5.21.2011

Garden Update...And A Doll Farmer's Market

Since joining Pinterest, I've discovered that my wine box garden is all over the place! Who knew? I'm not famous, but my first-ever garden is! So I thought it might be time for a little update.

We're learning as we go in the garden. I like my garden books, but real life, digging in the dirt experience is the best teacher. Here's what our garden looks like today:


{We added casters so we can chase the sunlight.}

Not quite as plentiful as when we started...


{Photographed the weekend we planted.}

...but we enjoyed lots of fresh greens and were able to make more salads than I expected thanks to good growth before the heat descended upon us. This was one of my favorites:


{greens, roasted blue potatoes, grilled chicken + feta
tossed in olive oil, lemon and sea salt}

Lettuce season is over in my garden {too hot}, but I'm encouraged by what Chef Randy Evans {who gardens outside my favorite restaurant, Haven} has taught me:Texas has one of the nation's longest growing seasons. {Too bad I don't like peppers and okra; they grow well in the summer.}

As far as new plantings go, my husband decided to stick a couple red onions in the ground {since they were sprouting green tops in our kitchen!}. Probably the wrong season or wrong way to plant, but it can't hurt to try!

{Experimenting. We'll see what happens!} 

Did I mention that we've hardly had a drop of rain in Houston all Spring? It's the driest Spring I can remember in my life. I've been trying to water twice a day to keep my tomatoes from looking like this:

{Poor babies. They need some rain!}

Here they are on a good day:

{Newly caged and outgrowing already!}

I finally had to stake {or cage} the tomatoes. Not as pretty, but absolutely essential. {Note to self: this would be MUCH easier to do in the beginning...before the plants grow.} I had no idea they'd grow so quickly!


{Look how tiny the plants were when we started!}

Speaking of tomatoes, we've got a problem. Some of the leaves and vines aren't looking so good.

{healthy vine...unhealthy vine}

Help! Is it a pest of some sort? Once I saw a teeny, tiny little spider that was light-colored and the size of a pin head.  Do any of you know what's going on and how to handle it naturally? I've tried spraying Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and water {my version of dishsoap and water...works for aphids}, but can't tell if it's helping.

Speaking of pests, I had to get creative with the strawberries. The birds or squirrels were frustrating my girls by eating them just before they fully ripened!

{homemade tent with supplies we had on hand:
tulle, plastic hangers, clothespins}

My girls like to say the strawberries are getting married. {Smile!} Thanks to my husband for what he calls "Aggie Engineering" {His saying for "jerry rigging." He went to Texas A&M.}

And a HUGE thank you to my husband for helping me reconfigure the top of the garden table. He wasn't thrilled about the task, but when he saw me trying to do it myself, he swooped in knowing he could do it in minutes {instead of the hours it would take me}.

{My husband...cracking himself up! I love this guy!}

To prevent the top of the table from being so exposed to water, my sister and I added aluminum flashing to the top. But because the surface wasn't completely flat {the table has a raised edge}, it looked like a poorly wrapped present.


That bugged me. So my husband removed the nails,
I trimmed as neatly as I could, and voilà!


{I'd love to know how to make the shiny metal
look more like weathered zinc!}

I've already started collecting new wine boxes from the wine merchants where I am a most loyal shopper {some give them to me and some want to charge me}. I've found that the higher end the wine, the higher  quality the box {and you usually have to pay for those}.

I'll be sure to rub the next set of boxes down with Danish Oil {as advised in one of my garden books}, but until then, my girls have found a fun way to use them.

An American Girl Farmer's Market!


{100% imagined and organized by my girls.}

Isn't it amazing what children will do when you give them the free time and space to use their God-given imagination?!?! And I don't mind telling you, those doll-sized gluten free biscuits were amazing! I wanted to buy every single one!

I hope you're having a FABULOUS weekend, Sweet Friends!


P.S. I feel refreshed in both sleep and perspective since my last post, but I will say: the beauty hunter in me is LOVING Pinterest. My blog will still be a place for me to "talk out loud" and share original photos and designs, but I love having a place to gather beauty and dreams.

