DIY & Urban Gardening
One of this planter’s weathered sides is an old shop deck from Feral Skate Shop (circa 2005). The one opposite was made by a local company called Boulevard Skateboards. The former residents were left outside and didn’t survive last year’s coldest temperatures, so these drought resistant fatties will overwinter indoors.
Mama Wolves in the Strawberries
“Too late and too hot to plant strawberries,” says the man at the nursery. Back home though, last year’s plants are making a comeback, despite an invading army of weeds.
While using a small trowel to dig up the roots, a wolf spider appears with a perfectly round, marble-sized egg sac.
Shielding the sac from whatever a lanky biped might do, she gently climbs on top, waiting for the novice gardener’s next move.
The human steps out of sight (not easy with eight eyes watching), so mama crawls over the sphere and attaches it to her spinneret. Next, she drags it to the side of the bed, then begins digging face-first into the soil.
Unbeknownst to the submerged, the human returns with small reeds, marking the area like an endangered piping plover or loggerhead nest on the beach.
Another wolf spider (family?) stealthily emerges from the underground towing respective luggage,
then skitters across the topsoil looking for an undisclosed locale,
and finally gets to digging.
With her precious orb safely buried, she emerges to find four curious sticks poking out of the dirt.
Okra Leaf Squatter
Boulevard Community Garden
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow (with this soil).
Author Matt Hern is the founder of The Purple Thistle Centre in Vancouver, Canada. According to his website, “We run a 2500 sq/ft resource centre that has a ton of supplies, tools, materials, classes and workshops, and its all free. There’s a library, bike fixing shop, computer lab, silkscreening room, animation facility and lots else. And maybe best of all, the whole thing is run by a youth collective that controls all the day-to-day operations and really runs the place.” Matt’s latest guidebook for teens is Stay Solid!
Sprouted from fallen kernels, two young sunflowers occupy the southwest corner of the vegetable bed among okra and Thai red pepper comrades. Welcome.
The first tomatoes appear mid-June amidst hopes of an extended growing season (likely, if this winter’s as mild as last).
Last year’s melons were suspended in the air, each wrapped in pantyhose hammocks hung from the bamboo trellis. This year, they’ll stay on the ground, slightly elevated on improvised hosiery trampolines.
Six wicker baskets cost a dollar at the Habitat Re-Store down the street, and the queen size hose are less than two bucks. Family Dollar didn’t have large sizes, but the lady was kind enough to pull a pair out to get a better idea of how to stretch them, then she recommended the beauty supply place (Joy Joy) around the corner.
First, cut the feet.
Next, cut lengths that’ll suit the basket’s diameter.
Pull the length of hosiery around as shown.
Stretch taught, then tie both ends.
Some don’t need to be tied, yet remain tight.
The original plan was to use ceramic bowls, but baskets let water through, preventing pooling (and mosquitoes). The heavier fruit sags pretty close to the bottom of the basket, so as they swell in size, they might need an additional layer of support to remain resting mid air.
Twice as many melons swell on the vine this summer, and they need support before the all-you-can-eat buffet opens for insects on the ground. Click here to see last year’s crop, and stay tuned for a new and improved hosiery hammock/trampoline design…
Army Helmet Planter on the Porch
Moss and Maple Syrup
Woody Okra and Catnip
2012 Summer School Veggies
The small dendritic heap’s former home was a sandy path winding through pirate, French Huguenot, and Confederate soldier graves in the Oak Grove Cemetery.
In our classroom, kids can’t resist the urge to touch and squeeze succulent leaves. Now and then I’ll get a worried glance from a curious student who accidentally bumped leaf from stem, but the experience becomes favorably memorable when they discover a displaced life slowly taking root from a harmless accident.
Click here for more posts featuring Spanish moss and other peculiar epiphytes.
2012 Miniature Space Odyssey
Slinkachu meets Arthur C. Clarke in this (belated) DIY Valentines Day gift.
“Monoliths are fictional advanced machines built by an unseen extraterrestrial species that appear in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series of novels and films. During the series, three monoliths are discovered in the solar system by humans and it is revealed that thousands if not more were created throughout the solar system, although none are seen. The subsequent response of the characters to their discovery drives the plot of the series. It also influences the fictional history of the series, particularly by encouraging humankind to progress with technological development and space travel.
The first monolith appears in the beginning of the story, set in prehistoric times. It is discovered by a group of hominids, and somehow triggers a considerable shift in evolution, starting with the ability to use tools.” (read more on Wikipedia)
4 Moss Terrarium
Tiger’s Eye Terrarium
Cubic Moss Terrarium
Mini Moss Terrarium
This first go at moss terrariums follows a tutorial by a Brooklyn based terrarium store. Inspired, I hiked along a stretch of railroad that runs through Whitehall Forest, harvesting verdant rugs, small chunks of pink and greyscale granite, and parched epiphytic aliens.
The simple tutorial fails to include instructions and tips for anyone interested in creating lasting enclosed microenvironments. After a week, the apothecary terrarium above is growing a white, moldy beard from the sphagnum layer. While troubleshooting, I discovered some comprehensive websites dedicated to the natural art beyond home decor trends. These are the best so far:
The next batch will include a layer of activated charcoal to absorb any toxins, cleanse the water as it travels up and down, and (hopefully) stem mold growth.