10 Ideas for Rocks in the Garden

Peace Country pioneers spent a lifetime picking roots and rocks from the fields…and so did their children! I have lots of memories of walking the spring-tilled fields with my family “harvesting” all those sticks and stones. It was an endless task as every spring a new crop was tilled to the surface. Walk to the end of any field and you will find those piles of rocks, each picked by a hard working hand. Despite this–or maybe because of–I still hold a deep respect for both rocks and growing things. A few years ago I brought a couple loads of rocks home from the edge of my grandparents field. It was a nice connection to know that those rocks were once handled by them. I love rocks in a garden…and so do most gardeners!

Here are some neat ideas you might want to try out in your own garden…

Gardening Rocks!

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A great idea for disguising culverts…from Rick and Heather Hopkins garden in Fort St John, BC

A bit of whimsy on the vegetable garden fence!

A bit of whimsy on the vegetable garden fence!

Taken in Carol Rhyason’s garden in Charlie Lake, BC

Joan and Larry Evans 2012 FSJ Garden Tour

Heart rocks from Joan and Larry Evans garden in Fort St John, BC

Brad and Janine Filmer's Garden 2012 FSJ Garden Tour

Another heart shaped rock thoughtfully placed packs a dramatic punch. Garden of Brad and Janine Filmer South Taylor, BC

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A fun tic tac toe game made out of painted rocks and a stump. Found on Pinterest via chickenscratchny.com Click on image to check out this fun site!

 

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This idea comes complete with an informative how-to from creativeinchicago.com Placing the strawberry rocks among your plants before they fruit will discourage birds from returning when the actual strawberries form. Who wants to waste time when strawberries are hard as rocks and just as edible?

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Another photo from creativeinchicago.com Give it a click for all the info and for more great ideas on this site.

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Beautiful row markers made from painted stone. Saw these on gardentherapy.ca complete with a great how-to Click on the photo to see the instructions and check out this site. They were the creation of her friend Kristen Crouch of bloomingarden.wordpress.com

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Okay, this just makes me smile! From Amazon.com but with a little imagination you could try to make it yourself…

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A couple of fabulous stone benches. From amazinginteriordesign.com Click on image to see some more of their “rocking” ideas!

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Love this path! Found on pinterest via The Artful Gardener TM

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And every pathway needs some feet to find it…found on pinterest.com

 

 

5 of 10 Gardens on the 2013 Dawson Creek Garden Tour : )

Full of green thumb ideas (and a bit of green envy) we headed back into Dawson Creek to check out the four gardens in the city itself. We were not disappointed!

First stop was the garden of Ruth Graham and Marline (sorry I don’t have Marline’s last name). We were completely gobsmacked by godetias. Where have you been all my life? I can’t believe these beauties have never found their way into my garden. Yes, I bought a package of seeds this spring at the Dawson Creek Peavey Mart but they’re likely available in lots of places. Though after seeing this garden they might sell out so get yours fast! The godetias weren’t the only jaw droppers in this garden…there was also an incredible vegetable garden (farm?) in the back! Take a look…

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A cute pansy tipsy tower! And look behind it…a beautiful brick raised bed along the front of the house bursting with godetias.

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A closer look at the border of godetias…aren’t they beautiful? According to the tour pamphlet Marline starts them from saved seed every year.

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Through the garage and into the back garden…

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Wow hey? This is by far one of the neatest and most lush vegetable gardens I have ever seen.

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Anyone who thinks they can’t grow all their own vegetables unless they live on a farm will reconsider after seeing this garden!

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A lovely mix of flowers in the vegetable bed attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.

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This is a garden that would make any Peace Country pioneer proud. There’s even a cow!

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A closer look at the cow…I think it’s a sprinkler and when the hose is turned on the tail twirls. However it works, it is VERY eye catching!

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Lovely lavender containers filled with flowers line the back of the house.

Six Great Ideas for Old Tools!

 

It’s a rare shed or shop in the Peace Country that doesn’t have a few old rusting tools gathering dust in the corner. Tools that long suffering loved ones point at and ask, “What are you saving THAT for?” Well, thanks to pinterest here are some great ideas guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face…even your long-suffering loved one!

 

Hoo! Owl III art by Joseph Warren

Hoo! Owl III art by Joseph Warren


From Never Blue Forge

From Never Blue Forge


Another spectacular piece from Never Blue Forge

Another spectacular piece from Never Blue Forge

Rasputin The Holder of Flowers found on Etsy by monniebeanFolkart

Rasputin The Holder of Flowers found on Etsy by monniebeanFolkart

Found on homeandgarden.craftgossip.com

Found on homeandgarden.craftgossip.com

Today’s View From Our Bedroom Window!

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Bauble Head (baubles and a head)

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Awww…did I leave a smooch mark on your fresh spring cleaned windows? THIS is what I think of THAT bwaaahaaahaaa!

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Oh, and your moose proof fencing? Close up bums to that!!!

Heh, heh, heh, you tell her Bullwinkle!

