Becky’s big patio project

Becky Norris

Becky Norris

Becky Shaul Norris recently documented her patio project for us here at Flea Market Gardening this Spring.  At each stage she updated her progress and posted more photos.  Here on our blog it’s easy to show her entire project in one post!

“The work has now begun,” Becky tells us. “I am going to make a patio in this corner of my garden. I will be making twelve cement pavers with stained glass embedded in them, and the remainder will be filled in with brick that my best friend gave to me. I only need to set 178 of those hundred year old bricks!”

Becky posted pictures of the stages of this project.

“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.”  ~Author Unknown


Becky's garden area before

Becky’s garden area before

“My husband does not like the fact that I have a gas powered cement mixer that he has to start it every time but at least I do the rest! But I can only last to mix two batches per day. I have 8 squares made and 4 more to go before I can start leveling the soil and applying the base sand. That will be the hard part for me. I am not good at getting things level!”

Molds make four pavers at a time

Molds make four pavers at a time

“This photo shows a row of four molds.  My husband made four molds for me.  He used 2 x 4 lumber to make the molds, but he ripped the boards down to the thickness of the bricks so that when I poured the pavers they would be even with the bricks that I was using.  This made it much easier for me to have a level layer of sand to lay everything on, and I would not need to dig and get the layers even.”, Becky says.

Two of Becky's designed tiles

Two of Becky’s designed tiles

She says, “Today I molded the first four of twelve cement pavers I will be using in the patio. I have made stained glass designs to put in each paver. These pavers will be unmolded first thing tomorrow. I will then put glass designs in the next molds and mix more cement. I figure it will take me three days just to mold the pavers, and then I have to prepare and level the ground before laying all the bricks. I have to be patient. I want to do it all in one day.”

“In the process of making the cement pavers, I used one sack (92 lbs) of cement per two pavers. I make the glass designs by cutting and fitting stained glass, and I also used plain glass such as from a photo frame, to paint in a reverse painting method on the glass.  For the pieces I painted I used craft paint enamel which is baked in the oven for an hour. ”

Antique bricks, given by a friend and waiting to be installed, all by Becky herself.

Antique bricks, given by a friend and waiting to be installed, all by Becky herself.

Becky shows us, “These are part of the bricks that I will be using in my new patio. Can’t wait to get it in place because it will give me more places to put more plants. What can be better than more plants??? Chocolate maybe, but nothing else for me!!!!  It will be a big job, but I am up to the work. I enjoy doing this stuff so much. Can hardly wait to get it done.”

Lily, made from stained glass pieces and set in the concrete pavers.

Lily, made from stained glass pieces and set in the concrete pavers.

Becky says, “The lily was made with clear glass that I reverse painted on the back with enamels which you bake in the oven. I am hoping this paint will last and the cement will not damage it. It will be in a shady place most of the time so I don’t think I have to worry about the paint fading. All hubby has to do is crank the cement mixer and then he goes to sit down. I unmolded them this evening. Had a few chips on the edges tonight. But I just used a chisel and scraped the edges. They really look like they are very old. Really cool looking. I still have more of the lily panels to mold and then I can get started on the brick work!

Fleurdelis pattern

Fleur-de-lis pattern

Becky says, “This is one of the pavers that I molded yesterday and removed front he mold this morning. I molded four more pavers today. They measure 16 inches by 16 inches. They are still wet and very heavy. This is not as easy as I thought it would be, but I am doing this with no instructions and making it up as I go along.”

Don’t you admire Becky’s do-it-yourself spirit?  It’s very much the Flea Market Gardening way!  There’s one sure way to complete a project that way you like and that’s to do it your own self. And Becky seems to know her limits.  She portions out the work in the most efficient way while saving her back.

Contact paper masks the glass from the concrete

Contact paper masks the glass from the concrete

“I was not sure how the paint would do with the cement but it is working beautifully. NOTE:  The painted side of the plain glass is the side which went against the cement.   I laid out my design, right face up, and then covered it with a piece of contact paper.  After the paper was applied I laid the paper with the glass in the mold face side up, with the glass towards me.  (YOU CAN SEE THIS ON THE BLUE CONTACT PAPER)” Becky says.

“After the cement was mixed to proper consistency I just poured it into the mold and smoothed the top.  I took the mold off after about 12 hours.  At this time I removed the contact paper and I used a scrubbing sponge, the kind with the green pad on the yellow sponge, and removed any cement from the glass.  I also took a file and smoothed the edges of the paver.   I let the pavers dry for about two weeks before I laid the pavers and the antique bricks.”

Becky at work

Becky at work, figuring out her pattern and laying the bricks

“After I had all the bricks laid in the area I poured polymeric sand between all the pavers, swept the pavers clean, and made sure all cracks were filled. I then watered the sand and bricks according to manufacturer’s directions on the polymeric sand mixture.”

