is because he can actually see us doing these projects in his “gardener’s mind”  and my day dreams are similar to his day dreams for our garden next year. OR it could be that while I am going on about plans and projects  he has whisked himself away to his favorite fishing stream and he is really dreaming about that “big fish” that won’t get away and he is nodding to himself that he is really going to get that new fly rod he has been wanting and… as long as we are both happy… that’s all that really matters! Isn’t gardening just wonderful?

“My heart shall be thy garden.” ~ Alice Meynell

Planting a raised bed garden is really not anything new.   Take a look around and you will see raised beds in your neighbors yards or in public places.  It’s simply the act of creating a space with borders(wall, wood, stone,etc..) so you can add good soil.  They look really nice in addition to being easier to work than the hard ground with inadequate soil.

The first thing you need to do is select your sight.  Take in to consideration what you will be planting and what type of light it needs.  Usually you would pick a  site with sunshine at least six to eight hours a day.   Next decide how large of a raised bed you would like.    You need to be able to get to the plants for trimming, deadheading, picking or staking.  A good rule of thumb is no more than four feet wide or 3 feet wide if you are up against a wall or fence.  Ideally it is best to be able to get to it from all sides but if you need to place it agains a fence or wall, just make it narrower so you can reach the plants in the back.  There needs to be water accessible near by and leave enough space around the bed for you to work on the garden.  Placing mulch or stones around the bed gives you a place to walk without getting muddy.

  • The next step is to decide what you will use to create the raised garden.  Stones and wood are the usual choice.  You want to pick something that will make your bed at least six to eight inches deep.  This would be adequate for most plants and vegetables.  If you choose wood, be sure it is made weather proof by staining or painting.
  • Create the foundation by leveling the soil that will be underneath the raised bed.  If there is grass there it is best to remove the sod.  Place newspaper or lanscape fabric over the area so that weeds will not grow though into your new soil.  Some people prefer to have no barrier beneath their bed so that plants can grow deeper.  This is an option especially if you will be growing plants like carrots that need extra depth.  If this is the route you take, simply dig the soil that will be beneath your new soil so that it is loose and even.
  • The next step is to  build the raised bed.  If you are using stone or pavers just build them up as you would a wall but go completely around the area you will be planting in.  If you are using wood, using 2 x 6 makes the depth 6 inches which is ideal.  Join the corners with screws and place on the ground  keeping the bed level.  Simply dig down on a side if it is too high or build up the other side if you prefer, level is best.
  • The next step is to add your soil.  A mix of compost, garden soil and pete moss will make a nice texture that feeds the plants while also staying loose.
  • when this is all complete you are ready to put in your plants.

There are many advantages to raised beds, here are a few:

  • ~You add the soil so its’ good right from the start.  This means you don’t have to ammend the soil that is already existing in a garden.
  • ~Your plants are healthier since the soil is new and full of nutrients
  • ~The beds have better drainage than in the ground (just be sure they get enough water because of this.)
  • ~Beds warm up faster in the spring so you can plant earlier
  • ~Since you don’t walk in the beds they don’t get compacted
  • ~you can build them to a comfortable height for yourself

In the end, it’s all about making gardening easier and more relaxing, so if you have a flower bed with awful dirt, or need your garden higher to make it more comfortable to garden, consider a raised bed, it eliminates a lot of problems and is pretty easy to do.  The rewards will be worth your trouble.

“When all the chores are done, the avid gardener will invent some new ones.”~ unknown

 

I am re-posting about this fun project since it’s about that time again to put it to use.

We found some vintage windows which inspired this entire project.  With a bit of wood found in the garage and a quick trip to Home Depot, we had the makings of a fun weekend. antique windows

On a gorgeous day in Spring,  my husband  got started on building me a cold frame.. web-kk-014

First he built it,web-kk-023

then he put on wheels so we can move it into the sun or in and out of the garage if we have a bad frost coming.

Next we painted it, web-saturday-014

put the windows on with  hinges, web-saturday-245

and reused the window hardware as handles.web-saturday-236

He added a couple of heavy duty handles on the sides for lifting (you never know) web-k-002

and there you have it…web-saturday-247

a great cold frame to hold all my fledgling seedlings and give them an early start.web-saturday-254

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~ All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar. ~ Helen Hayes

                

 

 

 The veggies are really starting to show up and we are all enjoying reaping the fruits of our labor..

