Saturday, June 22, 2013

Toad Houses

A full moon over the water
For this week's procrastination attempt project, I made toad houses. I read that a single toad in the garden will eat up to 100 pests a day, including mosquito larvae and slugs. That sounds a little like nirvana to me - a garden with less mosquitos? Sign me up!

So, to attract toads to the garden, I made toad houses out of clay flowerpots. Plain terra cotta pots would work fine, or they can be decorated with paint or glued on stones or decorations.  I painted mine with acrylic paints. I have that stubborn story running around in my head, so I thought focusing on something else might help it work itself out.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Building an Herb Spiral

Several months ago I was playing with the idea of building raised beds to grow vegetables - or at least the ones I use to make salsa. As I was looking for information about raised beds, I stumbled across a reference to a permaculture structure called an herb spiral. (Am I the only one who had never heard of permaculture?)

All planted!
Intrigued, I looked for more information. Everything I found was fascinating. Because of its unique shape, the spiral creates different microclimates in different sections of the bed. That makes it a perfect place to put all of those kitchen herbs - even the ones that usually can't be planted together because of sun or water needs.

I decided I had to have one. A quick search showed several videos on how to build them. Easy peasy, right? I just needed to collect the materials. I decided that I'd rather use reclaimed brick or stone to build my spiral, rather than buying new material. I ended up getting my bricks for free, but lots of people sell them for 10 or 15 cents a brick if you come pick them up. The price was definitely right, and it's greener to reuse than buy new. Win, win!