Bricks and pavers in their pattern

Bricks and pavers in their pattern

The finished patio will have few pieces of furniture so the pattern will show

The finished patio will have few pieces of furniture so the pattern will show

“We have put the bird feeder pole in place and the patio works great at catching the seeds, and it is also a focal point of the garden now.  I love my new area and I can sit and meditate and just enjoy the flowers around me.”

The finished pattern

The finished pattern

We love your patio, too, Becky and appreciate all your hard work. Thanks for sharing your work of art with us!  ~~ Sue

Becky's initials and her husband's, intertwined

Becky’s initials and her husband’s, intertwined

Here are two more photos of Becky’s whole garden and the decidedly uncommon path she also made from a common concrete mold:

Becky's garden

View of Becky’s whole garden area

Becky's fabulous path

Becky’s fabulous path

Categories: Garden Art, Hypertufa or cement projects, My Big Garden Project, Paths, Recycling | Tags: , , | 43 Comments

Announcing: “Celebrate Spring!” Photo Contest

Flea Market Gardening  “Celebrate Spring!” Photo Contest

May 16th-  Here are the winners!

Deborah Smith
First Place!

Jeanne Sammons
Second Place!

Tammy Blair-Lack
Third Place!

Sue Shackelford
Fourth Place!

See the best of the  entries:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 8th

Three more days to enter the“Celebrate Spring!” Photo Contest!

Post your photos, labeled”Celebrate Spring!”, on our Flea Market Gardening Facebook Wall and watch for the album with entries to be posted tomorrow with all the entries so far.  Deadline to enter is 6pm Pacific on Friday, May 11th. Saturday, we’ll choose winners and Sunday they’ll be announced! First, Second, Third, and Fourth place winners!  ~~ Sue

April 28th  Here’s how it will work

Please label YOUR 1 (ONE) photo “Celebrate Spring!” when you post it on our Flea Market Gardening Facebook Wall.

Your photo will be judged on these criteria:

#1 It celebrates Spring season, preferably using…
#2 some form of flea market item, rust, or junkola.
#3 It must be taken by you.

Post it on our Facebook page Wall starting now, April 28, 2012!

The contest photos will be collected in a “Celebrate Spring!” album on our FMG facebook page and in a slide show here on this page.

Winners will be chosen by a team of active flea folk.

Winners will be chosen in First, Second, Third, and Fourth place and those photos will be used in our header photos until Summer begins June 20.

Winners will be chosen on Mother’s Day, May 13th and posted here and on our FB page!  Yea   Fun!!!  Check back here for updates!

“Celebrate Spring!”

Categories: Something fun! | Tags: | 15 Comments

Annie’s galvanized “tipsy pots”

Galvanized tubs containers, combined with ‘tipsy pots’ is a genius idea and two of our favorite things at Flea Market Gardening!

Annie Steen has ‘upped the ante’ with her galvanized ‘tipsy pots’ and has added  water flowing from the middle tub pouring into a little stream that flows into her pond.

Annie's fabulous creation

Annie's fabulous creation

What is her secret?

First of all, inspiration from another FMGer, Jeanne Sammons who posted her galvanized tipsy pots last year here on Flea Market gardening. Annie says, “Here is my friend Jeanne Sammons ‘tipsy bucket planter… Isn’t it beautiful?”

Jeanne Sammons galvanized tipsys

Jeanne Sammons galvanized tipsys with beads for 'water!'

Annie Grossart-Steen says, “I put mine at the top of the waterfall of the pond, with clematis growing in the back…I have no idea whats going in them yet, but I have a few weeks to think about it. Thanks for the wonderful Idea!”

Annie’s ‘how-tos’

“The rod I used is a 1″ electric conduit steel pipe. I drilled holes in the buckets, ran a pipe through the bottom tub into the ground and stacked the buckets. The buckets are screwed to the center rod, and that rod goes through the bottom tub about 2 feet into the ground.”

Tipsy tubs, ready to be planted

Tipsy tubs, ready to be planted

Annie used a galvanized watering can, a coal bucket, two medium sized tubs and a large wash tub, drilling drainage holes in the bottoms.  Galvanized is a term used when  steel or iron has been coated with zinc to prevent rusting, and it’s just fine to plant in!

For terracotta tipsy pots, a rebar or other thin pipe is pounded into the ground about a foot, then the pots are threaded and tipped this way and that onto the bar. Soil is added and flowers planted.  Push the bar down into the top pot so it doesn’t show!

“This sits right at the top of the waterfall of the pond, and I ran a hose up to the coal bucket and the water pours right back into the pond. Can’t wait to see it planted with the water spilling over….am I crazy or what…” Annie asks.

Galvanized 'tipsy pots' Photo by Annie Steen

Galvanized 'tipsy pots' Photo by Annie Steen

Ann Elias also saw Jeanne’s idea and acquired the ‘raw materials’ needed.  She says, “After seeing the photo of Jeanne Sammons tipsy bucket planter…I had to go check out my stash in the backyard by the fence which I placed there last year.”

