Jimmye Lynn Dye-Porter’s boat garden started with a problem area on her property.
She tells a little background, “My home sits on a little over 1/2 acre and in one area near the property line, I get runoff from several directions. Needless to say, it is not ‘mowable.’ I decided to fill in as much as I could with top soil, garden soil, wildflowers and you name it. One day as I was working, my neighbor who lives behind me was mowing (he owns the big pasture and pond). He asked what I was doing and I shared my plans… he said, “Would you like to have a boat to put in the low spot?”
But, Jimmye had already filled in, mulched and decorated this area with many projects inspired by Flea Market Gardening! Why was she starting over?
Jimmye starts the story, ” All of this was done in the first week of May. I was just sick of looking at the wet area. I had what I would call ‘completion on the original area’, …the one where the wild flowers, a bird bath, container plants and a wheelbarrow are. I was pretty satisfied with the area, then the boat came along. I left the original area, added the boat, then starting renovating it.
“My brain went into high gear when my neighbor first offered the boat. I knew if he was serious, I WANTED that BOAT! He and his wife delivered it on May 1st. My son in law came down the next day and helped me get it ‘docked’… and I went to work.”
“It became a whimsical challenge, just adding stuff here and there. I completed the project on May 12th. I worked all but two days and three of the days were 90 degree with unbearable humidity! Everyone loves it! Other than my son in law helping dock the boat – I did all the work myself. A couple of times, I did not think this almost 65 widow would make it!”
“I started adding soil and more items from the yard. Lots and lots of garden soil. I added Lantana in the back, since they will eventually be large and red, white and blue wave petunias and red gerbera daisies,” Jimmye says.
My grandchildren who live down the road from me, Brooke, who will be 6 in June and Fisher, who will be 10 in August, came down to inspect the boat. There are 2 pair of boots on the seat on each side of Fisher, these were their first pair of boots, I have filled them with Hens and Chicks, Million Bells, and other succulents.
I added two additional cobalt blue stars, for each of my grandchildren, Jackson who will be 9 in Oct and Kenna, who will be 3 in June… they are Texans! I will also add a small star in Sept. when then new grandson arrives. If you will notice, the boat is now equipped with Cobalt Blue Satellite capabilities!
“This is the original low, wet area I ‘filled in’ with cardboard and bark mulch. It’s a good thing my son in law is in the furniture business – it took ‘almost a boat load of cardboard’ to fill in the low spots. My Granddaughter Brooke and I made the birdbath. I had tomatoes, peppers, squash, scarlet runner beans, sweet pea, wildflowers and one lone Blue Bonnet! The wheelbarrow came from my son in law, the yellow child’s rake $2.97 from WalMart and the hanging votive holder are decorated with the Bud Lite Platinum Bottles.”
“I planted sunflowers in the concrete blocks and the ones I transplanted from under the bird feeders. There is an area about 12 feet between the wheelbarrow and pots and the boat, I am going to add canna, some of my daylilies and Russian sage. My intent is to link the two areas, in the next week or so, lots of flowers & mulch. I did move some of the items I had made earlier to the boat.. the rusty chair with the lighted sconce/the upside down tomato cages, the barrel planter. The rest I added after adding the soil & then mulched all around.”
“On the last day, I told my friend, Becky, that I had lost track of time, until I uploaded the photos and looked at the dates, I had no idea I had completed the ‘Boat Project’ in only eight days!”
“AND,” says Jimmye, “this is fact, the only craft I have ever done was needlepoint and cross-stitch and I have not been able to do either of those in about 15 years, due to my diminished vision. SO, this was an entirely new medium for me!”
Jimmye tells us, “I met Becky Norris through FMG, when I would see some of her posts there, or vice versa. We would laugh at each others responses and then we decided we could be sisters, we have so much in common, even our heights, both 5’2″! I have really enjoyed getting to know Becky, as well as others at Flea Market Gardening. Everyone has so much fun and is so helpful and encouraging. I am so glad I am able to ‘be a part’ of this wonderful group!”
My heart is warmed by your friendship story, Jimmye,…I love all your projects and smile at the thought that your ‘too wet’ area now holds a boat! ~~ Sue