Weed free garden paths and moving a water faucet.

 I didn’t install this lovely vegetable garden, but Nancy asked us to do a little tweaking. I think the main problem was weeds in the pathway, but there was more to be done. The raised beds had settled and were covered with weeds, so we spent quite a bit of time pulling the weeds and then adding several inches of compost to raise the height of the growing medium. Here’s the overview:

A designer vegetable garden in progress

A designer vegetable garden in progress

On what I think is an amusing note, I forgot the camera on the first day and with my type of step by step description, there’s no going back. Added to that, Dekie had changed the camera settings to black and white for some of her art work—and I didn’t notice. It should be interesting. We decided to put landscape fabric in the pathways to help control the weeds. Notice the corner fastened by staples furnished with the fabric. When we ran out of staples, we used large nails to hold the fabric down.

Installing landscape fabric for weed control in garden pathways.

Installing landscape fabric for weed control in garden pathways.

It took a lot of cutting and fitting to get it just right, but when finished, the fabric job looked like this:

landscape fabric installed and fastened with pins

landscape fabric installed and fastened with pins

The person who did the initial installation had put a faucet down in the ground inside the center bed. This was hard to get to, plants grew over it and hid it in the growing season, and the location was just totally unsatisfactory. We decided to move it to a better location.

garden faucet in the wrong place

garden faucet in the wrong place

I decided that we would leave the faucet in the ground to be used as a shut off valve in the winter. This seemed to be the easiest and most effective manner for the hookup. We dug out around the faucet

step one in moving a faucet

step one in moving a faucet

I bought an adaptor to change the hose thread on the faucet to standard pipe threads. FHT=Female hose threads, FIP=female pipe threads.

I needed to change the direction of the pipe, so I used a ¾ street ell. Notice that the threads are wrapped with Teflon tape to keep the joint from leaking.

street ell with teflon tape

street ell with teflon tape

The street ell installed

Adapting garden faucet to pvc pipe

Adapting garden faucet to pvc pipe

I added a 90 degree elbow and turned it toward the direction the pipe would run.

add an elbow and twist to the right direction

add an elbow and twist to the right direction

Here’s the pipe in the ground running to the fence.

moving a garden faucet. pipe layout

moving a garden faucet. pipe layout

The faucet is installed (using Teflon tape) and the pipe is fastened to the fence post with zip ties.

move a garden faucet. finished project

move a garden faucet. finished project

Here’s a picture of the fabric and plumbing installed:

designer veggie garden with fabric and faucet relocated. Ready to add cypress mulch

designer veggie garden with fabric and faucet relocated. Ready to add cypress mulch

We talked about all sorts of coverings for the pathways and decided on cypress wood chips. We spread the chips and were very happy with the results. It took 50-2 cubic foot bags of cypress chips

Designer vegetable garden with weed free pathway of cypress mulch

Designer vegetable garden with weed free pathway of cypress mulch

Now, all Nancy has to do is add plants and water. Yay. (I’ll check the color settings before writing another post)

Click here to find more tips on working with pvc pipe

I hope you enjoyed the article. I’ll bet you will also enjoy my novel

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

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Stone walls and a designer garden

Stone walls and a designer garden

My job as a landscape designer allows me to see unique situations and to meet some rather interesting people.  Last Friday evening, Dekie and I drove way out on a one and a half lane road through the foothills to meet Tom Adams. Tom is an excellent gardener, a philosopher, a lover of living things, and quite a delightful character.

Tom Adams shows me his garden

Tom Adams shows me his garden

I had been told to drive across the county line and go a few more miles. I was to look for a nice garden on the right and the house would be across the street. The well marked two lane road lost the center line after a while and then got narrower and narrower.  The scenery was wonderful.  I took a hard left and then another hard right across the bridge and drove a while longer.  I was almost late.  My appointment was at 6.  Around another curve I saw what must be my destination.

A rock garden entrance

A rock garden entrance

I was greeted by Tom Adams, my friend David Lamb, and three dogs.  I wanted to go immediately to see the garden since I wanted pictures and I was losing light.  I guess I missed the garden in its glory, because Tom was changing from summer to winter crops, but I could imagine what it must have looked like a few short weeks ago.  The garden is constructed with halfway sunken treated 2X6s.  With the exception of the corn plots, the beds are laid out in what appeared to be 8 foot by 36 foot rectangles.  Immaculately groomed Bermuda sod formed the pleasant, wide walkways.  The okra patch was still growing and producing.  If I’m wrong on the dimensions of the beds then please remember my favorite saying:  “Never allow a few facts to get in the way of a good story.”

raised vegetable beds with grass walkway

raised vegetable beds with grass walkway

I couldn’t get a picture of the entire layout, but I did get this one from the back of the corn plot showing the sprinkler head raised up on a post and the scarecrow.  To the rear, you will see a blackberry patch in front of a trellis of beans.  Tom said that he was going to take out the blackberries because, even though he got a good yield on the outside, reaching the inside fruit became a form of self punishment.  He told me that the “teepee” frames for the beans were not effective and that next year he would build frames that were straight up.  He said that he found the beans didn’t want to grow sideways.

A fallow corn patch, blackberries, bean trellis, and sprinkler head

A fallow corn patch, blackberries, bean trellis, and sprinkler head

Tom told me that he uses the beds to experiment and that he has grown diverse crops such as zinnias and flax.  Then he explained how flax is treated to make linen.  Not that he made any linen, he’s just interested.  After a very interesting conversation about the garden and the perennial flower border at the front wall, we began talking of stone.  It seems that When Tom bought the property, he inherited mountains of stone—which suited him well.  He likes to build with stone.  I walked up from the driveway and found this pile.

A beautiful pile of building stone

A beautiful pile of building stone

We admired the new front steps and retaining wall.  All of the stone masonry has been done with stone from the property. Tom said he thinks that when the road was built, the workers just piled the stone to the side.  Here’s the wall and steps that lead to the road and the mailbox:

stone steps and retaining wall

stone steps and retaining wall

David Lamb was finishing up his days work and his crew had already gone.  Dave is the owner of “Lamb Enterprise Group” and is a most exacting stone mason.  Tom Adams told me that he had laid a lot of stone in the building of his house but it just got to be too big a job for him.  Here’s Dave.  If you want to see more of David Lamb’s stone work, CLICK HERE

David Lamb the great stone mason.

David Lamb the great stone mason.

We got so involved in the gardens and stone work that I never got to see the house that Tom built  from an old barn.  I did sneak a picture of it in the fading light, though.

The house on the hill

The house on the hill

We walked down by the bold creek to look at more stone.  Tom said he had piled a lot of rocks in this area and it was ugly, so he turned some of it into a wall around the rest of the pile.  Dekie took a bit of a rest and petted the well behaved English shepherd.

A rock wall in front of a pile of rocks.

A rock wall in front of a pile of rocks.

As we walked back toward the car, I remarked on an interesting mowing pattern in the pasture.  Tom called it “lawnmower art”.  He said that he used to cut the whole field but then he figured out that the center part was where the deer liked to have their babies. So he left it untouched.

Mowing around the deer "maternity room"

Mowing around the deer “maternity room”

I don’t know for sure, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet that there is a lot more to see at the farm which has been named “Snail’s Pace 88”.  We’ll visit Tom Adams again.  I promise.

related post: https://johntheplantman.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/raised-beds-for-a-vegetable-garden/

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As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Try “see inside the book”

 

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