Ann Elias's 'tipsy pot-to-be'

Ann Elias's 'tipsy pot-to-be'

“I got these from my Mother-in-laws garage when getting her house ready for an estate sale. I have a watering can somewhere in the garage. I can’t wait to make one and plant it…and then bring my mother-in-law over to see what I did with her treasures. THANKS so much to everyone here for all the inspiration!” Ann says.

Thanks especially to Jeanne and Annie.  You’ll inspire many to do this project.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Get Galvanized, Recycling, Water feature, Weekend Project! | 15 Comments

Getting galvanized…in the garden

Sempervivum arachnoideum Hens and Chicks 'Cebenese' in an old bucket

Sempervivum arachnoideum Hens and Chicks 'Cebenese' in an old bucket

Galvanized metal is simply steel in some form that has received a thin coating of zinc oxide, which simply prevents containers from rusting when exposed to the elements. This makes it perfect as a planter for bright succulents or spring annuals on the patio.

This galvanized strainer pail, found at the Flea Market, is filled with Hens and Chicks ‘Cebenese’, Sempervivum arachnoideum. The little chicks have a spidery web attached to the spines. The muted coral of the blooms contrast well with the blue grey steel.

What about growing vegetables in galvanized tubs? Is it safe?
Johanna Silver, Sunset test garden coordinator says,

“All of the professors I tapped from UC Davis saw no problem with gardening in galvanized containers. …. Zinc, which is a trace chemical in the soil, poses little risk to the plants, and won’t accumulate to unhealthy levels for humans in the crops.”

So don’t worry if planting veggies; they’re perfectly safe and your galvanized tubs will be long lasting as well!

Osteospermum, Salvia 'May Night' and graniums in a galvanized palnter on wheels.

Osteospermum, Salvia 'May Night' and geraniums in a galvanized planter on wheels.

Set by the front door, this galvanized planter, found at a tag sale, is the perfect size and proportion and has the added advantage of having casters, so it can easily rolled away to sweep. Filled with seasonal flowers it brightens the entry! Next time you see galvanized containers of any size at the Flea Market, better gather them up and get galvanized!

Also see my galvanized tubs used as a vegetable garden and an onion farm!  For ALL our galvanized garden ideas, go directly to our Get Galvanized photo album on our FMG Facebook page.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Get Galvanized, Recycling | Tags: | 6 Comments

Why do I love junk?

You know a junk lover lives close by...

You know a junk lover lives close by...

On our Flea market gardening page on Facebook last July, Wanda Bailey wonders WHY she buys the junk she buys?

There have been references to this being a support group for Junk buyers, hauling home all sorts of free and cheap stuff that no one else wants. So, think about it and tell us WHY you like buying junkola and how you got started doing so. I have to think about that one, too. ~~ Sue

Jackie Wilber I love junk because it’s free, preserves history, can be recycled, and uses my eclectic sense of creativity to transform it. Enough said :)

Pami Taylor Hmmm …. I could make a small greenhouse with all those windows and doors …

Jacqui Rogers Judging by the above pic all you need now is four walls – I think that explains the lov of junk to a TTTTTT

Linda Harrison I look at these windows and remember the magazine article that showed the frame on a wall with cute vintage evening bags hung in each ‘frame’….already had the window and 2 purses but had to find more purses….then there was the solid door turned into a table on HGTV so hauling things homes is a sign of great creative mind, a desire to create beauty out of (tr)ashes… ;-)

Jane Weeks Pictured stuff isn’t junk! It’s wonderful bits of history that can still serve many useful purposes. (I have quite a few old windows, too, but I used some in my new (read ‘using old stuff’) kitchen cupboard wall!

Patty Fitch Hicks The whole reason I like junk is that I see good use still in it. I do love the patina of past years too. Makes a place feel like its been there forever. It’s never really junk to me but things that just need to find a new use or new home where they can still be used and appreciated. Like in my garden…lol

Penny Duckworth Why I bring home junk, it reminds me of simpler times. also it needs to be loved by someone. I was the first of the baby boomers, things where hard to come by still and my parents would re-purposed items. You didn’t run out and buy new.

Penny Duckworth Also the old was better made than today products

Wheelbarrow full of sedum

Wheelbarrow full of sedum

Patricia Short McCall Elkins Revamping, recycling and finding new ways for it’s use! Creativity is inspiring and uplifting!

Brenda Skime I love having pieces that, if they could talk, would have such stories to tell!!

Zola Denio Can’t stand to see good old things that can still be used, destroyed—Who knows—we might need them 20 years from now!!!

