Archive for April 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Earth Day Up Cycle Wars



It may be raining here in British Columbia, but there is no shortage of work this week in the store.  That is because we decided to do an Up Cycle war together with a bunch of local businesses here in Milner. We figured that it would be a great way to mark Earth Day this year and since flowers are what we do, we wanted an Up Cycle challenge that involved PLANTS!

Now, I have already shared my two other Up Cycle projects, the Garden Gate Chandelier and the Recycle Tire Planter but I still had one other project up my sleeve that I wanted to tackle.  I had seen some big old kerosene drums out in the back field when I went treasure hunting last week with Wee Two.


My Little Angel, Lydia told me that a TRUE Up Cycle is one where you don't PURCHASE anything but find ACTUAL junk that you have lying around the house.  She was implying that my previous two submissions did not actually QUALIFY since they did not come out of my own personal stash of junk.

But the KEROSENE DRUMS were a true and bonafide eyesore in my back yard.  They qualified.


So, I had someone on the team haul them over to the shop door where I could get to work on preparing them for plants.

Now, I have had to deal with some teasing from my sister ROSA in regards to the fact that my method of carrying out an Up Cycle does not require me to get my hands dirty.


EXCUSE ME but I would have you KNOW that I am an INTEGRAL part of this creative process!


Yes, indeed!   I mean, would you just LOOK at what the humidity does to my hair while I meticulously supervise every aspect of the process.

I went and chose the PAINT.......


I painted the base coat.....


I added all the fine details.....

Shhhh!  Don't tell anyone but Mini Me is the ACTUAL artist on this particular project.

OOOPS!  WRONG PICTURE......


As a matter of fact, I DID get my hands dirty planting these babies up this morning.


This is clearly NOT a STAGED photograph.


Genius, I tell you.  Just GENIUS!


However, I had not counted on the wind factor and lost one of the umbrellas within 30 minutes.  These lovelies have now been moved indoors where they are quietly waiting for you to visit and admire.

And yet.......that is not all.  No, I also spear headed a Pallet Garden DIY project that I thought would be really fun to do.

Can you tell I have been on Pinterest lately?

There is no END to the madness.


Here is my version of the incredibly popular project as seen in every Garden Inspiration Pin Board ever pinned.

First of all, I had to save these pallets from the burn pile which was raging all last week.  Anything combustible was being tossed willy nilly on the fire in an effort to clean up behind the greenhouses.  I had my eye on these not-so-heavy pallets as a perfect lady project.


I also found a filthy dirty, previously-used roll of landscape cloth behind one of the sheds which was perfect for my purpose.


Throw in a couple of staples along the sides.....


fold the corners in a neat little upholstery type fashion.....


secure the bottom.....


and add a little extra bracing at the back.  Easy Peasy!

My first attempt at using an electric tool in my entire life.  I feel so empowered!
Next you add in a little bit of soil.....


and of course, some plants.....


and then you're done.  It's just that easy, people.  Go ahead and try this at home.  If Tamara can do it, YOU can do it.

Then, for a REALLY fun time, invite all your friends over to do one WITH you!


This does require that you will need multiple staple guns....


and numerous electric power tools.


If you do this right, you won't even damage your manicure,


and you will most likely make a new friend at the same time.


This particular project is definitely better done in teams of two or three.


One person can wield the heavy tools.....


and the other can stretch the landscape cloth.

As a matter of fact, this project is so simple, even 8 month pregnant women can do it!

"No, I am NOT just about due.  I have 6 LONG WEEKS to go.  Please stop asking, thank you"
Oh, my poor daughter is so pregnant and yet so dedicated to helping us get all these wonderful events off the ground at Milner Village Garden Centre that I sometimes feel a little guilty for taking so much of her time.  Nobody ever said farming was easy.

The good thing about being a farmer in the spring, though, is all the beautiful colour we get to enjoy.


And of course, we get to meet a lot of REALLY nice people ever day too!  I am told that coming here is addictive.  I wonder why?

Now, let me end this Up Cycle blog post with a quick run down of all the entries we have received from local Milner businesses this week.


First we have a few entries from Napier Antiques, across the street from my place.






Then we have the entry from Milner Valley Cheese who make fresh goat cheese that is to DIE FOR!


As well, we have an entry from the Christ Covenant Church who is just busy pouring the foundations of their church which will soon be my back yard neighbour.


Last but not least are the Milner Village Garden Centre entries.




So, make sure you stop by Milner Village Garden Centre's Facebook page and vote for your favourite. We would love to hear from you this week!

Now, I am off to go soak my sore bones in the hot tub with my grand kids this afternoon.  It is Saturday after all.  A little down time is in order, I do believe.


