The “Minimal” GardenWritten by Johann Erickson
Some people who lead busy professional and personal lives, don’t feel they have time to invest in constant upkeep of floral and other gardens, but would still like to do something about landscaping or decorating their property. And there are others for whom gardens are simply not their “thing”, but they like a little decoration, without fuss of digging, planting, and constant weeding. For them, “minimal” garden or yard arrangements may be best choice.
Strictly speaking, not all these ideas involve a garden, but do utilize garden accessories and other items of garden décor, to create look or atmosphere that a homeowner can enjoy, while not feeling guilty about getting behind in care of their plants and flowers.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large property, or if your yard borders on a field, ideal “garden” that takes little care is one that’s planted with wild flowers. With proper set up, not only will this provide you with colorful blossoms and beautiful grasses, but it will also attract a variety of birds and butterflies.
First, check to see what kind of soil you have, and whether it is suited to wildflower seed that is available in your area. Next, if you don’t have a garden that you are letting revert to wild, you may need to have someone use a rotor-tiller to break up a long swath of earth along side or back of your lawn. Make sure this has been well-turned, and there is sufficient soil on surface for seeds to take anchor in, as opposed to scattering them on hard clumps of sod that may be dense with grass roots.
“Wild” garden seed can be purchased in containers, in pre-seeded strips of bio-degradable material, and in “sheets”, which are simply laid on top of ground that has been prepared and watered. Check progress of your garden as it begins to sprout, and if there are any bare patches that show no promise of growth, you can scratch up surface with a garden rake, and sprinkle some more seed. Even if you used pre-planted materials, a little dirt added on top, with some seed, will help fill in open spaces.
Origin of Lawn FurnitureWritten by Johann Erickson
Did you ever wonder where “lawn” furniture originated? In 1800s as people began to enjoy their gardens and patios, furniture was set outside, but had to be brought in during inclement weather. The answer of course, would be furniture made for outdoors.
And that’s what Thomas Lee came up with in 1903, while vacationing with his family in 1903, at Westport, New York. He wanted something comfortable, and suited to sloping grounds of his cottage. So he went to work with a saw, and a single plank of wood, cutting out only eleven pieces that he assembled into what is now known as Adirondack chair.
This basic, flat slat chair, usually with a fan shaped back, also tilted slightly in its positioning, to make it suitable to uneven ground where Lee’s family spent summer.
Intrigued by outcome, and needing a source of winter income, his friend Harry Bunnell patented chair, and began turning them out in his workshop during cold months, to sell to summer population. His creations were all made of hemlock, then painted in dark greens or browns, and signed.
The hallmark of Adirondack chair, is its wide, flat armrests, supremely comfortable in many forms of outdoor furniture that are now included as part of Adirondack style. With solid wood construction, and adequate coating to protect it against rain and sun, these bits of Americana will last for years.
Today, chairs come in a wide variety of colors, and have expanded into love seats, gliders, and other forms of outdoor furniture that are still clearly recognizable by their slat construction, and standard armrests.