Creek Side Garden Decore in Dawson Creek…

Stopped in at one of my favourite garden shops last week! Creek Side Garden Décore is located in Dawson Creek on 17th Avenue. It has been officially dubbed as the Peace Country’s “One Stop Pond Shop”. They are open year round and what a treat it is to stop in on a wintry day for a wander through their greenhouse filled with water features, oodles of succulents, pond plants, enormous koi fish and even a turtle named Myrtle! In the huge main shop you will find all kinds of unique décor for your garden.

I picked up a couple inexpensive cold frames for getting a jump on the season, as well as a boot scraper (for all that mud in our near future!) and a cute little tin watering can perfect for showering seedlings.

Owners Frank and Arlene are always friendly, welcoming and full of great ideas for creating unique yards. You can follow them on facebook or check out their website for all kinds of pictures and ideas.

Here is a recent example of just some of the great décor on offer (photo from Creek Side Garden Decore facebook page)

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Last year I bought this “living wall” picture frame planter from Arlene and Frank. It would look great on a wall (inside or out) but I propped it on an easel in the garden…

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Here are a couple arrangements Arlene made that I snapped photos of last summer…

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Every year I swoon over all the water features and would love to have irrigation put in (another service they offer). One day!

They are having a spring sale on now with all kinds of discounts throughout the store so if you’re in Dawson Creek and in need of a spring fix (and who isn’t!) drop in and take a look around. You’ll be glad you did.

Great Book at a Ridiculous Price!

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If you have a device for reading eBooks you’re in for a great deal! One of my favorite garden books The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan is for sale for the month of March for only $2.99! Even though I have the book in paper form I couldn’t resist buying it for my iPad as well. I like being able to search for things quickly and eBooks are great for that. Anyway, it looks like the sale applies to all eBook markets so check out your favorite source and enjoy this great book at a ridiculously low price. But only for March and then it’s back to its usual price. It’s all part of its publisher’s “Fresh Pick” program that offers a select few books every month for only $2.99. Since most of Storey’s books are about gardening and self sufficiency I drop by every month to see what is on offer.

 

The Hives Are Alive With The Sound of Music!

There is no sweeter music in the waning days of winter than the life-affirming buzz from a hive! I have two hives and when I went out on Sunday to check, I was delighted to see some bees crawling around the entrance, but the other looked eerily quiet. I tentatively knocked on the silent hive and was greeted by a beautiful–if somewhat irritated–dull roar from within. It sounds sort of like a distant wind. It rose and then faded and no one came out, but I am reassured. I left them a ridiculous amount of honey going into winter and they were able to get out for a cleansing flight in January when temperatures climbed to plus 10, so it’s been a good winter for them I think.

A cleansing flight is simply polite beekeeper-speak for a bathroom run. Bees are incredibly fussy and will never foul the nest. Instead they will wait for weeks and even months (an idea that makes me practically double over with sympathy) until conditions are warm enough for them to take to the skies and let their poop fly. If winters are too long and cold the poor bees can succumb to dysentery and other nasty stomach ailments brought on by not being able to reach the bathroom skies.

TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE

I have only been a beekeeper for a few years and it’s a term I use loosely since some of those years I’m not a beekeeper at all, but a beeloser. Like gardening, there is much to learn and a lot of things that can–and will–go wrong. Still, it is a fascinating hobby. I never get over the thrill of cracking open a hive and discovering the incredible world of the bees inside. And the taste of fresh honey is indescribable and I love the sweet vanilla scent of honeycomb. But even if I never harvested any wax or honey, I would still enjoy having bees just for watching. But lately I have been wondering if we should. Keep bees that is.

In all the hoopla about colony collapse, varroa mites and other catastrophes to hit the hives, we sometimes forget that honey bees are not native to North America, but were originally imported. Like dandelions. I have watched honeybees and our native pollinators–bumblebees, hoverflies, wasps and butterflies–compete for nectar in my garden. Honeybees are the jersey cows of the pollinator world. Instead of gallons of milk, they have been bred to produce lots and lots of honey. But they aren’t really designed for our tough climates. If humans didn’t interfere with insulated hives and buildings it is unlikely any honeybees would survive for long. The native pollinators, on the other hand, are designed for life in the north.

I recently read how some of the diseases from commercial honeybees are being transmitted to native populations and that worries me. And raises the question of whether we should be raising honeybees at all. Maybe pollinating should be left to the insects that were meant to be here. Once again, humans have messed things up by pushing production over the natural order of things. But I’m no scientist and I’m only speculating. Still, I don’t think I will be expanding my hives and if the two I have die out one winter I don’t know if I will replace them. I do know I would miss them, but there are lots of things you can do to make habitats for native pollinators and perhaps that would be more gratifying in the long run. No honey or wax, but gratification is a pretty worthwhile harvest too. I guess I need to do some more research. What do you think?

The following is an example of creating habitat for native pollinators…for more ideas check out The Metropolitan Field Guide
this great site is loaded with “ideas and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat”!

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