I've always wanted a potting bench and when I found this one last year at Big Lots my potting bench dreams came true! The problem is that now it looks so pretty all dressed up with mason
jars and a vintage galvanized bucket and cute little wooden boxes that I can hardly stand the thought of getting it all dirty. I know I must actually put it to good use (you know that whole form meets function thing) and that it is very handy for doing actual potting. But, sometimes I wish it could just stay like this forever! ~Vanessa #MayGarden
Commented 3 hours ago
LOL....I would feel the same way. Thank you for sharing. It looks great!
I'm doing a screen porch makeover at the moment and wanted to add a bit of light over the drop-leaf table. Using some grapevine balls and white lights with brown wires I put together an little porch chandy in no time!
Towel holder made from pieces of pallet boards, glass door knobs, bolts and screws. These pieces of wood were leftover from other projects and I found the old door knobs on ebay. Put them all together to make this shabby towel holder.
I'm back to my first love these days - gardening! I love being in the garden, digging, planting, sowing and enjoying. This house will be the 6th that I've landscaped and because I always
seem to buy houses that have no landscaping, I have learned how to do it on the cheap.
Here are some of my best tips: .
#1 - Use as many free materials in your landscape as you can. Every part of the world has at least one thing in abundance that you can use for free, be it gravel, rocks or stones; wood,pallets or pine needles; dumpsters, landfill sites or Craig's List and Freecycling networks as cheap sources for repurposed items. Find out what's in your own neighbourhood or town and use it! I've used my local freecycling network to find plants and shrubs for free. I got a whole lilac hedge that way, it really works!!
#2 - Beg for plant divisions or cuttings from family, friends and neighbours. Anyone who has perennials , bulbs or tubers will have to be dividing them up every so often and will be happy to let you have the extras.
#3 - Look for local gardening clubs, they usually have plant sales once or twice a year to raise money for the club and you can get beautiful plants for much less than gardening centers sell them. Plus you know they will survive in your climate because the local gardeners have grown them.
#4 - Watch for end-of-season sales. You can pick up loads of plants at a discount from department stores that have seasonal garden centers. That's where you can pick up your trees and shrubs for less and save big!
#5 - Grow your own plants from seed. Some plants are super simple to grow, you can even just toss the seeds out in your garden at the right time and they'll grow well. Hardy geraniums,sunflowers and pansies are easy to start from seed. Poppies and cosmos are good examples of seeds you can just sow directly in the garden. Opium poppies can even be sown while there is still snow on the garden
#6 - Grow plants that self-seed or spread easily. Examples are creeping thyme, culinary thyme, Johnny Jump-ups, Ladies' Mantle, campanula, euphorbia, lamium, bugleweed, poppies and bee balm. I don't quite understand the desire for growing borderline plants in the garden. I personally don't want to drag some plant kicking and screaming into my garden, I'd much rather have ones that are happily growing and flowering and self-seeding all over.
The best part about rampant growers and self-seeders is that every year, you can dig up the extras and sell them at a yard sale to make some extra cash for the landscaping items that you can't get for free.
Hope I've been able to give you at least one tip you can use. Happy gardening!
Great tips on outdoor seating brought to you by our friend Stacy Risenmay:
Now that the weather is warming up in most areas we will be spending more time outside.
Whether you have a small balcony or a large yard, you will need to have a place to sit and relax. Here are some ideas of creative seating for your outdoor space!
Not only does a covered seating area protect you from the harsh sunlight, but it is instantly more cozy and intimate. If you do not have a covered patio or a pergola, here are a couple of options.
You could build a bench with posts and then add fabric as a cover. I love how sturdy and permanent this option is.
This option also uses fabric and seems so rustic and romantic. This could be applied for a permanent covering or as a temporary solution for a party.
If storage is something you need, benches are a good way to serve both your seating a storage needs. This is on my to do list this summer since I have four boys who have endless outdoor toys! There are so many options for every style.This white one has clean lines and is so fresh.
There are even easy DIY plans available if you want to build one yourself. You can add more of your own personal touch and be creative on the use of materials.
I love the look of a stone bench. And with added cushions and pillows it can be a comfortable place to hang out.
And if you want a DIY version, why not try using cinder blocks instead. It is kind of like building blocks for adults!
Another idea I have seen used a lot lately is to pour a cement bench. Some are large square seating areas and others are round. It is a modern take on outdoor seating.
I love using items that might get tossed out to make something new. So I thought these next ideas were really fun.
Old tires can be given a new life as a hanging bench. I think they would be cute as ottomans or side tables as well.
And while bathtub sofas may not be for everyone, they certainly would be a conversation starter! Look at the items you already have and think of new ways you could use them. You may have outdoor seating already and you didn't even know it.
Pallets have become a popular building material lately. And with wood becoming scare in some areas, it is good that we have this option. Pallet benches makes me want to curl up with a good book.
When you think of pallet furniture you may think of something rustic but they can be transformed into any style!
I love bringing things together that may not belong together and finding a way to unify them. Paint is a fabulous way to do that. I bought thrift store chairs and painted them all a different color. When painting wood chairs,make sure they are clean, sand them a little, prime, and then paint using a quality paint that will adhere. You may want to seal them as well with a weather proofing sealant.
This same idea is applied for metal chairs. If you are painting metal make sure you use a wire brush to remove all the lose paint and rust. Use a metal primer and then a paint meant for metal that will be outdoors.
There are so many choices for outdoor seating. Make sure and pick something that fits your own unique style. Add some sunshine, a cool drink, and you are ready to enjoy your outdoor space!
In looking around the garden, I see a theme has developed. It's all about the birds and flowers. With approximately one hundred birdhouses, I suppose my collection is now nearing
intervention status! Some are decorative and some are functional with clean-outs, but long ago I found out the birds are the ones who decide which is which. A bossy little house wren has commandeered the gazebo garden where she and her hubby have taken up residence in a blue bird house, chasing any other birds who dare to come near.
Every new flower is an awaiting surprise and , as I stroll our garden, bird song greets me. A red fox streaked across the front lawn this early morning, probably from the cat food on our porch. We've had lovely rains and everything is an intense shade of spring green.
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