Nicole Frye Seebart It makes my heart happy! I love to think about the people that worked hard to craft the item that I save from the garbage. I love old needle points, linens, etc. & I’ve just found the last one I needed to frame

several up in an old 9 pane window to display in my home. I enjoy things in my home that you can’t just go buy at Target, the hunt is almost as much fun as displaying it. You can’t find that quality anymore & when it is gone, it is gone forever. ;)

Flea Market Gardening I guess I started going to swap meets as a young girl with my neighbor-friends and saw how they valued old things, then an old German neighbor gave me a child’s dressing cabinet in exchange for me driving him to synagogue every Saturday. I hadn’t thought of that in a long time. I still have that cabinet. ~~ Sue

Susan Coffey Kirby Just ’cause it’s fun! You can use the left side of your brain & let your creative juices flow!

Marilyn Ward The two best wheelbarrows I have are junk finds – hard rubber tires, rusty or peeling paint, but they do a lot of hard work. The one I bought new a few years ago has a pneumatic tire that will NOT stay inflated, so it’s unusable; I drilled drainage holes in it, and it’s going to be filled with sedum and succulents. I love JUNK!

Donna Herman I like primitives and I like crafting so I love combining them….everyone that comes to my home always says you have such neat stuff…and i say to them “see that “junk” pile out there ,without that I wouldn’t have this”….lolololol

Betty Lee Wiggs Junk is a part of history, our past. Lots of times it brings back wonderful memories of those years gone by and the “remember whens”. Just look at something and try to think of three different ways to use it. Now getting the time to use it is something else.

Flea Market Gardening Did anyone start by reusing old family kitchen things? I still love using my Mom’s old stand mixer and my Grandma’s red wooden handled kitchen utensils. ~~ Sue

Marilyn Ward In a corner of my bedroom stands a rusty old dress form that is always dressed for the season – cotton dress in the summer with a straw hat; hand knit sweater and skirt in the winter with a wool hat. I picked ‘her’ up from a friends garbage pile many years ago.

Trudi Wilbur Ooooh I ♥ those windows and doors! I love creating things so to have all the junk laying around just keeps my mind going. :) Creating is my way of balancing life.

Jeanie Merritt I was my father’s son.( let me explain) He had 5 girls and no boys so I, being the oldest, got to be the one who helped him with the gardening, drove the tractor, helped him change the spark plugs in his car, etc, etc.. AND he loved flea marketing and auctions… so along I went. Sometimes I was embarrassed as a young girl helping dad haul all of the “junk” back to the truck and into a shed at home until he “figure out” what to do with it..I just shook my head and didn’t voice my opinion( you didn’t in those days if you were a child). Now I am my father…. Going to flea markets and auctions and carrying” junk” home until I figure out what to do with it…If Dad were still alive he would be smiling!!!!

Donna Herman When I was young(and dumb)we had a old man that lived in the same town ,he was known as the “junk man” of the town and people would wonder why he would want all the “junk” in and around his yard….i could answer their questions now for them……CAUSE HE WAS HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

Sal Salamander When my father was alive he had a flea market with a good friend, my grandmother had an Antique Store. It is in my genes.

Robbie Tatro Some of you will get to be on TV! “Hoarders” The one lady who lost her cat years before her episode but it had died IN her house. That memory keeps me from going over the edge.

Marie Niemann It started way back when I was a kid and would bring cool stuff home I found on the piles people would put out for the trash pick up. Going to the dump was more fun than going to a carnival! Still collecting and will not stop even if I win the lottery! When?

Kathleen Groh Levy Marie, I’m with you! I am a junker from way back. To me the biggest attractions of junk are (1) the hunt for a treasure that costs next to nothing or costs nothing at all and (2) finding a unique and oddball way of using it to decorate. Both are amazing and fun challenges.

Donna Herman Robbie..I am scared of just that very thing….shhhh!!! lol

Dianne Harbin Voss Started out because we couldn’t afford new things! Now I just love being creative and a little crazy!

Joanne Nixon I think I inherited the gene…my dad collected tools, my mother collected shoes…and I love junk…my daughter called me a “hoarder” ….what a silly thought….lol. my dad bought a case of tuna thinking what a great buy it was….turned out it was tuna CAT food…and they didn’t even have a cat…….that was one of the funniest things he ever did….I still think about it when I see “tuna”..

Flea Market Gardening Yes, Robbie and Donna, when your family tells you that the people from ‘American Pickers’ is coming out to put you on the show but the ‘Hoarders’ crew shows up, you know you’re in for an ‘Intervention’! ~~ Sue

Donna Herman Hahaha! Thats a scary thought….and I have to say something about “American Pickers,” ..first I LOVE the show..second I think they have gotten us pickers/junkers some respect…lol

Kathy Witherington Gilbert I really dont know ,it is a strange desire,maybe because I see a idea to be creative and make smething,mabe because it is great to mix with new things in a project to get that eclectic look, or maybe it is because when I see these woderful treasures I know it is something you cannot find at your locale chain store !!

