10 Easy Pieces: Wooden Elevated Planters via Gardenista

I am always looking for different styles of planters for my own garden and a new community garden I am working to get started in Sherman Oaks. The community garden needs to serve people of all abilities and these elevated beds can be great for older folks or others who are limited in their mobility. — Douglas
 
10 Easy Pieces: Wooden Elevated Planters via Gardenista

Bring your gardening to new heights with an elevated planter box. “Why,” you ask, “a garden box on legs?”

There are several benefits to an elevated planter:

  • Offers “no-bend” gardening, reducing strain on the gardener’s knees and back.
  • Great for gardens where dirt space is scarce.
  • Puts your garden within close reach.
  • Enables urban dwellers without a dirt patch a way to get garden bounty on a balcony or any spot where four legs and a box will fit.
  • Gets delicate crops off the ground and out of reach of pets and pests (take that, slugs).
  • Gives more control over soil and water conditions for edible gardens.
  • Portability enables you to chase the seasonal sun or move the planter to various light conditions depending on what you are growing.
 
Some elevated planters on Amazon
 

See even more elevated planters on Amazon


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Roses in the Neighborhood via Instagram

Roses in the Neighborhood via Instagram

Roses in the Neighborhood

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Learn more about roses and rose gardening

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Bougainvillea in the Sun via Instagram

Bougainvillea in the Sun via Instagram

Bougainvillea in the Sun

Spotted on a neighborhood walk around sunset. 

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Garden Decor: Kaleidoscope Obelisk and Tomato Cage

I came across these pieces in my Internet travels and loved how the addition of the colored glass dresses up what could be a fairly utilitarian piece of garden equipment. It gives me half a mind to retrofit my own wire obelisk with some similar elements, if I can.

Kaleidoscope obelisk Kaleidoscope tomato cage

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Obelisk Description

Our best-ever obelisk support frames your vining plants like masterpieces! Colorful glass catches the sunlight, while the ultra-sturdy steel and generous dimensions guarantee maximum effectiveness and visual impact. Grow vines in summer, and then decorate it for the holidays with evergreen boughs and lights. Made with 5/16″ diameter powder-coated steel stock, it will last for decades. Includes stakes for anchoring. Designed by artist and urban gardener Allegra DeAngelo, one of our official garden testers.

Tomato Cage Description

Our best-ever tomato support frames your tomato plant like a masterpiece! Colorful glass catches the sunlight, while the robust steel frame and generous dimensions guarantee maximum effectiveness and visual impact. Made with hefty 5/16″ diameter powder-coated steel stock, it will last for decades. Ideal for determinate tomatoes. Includes stakes for anchoring. Designed by artist and urban gardener Allegra DeAngelo, one of our official garden testers.

Historical Garden Books: Gardening for beginners; a handbook to the garden by E. T. Cook (1901) – 10 in a Series

Archive.org has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Garden Books: Gardening for beginners; a handbook to the garden by E. T. Cook (1901) – 10 in a Series

Begigardeningfor00cookrich 0013

Begigardeningfor00cookrich 0012

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PREFACE

ALTHOUGH books on gardening are now many in number, there has scarcely as yet been one quite suitable for beginners that is, both fully illustrated, and so plain and easy that it does not either alarm or discourage the absolute novice. There are many now who wish to learn, and a simple book that will put them in the right way, and be truly a beginner’s book, telling all about gardening in the simple language that all can understand, and describing garden methods and practice in detail, can hardly fail to be welcome and helpful.

For the best of all gardening is always the simplest. Sometimes, in a little wayside cottage strip, that is tended by labouring folk who love flowers, there may be seen some combination of one or two or of two or three kinds of plants that is of so high an order of beauty that one may look in vain for anything as good in many a large place where skilled labour is abundant and expense is not considered.

Those who are growing old among the flowers become more and more aware that all the best things that can be seen or enjoyed in the garden are the simplest things, done in the simplest ways. One may even venture to say that this admirable quality of simplicity is the beginning and end of all good things in gardening. For instance, a child might be taught, as a first lesson in planting, to make a little edging- of white Pink or of Thrift or of London Pride, and would be rewarded by seeing the result of its work a year after in its full beauty of young strength of bloom. Thirty or forty years later, the same child, now grown to full years of experience, will look at such a little two-year-old border, and will see that it is always a thing perfectly good of its kind, and a living source of satisfaction and delight. But, meanwhile, by slow degrees, and by learning and watching little things, each perhaps of slight importance in itself, but with some bearing on other matters that will distinctly help to build up knowledge, the outlook will have grown wider, and the once beginner, now a master of his craft, has learnt both to know his plants with all their wants and ways, and how to fit them, by placing the right plant or group of plants in the right spot, to all the widely varied conditions and demands of many gardens.

