Mavis Mail – Robin From Columbus, Ohio Sends in Beautiful Garden Photos

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 a rock star garden this summer.

Keep them coming!

Check out this story and the amazing backyard garden photos Robin from Ohio sent in:

Four years ago my partner and I bought a foreclosed abandoned sprawling ranch on an acre of land in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.  We kicked the raccoons out of the attic and started working on creating a sustainable suburban mini-farm.

brown tan rain barrel

Our biggest surprise to date was finding a 16,000-gallon cistern under the house!  We’ve renovated it and now water the acre with rainwater collected off our roof.  All the gutters on the property either go into the cistern or rain barrels.  We’ve put a hand pump on the original well (we have city utilities).  We built a dry creek bed and rain garden to put the sump pump run off to good use.

purple clematis

There was nothing here in the way of landscaping except for a few “Charlie Brown” type Christmas trees.  We’ve added hundreds of perennial flowerbeds, emphasizing native-Ohio plants.  On the edible side, we have veggies from March through December.  We’ve added perennial fruit (strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries) and apple and peach trees.

red zebra tomatoes

This year we will finally harvest our first asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes.  We have herbs of all kinds, and every veggie you can think of – from a corn patch, potatoes, cold weather crops, peppers and tomatoes out the wazoo.  We are 100% organic and use a lot of compost and aged (free) horse manure.  The soil has improved dramatically. Where there was only dead dry earth, you can now find a million worms.

When it rains, if you’re quiet, you can actually hear the little dudes working their hearts out for us.  Ohio-native plants like Joe Pye Weed, Goldenseal and Black-eyed Susan attract beneficial insects, birds, butterflies, bees and bats.

greenhouse with solar panels

This past year, we added our first set of solar panels on a back shed and built a greenhouse (with the help of our friends).  I plant my veggies in seed trays and put them under lights on my homemade grow table in winter.  Then the cold weather stuff goes out to the hoop house and the less-cold tolerant plants (tomatoes/peppers) go to the greenhouse.  The greenhouse is passively heated via 55-gallon barrels of water.  The food grade barrels I bought on the cheap from the Pepsi plant.

purple lilac

Holy Canolies Robin. You have done an amazing job and I am in LOVE with your fenced vegetable garden {and the wood chip paths too}. Awesome stuff!


Want to see more Garden Tours from around the World? Go HERE.

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.

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:

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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  1. Kathryn A says

    (Jumping up and down!) This is my region too! Yay – so inspirational. I just got an order of grow-lite, seed starting kit, lettuce mix and strawberries. Plus a weird-looking cauliflower that’ll have to go in a pot for now LOL. Our vegetable garden has suffered and then sat neglected, but Mavis is killing me with the pictures and the seed catalog links. We’re going to go for strawberry salad, and a couple of other oddballs, and see what we can do. Rock on, girls! (Pun intended, Mavis.)

  2. Kathryn A says

    p.s. I used Gurney’s, and the 50% coupon that comes on the catalog. The grow-lite pricing that way, even with paying shipping, beat amazon. Plus I got the seed starter kit at a reasonable price, and seeds all in one big box. Now I just have to move it out of the hallway 😉

  3. Kathryn A says

    good grief – I meant the Jump Start Lighting System! I don’t know why I was calling it the grow-lite. It was 42.50 after discount code from my catalog, and I paid 15.99 shipping for the entire order. And I haven’t gotten the strawberry plants yet Robin, don’t worry :) Just the other seeds.

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