Gardening in Oklahoma – Raised Garden Beds + a Potato Tower

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rasied garden beds

Wowza! Check out these pictures Michelle sent in…

Hi Mavis!

I’ve been Oklahoma gardening for four years now. Each year I learn more and my garden grows by at least one box.

My superman husband made me all of my garden boxes and my A-Frame cold frames.

raised garden bed

We have a total of six garden boxes so far. Because we have such a small yard we have utilized our driveway for part of them! It was as easy as setting a garden box on the drive, stapling weed block cloth to the bottom inside (to retain the dirt) and then fill. I told my kids that if they didn’t play or ride bikes more on the drive I would start claiming more of it for gardening. Use it or Lose it!!!!

start seeds in paper towels
I do square foot gardening. This year I started making seed squares indoors while it was still cold outside. It’s along the same lines as seed tape but on the paper napkins that have been opened full to 12″x12″ (see photo). When the weather was cold and miserable, I was snuggled inside nice and warm making my seed mats.

With the first chance of planting, I just picked up a seed mat and ran out to plant. Easy peasy! Now its a no brainer with staggered plantings. I’ll just grab a mat and lay it in my garden. It takes five seconds. I time it! hah! Plus, this is a fun project I did with my kids. I dotted glue and they sprinkled the seeds. Next year I’m promoting them to glue dotter.

raised garden beds potato tower

Money is tight and I had to get creative on making trellises for my garden. I made trellises out of bamboo canes from a friends yard, arbors out of tree trimmings for the peas and even a trellis from two old fishing poles with scrap wire in between. I call it my “English Garden” look. It’s a look that I’m really starting to enjoy.

potato towers
The potato towers are an experiment. So far they seem to be doing well. The real test will be when we harvest. On the very top of the towers I’ve planted bush beans. I read they’re a companion to potatoes. I’m trying to grow in any spare spots of dirt I can find. Space is such a premium I’m thinking of growing squash and pumpkins out front among the flower

cold frame

But, I think the BEST things we added to our garden this year were the cold frames. Superman husband did a fabulous job making them out of an old redwood swing set that was falling apart. I can now plant out warm loving plants much earlier than normal and start seed outdoors!! I have such beautiful tomato plants covered in blooms already!!

Happy planting!

~ Michelle

Strawberry tower made from fence boardsApril From Santa Cruz, California Sends in Her Garden Photos

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Mavis Mail – Amazing Garden Photos from Central Florida

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amazing garden photos florida

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

raised garden planters container gardening

Here is what Nanette had to say about her garden-

My husband Bob and I live in Central Florida – DeBary and started gardening about three years ago. Well, it’s become our favorite past time. A freezer was purchased last fall and is constantly replenished with our harvest. With three growing seasons a year, we’re always, cooking, freezing or preserving!

Bob has discovered that he’s a bit talented when it comes to woodworking, too.

raised garden beds bean trellis

Last summer’s project was our greenhouse/shed. This spring he added more raised beds and a pole bean pergola and now he’s adding my outdoor sink and potting table! Needless to say, I think he’s great! {So do I!} I love your blog and always look forward to your new ideas and recipes

DIY greenhouse build your own

Our greenhouse/shed built from heat treated 2 x 4 wood that was being tossed where I work….of course, like your chicken coop project, we had to buy add’l finishing wood, but the “garbage wood” and the “trash” windows from our neighbor were the backbones (literally) and the inspiration.

We have been considering chickens (hens only!) for next year and your swing set chicken coop has my husband planning!

garden vegetables beans and onions

All I can say is OH MY WORD… Bob you are a freakin’ wood working rock star! Nanette, I cannot believe you two have only been at this for 3 years. You both must have the greenest thumbs on the planet!

Awesome Possum.

~Mavis

raised-garden-bedMelinda’s Garden Photos from Portland, Oregon

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Four Seasons Farm – Eliot Coleman Barbara Damrosch

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four season farm eliot coleman maine

On Thursday we woke up in Portland, Maine {awesome city!} and drove 3+ hours to Four Seasons Farm. If you have never heard of it, I highly recommend you check out some of the owners’ books.  They {Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman} have a farm in Harborside, Maine, and have basically mastered the art of four seasons of growing.

eliot coleman four season farm greenhouse

I had emailed Barbara ahead of time and asked if it would be okay to stop by and she said yes. She could not guarantee her or her husband would be there, but she said we were welcome to check out the farm and snap all the pictures we wanted to.

