Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Collaborative Stitching & Garden Necessities

This is the Drawn Thread's "". My Aunt Sandie won this cross stitch at a Button Club meeting.  The design calls for a star atop the tree and two fat white birds at the base.  I am going to stitch two red birds at the base and attempt to design a bird to rest atop the tree.  Sandie will them embellish the tree with an assortment of "Bird Buttons" from her extensive collection.  I'll post a 'finished' picture when our collaboration is complete.    

The weather has turned, and the rain has returned.  An gray day will not stop me from joining the Garden Party over at an Oregon Cottage.

I put together a list of my Garden's Work Horses - The Dirty Dozen.

1. Small Greenhouse
My lean-to greenhouse is very small - 75 inches long, 26 inches wide, 63 inches tall at the front, and 77 inches tall at the back.  Though small it qualifies as a true Work Horse.  I have three plastic racks inside and was able to over winter close to 4 dozen plants.  In cool springs it acts as a holding area for 'hot weather' starts like peppers and tomatoes. 

2. Garden Cart
I bought my garden cart several years ago.  I was certain I'd use it, but I truly had no idea just how often.  The large tires and flat bed combine to make moving heavy loads easy.  I load up containers and flats of plants, I truck potted plants to the Front Porch and Back Patio, I haul plastic trugs of garden debris to the compost pile.  I use it constantly and continually during the gardening year.

3. Plastic Trugs
Strong, flexible, easy to carry - I load 'em up with garden tools, soil, rocks, Winter Squash...

4. Work Station
I'm embarrassed to show this picture of my potting bench.  It's a Mess in Progress!  I use an old picnic table that belonged to an elderly neighbor, Dorothy McBeth.  She was the type of Country Gardener who never bought a plant - her old fashion garden of roses and lilacs and forsythia were all gifts - cuttings from fellow gardeners.  She and her husband had two vegetable gardens - the largest one started circa 1940.  70 years later, my sister uses the same space as her Dahlia Garden - that's Heirloom Gardening!         

5. Nitrile Gloves
For most of my gardening life, I gardened  'bare-handed'.  I could not stand the restriction of gloves.  Then came along Nitrile gloves - they are so flexible!  I'm a believer.

6. and 7. Trowel and Clippers
I've had my trowel and clippers for years now - good tools last.

8. Assorted Pots and Containers
I like both clay and glazed pots.  Over the years I've amassed quite the collection.  I think the container is an important part of the presentation of the newly potted plant.

9. Potting Soil / Mulch
Asking a plant to live happily in the confines of a pot requires that the gardener do all that she can to provide a Happy Home.  I think it is worth investing in 'good' potting soil.  And as the soil in pots tends to dry out quickly, I use a mulch like fine hemlock bark to top dress my containers.   
10. Osmocote 
Back to the theme of providing the plant a Happy Home.  I don't like to mess with liquid fertilizers.  I prefer a time release fertilizer like Osmocote.  In the Spring as I set out my container plants I trim them up, refresh the soil, and add the time release fertilizer to keep them happy for the next several months.  

11. Whimsy
In my book, no garden should be without whimsy.  I received this large metal Grasshopper for my birthday and I will site him somewhere on the Front Porch - place of pride.  

12. Garden Helpers
Lastly, how could I garden without the companionship of my trusty Garden Helpers?  My Mom, my Dad, my sister, and my Outdoor Cat Crew all help to make playing with plants fun!


Dee@StartDreaming said...

Your garden whimsy picture caught me off guard! So glad it's not a REAL grasshopper. EEP! Even my little praying mantis workers would not be able to keep up with a monster that size.

I love all your "work horses"! I am still on the hunt for good garden gloves. May splurge this year because we have an abundance of thistle. Plus my hands get all itchy after messing with the tomatoes and strawberries.

Take care!

Melissa said...

What a great post for garden bees like me! I especially love your garden helper in the last photo! You must've been a slave driver that day! *yawn* Time for a nap!

The sun is peeking out a bit here this morning so the rain has at least stopped for a bit!

Happy Gardening!

SewAmy said...

I love your pictures. Thank you for sharing them. And I can't wait to see the tree and birds finished up.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I love that photo of your exhausted garden helper - your ornament is really eye catching too.

Mary said...

I simply love the grasshopper...Like most gardners I have a collection of gloves none just right. I want a pair that really keeps your finger nails clean..so usually I go bare handed I have to scrub the nails anyway... Love your cat helpers too. Mine do not help although Aggie always stands guard next to "her catmint" just in case I get to near.

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

I love that you can collaborate on a stitching project--what a lovely idea! And your work horse list is very helpful indeed. I really like the greenhouse--would love to add something like that to our garden, and I love the potting bench/workstation--it's perfect! Garden gloves are really a personal choice, and it does make a big difference in your comfort level while gardening, as well as ease of gardening. I hate stiff gloves that get in my way! I like thin, flexible stretchy gloves with waterproof palms.

Dani - tkdchick said...

Sounds like that tree is going to be lovely!

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

I really like the way you have all your garden necessities organized - even the "messy" work station has everything needed. I really need to do this!

I'm also looking forward to seeing the finished cross stitch. I used to enjoy doing this, as well, but haven't for several years. Maybe you'll inspire me to take it up again.
Thanks for sharing!

Barb said...

I do loved that grasshopper!! He will add just the right touch to the porch. I'll have to try those gloves. I find myself always pulling mine off.

Maggee said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing your favorites tools for gardening! Look forward to seeing that collaborative tree finished! Hugs!

Siobhán said...

I like the collaborative stitching piece! It will be extra special since your aunt and you both are working on it. I love that big grasshopper--how fun!

Pam in IL said...

How cold does it get in your area over the winter? Your list of garden work horses is awesome. Those gloves look like they've been used alot too and I wouldn't expect a potting table to look any different than yours.

Can't wait to see the finished cross stitch tree with the birds and buttons.

Thanks for sharing!

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

This is a great idea for a post (one I might borrow from you one day!)- I loved seeing your favorite items. I'm really interested in your lean-to greenhouse as we have a south-facing wall that would be perfect...something to start saving for I see. :-)

And I always use gloves- every time I try to "bare hand it" like I hear gardeners talk about, I come away with splinters. Every. Time. :-(