It is easy to go wrong, especially at first, by trying to use too many things at a time. It is true that the good gardener has to learn the ways and needs of a great many plants ; it is a part of his training to work through a widely varied collection, and to obtain an intimate knowledge of all, but it is only when he has gained a close acquaintance with individuals that he can then select and combine, and rightly use his knowledge for the direct service of each special purpose. And then, if he have the divine gift of a right perception, refined and strengthened by humble searching and unwearied labour, and by training his mind to the modest level of regarding himself always as a beginner, he will in the end acquire that ultimate power which will enable him to use all his material with an aim as true and an attainment as sure as the child with his simple edging of one well-known and well-loved little flowering plant.

GERTRUDE JEKYLL.

 

 

SWEET PEAS

This annual flower is too beautiful and fragrant to simply enumerate in a general list without further reference to its importance in all gardens, whether of the palace or of the cottage. In the days of old, the mixed packets of seed afforded a great variety of colours, pink, purple, rose, and others, but at the present time we have the beautiful kinds raised by Mr. Eckford and others, which may be obtained in mixtures or in separate packets that is, in distinct kinds.

 

More information on this book:

Publication date 1901
Publisher New York, Charles Scribner’s sons
Collection cdlamericana
Digitizing sponsor MSN
Language English
 

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20% OFF Everything Today! — Lovely Lavender Flowers Totes, Pillow, iPhone Cases, and Much More!

20% OFF Everything Today! -- Lovely Lavender Flowers Totes, Pillow, iPhone Cases, and Much More!

20% OFF Everything Today! -- Lovely Lavender Flowers Totes, Pillow, iPhone Cases, and Much More!

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Lovely Lavender Flowers Totes, Pillow, iPhone Cases, and Much More!

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Tote Bag Features

  •  Selected design printed on both sides
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Douglas E. Welch Redbibble Product Portfolio

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Lily — via My Instagram

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Get these Gorgeous Clematis Flower Pillows, Tees, Totes, iPhone Cases, and more!

Get these Gorgeous Clematis Flower Pillows, Tees, Totes, iPhone Cases, and more!

Get these Gorgeous Clematis Flower Pillows, Tees, Totes, iPhone Cases, and more!

Get these Gorgeous Clematis Flower Pillows, Tees, Totes, iPhone Cases, and more!

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Floor Pillow Features

  •  Vibrant double-sided print floor pillows are a versatile seating or lounging option that will update any room
  •  Independent designs, custom printed when you order
  •  Durable 100% Spun Polyester cushion cover – fills must be purchased separately for this floor pillow
  •  Concealed zip opening for a clean look and easy care

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A Gardener’s Notebook: The Guilty Gardener  – 3 in a series – Galvanized pipe doesn’t last forever

A Gardener’s Notebook: The Guilty Gardener  – 3 in a series – Galvanized pipe doesn’t last forever
Douglas E. Welch

Forgive me for a moment…

Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, welcome back to The Guilty Gardener.

What do I have to feel guilty about today? Oh about the wastage of several hundred gallons of water (and the water bill to go with it) because I never seem to find the leaks until they have created havoc for both me and my neighbors. Also, because I never seem to fi anything around here until it actually breaks and causes said mayhem.

It’s fixed now. Thankfully the plumbing work itself wasn’t that expensive, but it still makes me grumble.

So, what happened? Well, this story started around 50 years ago. According to the plumber, these galvanized lines were probably installed sometime in the 1960’s There is one long lime that goes around the house from the main water input to the backyard irrigation spigots. Thankfully this is a separate line from the household water, so it is possible to shut off the garden water without leaving us without bathroom and showers, which we have had to do several times.

About 10 years ago we had a leak in the north alley that nearly undermined the foundation. Galvanized pipe often fails with pinhole leaks, The trouble is, when this pinhole is underground it acts a bit like a pressure washer and can create sinkholes as it undermines the surrounding area. I took us almost a week to locate that problem and it made me paranoid any time I hear running water when it shouldn’t be running.

That said, this current problem was similar but more complex. First, right near where the irrigation lines connect to the main water feed an elbow had failed with the same pinhole leak. Rosanne had noticed the ground was soggy when doing her morning watering and we called the plumber immediately. That day, with a little digging, the plumber arrived and patched the leak.

Hmmm, water was still running somewhere, though. Rosanne also mentioned that there was a soggy spot in the backyard. Now, in the past, the neighbor’s sprinkler had been blowing out one riser quite near our property line. This had resulted in a 20-foot fountain of water shooting into our backyard on several occasions. It was probably just that happening again, right? Nope!

Digging down again — thankfully none of these lines are deeply laid — we found this.

Glavanized patch

This is the end of the line going to the backyard and just below this mess of pipe and valves the galvanized pipe had sprung a leak. This photo is after all the water had been bucketed out of the hole so we could see the pipe and a patch had been attempted. Due to the way the ground falls in our yard, most of the water ended up flooding our neighbor’s backyard without us noticing at all. I wish they had informed us when they saw it, but even they thought it was an issue with their own sprinkler system.

