A Flea Market Gardening ‘My Big Garden Project’
Did you ever see an idea in a garden center or show and want to replicate it exactly in your own garden?
See it at a Garden Center? Do it in your own yard!
Theresa Jones took pictures of two ideas at her local nurseries and then went to work to solve a problem…with help from her husband, Ron, to do the digging. She planned a set of spiral steps just like she saw at the nursery made out of railroad ties. How very cool to be able to see the nursery’s idea and then Theresa’s own ‘real life’ version?!
Theresa and her family live in Michigan, in the northwest part of the lower peninsula. She began two big projects recently in her garden, one, spiral steps made from railroad ties and the other, a unique ‘no-dig’ pond. She says, “I like going to nurseries that have established demonstration gardens, so you can see how a plant could be used in your own yard. We have two very good ones in Northern Michigan that are great for inspiration. This, below, is from Crystal Gardens in Frankfort Michigan.”
Theresa’a garden before:
“Our entire front yard is a slope to the lake. You can see from above, we have lots of space for future expansion.”
The view from the deck above shows the dirt work the couple did. Theresa says, “This is how the railroad tie stairs translated into our yard. In the village, train tracks go thru the local lumber yard and they took the old ties when the tracks were replaced. You can buy them for only one dollar each! We planted a smoke bush at the topof the mound”.
“We hauled dirt to give us level planting beds. One afternoon, my wonderful farmer friend brought his tractor over and moved dirt from the back of our property up front. My husband pulled out all the roots and shaped the pile. It started five feet high! To the right, we hope to build a pond.”
“Free rocks and boulders came from same nice farmer. He loaded us with his tractor, but my husband, Ron, unloaded it all by hand!”
Theresa says, Here, we added slate to the steps.
Project #2: The Pond
Theresa saw this pond at another local nursery, Pine Hill Nursery, in . She says, “We couldn’t dig in this location so we used a tractor tire to make a pond.”
“The board at the left, 2 x 10 rough sawn oak, is a bench seat so you can lean into the pond and for cleaning it.. It was from my dad’s garage that collapsed under snow this winter. . We plan to paint it.”
Theresa used hollow tree stumps, huge driftwood roots and large pieces of wood to hide the sides of the tire. A large piece of black plastic was used to line the tire so it would hold water. The wheelbarrow and containers are ready to plant and will further disguise the tire.
“The tipsy pot idea is from this website, Flea Market Gardening, and Grandpa’s wheelbarrow I used to get rides in! My husbands grandma’s li’l blue teapot hangs by the faucet.” Theresa says. “We still need to fill in some plants to hide the “tire-ness” but we’re happy how it turned out.”
Bonus Project: Recycled brick garden path
“The bricks here are salvaged from farm demolition, of course! We are lifting the assorted lilies from the 2 square beds. only day lilies will be planted there. What annual would you all suggest to fill in for color between daylily blooming?” Theresa asks. If you have an idea, please tell us in the comments!
“Here,” Theresa tells us, “we like the location of the three rusty buckets, but can not for the life of us decide what to plant in them. We had ideas, like the tiger lilies or hibiscus,…or typical annual container assortment. None of that really feels “right” Is right at the edge of the two, full sun, square day lily beds. The frosty things are wormwood, or Silver Mound Artemisia”
We love the color of these bricks, chippy cream, tan, red and soft green,… the light mossy green matches the color of the artemisia.
If you have a big garden project to share, post photos on our FMG Facebook page!
More Big Projects:
Pine Hill Nursery
1126 Carver Rd, Traverse City, MI
886 US-31 North, Kewadin, MI
1299 Pilgrim Hwy, Frankfort, MI 49635