Daily Archives: May 22, 2011

Creating a Succulent Garden Bench

Even here where the temperatures reach above 100 degrees for more than three months and winter months dropping in the teens, these succulents grow and spread across the bench cheering up a blank space in a corner of the yard.  Simply cover the seat of the bench and up the back a ways in burlap and then a layer of thick weed mat.  Burlap is more appealing to look at then the weed mat, so that is the only reason for using it.  Use a good potting soil to fill in the seat and up the back and start planting your favorite succulents.  They will fill in with time but for an instant look plant thickly.  Tuck the burlap in and around the plants to cover any potting soil and weed mat.  Water in!  I only water about 2 to 3 times a week here in the desert and no water during the winter unless we have had a complete drought.  Use Hen and Chicks,  Dragons Blood Sedums,  Stonecrop and anything available.  Once they start to crowd out, thin out and share with a friend for their new bench.

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Filed under Garden Whimsy, Gardening

Putting My Backyard to Work

When we moved into our home 23 years ago this coming July I never imagined I would be integrating so many things on our little 1/4 acre.  I soon filled our plot with a garden, fruit trees, shade trees, grass and flower beds.  I quickly ran out of room!  We had an adjoining lot that was a 1/4 acre also and it had been vacant since we moved in.  After filling up our little plot I soon decided to plant a small garden, 4 ft wide by 50 ft on the edge of that  lot.  And yes, of course it did indeed go up for sale. Isn’t that the way!  We never planned on buying that lot and soon found out we were destined to own it.  And that’s where it all began.  My husband brought home 3 baby chicks from the local feed store and that opened the doors.  Soon to follow were more chicks, ducks, goats, rabbits,bees, 2 cats, a dog and now even a small cow.  An orchard of 35 fruits trees were to start us off on that 1/4 acre lot now 48 fruit trees dwell within. 16 grape vines, a greenhouse, berry patches, cold frames, compost bins, chicken coop, barn, garden and a small retail cottage organic garden business all within that small 1/4 acre lot.  My husband probably wonders “what if” he didn’t bring home those 3 innocent chicks that April day.  I’m sure he never planned on such a life.  Just three chicks for the kids and a few eggs. 

We have been organic for 15 years now and found this is the only way to grow in harmony with our land.  Our garden, orchard and animals are defiantly work, but I can’t think of anything more rewarding in my life.  Today the “Urban Farm” is being more than just a way to supply your family with fresh produce, but it’s a becoming a movement I think we should all try!

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Filed under Chickens, Gardening, Goats