I've said the "P" word a LOT lately...

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Growing up, the word Project (always with a capital P) was tantamount to a swear word in our house; particularly when it was spoken with great enthusiasm by my father. If I'm honest, I will tell you that my left eye still twitches when I hear him say the word. (I also have to fight an overwhelming urge to flee ;o) Why? Because his idea of a "Project" was enough to instill fear in even the staunchest of hearts. I think the worst one I ever had to do was the brick walkway. There was a straight brick path leading from the patio to a circular bricked garden complete with benches and a birdbath, then a second straight path [opposite the first] that led to a pergola. It was very pretty to look at, beautiful really, but I grew to hate it. In the spring I had to dig up every single brick, clean off any and all [unwanted] moss and "dirty" sand, then put each brick back in the same place making sure they were both level and uniformly spaced. When I was done, my dad would stop whatever P-word he was working on and pour in fresh sand to refill the spaces. In hindsight, I can't help but wonder why on earth the man didn't just buy some concrete and be done with it (because talk about tedious -  Yeesh!)

And now? Well, now I find myself using that very same word with increasing abandon (then glancing over my shoulder in trepidation and apologizing profusely for using such language in the event someone actually heard me). For some reason, however, my own projects don't seem quite as horrifying as those inflicted upon me so many years ago (though I will own up to periodic panic-induced ponderings [Ha] - usually along the lines of: "Hello? What in the world were you thinking when you thought this was a good idea Jennifer? Does this LOOK like a good idea? Are you mental?"). Of course DH - if and when he gets dragged into the middle of one of them - is usually all too happy to question my sanity for me.

My largest act of lunacy DIY Pro- um - Undertaking so far this summer has been adding a super-sized container garden to the back yard. We had six (count 'em, six) garbage cans left over when the county switched to an automated trash pick up system. What was I supposed to do with all those cans? Did you know it's virtually impossible to throw out a garbage can? Not to mention the overflowing landfill issue. I decided to commit an environmental nicety and turn them all into ginormous planters. Not as nice as the kind I would love to have, certainly, but I can't afford the amount they charge for any of those great big beautiful things (nope, nary a one - and I've looked). Since this bed would be largely made up of our old garbage cans and wheel-less yard carts, I decided to entertain myself by dubbing it the "Recycling Plant" (I thought it was pretty darn punny myself; ba-dump-bump ;o) I haven't made the sign for it yet, but it's on the list. DH let me raid the lumber stash we were saving for the boys stalls; there was a reason we had gotten it at a steep discount, and most of it had turned out to be unusable for any structural endeavors so it was just sitting there in a big pile.

Since it was just a "spot in the yard", I didn't take a picture at the very beginning. It occurred to me to snap a photo about the time I had the first garbage can painted and buried and had already hauled several other items around to their new home. I wound up digging the first can I planted back up and burying it in a different spot. What can I say? Clearly, I am mental. *laugh* I drilled about a bazillion holes for drainage, and honestly didn't think I'd ever finish painting it all. Although I went with all brown, several were in metallic shades (which I love). To save money, I used regular paint in a close color for the base coat then topped it off with the metallic paint (that stuff's too darn expensive to use for multiple coats!) Then when I finally did get all done, didn't we just have to have that crazy hail storm out of the blue? ACK!! It messed up my paint jobs in several places. Big, fat raspberries to that. Hopefully, nobody will notice once the plants get going; or should I say get growing? *snicker*

Don't you wish things would actually progress as easily at they appear to in photos? Although it may not look like it, this particular P-word turned out to be quite labor intensive. I'm sure my neighbors wondered initially what in the world I was doing lugging all that big ugly junk to the same place though....