Grandma's motel chair and grandpa's old tools

Nancy K. Meyer Most of my garden RUST are friend or family memories. I garden with Hostas, Rust and Memories. Plan on typing out a detail list this winter to go with my many garden photos. Don’t know if anyone cares about the stories, BUT I do~~~ will give me a winter project.

Renee’ Barclift Most of the new stuff they make nowadays is junk.

Sal Salamander Hey, love the chairs in the photo…

Sue Gerdes Why i drag junk home? what a silly question, the junk from years ago has quality that we don’t make anymore. everything is mass produced and we live in a “throw away” society. things from the past are not hollow they are solid, they are not pressed they are cut and welded with such wonderful designs and elegance. junk that I drag home is made to withstand time and wear. I love making things from these beauties, to breath new life into them and save them from the dumps and to show others what can be done so they can do the same and say with pride “I made that”. look at all the good things saving junk does for us, we can save space in our landfills and save buying materials from stores and make something no one else has and it gives us pride….I also drag junk home cause i am cheap. ;o) ~Flea2Fab

Debra L. Martin I would pick it up or buy that stuff. good stuff. I see a green house just laying there. Yes I am a junker and I lov it!

Annie Grossart-Steen It’s all ’bout the Quest for Me~ and the places we go and the people we meet along the way….The junk is just a bonus! It’s not knowing what your going to find that makes it so much fun!!! Have a good Day :)

Wanda Bailey I think we just feel bad for the things that get tossed aside, and think we have to rescue them.

Kirk Willis Some of my favorite memories are going garage saling with my Dad and aunts… We didn’t have much growing up…and neither did my parents. So, garage saling was a blast. I inherited the gene! LOL But….I have a photo of my work table in the garage… it is overloaded with treasures…almost an embarrassment! LOL I thought of posting it here to motivate me… I am a SUPER neatnick except for my work area! :o)

Debbie Groff-Childs Because it is fun to find good things and then even more fun to find things to do with it :-)

Old galvanized planter by the front door

Old galvanized planter by the front door

Robbie Tatro Wanda, be very careful with men. The ones that need to be rescued CAN’T be! Although my husband and my dog were both second hand hounds and quite the keepers.

Nell Howard Stelzer I have always liked old junk ! I love crafting and repurposing,in the house and in the gardens !

Lynne Glover Mann I grew up with parents who never threw anything away and repurposed everything. Later in life Daddy would go to auctions and buy box lots of ‘stuff’ . It was like Christmas going through them when he got home. I have continued the love of junking and have it throughout my home and gardens and now even started volunteering at a place called the ‘Scrap Exchange’ a reuse, repurpose organization that strives to keep ‘junk’ out of the landfill. Junk is a part of my life :)

Gail Brunke I love out pickin’ and rescue that Old stuff… growing up on a farm and just knowing you didn’t always have the money to buy new, you repaired and repaired … each piece has a story and when I pick it up in my hands & hold it that piece begins to talk. It’s in the blood :)

D Diane Weiss It has character. Some of the old distressed colors cannot be copied! Almost anyone can make something out of almost nothing! Just takes some imagination! The old adage – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure rings TRUE!!

Wanda Bailey Robbie…my husband and two of my dogs are second hand hounds …I wouldn’t trade them….except for the one dog…he bites! :0)

Debra L. Martin my first memory of picking/junkin was out looking for old wood from the torn down outhouses. so Mr. Davis could build us girls a playhouse in the back yards. Ohhh it was a beautiful site and veer colorful …loved it!

Robbie Tatro My mom came to visit and saw all the old auction stuff my husband bought. She lived thru the depression as a teenager and adult. Mom said, “It was old crap back then,it’s old crap now, let’s go to Walmart and buy something good!” I still have that old crap furniture and can’t help but laugh at the memory.

Kathleen Hussey Switzer because,deep deep down in my soul.I am cheap..LOL

Brenda Small I think you must have a very creative mind and be able to think outside the box. Making something completely different than what its original intended use was gives me a happy high. Saving things from the dump is also a good reason. The thrill of a cool find…My mind races to think of something amazing I can make it into. Just plain fun and creativity! Since I was very young I have looked at life in a creative way..guess it rubbed off from my Mum who was always making stuff out of anything. An inexpensive way to keep 5 children busy when there was not a lot of money around.

Dianne Harbin Voss Years ago, I was out for a walk in the neighborhood…I saw a whole set of whicker furniture waiting for the garbage man to come by…I RAN home, told my husband and he got in our little Mazda and drove over…after he crammed what he could… into the back of our car, tired one chair on the roof and drove with one arm out the window holding on to the other chair, (our car was a5 speed too)…it was quite a sight, let me tell you…but it was a great set and we used it for years!

Vicki Childress I love junk…. for most of the reasons listed above but most especially because of treasured memories from my past. My parents and grandparents were great at making do or remaking and repairing things. I think their efforts showed great skill and ingenuity. I remember my grandpa whittling a replacement spindle for one of their dining room chairs. He also “fixed” a leak in an old enamel washpan by covering the leak with a bit of warm wax. Today I really love having different things that remind me of those days. I was a grown woman before I understood or could begin to realize that my grandparents were very poor. I had always considered them very rich. I wish my grandpa knew that!

