Recycle: Detergent Bottle Watering Can

Found on…

Convert a plastic detergent bottle into a serviceable watering can. Great way to recycle!

Source: via Douglas on Pinterest



Photo: A rainy day in the garden…

A few photos from an infrequently seen rainy day here in Southern California.

Rainy day

Click to view individual pictures full size on Flickr

Photo: Grape tomatoes still coming on

The grape tomatoes from the volunteer plant are still coming on. Can’t wait to see that first tinge of red.

Grape tomatoes coming along


The weather prediction is for cool weather coming and maybe even rain on Wednesday. That reminds me I need to go get some seed packets so I can plant some areas to fill in the bare spots. I have been waiting for the rain, as trying to keep seeds moist in the ground is nearly impossible during the hotter days here in LA.

I am also planning more lavender plants in the borders. The few I have planted have done well, so I think it is time to expand the plan.

Google Hangout?

Finally, would you have an interest in a gardening “hangout” on Google+ some evening. I have been using it for some other chats and find that it works pretty well for up to 10 people. Share your feelings here on the blog via comments or on our Facebook Wall. For those who are interested, you can follow me on Google+ from my G+ Profile.

I Like This – October 2, 2011

    A collection of gardening items I found interesting this week.

  • Watch the Great Pumpkin Grow – September 27, 2011 – Great time-lapse video of giant pumpkin bieng grown

Video: Watch the great pumpkin grow!

Ok, this is pretty darn cool! We usually only see the end result of these pumpkins, but this video gives an entirely new perspective.

New Troy-Bilt tools to try – Battery Pole Trimmer and Hedge Trimmers

Ooooo, look what shiny new toy showed up on my porch yesterday — Troy-Bilt’s new battery operated tools – a chainsaw pole trimmer and hedge trimmers. I tried out both of these tools when we were back in Ohio for our Saturday6 kick-off event and I am eager to put them to use here in the garden. I am sold on battery operated tools as I find them easier to operate AND, in the case of the hedge trimmers, I won’t have to worry about cutting the extension cord ever again. (Come on, you know you’ve done that at least once, right?)

I’ll be unboxing these, shooting some video and reviewing how they work in the real world in the next week or so. Watch this space for more information!

Troy-Bilt battery powered pole trimmer and hedge trimmer

This post is part of my paid work as part of Troy-Bilt’s Saturday6. The opinions are solely mine.

A Gardener’s Notebook in Troy-Bilt’s newsletter, “The Dirt”

As part of my work with Troy-Bilt, I regularly write for their monthly newsletter, The Dirt. This month, my article is entitled “Inch-by-Inch” and appears below in it’s entirety.

Read the entire newsletter

If you would like to subscribe to The Dirt, visit the Troy-Bilt web site and subscribe.

Your garden – inch by inch by Douglas Welch, A Gardener’s Notebook

Often we look at our garden plant by plant – which is doing well, which is doing poorly, which one needs to be moved.  At other times, we try to take in the big picture.  We map, we plan and try to create one seamless whole.  There are times, though, when inch-by-inch is the way we see it, and it brings a unique viewpoint.

The Edging


Wine bottle edging in the garden
Wine bottle edging in the garden (Photo credit: dewelch)

Several weeks ago we started a new edging project in the garden.  Beginning with the smallest rose bed, we decided to use old wine and glass water bottles to surround the bed.  The previous limbs we had used were now several years old and had deteriorated almost completely.  I did a bit of research online, including looking for images of bottle edging, to make sure we wanted to proceed.  It certainly seemed worth a try.  We would do this small bed first and then decided if we wanted to continue it in others.


Of course, doing an edging project like this means getting “down and dirty” with your garden – usually on your hands and needs.  You notice immediately how the soil differs inside the bed to the hard, compacted soil of the surrounding paths.  You get a clear view of the quality of the soil in the beds as you dig the trench alongside.

You notice insects – good and bad – weeds, and maybe even the rust that is forming on the lower leaves of the roses that you hadn’t noticed before.  Oh, oh, are those aphids?!?  Ah, but you also notice the lady larvae and adults ready to eat them up. Your garden takes on a different meaning on this micro scale.  You don’t notice the thistles and bindweed as much, but the blackspot and Japanese beetles really catch your eye.  You don’t notice the bad pruning on the box hedges, but the quality of the soil as it sits in your hand makes you sit in wonder for just a moment.

A project

If all this sounds very foreign to you, I am going to charge you with a project the next time you are in your garden.  Take a 1-meter-square area of your garden and mark it off in some way.  Use a piece of rope or string to outline the area. If you have seen archaeologists working in movies or on TV, think about what their digs look like. While this 1 meter can be a patch of lawn, consider placing it over the junction between a bed and the lawn.  You’ll get better results in your experiment.

Now that you have marked out the area, sit down – better yet, lie down on your belly – and start to take note of every living thing you see there.  First off you’ll see the grass, the daylilies, the small weeds.  Then look deeper.  You’ll see ants, aphids, beetles and a host of other insects.  Keep looking.  Now there are worms, spiders, sow bugs, spider mites and more.  I can guarantee you that you will notice more than you ever thought possible in your small 1 meter area and all of it is there, teeming with life, every day.

I know that, for me, observing my garden in this macroscopic way brings a deeper appreciation and deeper understanding of my garden when I look out from my back door each morning, coffee cup in hand.  I never see just the paths and the plants anymore.  In my mind I see it all – everything that exists down there among the roots, as well as everything on the surface.

It is quite amazing how a small garden project can lead you down the merry path of deep thoughts, but, then again, isn’t that one major reason we garden in the first place?

This post is part of my paid work as part of Troy-Bilt’s Saturday6. The opinions are solely mine.

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I Like This – September 25, 2011

    A collection of gardening items I found interesting this week.

  • Gardening Books: The one-minute review solution – September 25, 2011 – Some nice reviews and great recommendations for garden books. The book, “Planting the Dry Shade Garden” especially interests me.

I Like This – September 16, 2011

    A collection of gardening items I found interesting this week.

  • Hart’s tongue fern – September 16, 2011 – Hmm, I wonder if this would work in California in the shady parts of the garden. Certainly a nice look.

Photo: Oaks, acorns and an unidentified spider that needs a name

It is flag football season again, so an hour or so of each afternoon involves me sitting in the park trying to work or read or do something else productive.

Today I happened to notice these tiny acorns on the tree above my head. They are small, but yet the perfect definition of an acorn. A little online searching makes me think these trees are Quercus chrysolepsis based on the shape, size and color of the leaves. If I am mistaken, please let me know. It seems to be one of the few oaks we have here in California that doesn’t have lobed leaves of some sort.

Quercus chrysolepsis ?

Click for larger image from Flickr


Click for larger image from Flickr

Finally, here is a small spice that climbed up my laptop screen as I say writing. I have no idea what this species this is. Do you have an idea? Leave a note in the comments. I would love to know. It is probably a bit difficult as it is most likely a juvenile and the picture is severely zoomed to give you even this basic image.

Small yellow spider

Click for larger image from Flickr