Everyone loves a beautiful garden! And I can’t wait to show you mine!
Beautiful irises shine with vibrant purples, brightening up green lush backgrounds!
Too bad this isn’t lush YET. Nice soil though, right?!? And weeds. Let’s try again.
Come hither, down this meandering pathway, into a whimsical secret garden…
…which I call the compost pile. Truth be told, the first pic does show self seeding perennials that give out glorious bloom late summer. But not in the best of settings. Yet.
One more. But I think by now you know I’m pulling your leg with a great (cough) ‘garden.’
A lovely array of wild flowers amongst crisp greens, adorn this sweet vintage mailbox I myself painted as a child.
Are you ready for this? Hold your breath. You will be in absolute AWE.
Ah yes, here we go. THIS is my vegetable garden.
(I have other nicer areas but this one needed a garden ambulance!)
My friends, there’s a reason I haven’t spotlighted my garden yet. While many of you have wonderful lush backdrops with glorious colour blooming everywhere you look, I have buttercups and overgrown carrots from last year.
I kid you not. These are carrots that were late bloomers last fall and I just ‘left them in’ thinking they’d die. They didn’t. The carrot tops turned into a HEDGE. With carrots about an inch long. Not good.
As you can see, it’s clean up time in these parts. And since I’m in the thick of it, I thought I’d show you a few things that help me get it the way it ought to be.
Bear in mind, I don’t have muscle help, so everything I show you is geared for girl power.
These guys travel with me everywhere I go on gardening day. And they both have an important purpose.
One wheelbarrow is strictly for tools,
and the other is for weeds.
I use to combine the works in one wheelbarrow but I kept buring my tools with weeds. This works MUCH better!
I always throw the weeds in buckets so they are easy to pick up and toss into the compost. And this way, you can take your bucket deep into a flowerbed and not have to pick up after yourself.
Shallow wheelbarrow for the weeds.
The shallow lower wheelbarrow makes carting away weeds a breeze. You don’t have to lift a heavy bucket high up in the air to clear it.
Easy access for your stuff
I store this cute old relic right outside against my character building. It’s part of the overall display, as well as being super accessible. I don’t need a lock and key, garage door opener, have to move the lawn mower first, or empty it. It’s ready to go. This little ‘display’ makes me smile for all of the reasons above! So if I’m on the fly and I want to quickly throw a few weeds somewhere without getting ALL the gear out, I can. I don’t care if it rusts in the rain. I prefer it all rusty one day!
I plan to hang a few hand tools on the sides of the building too. Nothing like true grab and go!
(Building needs some prettying up! Coming soon!)
Weed trimmers meant for women
Once upon a time I relied on another to do this task. But on the days I wished to do it, the heavy duty variety had you feeling like you were jack hammering rather than trimming grass. And your hands and arms buzzed for days afterwards. Those days are long gone. I purchased a little weed eater that was made for women.
It’s got a shorter shaft as we generally aren’t as tall. It’s VERY light, not even requiring a shoulder strap. And the best part, no jittery feeling when you use it. I’ve had mine for 5 years now and I’m due for a new one next season. That’s a long life for a little one like this. They are affordable, lightweight and the best part is, you can do it yourself! This one does need the oil/gas mix, but premix it in a little gas tank and it’ll last you all season.
A lightweight self propelled lawn mower
For years I threw my back out using a heavyweight grade lawn mower. Even with self propelled, it was meant for muscle. I ran it until it died and I’ve never been happier picking up a self propelled lightweight lawn mower for just under $200.
Mulch, not bag
Another tip? Ditch the bag and get a mower that mulches. Best thing I EVER did. No more lugging that silly bag around. If you keep up with the grass a couple times a week, you don’t even see the lawn clippings, they mulch that clean.
Just know, we have a summertime pool in the backyard, and I simply fill a little tub with water, placing it at the foot of the ladder and have the kiddos walk through it before entering the pool. The clippings are so minuscule that bare feet do not drag them indoors either. Not bagging your clippings is so much easier on your back, and it’s good for your grass too!
Enlist the young-ins for help
My 11 yr old son now helps with the yard work. I cut around the perimeter of the entire lawn, then he takes over and does the rest, while I weed eat and mess around in the flower beds.When my son was younger, he pulled weeds for me. So there’s something to do for any age group in the garden.
I use to work for a greenhouse and there was a special way we trimmed heather. I did the same trick to this tuft of grass so thought I’d share.
If you wish for anything to have a round shape, grab the plant in your fist and hold. Now clip nice and straight across the top, like you’re giving it a dead straight haircut. (not shown)
Simply let go and you’re left with a perfect little circular mound shape each and every time.
Before… (my cat is in shock)
And after! All ready for some fertilizer and seedlings! I generally have salad fixings, tomatoes and potatoes in this little area. It keeps us eating fresh veggies all summer long.
Instead of tomato rings, those things in the garden are wound up stucco wire. My stucco guy was working on my house one day. After he left, I found these around my tomato plants. Tell me that isn’t sweet! I’ve kept them ever since. Chicken wire would do much the same thing.
Now.. you know this post wouldn’t be complete without something abit ‘different’, correct?
When I dream up new inventions for stuff, I prop things in place to ‘think about it.’ And the backyard was no exception. Can you guess what I have in mind below? Or, feel free to…
… caption this!
There. My dog will even smile for you.
How’s your garden coming along? Got any tasks you find difficult to do on your own? Any garden cleanup tips to share?