Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Pilgrim's garden



 NOTE: This is a repost from 2011...

Back in August, we visited Plimouth Plantation, a recreated village representing how the Pilgrims lived when they first came over on the Mayflower. I posted a while back about the gardens of the local Wampanoag Nation. Here's the Pilgrim garden post.

The deeply religious Pilgrims did not show skin and thought of the Wampanoags as ignorant and child-like in their skin-exposing clothing. Can you imagine gardening in the hot sun dressed like this?

Men planted fields of wheat, barley, peas -- all from seeds brought over from Europe. They also planted new plants the Wampanoags introduced to them -- corn, beans squash and pumpkins. Fields were outside the village and where men would go and spend their days. The Wampanoags also helped show the pilgrims when to plant and how to plant seeds in poor soil by burying seeds with fish to decompose & nourish the soil.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Potter Shed planning

The design inspiration. That uppermost
round-topped window is being replaced.
The one you see here will be used in the shed.
In order to create a list of materials needed for the "Harry Potter Garden" shed I'll be building in the spring, I have to have better plans than the sketches I posted previously. I'm only a "weekend carpenter" and have never tackled a project this large.
Fortunately, I am an art director and know my way around measurements, scale, color, production – and softwares that help me put it all together. Here are some "drawings" I made in Adobe Illustrator. The file is in layers – so that the actual frame drawing below is underneath the color illustrations in my file. I did it to a 1"=1' scale in my original drawings to make my life easier. Now I have a better idea of how much, and what size, lumber will be required.

I plan to use as much used and repurposed items as possible. I've taken measurements of the doors and windows I already have that are either coming off my house, or were here in the garage or attic when we moved in (14 years ago!). I also have a pile of scrap lumber left over from the jungle gym that was in this spot previously.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's beddy-bye time


The leaves are raked, chopped and composting or laid in beds. The grasses are cut. The furniture is put away. The pots are in the garage. The tubers are in storage. The burning bush is burning. Time to say goodnight to the garden for the winter.

Having had a spectacularly decent and long Fall, we're ready for winter to finally hit this week – with temperatures in the mid to high 30s, and even possibly a little snow.

Now that I see this picture at the top though, I see that I still have to pull the annuals out of the upper window box. I usually put any extra pine boughs in the box when we get our Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Potting Shed Plans

So this is what I'm thinking. I not only want a potting shed, we need one. Our garage is getting just too crowded over the winter. The car barely fits in there. There's just room enough to get in and out of the car. Outdoor furniture, overwintering large planters, tools, planting supplies, bags of mulch, fertilizer and more, a table saw, bikes, scrap lumber and much more all find the garage for their winter vacation.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Out with the old, in with new garden space...

So I tried to give away the jungle gym/swing set – first to the neighbors on the block club email list. One neighbor stopped by to check it out, but it was too big, and too big a task for them to take it apart and reassemble it. Little did I know how right they were.

It was a nice dry Fall day. Perfect for leaf chopping.
I spread compost from the composter and refiled it
with chopped leaves. plus dressed most beds
with chopped leaves too.
Then I tried Facebook. A couple people took interest, but no takers there. It is old. And it would be a lot of work to carefully disassemble and reassemble elsewhere.

So it was up to me to do the tear-down. And I vastly underestimated how much work it would be. I tried to save as much lumber for future projects as I could. The whole thing was put together with screws. Rusty, stripped screws that had been there for the 13 years we've been in the house – in  addition to how many years it was here before us – probably another ten or more.

After futzing for a bout an hour-and-a-half with trying to unscrew the thing, and only getting about a dozen screws out (of hundreds), I decided it would be much faster with the chainsaw. And it was. I still tried to save as much wood as possible – it's mostly 2"x6" planks of pressure-treated wood, with a few 4"x4"s and 2"x4"s thrown in. But with a chainsaw and circular saw, I had the thing down in just a few hours.

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