Tag: container gardening (Page 1 of 5)

Garden Switcheroo

This morning I was trying to explain to a friend that I have to move some plants from one bed to another bed in order to have certain areas empty next spring when we redo some fence sections.  Since all I was doing was confusing her, I thought I’d try to explain here and include some pictures.  Pictures might help make the whole mess clearer.

When we first moved in three years ago this coming October, I was all excited to finally have a place to garden.  And so I just willy-nilly threw plants in the ground.  Literally.  I put daffodil bulbs in the grassy areas of the back yard without any real thought about where I might eventually build beds.  And then I decided to put garden beds along the back fence and so began putting plants in along one section that I was able to dig up.

Unfortunately, there’s a utility easement that runs along the back fence line and we have a Charter pedestal in the middle of that area.  So I have to be very careful when I dig – I don’t need to dig up or break any cables.  And I also have to be cognizant of the fact that Charter could come in at any time needing to put in new lines.

The pedestal in the middle of the fence area has cable running to six different houses (that I’m aware of), and all of those have to feed (at least to begin with) through my yard in various places.  I have learned, though, that they (Charter) never dig up the existing line if they have a problem.  They simply disconnect that line at the pedestal, connect a new line, and then string that new line across the yard, digging it in only just a couple of inches under the grass.

Knowing this, I’ve decided that I can put a raised bed most anywhere and if the cable buried underneath ever needs repair, they can just string another cable through the bed or around the bed – I suspect they’ll choose the path of least resistance.  That certainly seems to have been the case in the past – we had a cable running from the pedestal across the grass and under the fence to the house north of us, literally laying on top of the ground, for several months in 2016.

So, to build these new beds, I’m going to put some sort of barrier against the back fence (so the wood doesn’t rot), then landscape pavers where I want, and fill in between with fresh soil and compost, probably layering with cardboard and the newspapers I’ve been saving up.

The next issue is that there are sections of the back fence line that we are going to replace next year.  And along one of those sections I’ve already planted (see my willy-nilly paragraph), so those items will need to be removed and also the dirt I’ve added will need to be removed.  Many of the plants would be better off in a location where they get slightly more sunshine.

All pictures were taken standing at the back door.

Northeast section of back fence.

Along this red fence is where I need to build up a garden bed this fall.  All of the plants you see along that fence line are currently in containers and most would be much happier in the ground.  Some of the plants that will be moved can go here while others would be better off in an area that gets more sunshine.  It’s possible that would be the side yard, but I’m still undecided how the side yard gardens are going to be laid out.

You can also see the lovely green pedestal where the fence changes color from red to brown.

Southeast section of back fence.


This is one of the sections of fence (the brown) that will be replaced next spring and where items are planted that need to be moved.  I’ve got 30 lily bulbs, multiple gladioli bulbs, three hosta plants, two dianthus, and two chrysanthemums.  The willy-nilly daffodil bulbs are in the yard in front of this bed and I don’t have a clue where they are, so I will have to wait until next spring to dig those up.

Back yard south side fence.


This older faded fence is also to be replaced next spring, up to the lighter colored fence that is in behind the compost bin.  You can see my raised bed of zinnias to the left and the compost bins to the right, along with multiple flags marking multiple utilities – Charter, CenturyLink, and Electric.  Both Charter and CenturyLink have cables running parallel to this fence from the back line to the street, one right with the fence and the other about a foot from it.  And Oncor has an electric line running parallel to that same fence about midway between the fence and the house.  So, as you can see, digging in the ground really isn’t much of an option.  It will have to be raised beds wherever I plant.

Weekly Overview 08.30.1

Outside My Window…  sunshine and white fluffy clouds, which is a welcome change from the cloudy skies we’ve had the last week.

I am thinking… about how noisy it is right now.  The neighbor on the south is getting a new roof, while one of the neighbor’s to the east is running a leaf blower.  Today this is not a quiet neighborhood.

I am thankful for… being high and dry.  Harvey’s rain all go east of us and we will not receive any of it’s wrath.

I am hoping…  the new fence / gate installation gets done today.  Yesterday the contractor came by to take measurements and see exactly where I want my compost bin alcove to go.  He indicated they’d be back today to build it.  I can’t wait to see the transformation.


Our current fence and gate area.


 I am reading…

  • Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon (for fun)
  • Push Not The River (The Poland Trilogy) by James Conroyd Martin (for the 2017 European Reading Challenge)

I am busy creating… plants.  Out of six geranium starts, one is still alive, so my success record there is not very good.  I planted collards and curly kale sets yesterday and am still looking for Swiss chard, mustard, and any other fall greens I can find. I have romaine lettuce and kale ends sitting in water on my kitchen counter, which are putting out a few roots and growing some fresh green tops.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to plant them outside soon.  The small green onion ends that I’ve been saving from my salads have taken off well.  I put them in a container outside last week and five of the seven have survived.  I have five more ends in water on the counter – as soon as they begin putting out new green shoots, they will be planted outside into a container.  Hopefully, before long, I’ll be able to just go outside and cut the tops off for my salad and leave the root end in the container to grow out new tops.

The propagation center.


I am hearing… the pounding of nails into the neighbor’s roof.

 Around the house…  the office has a new overhead light.  The previous light put out a maximum of 1100 lumens.  The new light can put out 2700 lumens, and Bill also installed a dimmer switch so we can adjust what we need.  I haven’t used my computer since he installed the new light, but I’m hopeful that the light will reach over into my corner of the room, enabling me to see items on my desk more clearly.

Around the garden… my plants are enjoying the cooler days (temperatures only in the 80s this past week) and the rain water (3+ inches last Thursday morning).  My zinnias continue to attract butterflies and hummingbirds – so fun to watch.  And my African violets are recovering from my efforts to get rid of all the mealy bugs.  I do a thorough inspection every Thursday and so far, ‘ve only had one plant that has shown any further evidence of bugs and they were easily removed.  Most of the plants are beginning to bloom, which is a good indication that they are happier.

In other news…  I’m back to using webmail.  Bill had the mail server fixed for about ten days, and then this Sunday it when kaplooey again.  He’s been working at it, trying to figure out what’s going on this time, but in the meantime, it’s webmail and gmail.

One of my favorite things…  the robotic pool cleaner.  He was expensive as hell, but he has certainly freed up my time to get other things done.  No more hours spent each week brushing the sides and bottom of the pool and then vacuuming the pool.  It is wonderful!


Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  A Master Gardener meeting Friday, but since Bill has the day off and we’re planning a weekend away, I’m not planning on attending.  I’ve been working on Quicken (yes, actually, finally, working on Quicken!), dealing with contractors (still), and also car maintenance (the Dart had an oil change Tuesday and will, hopefully, have the tires rotated on Thursday). Friday we will travel to Paris, Texas, for a square dance weekend.

Bill: Bill will be working from home every day this week except Friday – he’s taking a comp day on Friday.  That will make a four day weekend for him, which he well deserves.  We should be home from our square dance weekend sometime Sunday afternoon in time for the Darlington Race Sunday evening.  Monday is Labor Day and I’m sure we’ll find some project around the house to labor on.

David: David had Monday and Tuesday off, and works the rest of the week.  He continues to keep himself busy in his free hours by working on his Atomic Space game, which you can follow the progress of via Atomic Space Project.


Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

Just a Moment – Forty-Six

My last Just a Moment was about my beans, so I thought I should provide an update.


I have plenty of vines (which bush beans should not have), but no beans yet. I do see a couple of blossoms today, though, so maybe I’ll have some beans soon.


Some of the leaves are showing some distress. Heat? Bugs? Both?


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