greenhouse tomatoes eliot coleman

Did you read the part where I said they are in Maine {read:  cold, bitter winters}? It was actually hailing a bit on the way to the farm. The farm and their practices are totally motivational and make me want to try to grow all year long too.

four seasons farm eliot coleman

Barbara and Eliot are basically total rock stars in the gardening world, with more than 70 years experience between the both of them.

eilot coleman root cellar

Check out this root cellar. It’s situated beneath one of the greenhouses. Presumably to store their winter vegetables.

eliot coleman four season farm chicken

Chickens!!! Barbara, Eliot and their small crew are able to farm year round by using a ton of different methods, and they’re nationally recognized for their small-scale sustainable agricultural methods.

poly tunnel greenhouse eliot coleman four season farm

They use several greenhouses in the winter that are equipped with propane heaters and fans. We also spotted several garden beds with rolling row covers protecting vegetables like kale {of course!} lettuce, artichokes and spinach.

spinach growing in a greenhouse

Did I mention it was pretty freakin’ awesome and now I want to move to Maine? I just need to find an old farm house and make a stop at LL Bean first to stock up on warm clothing and then I should be all set. Oh and some firewood. I’m thinking I would need quite a bit of that.

eiolt coleman four season farm maine

Oh and guess who The Girl and I ran into while were checking out one of the greenhouses? Eliot Coleman. Yep. I even got him to sign a few copies of his new The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook for an upcoming giveaway too.

Ahhhh Maine. I love you.

~Mavis

the four season farm cookbook

Barbara Damrosch and Eliot used to be regular correspondents on the PBS series The Victory Garden and Barbara also co-hosted the series Gardening Naturally on the Learning Channel. Her and Eliot Coleman has authored several books. You can find all their book on Amazon.com {of course!}.

Also be sure and check out this cool New York Times interview with Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman for a little more information about their farm and their practices.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The House of Seven Gables and Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Birth Home

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house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts

On Wednesday we visited the House of Seven Gables {the very one that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write a book by the same name}.  It’s located in Salem, Massachusetts, and man-oh-man is it cool.

house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts captains wheel

It’s seriously like taking a step back in time.  It was built in 1668 by a sea captain and passed down for three generations before it was sold.

counting house house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts

Eventually, the house and property were left to a woman named Susanna Ingersoll, who was a cousin of Nathaniel Hawthorne.  I can totally see how this property would inspire a novel!

house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts brick path

Eventually, the house and the grounds became a philanthropic haven for immigrants.  The House of Seven Gables has continued a similar mission today–making education, preservation and community service a priority.

house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts courtyard

There are two Colonial Revival Gardens on the grounds–and you all know how I am a sucker for a garden. It’s still early spring in Massachusetts so there wasn’t a lot growing in the raised garden beds but there were a few flowers and herbs.

tulips raised garden bed

They even maintain the gardens with old-fashioned practices, i.e. hand pruning and cultivation–all to preserve the tradition of the garden. How cool is that?

nathanial hawthrone house house of the 7 gables salem Massachusetts

In 1958, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth home was moved to the property in an effort to merge the history of his life with the infamous House of Seven Gables. The grounds and the homes were amazing and now I suddenly find myself wanting to move the east coast. There is so much history and so many things to see I can hardly stand it.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – Roozengaarde

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Roozengaarde

Yesterday The Girl and I drove up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington. The festival has been going on for 30 years and it attracts over 1 million visitors from all around the world.

As I was standing in front of the giant windmill at Roozengaarde {the best stop on the tour if you ask me} I was like, Man. I totally should have brought my gnome dress! Oh well, maybe next year.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

In 1955 Dutch emigrants William and Helen Roozen in 1955 started their farm with only 5 acres of land.

daffodil grape hyacinth tulip border

RoozenGaarde {where all these pictures were taken} was founded in 1985 to serve as the Washington Bulb Company’s retail shop and display garden.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Now the Roozen family farms nearly 2,000 acres!

parrot tulips

You could spend hours driving down the back roads and driving to all the farms on the map, but The Girl and I got a late start yesterday and we were on a bit of a tight schedule, so we happily paid the $5 admission fee and toured the Roozengaarde instead. And it was worth every penny too.

grape hyacinth muscari bulbs

A path of grape hyacinth. My favorite!tulip sign

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

It took me a little while to notice all the beds below the trees were mounded.
skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Do you see it? I wish I would have known to do this back when I was planting my daffodil beds last fall.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Roozengaarde

There was also a formal garden with gravel paths and smaller flower beds to walk through as well. You can always pick out the tourists {people who don’t live in Washington state} because they use umbrellas when it’s barely sprinkling. skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

If this was my garden, I wouldn’t pick a single flower. I’d  just drag a chair outside and sip tea all day while reading  Jane Austin books. Occasionally I’d send the Handsome Husband a text when I needed a refill of tea or a scone or something.

