Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dans Le Jardin

So, there I was. Stepping into the car to meet the family in Portland, freshly showered and primped, clutching my purse and sunglasses, when what do I see? My neighbor loading up his dump trailer with remnants of curly willow - the tree he just removed from his backyard. I couldn't let it go. Late as I was, I jogged down in my raised flip flops and said, "STOP! Can I have some of that?" I had no idea what for. It just seemed like I could use curly willow for something neat. He handed me the loppers. And next thing I know, I am dragging half a tree down the middle of the street, hideously late for my family meeting, and shlepping the bushy rats nest right into the empty space in the garage that my wonderful husband had just cleaned. It seriously took up half the garage. But such is life living with someone who needs to "make stuff" all the time, right?

Well, after a few weeks of thought, and feeling quite bad about messing up my hubby's space, it dawned on me. Le Jardin! Last year I had a Sweet 100 tomato plant that grew 6 feet tall, then, conquering the feeble wire conical cone I had provided for support, it proceeded to grow over the edge, then back down, and along the ground. Had it had a GOOD support, it would have been at least 12 feet tall! I had recently priced stronger ugly square cages at the farm store, and decided I wasn't going to break the bank to maximize the space in my garden, I could do it myself! After finding some salvaged cedar from a discount lumber lot, here's what I came up with. The huge one is for the sweet 100. Then, once I ran out of usable pieces from the curly willow, my other neighbor offered me all the willow I wanted out of her creek. Sooo, I continued on to finish the last few supports. I am looking forward to nurturing the garden this year without running into the endless tripwires of fishing line I usually have holding up those flimsy tomato conical cages! YAY! Bye bye fishing line! Hello pretty spaces. I think I like the final one the best with just two sides. Less obtrusive:
I'll post an update this summer to let you know which worked out to be the best design.
Oh, and I'm excited about my little cucumber trellis, too.

Okay, now that I am sharing, I must give you the update on my lettuce patch. This year, I put a pot in the middle for my mint. (As some of you know, mint is invasive and can take over the garden, so it should be contained. Here's my blurb for the "color me bad" theme this week: I threw in some red/orange super bells, so I will have some beautiful cascading color this summer to compliment my green mint.)

- Liz Ganji | Battle Ground, WA


  1. This is AMAZING! Such a chic, up-cycled project! Im going to have to pick your brain about veggie gardens. We are starting our first and I'm so nervous about it! Will you be my garden sensei?

  2. You are so crafty! I love them Liz! These would also make awesome string bean climbers; far better than the posts and farm string I use every year. - Heather

  3. Liz, you are so inventive. What a great eye and fertile imagination to spot the tree leaving your neighborhood and put it to good use.

    You girls are on to something that has become quite the trend - backyard veggie gardens. Leading edge, always on the leading edge.

  4. love the creatively sculptural trellises! the shapes the willow branches make are amazing. i just read an article on this very topic, and one of the more interesting designs was a tall board with circular cut-outs of different sizes, creating a bunch of hollow "polka-dots" for tomato plants to creep through. no comparison to your project, though! totally cool.