 

…(some more than others.)

 

Our weather here has taken a turn for the exceptionally hot and although we are suffering,

  the plants seem to be thriving

 

 as long as Mike and Pete keep them watered well.

Luckily an occasional thunderstorm keeps our rainbarrels full.

 

 So as we keep on gardening, hopefully our garden will keep on producing this delicious food for all of us to enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. 
~Mrs. C.W. Earle

 

 

 

18. May 2011 · 3 comments · Categories: General · Tags: , ,

The rain continues but I have decided to not let it dampen my gardening spirit.  Out I went this afternoon into the wet tall grass to see what my spring garden is looking like.

The rain seems to go on and on and I am afraid I am missing all of the colors that are so beautiful this time of year.  The Lilacs and Iris are blooming, and my vegetable garden is waiting to be complete. 
 I decided to go ahead and put in a few of my seeedlings today to spite the rain.  You never know around here if you should wait until Memorial Day like everyone advises for a last frost date, or go for it. 
 Our weather this year has been chilly and VERY wet, but honestly I am tired of waiting so I have put in some of my vegetables and some flowers. 
We are going away for a week and hopefully I won’t be starting from scratch when we return because everything drown or froze while we were away. 

 

~”Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” ~Roger Miller 

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I wore my Muck Daily Garden Shoes and even though I was soaked through, my feet were dry and comfy!

click on the picture for more information

Who says we can’t look great and show our personalities while we are playing in the dirt?

Garden Shoes Online offers sturdy protective boots for those of you that landscape. We also have waterproof boots and shoes for those rainy spring days or muddy gardens. Do you want gardening shoes that slip on and off easily for those that like to “just do a bit of deadheading” that leads to an afternoon of rearranging their entire garden.  There is protective footwear that in addition to being waterproof and comfortable are also made to look good on you and show your personal style.

Tired, calloused hands, sore knees, mud in my shoes, and gnats bugging me are some of the discomforts I used to think were part of gardening until I started working at Garden Shoes Online. Until then I had no idea what a difference great garden shoes, boots, hats, tools and gloves could do for my gardening game.

I have found that quality gardening tools and accessories can make any task more efficient and ergonomic therefore easier on my ever-aging back and joints.  So if you are thinking that you have gotten along fine without great gloves or comfortable garden shoes, think again.  It’s so much better when the right tool or accessory is easily available and makes your work more like the play you intended it to be.

My old pair of sneakers or flip-flops aren’t my garden shoe go-tos any more. I can be standing in dirt, filthy and tired, but with a quality pair of garden shoes on that feel good, I can forge on knowing my shoes not only look good, support my feet and preserve my pedicure, they also keep my feet clean, my traction great and protect my foot arch from shoveling injuries. 

 It  is also much more enjoyable to garden with a good pair of gloves.  What a difference they can make.  No more calloused hands, blisters or dirt under my nails. My hands aren’t dried out from the dirt or the scrubbing it takes to get them clean after gardening now that I always wear a pair of quality gardening gloves. 

I am no longer swatting the bugs and sunburned while I weed because I wear my Insect Shield Wide brim Hat that not only keeps bugs away, it offers spf 50+ protection from the sun.

Buying from an online store may make you take pause~

  • What if they don’t fit? No worries there, we have a Perfect Fit Guarantee~ If the size your ordered doesn’t fit we will send you the correct size for free. We want you to love your new shoes or boots!
  • What if it’s a heavy item?  Shipping could be expensive. ~ Don’t fret, we ship for free any order over $49 dollars and if it’s under $49 dollars for your items we charge a flat fee of $4.95. So buying online gives you choices all in one place for items you probably can’t find at any stores nearby.  

 

Our goal at Garden Shoes Online is to make your passion for gardening be greater by making you more comfortable, more efficient, safer and of course making you look good too.  Even though you didn’t think you could love gardening more than you already do, click on over to Garden Shoes Online and see the many products we offer that really can make it even better.