Glavanized patch 2

We threw a patch on this line in an attempt to get it working temporarily, but it didn’t seem to stop the water flow at all.

Our plumber was involved in several other more pressing jobs so we just had to do without any automated watering in the garden for the time being. I moved our main hose to a spigot that feeds off the house water connection and we watered by hand for a week or so.

Finally, the plumber showed up unexpectedly yesterday. He had a few minutes of open time so he and his son set to work. First thing was to remove the pipe with the hole — and oh what a hole it was!

Galvanized hole

This is a picture of the bottom of the pipe with my thumb for scale. This was no pinhole leak. This was a torrent. Imagine all the water pressure concentrated on this one point and it is easy to see why the neighbor’s yard flooded. You can also see where the pipe was about to fail even more just to the left of the hole. it was only a matter of time.

We got a bit lucky in that there was a coupling quite near the part that needed to be replaced so we didn’t have to dig up 20+ feet of garden. The plumber replaced the failed area with shiny new copper pipe and a new shutoff valve so we can isolate this section of the irrigation in the future, should we need to.

Shiney copper

Now, back to the “guilty” part. I SHOULD have replaced these galvanized pipes years ago. We have been in the house for 20 years, but as is typical, the “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” rule usually applies. There were more pressing needs and, even worse, piping is out of sight which means it is also out of mind for the most part — until it fails, at least.

That said, I have added the replacement of all the galvanized piping to my “must do” household list and would probably also take the opportunity to add some more automation to the system while I am at it with a few automatic sprinkler valves connected to either drip or soaker irrigation lines. If you still have any galvanized pipes in your garden water architecture — take it from me — replace them as soon as you can. Your guilty conscience and your water bill will thank you.

Historical Garden Books: The hive and the honey-bee by H.D. Richardson (1849) – 9 in a Series

Archive.org has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Garden Books: The hive and the honey-bee by H.D. Richardson (1849) – 9 in a Series

Hivehoneybeewith00rich 0007Hivehoneybeewith00rich 0006

Download in EPUB, Kindle, Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org


PREFACE,

I FEEL myself called upon, at this period of my labours, to address a few brief observations to my readers. I have, in the first place, to return my grateful acknowledgments for the very large share of public patronage which my works have hitherto enjoyed — a patronage which has conferred upon them success, and which, I trust, may still be awarded to such future publications of a similar character as, if permitted the exercise of life and health, I design further to embark upon the sea of public opinion. To the kindness with which the Press have treated my undertaking, I have also to acknowledge my gratitude, and to express a hope that, in the future performance of my pleasing task, I may continue to merit and enjoy the good opinion of that powerful and important organ of public sentiment.

I would now desire permission to speak a few words of myself, in order to explain, what possibly might otherwise, on some future occasion, create question or surprise — I allude to the circumstance of one individual undertaking to write, and that practically, upon so many different subjects. I am induced to advert to this, from a fear lest any of my readers should be inclined to regard my little books as mere compilations, in which case the authority which I could desire them to possess might be, to a great degree, lost. The facts of the case are these : From the very earliest period that I can remember, I was devotedly attached to animals. In infancy, this, of course, only amounted to a warm affection for such individual cats, dogs, or birds, as were inmates of the same house. In childhood, the sentiment became still further developed, in cutting out of, or drawing upon, paper, the forms of such animals as I was acquainted with from personal observation, or through the medium of prints. As childhood advanced to boyhood, so did my desires extend and derive additional gratification from making pets of such creatures as I could procure, and making all their little ways and habits my attentive study. In this pursuit I was greatly aided by a kind and indulgent mother, herself an ardent student of nature, whose liberal purse supplied the funds needful for the attainment of my objects, and whose instructions laid in my young mind the foundation of zoological knowledge.

To resume : As boyhood merged into manhood, so did my zoological predilections acquire additional strength, and it fortunately happened that at this period many circumstances combined to afford me facility for their indulgence. Need I add that I eagerly availed myself of these ; need I add that I cultivated poultry, and strove to improve our domestic varieties by intermixture with foreign stock ; that successively the Horse, Dog, Cow, Hog, and other animals, engaged, as opportunity offered, my close attention ; and when it will be recollected that I studied the habits and natures of these animals Avith an interest of a peculiar nature, is it to be wondered at that I should have done so with success, or that it should be now a source of so much gratification to me to publish, for the benefit of others, the result of my observations ?

More information on this book:

Publication date 1849
Topics Bees
Publisher Dublin, J. McGlashan
Collection americana
Digitizing sponsor NCSU Libraries
Contributor NCSU Libraries
Language English

Learn more about gardening history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library