Stencils as Garden Art

Seneca has a posse. I’ve been looking at a lot of garden design books lately. These books always contain a photo illustrating the concept of the focus point, which is inevitably an 18th century marble bust of some ancient deity. Try to source one of those busts from your local big box store or Amazon and you’ll find some really scary stuff. I can’t afford those 18th century busts, so I decided to try a two dimensional alternati...

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Rearranging the yard, yet again!

...y mistake. There was nothing wrong with the last design. It’s just that after a year of living with it I saw how it could be improved. These are the three things that the redesign addresses: 1) Flow. Movement within the garden. The old layout looked great but lacked flow. I think gardens should have paths. They should invite you to move through them, lead you on a small journey of discovery, rather than challenging you to make left-right de...

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Anne Hars’ Top Ramen Keyhole Vegetable Garden

“I call it my Top Ramen garden,” says gardener, Root Simple neighbor and artist Anne Hars, “I planted things that go well in Top Ramen.” Hars is referring to her keyhole vegetable bed that she created this winter. With the keyhole, Hars has made good use of a very small front yard with a dense planting of Ramen friendly veggies including bok choi, three kinds of kale, sunflowers, carrots, peas, garlic, radishes, spinach,...

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A White House Vegetable Garden

Via a post by Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing, one man’s plea to turn the White House lawn into a kitchen garden: I’ll note that the last person to try to convince a president to plant veggies was the always forward thinking Alice Waters, the proprietor of Berkeley California’s Chez Panisse. Waters asked then president Bill Clinton to grow some vegetables at the White House. Clinton responded, “send me the seeds Alice...

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A garden that looks like a meth amphetamine lab

This year around the Homegrown Revolution compound we’ve finally thrown off the tyranny of the beautiful. There’s simply too much of what we call “garden porn” out there. Coffee table garden books, Martha Stewart and 24 hours of bullshit home improvement shows set up expectations that drive us all to useless spending at nurseries and home improvement stores all in pursuit of unattainable ideals, at least unattainable for...

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Our New Straw Bale Garden–Part I

Straw bales–ready to prepare. Pot in the center will be a solar powered fountain. We’re going to experiment with a straw bale vegetable garden in our backyard, inspired by Michael Tortorello’s article in the New York Times. The plan is to grow in the bales and harvest the resulting compost for use in permanent raised beds (that have yet to be built). We’ll keep growing in bales until we have enough compost for the beds. T...

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Saturday Linkages: Poultry Shaming, Horse Treadmills and Garden Snark

Image: Thirdroar. Poultry shaming: http://www.thirdroar.com/journal/2014/2/24/public-poultry-shaming.html … Russian Man Uses Horse Treadmill to Power Log Splitter http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/russian-man-uses-horse-treadmill-to-power-chainsaw-1532466975 … Garden Variety SNARK | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2014/02/garden-variety-snark.html … Pison eu, Colon grossum! http://wp.me/p4bjRl-5V  Reviving forgotten recipes: http://www.thesmartse...

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Picture Sundays: A Keyhole Bed and Straw Bale Garden in Texas

John W. from Kerrville, Texas sent in some pictures of his garden. John says, This is my first year to use compost tea.  I am growing plants in two Keyhole Gardens, self watering 5 gal plastic buckets and two hay bales (coastal Bermuda hay) that have a wooden framework on top containing bulk landscaping compost from a local nursery. My plants are growing super fast and my tomatoes are loaded.  This looks to be the best garden I have ever had. J...

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Straw Bale Garden Part II: Watering the Bales

In case you just joined us, we’re starting up a straw bale garden. I’ve decided to go with instructions provided by Washington State University. The first step is to wet the bales. Here’s what WSU suggests: To start the process, keep the straw bales wet for three to four weeks before planting. If you would like to speed up the process, here is a recipe that works well. Days 1 to 3: Water the bales thoroughly and keep them damp...

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Foreclosure Garden Foreclosed

Neighbor, artist and master gardener Anne Hars took over the front yard of a foreclosed triplex earlier this year and planted a vegetable garden. The triplex had fallen in to disrepair and had become notorious for housing a bunch of gang members.  The police evicted the gangsters and the building fell into disrepair. The garden Anne planted in the spring had just begun to bring forth its bounty. Then, this past week, an unpleasant man showe...

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