Melissa Pride does there have to be a “why”?? :)

Garden Whimsies by Mary I’m with you Melissa!!!

Why do YOU love junk?  ~~ Sue

Categories: Garden Art, Garden Junk, Old doors and windows, Old windows, Recycling, Rusty Rust | 10 Comments

Volunteer dill peeks in window

Monster dill

This dill seeded itself next to the potted mother plant, stashed there during Fall patio cleanup. When Tractor Man isn’t tractoring, he looks out this west-facing window and the wispy feathery leaves have been growing up this early Spring to peek in at him. They don’t call it weed for nothing.

Some dill to cook with and some to dry

Some dill to cook with and some to dry

Dill is easy to grow in most every garden and it reseeds enthusiastically. You can plant it along with cucumbers but not next to tomatoes for some reason. Deer don’t bother it. It can grow in containers just fine. To cut it take the side fronds, an 8″ piece yeilds about a tablespoon of chopped dill for cooking.

To dry it, cut off the smaller fronds and discard the stems, spread it out in a shallow tray or cardboard box. Cover it with cheesecloth if you leave it outside in the shade. When it feels absolutely dry you can crumble it up and keep in a small jar.

So what can I do with my dizzying deluge of dill? Besides drying some for later use, here are two (or more) things:

Oven Cajun-dill Salmon with Brown rice
This is my salmon and tartar sauce recipe and Alton Brown’s oven brown rice, the easiest, most reliable way ever to cook brown rice! You can also add seasonings like a dry soup mix of your choice.

Brown Rice
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 T butter
1 t salt or seasoned salt
2 1/2 cups boiling water
Cover and bake at 375 for 1 hour
Lay salmon pieces in a glass pan
Sprinkle with dried or fresh dill and Cajun seasoning
No oil or water needed
Put in the oven 20 minutes before the rice is done to serve them together.
Tartar sauce
relish to taste
dill to taste

This is what I made last night to serve with roast chicken and a green salad.

Easy Cheddar-dill Bread

Easy Cheddar-dill Bread

Cheddar-dill Beer Bread
While looking for dill recipes, I found this one from Alton Brown, a great cook. This bread turned out nice and soft, was fast to make, tasted great warm and was a nice savory bread that cut easily for sandwiches. I’m impressed!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces cold beer, ale or stout (I used Fat Tire ale)
1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and dill in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter, which will form into a ball, evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, if using. (I moistened the top with beaten egg and we didn’t have sunflower seeds, I used chopped walnuts)
Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 45 to 55 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm with dinner.

Additional things to add:
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or
1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, 1/2 cup chopped scallions

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary and 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
2 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Lunch for Tractor Man
Lunch for Tractor Man

OK, so looking for more dill recipes…
Potato salad
Cucumber, dill and onion salad
Sliced green onions, diced celery, carrot, and cucumbers, maybe some cubed chicken, and finely chopped dill
Chicken, veggies and rice with dill
Snipped dill in scrambled eggs
Dill ricotta cheesy spread/crepe filling
Herbed gnocchi with dill and Pecorino
Ooooh, dill “pesto”, with olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice stuffed under the skin of a roast chicken

Dill Cream Sauce
For veggies, chicken or fish
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1-2 T chopped fresh dill
Melt butter, remove from heat; add flour and mix until smooth. Add milk and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper.

Tuna-Dill Pasta Salad
I recreated this recipe long ago from Take Ten, a sandwich shop near my work. It sounds like a lot of dill, but in this it’s great. Season to your taste and add until it’s right for you.

1 Package small shell macaroni
2 green peppers chopped to 1/2 inch size
1 can tuna (in water)
2-4 T fresh chopped or dried dill weed
1 t Garlic Salt
½ cup Mayonaise (sometimes you need more)

Boil the pasta, drain. Pour into a big mixing bowl; add the green peppers, dill and tuna. Add Mayo….stir and refrigerate. Soooo good, especially in summer.


Update: By the end of May, I have harvested most of the dill fronds and the seed heads, about 6-7 inches across are still on the plant, which has continued to grow.

Dill seed heads

Dill seed heads

Harvested dill, enough for a whole lotta salmon

Harvested dill, enough for a whole lotta salmon

Categories: Edibles, Gardening, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Gardening without Pain

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. ~Charles Dudley Warner

Spring is here! Many of us are getting back into the garden after a winter of ,…shall I say hibernation??  Since our backs don’t have hinges, we need to take a few precautions, before getting into the strenuous jobs in the garden. Whether it’s simply wearing gloves and protective eyewear or strengthening and stretching muscles, a few tips will hopefully help you protect yourself from garden gremlins.

