“Dont judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson [Read more…] about My Two-Ingredient Seed Raising Mix (It’s the BEST!)
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. ~ Gustav Mahler
They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers. ~James G. Watt
For my birthday, the kids (Husband) chose for me an awesome piece of potty kit.
I had seen them before, a little wooden thingy that makes newspaper into seedling pots. The one I have makes pots in three different sizes. It’s a fantastic little piece of equipment because the pots you make can be transplanted directly into the ground once the seedling is ready for planting.
This reduces transplant shock and avoids having the cell crush the roots or have it all crumble in your hands when you finally get the seedling out. I had experimented with using egg cartons which didn’t quite break down as fast as I would have liked in the soil, however cutting the bottom out of the “cup” and replacing it in the lid as a tray works well, allowing the roots to stretch their legs.
I had also been collecting every plastic seedling cell I purchased, but thankfully can now put them in the recycling bin. Having to clean them out before replanting was a bit of a bother.
The kids and I spend the better part of yesterday measuring, cutting, assembling and potting up some seedlings. You can see we used brown recycled paper for our pots. That way, I was able to write the seedling details on the pot itself, which is handy. A little bit of twine around the larger pot will help keep it’s shape. It was a lovely way to spend a bit of a cold, rainy day. Later, we caught some ladybirds, fed them some cabbage with aphids and placed them in a terrarium. Since my daughter caught two of them in flagrente, we are watching them closely and I’m hoping for some eggs.
This morning, my daughter had to bring something for her class news. “We could take one of the pots you made,” I enthused. “Or maybe the ladybird terrarium? I think your class would love that!”
You know what she wanted to show her class? Her Zhu Zhu* pets.
*For those of you who are not parents, these days when a young kid asks for a pet you give him/her a Zhu Zhu. It’s a robotic rodent that makes irritating noises, sports a punk rock haircut, scurries around on wheels and devours two AA batteries faster than Matt Preston through a pound of foie gras. My son lost his in his room 5 minutes after letting it out the box. A week later he found it wedged in between his mattress and the wall. See? That’s why you don’t give a REAL hamster to a 3 year old.
“Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.” ~ William Cowper
When my sister and I were kids, our entire play life was mostly about searching for, finding and creating the perfect cubby house.
The most memorable was an old chicken pen behind a house where we lived in Bridgetown. Our cubby was generously furnished with the unwanted household off-casts from the nice old couple next door. We decked ourselves out in an outrageous smothering of old costume jewellery and felt like queens in a castle.
Now, almost 30 years on, I am back to creating the perfect cubby house. Though from now on, I will refer to it by its most appropriate adult pseudonym, “Greenhouse”.
My $70 greenhouse from The Reject Shop failed to see out it’s first year and started to fall apart almost instantly after purchase but was finally finished off by our last good gusty storm.
But now, by ways that will remain known only to me, I have managed to convince my husband to build me a proper
cubby greenhouse. And I have just the place for it.
You will probably have a space similar to it at your house. It is tucked down the back corner of the block and has an awkward aspect. But it is perfect for me. It already has a fence and gate to section it off from prying little hands. It is partly paved, with plenty of space for the potting bench, a potting sink, some shelving and plenty of storage. It even has an outdoor electricity plug.
I have already cleared the weeds since this photo was taken. The next step will be to clear the mulch from the beds, put down weed mat and lots of pebbles on top for good drainage while cutting down weeds. It will be getting a roof structure too for added protection. The transformation is going to take a few weeks, so watch this space. I can’t wait to move in!
“Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” ~ New England proverb.
Every 9 months or so our local council has a kerb collection.
For those of you not familiar with this practice, it’s the opportunity for every house in the street to bring out all our un-wanted, un-donateable, un-sellable crap and park it on our front verges.
It is then collected by tag teams of bobcats and dump trucks, destined for landfill. It’s unsightly, untidy and it encourages vermin.
It’s also absolutely awesome!
You would not believe the things people throw out. I always have my eyes peeled because often it’s a goldmine for useful things to put in the garden. People chuck out pots, worm farms, sinks, even entire plants and greenhouses.
But the pride of my finds so far would have to be my new potting bench.
I had been surfing the net and found some lovely custom built potting benches that looked the business and cost the bank.
I was walking back from school drop off when I saw it.
A discarded, solid teak TV bench. Missing a drawer, looking gray and unloved, but perfect for my purposes.
As you can see, my double pram was already loaded with a reclaimed hanging basket, terracotta edging and two large iron tubs. I hoped no one would snaffle it before I could persuade hubby to pick it up later that evening.
I should also mention that I am a bit spatially challenged. I believe that pretty much anything will fit in the back of my trusty all wheel drive. When I took hubby to the spot where it lay, he very quickly determined we needed backup.
My dad and hubby hauled it onto a trailer, then grunted and groaned as they carried it all the way down the three large terraced levels of my yard to its final resting place. Apparently, it was rather heavy.
A quick brush over removed all the dust. It eagerly slurped up several coats of decking oil to ensure it would seal the wood and be fairly resistant to the elements. A few drilled holes for drainage when it rains and I could not be more thrilled with it.
As I excitedly shared my story of my new potting bench to my bewildered, less enthused friends, it occurred to me that I have some kind of perverse joy that not all others share. (Actually, I think I have a few of those!)
I call it reverse kleptomania. Yes, I could have afforded to buy a custom built potting bench. But up-cycling the free, unwanted teak cabinet just feels way more satisfactory.
Have you up-cycled something from drab to fab in your garden? Reverse Kleptomaniacs unite! I would love to see photos too.