Tools of a Different Kind

Warning – nerd alert!

Yesterday, I met with a client to help design the food garden at his new home.  The entire house is being remodeled and is going to be one of the greenest homes in the United States
when all is said and done.  Using solar power, recycled materials, and renewable resources, the house is sure to be a centerfold in Architectural Digest or Mother Earth News in the coming
year, and I’m thrilled to be part of the process. 

I’m also thrilled that I got to use one of my favorite tools for the job.  It’s something I got …

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Xeriscape Project Brings Joy

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who recently decided to tear up her front lawn for a low-water Xeriscape solution.  Sherri and her husband wanted to embrace the idea of a lawn-less life, so they hired a landscape designer to help them get started.  Here’s what Sherri had to say about the project:

“Our most recent effort was tackling our lawns – and this has been the most satisfying project so far! The drought conditions in Southern California …”

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Upside-Down Tomatoes

Recently some students in the Gardenerd Organic Gardening Series asked about growing tomatoes upside-down.  I can happily say that I’ve done that without any special equipment –
and it works! 

One year, on the patio of our apartment, my husband and I decided to take a regular hanging planter and plant a tomato in it.  Instead of staking it up, we let the vines hang
down.  It flowered, it set fruit, the fruit ripened and we ate well.  There are a couple of caveats, however, to be aware of when using a regular hanging planter:

1) The branches do bend or crease at the …

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Planning that Dreamy Spring Garden

Well, the rain dance I did last week definitely worked.  We’re lined up for 7 straight days of rain.  This kind of weather makes for good
daydreaming about the sunny spring sure to follow.  What better time than to curl up in bed with all those seed catalogues and make good on some garden design fantasies and promises? 
That’s what I do, anyway. Here’s how to do it:

1) Get out your most trusted gardening books: (my are listed below)

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

Geoff Hamilton’s Organic Gardening

Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte

Rodale’s Garden Answers…

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Raised Beds – Part 3 – If you build it…

Moving right along in our series on raised beds, we have now come to the part where sweat and elbow grease come in handy.

After a trip to the hardware store to pick up a non-rusted blade for our dusty Skilsaw (keeping in mind that Trex Decking can dull blades faster than wood), a box of 3 inch galvanized deck screws, a roll of 4 foot x 25 foot galvanized poultry fencing, tin snips, and two carloads of Trex Decking (19 12 foot boards were needed for our job), we were ready to build our raised beds.

On Day 1 – we opted to cut and assemble the beds before clearing the space of the old raised beds.

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Raised Beds – Part 1- Materials

The backyard renovation is about to begin.  This is very exciting considering how long it is taking to cull our ideas together.  The one thing we’ve been
able to decide on is what to do with the raised beds in the vegetable garden. They’re falling apart and need to be rebuilt.  We took to opportunity to mentally imagine a
clean slate and fantasize about what we’d like to have if money were no object.  Of course, money is an object, and we also want to be as environmentally
resourseful and responsible as possible.  With that in mind, I began researching recycled materials, including plastic lumber and composite lumber, as well …

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The First Day of Summer

Happy first day of summer, everyone!  Today is the longest day of the year.  Glorious sunlight will stream in on us, plants will be happy, shorts and flip-flops will be…

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Home Sweet Home

The massive lull in blogging can be explained by two things: 1) The pile of boxes in my living room.  My new living room, that is. Two weeks ago, on…

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