Who needs cable when you have a flower full of beautiful flowers?

bird eating worm

Hello Spring! I.Love.You.

~Mavis

If you are in the area please go visit the Roozengaarde. You will not be disappointed.

Address: 15867 Beaver Marsh Road Mount Vernon, Washington
Phone: 1-800-732-3266
Website: www.Tulips.com

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Zoe From Pennsylvania Sends in Garden Photos

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raised garden beds

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have an awesome garden this summer. Keep them coming!

************

Zoe lives in Pennsylvania and is pretty much a rock star when it comes to recipes using real ingredients. She is a cousin of my friend Mama JJ, and she recently sent in some amazing photos of her farm and had this to say:

Hello Mavis!

I was going through some pics and found some garden ones. I remembered you sometimes feature these things on your blog so I thought I’d share…

I’ve been gardening since I was a kid. First I helped my parents, then I got into growing strawberries for 4-H and then eventually had my own little plot on which I grew lots of annual flowers. I loved it.

So when my husband and I got married, we dug up some dirt, and started growing vegetables. Currently we have “the big garden” out back, “the little garden” by the barn, the raised beds, the orchard, and the pea fences and grape arbor.

raised garden beds

We’ve had this set-up for 5 years now. We always get a good grape crop but the orchard and the big garden sometimes don’t do very well.

We have no idea what we are doing when it comes to fruit trees so any fruit is a nice surprise. The big garden is situated where there used to be a tobacco barn and we think the soil has some issues because of that. We are working on slowly building it up. Sometimes crops grow great in there but other times, they are complete bombs. Oh well.

SONY DSC

The little garden and the raised beds almost always perform quite well! We grow about everything…strawberries, peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, carrots, kohlrabi, rhubarb, asparagus, onions, cabbage, broccoli, kale, peppers, tomatoes, corn, green beans, various dried beans, garlic, cucumbers, squashes, melons, beets, herbs, and I’m probably forgetting some things.

garden with chicken coop

In the one picture you’ll see my chicken house. We currently have 17 birds. 15 eggs a day is a lot for a small family but I love gathering them, washing them up, and giving them to people.

SONY DSC

There’s also a pic of my husband plowing the big garden. He’s using his grandpa’s little old John Deere H. I love that thing!

SONY DSC

Right now my basement has a grow light in it and I have a bunch of starts growing down there. I can’t plant stuff out as early as you can but in another month I should be able to set out some of the cool weather crops. Can’t wait! I am ready for some summer sun and dirt between my toes!

Well that about covers it!

Thanks! Zoe

To find out what Zoe does with all her fresh fruits and vegetables, visit her blog Whole Eats &Whole Treats. She is awesome, and I wish she was my neighbor.

~Mavis

raised-garden-beds-1{Robin from Columbus, Ohio – Garden Photos}

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Craft made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.

chickens isle of man{Betty & Margo, on the Isle of Man sent in by reader Angie from The Cinnamon Coach}

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens – Succulents

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Kew Royal Botanic Gardens - Succulents

In order to get to the gorgeous orchid display at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens we had to walk past an enormous collection of succulents. I thought I would share a few of those photos with you this afternoon because the plants were so amazing.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens  Succulents

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens cactus Succulents

kew gardens succulents

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

I don’t know what these plants are called, but they were my favorite.

cool cactus plants

aloe plant

prickly cactus

Pretty awesome if you ask me. Sadly, I don’t think an outdoor cactus garden would thrive here in the Pacific Northwest but they sure are fun to look at when we visit botanical museums.