Here's a Provence dream I pinned today:




I admired this hotel during my first visit to Provence
and would love to stay there someday!


To see what else I've pinned...


15 comments:

  1. HI! Its your new friend from Pinterest, Carrie! :) Love the update on the garden...you know what my next project will be, right?! I live in Sugar Land and the lack of rain we've had is awful...my flowers are so dry, poor babies.

    What a precious blog you have...and I love we found eachother via Pinterest...we love alot of the same things!

    Blessings this weekend!
    xoxo,
    Carrie@221vision

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  2. So glad to meet you, Carrie! I never knew Pinterest would equal new friends...and a local friend at that! ;)

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  3. What a great idea for a garden! It is amazing what you have growing in those boxes! Your daughters would be the perfect playmates for my daughter. She loves her American Girls and would make a great business partner!
    I'm off to check out your pin boards!

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  4. I'm having the same problem with my tomato plants this year. From what I've read, yellow leaves can be caused by a variety of things, but doesn't always mean the plant will fail. It could be lack of nitrogen in the soil, not enough water, or those certain leaves aren't getting enough sun. As for natural pest control, try planting some marigolds along with your veggies. Insects will be drawn to them instead. I also found an organic insect/disease powder at Lowes.
    That doll sized Farmer's market was so cute!

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  5. I've had the same issues with my tomatoes (both the cage and the leaf color). I was told that depending on the way the leaves look (veins, etc.) explains what nutrient the soil is lacking. I was also told that tomato plants don't like when their leaves get wet so try to only water them at the soil. :)

    P.S. Sill LOVE your garden!

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  6. Your garden looks great and I love how creative your girls are.

    So glad you are enjoying Pinterest!

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  7. Isn't it fun watching a garden grow...it looks wonderful!! Love the creativity of your children ~

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  8. well first off congrats on the pinterest stardom!!

    the american girls event is too cute

    your garden is gorgeous. i'm jealous

    and finally
    how darn cute is your pinterest button?!

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  9. take me away to Provence! we just planted 8 tomato plants yesterday so I am going to go cage them "before" they get to big:)
    speaking of gluten free..I just got some Rudi's gluten free bread to try and we love it! for store bought anyway.
    and I agree with Paige...the pinterest button is cute!:) I have a Pinterest but haven't used it yet because I haven't taken time to begin...not sure I should? addicting I hear;)?
    the happiest Monday to my friend in Texas
    xo

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  10. I LOVE YOUR GARDEN! Arrh, those wine box planters are killing me! Need to try that.
    My tomato plants are green and growing like crazy, and only since I started using a liquid plant food (organic). Made the world of difference. Maybe worth a try?
    Love your blog by the way, stumbled across it today. :)
    x krystie
    www.artfulaussie.com

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  11. Linsey....OMG, Pinterest is so amazing and so addictive at the same time!!! It is such a wonderful tool at the same time like sitting down with a beautiful picture book and searching for pictures of EXACTLY what you ask for....
    You wine box garden has been pinned all over the place!!! I think the American Girl farmers market is to die for...I have BOYS...that would never happen over here. Looking forward to getting together soon. Email me at my personal email and we can try to make a plan. Lisa

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  12. And today you can find your garden and link to your blog on my blog :) www.tinadalboge.dk I hope it is okay - then your garden will be even more famous. Best regards from Tina, Denmark

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    1. Thank you, Tina! I'm honored to be featured in Denmark!

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  13. When I saw these planter boxes I knew I had to have them! Please update on whether or not the Danish oil helped. I just got some free from a local theater but they're so cute I almost want to make shelving instead. ;)

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    1. The water is tough on the wine boxes, even with Danish Oil. Better, but not fully protective. You don't want to use toxic sealers on food growing boxes. If you aren't up for replacing them in the garden when they break down, shelving might be a good idea! (Adding brackets to the corners of the boxes would have helped...but doesn't solve the water issue.)

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