I had a sad realization that I haven't actually created anything yet in 2012. Inspired by a few moments of free time yesterday and determined to change that sad record of "uncreativity," I went in search of an old table.
I'd seen a neighbor's very creative tabletop garden, and wanted to invent one for myself. I didn't find much advice online so went to the place DIYers often go for inspiration and materials: I headed to Goodwill. And NOT on 50% off day, so that will tell you how serious I was about this project.
I immediately found the perfect "table" - this old piano stand was a great size for a few plants, and I loved the idea of the hinged top as a way to shade plants from afternoon sun when needed.
I was informed by an unforgivably rude employee that in order to get the bench I had to buy the piano that went with it. Yeah, not going to happen. So my quest started again. The only other viable option (except for the OTHER GREAT piano bench I found...if you're looking for a piano, go to Goodwill) was this sewing cabinet. It had many lovely qualities, including a ruler marking that just might have allowed me to actually plant plants the right distance apart, but in the end it was just a table that looked old and didn't have much space for building a garden bed on top of it.
My decision making process continued to evolve...I'll just build my own, I thought. In fact, it doesn't even have to have legs. I can just build a small raised garden bed - why didn't I think of that earlier? Next stop: the most magical nursery on earth. I could just move into Whitfill's - it's paradise, and living there would remove the need to do any gardening myself. I glare enviously at the houses across the street from this magical place - they get the benefit of the hundreds of birds and gorgeous flowering trees. Of course, they get people parking in their yards while they try to load impossibly large flowering bushes into their too-mall cars, too, so I guess there's a downside.
This place really is magical, though, so I suspiciously pulled out my camera and captured inspiration to share with you...
Isn't this chevron flower pot gorgeous?! The peacock statue is pretty awesome, too.
Displays like this make me want to quit my job and become a farmer, just to have the satisfaction of looking at such perfect lines of fresh food.
I had another brilliant realization: the wood bases of these trees would be perfect garden planters. My excitement died when I was told they never kept them - they get scrapped after the nursery delivers and plants the trees elsewhere. Bad idea, guys - you could make a fortune selling those things to eager gardeners like me who can't quite bring ourselves to pay $50 for the half-barrel planters at Home Depot.
I got over my disappointment by spending time with the Evergreen Pear trees. I love these things and someday my backyard will have a place for one of these beauties to drop white flowers all over the place on a regular basis.
One of the best things about Whitfill's: the carts. These aren't any boring grocery store-wannabes, these are three-wheeled tanks that can topple over a big tropical tree if you turn your back on it (not, of course, that anything like that that actually happened...ahem).
These babies remind me of one of my favorite things about Tuscany:
And with one final effort to prove that Whitfill's is the best nursery ever, here, ladies and gentlemen, are the peacocks. SO COOL.
Back to my story. I went to Home Depot full of good intentions to build a small garden bed, but got immediately depressed about how much it would cost to do so. After checking out cedar, I wandered to get the gardening fabric I'd need to keep the plant roots from going into the dirt when suddenly it hit me: WHY is it so bad to have a garden in the ground?! I have a lovely patch of dirt behind the garage that is lonely. So my inspiration fully evolved into...an actual little patch of garden, without a raised bed or any other fancy entrapment. I have lettuce, spinach, eggplant and cilantro, and I even made those gorgeous cork garden markers I was admiring earlier this week!
I also planted this gorgeous thing...does anyone know if it's edible? The tag didn't even tell me what it is but I didn't ask - I'd already fallen in love with the colors on it and hopefully it will continue to look gorgeous after I've devoured the leaves off of the other lettuce plant.
I never knew how many kinds of eggplant there are. My decision was easy, however, when I saw this one...gotta love plants (or anything, really) that remind you of someone you adore!
I didn't build a jaw-dropping tabletop garden bed and in reality I guess I didn't create anything at all, but I'm quite happy with the new addition to my life. A real garden!