Are you able to grow these types of plants where you are? Any advise for the rest of us who would like to grow a few but don’t live in the ideal climate?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens – Inside the Palm House {Greenhouse}

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palm house green house kew gardens

I thought I would share a few more pictures from our visit to Kew Gardens today. These pictures were taken inside the Palm House, which is basically the largest glass greenhouse I have ever laid eyes on. I cannot even imagine how many people it would take to keep this greenhouse up and running.

tropical forest canopy

This is a picture of just one of the many walkways. It totally felt like we were walking in a jungle. There were banana trees, but no monkeys.

giant palm leaf

Every type of palm tree imaginable was there.
tropical plants

Although there were about 10 million shades of green, only a few flowers were in bloom. But the textures, holy cow these plants had some amazing textures.

kew gardens oldest pot plant

Ever wonder where the oldest pot plant in the world is being held?

oldest pot plant kew gardens

Apparently at the Kew. I think the meant potted plant. Don’t you?

macadamia nut cluster pod

I almost fell over when I saw this.

how to macadamia nuts grow

Can you believe it is a macadamia nut cluster? Eeeeeeek!

tropical tree with stick legs

Walking trees?

palm tree trunk

I bet Tommy Bahama totally got his ideas here.

tropical plants in terra cotta pots

Potted plants galore.

old iron  Spiral Staircase

Check out this antique spiral staircase. It’s the only way to the top. You would never be able to use a staircase like this one here in the US. Why? Because it’s too steep and a small child could fall through the cracks. They would have to hire 10 people just to allow one person to go up the staircase at a time. Which  is one thing I absolutely LOVE about traveling in Europe. They seriously expect you to use your common sense.

kew gardens palm house plants

Here is a small view from above.

greenhouse misters

Greenhouse misters in action.greenhouse patina

Isn’t it amazing? I wonder if he HH would let me install one in the backyard?

A Girl can dream, right?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens – Orchids

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orchid floral arrangements

The Girl and I took over 600 pictures at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens during our visit. There was so much to take in that it was really overwhelming when we walked though the doors of each of the indoor gardens.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens - Orchids

So to break up the pictures, my first post will be about the incredibly gorgeous orchid display which is currently being held in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

In a nutshell, I want to pack the worlds largest picnic lunch and move in to the place for at least a month so I can examine every.single.flower.

lilypads

There must have been over 1,000 different shades of green in the conservatory alone. And I’m from Seattle, so you’d think I would have had my fill of green by now. But no, this place, was magical.

white orchid pink spots

I probably would not have even known about these gardens if it had not been for the Telegraph article a few weeks ago. I was hoping to run into the girl with auburn hair, but no such luck.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens  Orchids pictures

The pictures were simply stunning and once I knew we were going to London for the weekend, we put a visit to Kew Botanic Gardens at the top of our list.

orchid arch kew gardens

Look at this archway of orchids. What a perfect backdrop for a wedding.

wall of orchids

This one is not to shabby either.

tropical flowersSo much color, so little time.

Last month when I was in Denver the Denver Botanic Gardens had orchids on display as well. So I’m guessing maybe this is the time of year orchids are on display at botanic gardens all over the world. So if you have a botanic garden nearby, please, please, please take a day and go for a visit. You won’t regret it.

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

Have a beautiful Monday,

 Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

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alexandra garden gate

Yesterday The Girl and I walked through Hyde Park and Kensington gardens. It’s our favorite park in the entire world. Even though it was just above freezing and tiny snowflakes were falling, we spent about 2 hours strolling {and later biking} through the park.

spring flowers

In about another month, the spring bulbs will be blooming like crazy.

restaurant hyde park london

In case you didn’t know, Hyde Park was originally a private hunting ground for Henry VIII. The park remained private until James I opened it to the public, and handed its care over to a park ranger {though, the manicured lawns and landscaping that it is known for today didn’t happen until much, much later}.

serpentine lake hyde park

Hyde Park, as we know it today, is split in two by the Serpentine {a 40 acre recreational lake}.    Hyde Park itself is 350 acres {think how many vegetables I could grow there!}.  Kensington Gardens is next to Hyde Park and is an additional 270 acres.

hyde park london arched trellis

Most people think they are all one in the same, but they were separated into two parks by Queen Caroline in 1728.  With all of that space, it is soooo easy to find a perfect spot for a picnic lunch and some people watching.

barclays bike hire rental london

The park is open from 5:00 a.m. to midnight everyday, and is typically filled with people running or just taking a stroll.  It has awesome bike paths and you can even rent paddle boats.  {Sadly, we couldn’t rent a paddle boat because the boat house is only open from Easter to October 31st.  Sniffle, sniffle.}  If you are more adventurous, you can swim in the Serpentine after June or even ride horses on one of the designated paths.

spring flowers hyde park

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are gorgeous. Even when it’s freezing outside and the blooms are far and few between.

Do YOU have a favorite park? If so, where is it, and why do you love it so?

~ Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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