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Friday, April 19, 2013

Another Day, Another Crazy Idea


Rain, rain, rain.  That's all that we have been experiencing here lately and it is most certainly having a negative effect on business.  People are NOT flocking to buy bedding plants yet.  That translates into no work for my greenhouse peeps.  We had to send the whole Darvonda crew home at noon.

Not good.

That has never happened before.

Not in 25 years.

As you can imagine, we are praying for some sunshine here in Milner Village! And we are also doing EVERYTHING we can to inspire YOU to get planting.  We were crazy busy in the store today just coming up with fun and creative ways to show people how to get their flower fix, even in this bad weather.

In honor of EARTH DAY, we have been working hard on coming up with great up cycle planters to show off how easy it is to re-purpose old junk.  Yesterday it was a Garden Gate Chandelier.  Today it is a raised Tire planter.

We are busy doing our part to save the planet, one up cycle at a time!


These days, my first step to creativity is scrolling through PINTEREST for ideas.  Oh what did we do before PINTEREST ladies?!  How did we ever survive?!

After meandering through THOUSANDS of fabulous ideas, I finally found the ONE.

Photo - Casa e Cose
Is that not THE most adorable idea for a planter that you have ever seen?!  How hard could it be to make a tire planter, right?!

So, off I went to my local Kal-Tire to schmooze the fellas in the hopes of receiving a FREE junk tire.  In just seconds they whisked me to the back parking lot where there was an entire truck load of discarded rubber.  I was like a kid in a candy store.

Now please let me introduce you to Phil Maloney, the only guy brave enough at the tire shop to be in my blog post.  He is in a band.  They told me he is used to being in the limelight.

Phil Maloney - Fighting for Ithaca
So, I took this crappy picture of Phil with my iPhone and then he wrote down the name of his band for me on the back of an envelope.  He went on to explain that he has a gig this weekend in Surrey.  It's a Party for the Planet which just struck me as too cool.  We were BOTH working on saving the planet.....me with planters and him with music.

He was such a nice young man.

Really sweet and unassuming.

When I got home I googled him and his band.  That's how we bloggers do things.  When we blog about someone, we always add a link or credit where necessary.

I clicked his video link.

I was stunned.

Phil's band is GOOD!





I am SO gonna save that envelope Phil wrote on because these guys are gonna be famous some day.

Thanks for being so sweet Phil!  And thanks for the FREE TIRE!

My next step was to put all the pieces of my up cycle together without getting too dirty.  That is where my TEAM comes in.  I drove my car up to the shop at Darvonda and unloaded my treasure.  Derrick, our handy, dandy shop guy, immediately stepped up to the plate.

"How can I help you, Tamara?"


It wasn't long before the old table legs I found at Napier's yesterday were trimmed down to just the right height.

Next step was to cut out a plywood base on which to screw the legs.


I would do this part myself except I am not very good with power tools.


I am much more suited to being a supervisor than actually handling the dirty work myself.


Good thing there are qualified craftsmen working in our shop or how would I ever get all my PROJECTS done?!


Yup, I love to supervise all right.


I mean, I'm not really dressed to be working with a dirty old tire.

Once the tire was firmly screwed to the legs, I had another one of my team carry the whole thing over to the store for me.


Why carry a heavy load myself when I can get my peeps to do it for me?

Now the REAL fun begins.  I love getting a little bit of dirt under my fingernails every once in a while.


First I added a little dirt and then grabbed a 12" hanging basket from above my head, popped the hanger off and tipped it out of it's pot.


TIP OF THE DAY:  When you want to fill a large planter, make sure you use large plants so that your design balance is good.  Hanging baskets will fill a container garden quick and easy and make you look like a pro at planter design.

Carefully tip the plants out of the pot.....



and place in the tire, ensuring to fill soil in around the root ball.

Add a grass for some height.....




and some huechera and heather for added color and texture.


Fill in the empty spots with whatever you feel like.  You can't make mistakes here, people.  Gardening is not an exact science.....


it's an ART!

So there you have it.  My version of a RAISED TIRE PLANTER.


Simple and cheap.


All for under $20 bucks (plants not included)!

Now, you may have noticed that most of my photos are of a better quality today than the usual iPhone shots I post in my blog.  That's because my newest TEAM MEMBER is not only a garden centre wizard....

Meet Shelley from Sow and Dipity,  our newest recruit on team Milner Village Garden Centre!

she is also a photographer and a blogger!!!  Could it get ANY BETTER?!

I LOVE you Shelley!  You ROCK girl!

Now, tune in tomorrow to find out what OTHER up cycle creation I have up my sleeve.  It's big, bold and beautiful, I promise you that.  When you see it, you are gonna want to start up cycling for sure!


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