Monday, November 16, 2009

It's all about the garden!

Mikayla and I have just had a VERY busy weekend in the garden... and it was SO worth it! It was good timing too because the Scrapbook Dreams mid-month motivation for November is all about the garden!

Esther has provided the challenge this month (You can check it out HERE) Part 1 is to make a cool little watering can (there's a link to the template on the forum). I made mine out of Oyster Fleck which is a super sturdy cardstock so it's great for OTP projects... and it LOVES ink so I'm a happy scrapper! Here's the front of my watering can:
All the cut out images came from one piece of Webster's paper. I haven't been a bit fan of Websters but their latest stuff is so darn cool! There's some in the Scrapbook Dreams SHOP if you want to have a look! I used the Grow Dreams paper :) Here's a side view of the watering can:
And here's the other side (I used the 'ruler' part of the paper to make my handle):

I had heaps of fun making it too! Great template and easy instructions... gotta love that! Part 2 of the challenge is to create a garden themed layout using Esther's LO as a design. She's even given some cool ideas to use such as:
  • Your garden
  • Somone else's garden
  • City/Town/Botanical garden
  • Children playing in the garden
  • Making of your watering can
  • Lack of garden
  • Planting a garden...

I've decided on the 'planting of a garden' idea and luckily I had the camera around all weekend so now I've got lots of photos to use! For those of you who were following my blog a couple of years ago you might remember when we built the retaining wall... well it never got past 'The wall is built' stage :( Over the past 18 months NOTHING has been done with it so it was looking pretty sad and overgrown... and just plain neglected!

Mikayla had the day off school on Friday so I asked her if she could "Pull out EVERYTHING" in the bottom garden... and she did! Here's what it looked like:

YES the lawn needs mowing! YES I should never have let it get to this stage... and YES I'm doing something about it!!! LOL

On Saturday morning I woke Mikayla up and we went to the local market... it's like a Farmer's Market and packed with all sorts of incredible buys! a couple of weeks ago I got 11 strawberry plants for a fraction of the cost of buying them from the garden centre! This week I bought a few bits and pieces for the bottom garden.

On the way home we did a quick shop at Bunnings and then we got started. First job was to paint the posts of the retaining wall:Next we cracked open ANOTHER can of Liquid Amber stain and gave the fence a spruce up:It looked pretty good for one coat... by that stage we had to pick up Krystal from Spotlight so we didn't do any more because she had no idea what we'd been up to all day (in spite of the fact we had paint on us!)... sometimes having your teenager living in their OWN world can be quite a blessing LOL

On Sunday we did a second coat on the fence:It really made a HUGE difference! Then came all the digging! We got the garden completely weed free... thanks to the new spade from Bunnings! Next we added 4 big bags of compost... that's 160 litres!!!
We got it all turned over:Then we added some weedmat:

And while we were weedmatting it started to RAIN!! Mikayla was all for giving up... but her very mean mother (that would be ME!) made her keep going! We grabbed all the plants and started sitting them on top of the weedmat where we wanted them to go:There's all sorts of plants in there.... see those HUGE gerbera's?? We got them for $6 each at the local market! The mini flax's are small pups I got from some of the other flax plants... there's also some succulents ($5 for 3 at the market)... old fashioned violets ($2 each)... four mini gardenia's for $5 each at Bunnings... and lots of plants that I bought on sale 2 1/2 years ago that NEVER got planted... hopefully they'll all survive now in their new home!
Then we went around and cut slits in the weedmat and got all the plants in the garden... in the RAIN!Next came all the bark! I used big nuggets this time because I quite like the rustic effect of them... and they definitely help keep the weeds down. I had originally bought 5 bags (that's 200 litres of bark!) but ended up having to get three MORE so in total this garden has 320 LITRES of bark!
I was thinking it was getting a bit expensive until I talked to Mum. She asked how much I had paid for my bark because she had just bought 8 bags as well. I paid $6.47 a bag (total $52) and she paid $9.95 a bag (total $80)... you can see why I like Bunnings!!!
Here's what the garden looks like from the deck outside my scrap room:
Over the next couple of afternoons I'm going to clean up all the bags, pots, weeds etc and get the lawn mowed and it will look great! The best part is that it rained most of the night and now the sun is out so the garden has had a really good watering :)
I'm going to be using some of these photos for my garden layout page for Esther's challenge! Why not grab your camera out and give it a go too!!