Keeping fit and warming up
Yoga is a great way of exercising and strengthening your muscles and preventing injury when gardening. “Just few simple poses, says Carolyn Masuda, a yoga teacher in Fullerton, CA, “will tone the legs, stomach, back, the whole body.”

She stoops to conquer
Cheryl, of Oakhurst is sadder but wiser, after a month-long bout with back strain and is determined not to let it happen again. She believes it was from digging, a common cause of injury in the garden, and now calls her new rose area the ‘Garden of Pain’!

She now stoops using her legs instead of her back when digging and also makes a conscious effect to dig with her right foot instead of the left, she says, which helps her back. To lift rocks, like many of us do here in the foothills, she uses a dolly, and then rolls it to where she needs the rocks to go.

*See this entertaining, and informative video, courtesy of The Horse Tail Trails Team, for ways to dig without hurting your back!

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown

Raking, without aching
The best rakes are wide
Wear a sturdy pair of gloves when you rake
Keep your back straight and don’t stoop
Rake when wind is calm and when the leaves are dry

One ‘back challenged’ gardener, Marcie, uses a small tarp, about four feet by six feet. On the short end, she ties a rope through the grommets so after raking leaves onto the tarp, she can drag the tarp to the compost pile, instead of bending down. What a neat idea!

Another great video from Irene at The Horse Tail Trails Team.

In poison oak areas, keep your feet
One sad gardener, who shall remain nameless, was clipping the poison oak whips growing up around her oak trees and sat on the damp ground to make the job easier. She discovered to her dismay that the nastiness of poison oak can soak through clothing and ended up with an awfully uncomfortable rash.

One tip for preventing contact with poison oak is to apply any oil-based lotion to your arms, wrists and ankles, which prevents any further poison oak oil from reaching the skin. Logical, no?

On Facebook, I asked the question, “Any gardening injuries?” and Clare from Curbstone Valley Farm says:
“I gave myself a black eye. I lost my footing on a slope due to our soft loose soils, and went head first down the slope. I landed on the edge of a shovel blade, which gave me a beaut of a black eye, and a small cut near my eyelid. I felt like such a clutz! Gardening on steep slopes can be challenging to say the least!”

My friend Cheryl did the classic…stepped on hoe and it wacked her in the head.

Tracy offered this, “My Mom got bitten on the finger by a spider when she didn’t shake her garden gloves out before putting them on.”

Amanda says, “No injury stories but I’ve been spooked a time or two….the last time was when I found a foot sticking out from behind a piece of wood….turned out to be an opossum that fell & got himself stuck between the board & brick wall.

Baby Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus oreganus

Baby Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus

I think stress can be injurious, Amanda! I know there are snakes on my property and I try not to let it worry me, believing that they hear me coming, way before I see them. However, the grandkiddies reported seeing this baby rattlesnake on the retaining wall, (the sprig of rosemary shows how small it was, about the size of a Ritz cracker) outside our front door.

Snakus rubberus, so I stay aware

Snakus rubberus, set out on my sidewalks so I stay aware. Works!



I paled I’m sure as I had just been up and down that bank weeding and planting.

Last Fall, I saw two, one 4 foot long gopher snake, which startled me, but I left him alone to do his work., and a tiny, but surprising long garter snake on the patio. I put out these rubber snakes to remind me that I’m not alone out here. (My friends hate these!)

One last tip:

Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'

Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea' Beware of its sap!

When clipping and pruning any plant with white, milky sap (Euphorbia, especially), assume that it is an irritant and wear eye protection, avoiding any contact with your skin. There is an alarming story behind this tip which involves two visits to a hospital!

Euphorbia myrsinites Myrtle spurge

Euphorbia myrsinites, Myrtle spurge has irritating sap to some.

Again, I won’t say who, but will add that during that particular weekend, our unfortunate guests awoke to an empty house because we’d left in the middle of the night to go to emergency. They had to lock the door behind them when they left.


So, get back into the garden and stay safe.  be sure to post your new garden projects at Flea Market Gardening on Facebook.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Gardening, Spring gardening | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Celebration at Flea Market Gardening!

Jeanne Sammons Says,

Jeanne Sammons Says,
“This is the first pic I shared on FMGing in May 2011 …wow, we’ve come a long way, baby! 10,000!”

March 2012 is a special month for us at Flea Market Gardening!  Not only is it our one year Birthday month, but we also have reached 10,000 ‘likes’ on the Facebook page.

I like this by Sheila Hatchett, who commented on our FB page :

Did I have a life before FMG?……oh yeah I did and it was a more restful one……because I am so inspired at all the lovely ideas….I am about to work my hubby and myself to death! Sure is fun though. I want to send pictures….but stil…l having problems.  I can’t seem to open my pictures to public even though I have it set up that way. Gonna keep trying though. Today at a yard sale I bought a wonderful rusty blue granite washing machine. Lots of rust and the tub is such a pretty blue.
What will the future bring?   I think a lot more gardening enjoyment….   ~~ Sue
Categories: Something fun!, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

My galvanized wash tub garden

A year of gardening in my tub garden

These were found at an old junk yard.

