Category Archives: Gardening

A gardeners reference library:

This little shed addition is not just a place where my son keeps his gardening utensils…it‘s his reference library too.

When he showed it to me I thought immediately of passing this idea along to all of you out there whose memory is not what it used to be.  I’ve discovered that most of us can use a little help in that area.

Gardening has become an avocation for my son.  He is constantly experimenting and adding new flora and it seems that every time I visit he’s changed a location or added something new. Since so many of the plants are ones that he may never have heard of before, or might be a new variety of an old familiar one it could be hard to keep up with it all … but not since he’s implemented
this great way to keep it all straight.

He calls it his gardening reference library …  a compilation of all the seed packets and product tags of the items he’s bought over the years and he‘s posted them on the inside of the shed door.

Isn’t that clever and it’s an idea that could be adapted to so many other areas, not just gardening.  For instance, I’m using the inside of a cabinet door in my kitchen to post the birth dates of all my friends.  They are amazed when they get a card from me and I cross my fingers behind my back and tell them that having a good memory is a gift that I was born with!!

Let us hear about your clever ideas … I’ll bet there are lots of them.

An Inspired Idea Unites a Community!

A few blog entries back I introduced you to my friend Jan and her “stand-uppity” garden.  Continuing in that vein I want you to meet my nephew Chris who has an amazing garden story too.  He made the unorthodox decision to plant a garden in FRONT of his house and had no idea how this would change his life.

He chose the location because it received the best light but as he mapped out and planted his garden he realized that he was being closely watched. People that had never spoken before stopped and expressed their interest. Young parents brought their children to peek in the greenhouse and to ask Chris what he was planting and when it would be ready to be picked.

He believes that he’s met at least 30 or more people who live within 4 blocks … all of them “neighbors” that he would never have known otherwise.  In Chris’ words: “It has turned out that the production of food has taken a back seat to all the other things this garden has done: community building, bringing neighbors together, a teaching tool etc. I still get a lot of food for myself, neighbors & the food bank, but it’s almost incidental.”

I couldn’t help but think how this idea could be adapted to so many of you seniors out there with “green thumbs”. I know that front yard gardens might not be practical or even allowed in some places, but how about putting a wheelbarrow or a small table out there filled with vegetables or flowers from your garden and a sign encouraging neighbors to help themselves!

It’s people that have the guts to do something unorthodox like this that break down barriers and forge friendships. If you have any examples along these lines please share them with us.

Jan’s “STAND UPPITY GARDEN”

I have a friend who was in a severe auto accident back in the 70’s. She suffered a fractured pelvis and the nerves that went to her left leg were severed.  The doctors told her she would never walk again but she refused to accept that verdict.

She did have the use of her right leg and that made all the difference.  So, very slowly she persevered and, although she still keeps her wheelchair for long ventures, she manages to accomplish more in a day than most of us do in a week!

Gardening is one of her great loves but she has a very hard time bending over and sitting on the ground or even on a low stool is almost impossible for her.  This makes it very difficult to handle the hard work that goes into a successful garden. Did this stop Jan? Of course not … and I want to share with you how she’s overcome these problems.

It’s her “STAND UPPITY GARDEN” (as she calls it) …a wonderful elevated creation that you see here in the making…

She fashions a table by using cement blocks as legs, topped with a sturdy board. Then she adds the huge bag. It’s by Smart Pots and is called a 100 gallon Big Bag Bed.  I had never heard of Smart Pots but Jan told me that using their containers has made it so easy for her.

When opened the bag has a diameter of 4 feet and holds as much potting soil as a 4×4 garden. It is extremely sturdy and is perfect for her project. They also carry other sizes ranging from 5 to 100 gallons and she uses those too.

What a wonderful concept and a perfect answer to her dilemma. Here we see the beginning of this year’s yield …

I love the way that Jan tackles whatever comes her way. She truly is an example of that old adage … “where there’s a will there’s a way.”

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