The Grand Bugapest Hotel

I had a couple brilliant names picked out for this project before it even got off the ground. In fact, it was this one, Grand Bugapest Hotel, that propelled me to make the thing. What? You don’t come up with a name and THEN do the project? I thought everyone did that. Hopefully the roof […]

New fire pit at Katrina's house.

Fire pit and… ?

When I lived further north, I created a fire pit. I really liked it in the cold months (or rather, month). It had a copper bowl at the center, and lots of granite gravel with steel edging to hold it together. But I found it a pain to weed in the warmer months, and it […]

Avoiding Monsanto in the Home Garden

It’s getting hard to avoid Monsanto (and other franken-foods) in the grocery store. But apparently even if you grow your own vegetables in your own yard, you’re still not out of the woods. Monsanto owns 40% of the packaged seed producers, too. Fortunately, people with a lot more research time than me have figured out […]


Today I planted two serrano pepper plants, two viva italia plants, and one roma tomato plant. I might have purchased more at The Natural Gardener today if it hadn’t been too close to the boy’s nap time and he hadn’t been melting down. At least he posed for a few cute candids before the melting […]

New Year’s Miscellany

We’re supposed to get a new deluge of rain tonight, but I’m a little reticent to revel in that. I could jinx our chances. That said, I got all the leaves mulched into fine particles suitable for direct mulching or the compost bins. I made perhaps 6 wheelbarrows of fine leaf litter, some of which […]

Updated Rain Barrel Platform

My old makeshift rain barrel platform (constructed of pieces of old pressure-treated lumber) was sinking into the ground, and my rain barrel was listing. So I got a few concrete blocks, some spare brick, and a couple 24″ pavers and constructed a new one: It is very sturdy, level and ultimately reusable. Nothing is mortared […]

Kickstarting Chickens

I have mentioned more than once I want to incorporate chickens into my garden work. I’ve collected materials for the coop construction – cedar posts, scrap tin roof material, etc. – in an effort to use as little new material as possible. After all, one aim in doing this is to be as resourceful as […]

Gardening Kindred Spirit?

This week I got the chance to attend a private tour of the properties that comprise the 2011 Travis County Master Gardener’s Association Inside Austin Gardens tour. Given that I’m unemployed, the weekday-date of this preview tour wasn’t as daunting to me. All in the name of professional development, networking and inspiration, right? Jenna and […]