These were found at an old junk yard.

I guess we at Flea Market Gardening all agree that we like galvanized anything!
These are the galvanized wash tubs I got at the old “Rust Brothers’ junk shop in Coarsegold down the road.  I don’t have a deer fence yet and the idea here is to grow a few veggies close to the house and hope the deer don’t get them.

June 12th
Three tomatoes, two peppers, Tractor Man wants green beans in one. I have each end of this area blocked off to deer, but they could come through the entry bed. I did get deer fencing to put up. I haven’t had veggies for so long because I haven’t had a deer fence, so this is fun!

i mixed all the different soils I had just like it says in the Square Foot Gardening book.

i mixed all the different soils I had just like it says in the Square Foot Gardening book.

July 1
My flea market ‘crops’ are twice the size from when planted June 12th!

Black Krimm. I had never tried this one, had a small yield.

Black Krimm. I had never tried this one, had a small yield, but it was a gift from a friend, so...

Sept 1
So, what do you put on besides tomato? For me, it’s good nutty wheat bread, 1/2 inch slices of tomato, buttery avocado slices and a bit of salt. Mayo, of course. What do you do?  I picked many peppers.  Huh?  And popped them into a zip loc bag in the freezer to use all winter.  Some I used fresh.  Did I mention that this is a garden on a SMALL scale?  Yes, if you have a small space or only want a few things for right now, easing into the whole veggie garden thing,…do try this!

I love this long row of Baby Sweet 100s

I love this long row of Baby Sweet 100s

Just one more ‘leetle babie’ tomato picture.

My 'harvest'

My 'harvest' ....I think I got about 4-5 baskets of tomatoes and hot peppers,...enough for two people, considering Tractor Man will not eat raw tomato.

Sept 12
See my cute little ‘harvest’ I have three tomatoes and two hot peppers plants still doing well in my galvanized tubs. They’re so sweet especially these.

Protected from deer?

Protected from deer?

See how, when we had to go out of town, I used my plastic outdoor chairs to block them off to any deer.  What, I delusional?  I saw no deer munching when we got home, so did it work….LOL!

Another basket to eat, dry or freeze

Another basket to eat, dry or freeze

The garden at the end of July

The garden at the end of July

I know some folks out there are canning and preserving, and soon I’ll be oven-drying a batch of these. I wrote a blog post recently on an easy way to do this. “How to Make Your Own Delicious Dried Tomatoes

Green onion bottoms

Green onion bottoms, 50 cents worth...

About halfway through summer, I poked in a few old green onions from the fridge,…poked ’em in around the peppers.  The green tops grew!  Read more about them here in , My green onion garden.  So I cut some of the growing tips while leaving the roots intact to grow more.  We’ve since learned you can do this with celery and garlic, too!

July 1

July 1st the onions are starting to grow

July 1st the onions are starting to grow

July 26

July 26th- The onions are shooting up!

The onions are shooting up!

The 'onion garden' in winter

The 'onion garden' in winter

Feb 15
Snow doesn’t seem to harm my winter ‘onion garden’ and I planted more this month!

Categories: Edibles, Gardening, Get Galvanized, How to: Easy projects | 7 Comments

My green onion farm

Did you know that when green onions get a bit old in the fridge you can plant them in a garden pot or veggie garden?  I did this in my galvanized wash tub garden and could cut fresh onion tops all through Autumn.

Green onion bottoms

Green onion bottoms

These are regular grocery store green onions that I plugged in next to the peppers and tomatoes in my tub garden.  These are from onions that were still plump but had some outer leaves going mushy.  In the photo above are two bunches I used for cooking ,…only the green parts.  These cost me 50 cents each!

The 'onion garden' in winter

The 'onion garden' in winter

I cut about 3 ” above the white papery part and leave the root growing. These have been cut many times and grow back this way. It looks like I could cut some more…

I’d like to try celery, too, and my friend, a non gardener pokes garlic cloves in her rose bed and gets new garlic bulbs,…like to try that as well.

March 2

my green onion ‘farm.’ These tubs were found at the close out sale at our junk shop called Rust Brothers in Coarsegold, CA. I paid $50 for six large plus 4-5 smaller galvanized tubs and containers.

My onion garden, with onions planted last fall and now in late winter

My onion garden, with onions planted last late summer and now in late winter

The bigger onions were planted next to my peppers last summer in my wash tub garden and I’ve been cutting them AND they’ve been re-growing all that time. I just planted the new small ones and will plant a Tomato in the middle there in May. We’ve heard from you all that this works with celery, so I’d like to try that next. Meanwhile we have all the onion tops we want for potatoes, salads, soups and garnishes. Yea!

Categories: Edibles, How to: Easy projects | Tags: | 4 Comments

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