Chair as a planter

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Chair as a planter

One sunny fall afternoon as I drove through my neighborhood I saw these amazingly shaped chairs sitting on the side of a road. They caught the corner of my eye and I turned my car around and to pick them up! – Trash Day Gold!! – These chairs missing both a back and bottom were designed to become the perfect planter.

I like the look of them through the front door, giving my porch a sweet and beguiling appearance.

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Weed(ing) and the yard

I started my day with weeding.  It was thrilling to begin the process of clearing out weeds, limbs, and fallen leaves in order to begin the creation of the backyard garden.  Image

The turquoise platform has been engulfed by tiny  yellow budding weeds which provided a nice place for butterflies to feast!

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The expanse between yards is over-grown with shoots from trees and shrubs and weeds intermixed with english ivy.

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The expanse between the two houses after some weeding and trimming of the brush, Georgia red clay was exposed.   Soon it will be covered with mulch as the garden begins to take shape.

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The platform is freed on one side from weeds and from above as the limbs have been trimmed.

After a few hours, the backyard is more approachable.  Stay tuned for this journey towards a total transformation!

Hugelkultur

I received an email from Paul Wheaton of a permaculture workshop he did in Missoula on building a hugelkultur.

Here is a short video from the workshop.  The general idea is that if you build your raised bed with a lot of wood, you should be able to go the whole summer long without irrigating or fertilizing.

His Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp_IObIkInQ

Here is an hugelkultur article he wrote:  http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

You will find fantastic images on his website.

Home Composting

A benefit of gardening is that it can incorporate home composting.  Composting closes a loop in the food chain and is a huge step towards increasing personal and family sustainability practices.  Making leftovers useful by giving nutrients back to the earth.  Ready-made systems are available so home gardeners only need to decide which system is best suited to their eating habits and space.

Composted material, also known as humus, is dark, nutrient rich and earthy smelling.  Humus is perfect for soil amendment because it enhances soil structure.  humus enables sandy soil to hold more water, and clay soil to drain more water.  Improved soil provides a home for bacteria, fungi, and earthworms, allows for better breakdown of its components and carbon sequestration.

Common home composting systems include worm bins, food digesters, tumblers and bins of various other configurations.  Once gardeners begin using a system, they will quickly begin to receive the benefits of home composting with nominal effort.

Container Pots

Plants thrive in Georgia with about 3700 species of plants and a mild climate it makes a perfect place for year-round gardening. 

Blue bear grass, Loropetalum/ chinese fringe, pink Muhly grass, camellia sasanqua Bonanza, hellebore, veronica George Blue, Akebia, and a gardenia.   The herbs are basil, chives, oregano, thyme, and sage.

weekend with permaculture now!

Last weekend Jenny Pell of Permaculture Now! http://www.permaculturenow.com/

sought out individuals to work with her to start an urban homestead.  The yard was in stage 2 of the transformation when 3 thrill seekers joined her.  Our tasks was to prep 3 areas for sheet mulching and then sheet mulch.

Q:  What is sheet mulching?

A:   Is a composting method used directly on the planned planting ground as a way to improve the condition of the soil.  Layers of nitrogen and carbon are added and both oxygen and water as well to help growing bacteria to breakdown the layers.

Here is a complete description of the process:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/documents/Lasagna.pdf

We added: layers of cardboard, manure, compost, and fertile mulch.  We soaked each layer with water.  I’ve also sheet mulched with newspaper and leaves.  Use whatever organic materials you have at hand.

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wood chips

Yes, woodchips.  Trees give so much, hamper soil erosion, maintain soil moisture, create habitat for a variety of insects, birds, mammal, add beauty, lower energy costs.  Even when they are cut down and chipped they still are giving back.  Trees.  I heart trees, naked, full with leaves, even chipped.  The fragrant aroma of the 2 maybe 3 types of trees in this pile was a nice addition to the garden. 

For tree service and/ or for requesting woodchips contact: Trees for Life, Inc. www.treesforlifeinc.net

It benefits Earth, you and the company!