Pine cones, in case you're wondering, make an excellent natural filler for large containers (dirt gets expensive to buy, I can only dig up so much, and we've got pine cones in spades - Ha - I'm on it today, eh? ;o)  I put a layer of pine cones in the bottom of the old water trough (above left) as well as the other big stuff. They will break down eventually, so I'll probably have to add a bit more dirt when they do, but for now it's quite helpful in pinching what's left of my pennies (both of 'em ;o)

Having learned my lesson the first go-round (a rare, yet happy occurrence) I spent some time playing around with the rest of the containers and moving things around to see where I liked them the best before I buried anything else...

Tractor Supply was kind enough to put their [cheapest] fake barrel planters on sale, and I found my first XL "rescue" plant at Lowe's (a Gaillardia for $2)

I honestly thought I'd never finish painting them all, but I did. I only painted what showed; as you can see by that awful yard cart green peeking out in the above photo. *laugh*

On one of the days, the only thing I did was move the bird bath. It took me forever to flip the base end over end from its point of origin to the flowerbed. The route from Point A to Point B had just enough incline to it that rolling it was a no-go. All that bending over to roll - then standing up because ACK, my back! - made me really dizzy. *laugh* Why do things always get so darn complicated? That joker was heavy. The top part I could carry without too much trouble; it was just a little awkward. Whew!

I had to wait for DH to come lend a hand with the left and right ends though; those 6x6's are a little too much for me to do all by myself (particularly the cutting with a chainsaw part ;o)

I put down a layer of feed bags to keep the grass and weeds from creeping up through the mulch; they're every bit as good as cardboard, which I didn't have. But feed bags? Got lots of those (though I obviously had a leeetle bit of trouble getting them all fully tucked under that front stack on the left end - oops). I'll go back with a knife and trim them eventually. Probably. Maybe....

I added the other half of the cypress log (the first half being in the front bed) to the right side and...

TAH DAH! So what do you think? It looks a little funny right now with some of the plants being so small in such big containers, but they'll grow. Salvaged plants notwithstanding, everything else was in the smallest container they had; which was the only way I could swing it. Well, that and spreading it out over multiple paychecks. *sigh* Hopefully they'll grow soon. Very soon. Tomorrow's good for me, actually. Day after at the latest. I may add a few more things here and there if I find anything else I can't resist (because who doesn't love a good bargain basement special, right? ;o)

On another (and completely irrelevant) note, look who I found hiding out in the tool shed:

Thanks so much for reading this far. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July and a beautifully blessed week y'all!


  1. wow, it looks awesome. I'm curious about what an automated trash pick up system is.

    1. Ann: Why thank you, ma'am ;o) The county bought new garbage trucks that have big mechanical arms on the side of the truck instead of two dudes on the back. Everybody got their own shiny new garbage can; and it's huge. They came through and marked everybody's "spot" (where to place the can at the road). Pretty neat concept. I don't think anybody was laid off over it; but I could be wrong. I'm fairly sure though, that the county said they did some restructuring and moved some bodies around so that no one lost their job.

  2. Replies
    1. Terri: Thank you so much! I'm still tweaking a little, but (except for some peeling paint) I'm quite happy with it :o)

  3. You did a great job with all of that. I wish I would put that much work into a few things around here.

    1. Ratty: Thanks! Don't feel too badly. If I'm honest, it's kind of like, One down, 2,459 more to go... Yeesh.

  4. Your tool shed visitor is just too adorable for words.

    Now the word project...being a close resemblance to one of those 4 letter words!!-------I can relate well to your story. When I was a kid, it was MY assigned 'project' to pull weeds. Seems it was punishment when I was a kid...yes indeedy. And I still HATE the thought. That's now why I try to assign Bud the chore. lol

    Love what you did, your idea was great. Oh, and by the way, your husband checking out your sanity? Well, I scare the bejeebees out of Bud when I say to him "I've been thinking"....he takes cover. Somewhere in the far reaches of the universe never to be seen again.

    1. Anni: Thank you for your kind words :o) I'm definitely not a fan of weeds and weeding (and thanks a lot for that one, Adam).

      Pretty sure my husband and yours could definitely form a support group with just the two of them. Mine hides too when I start "projecting". *laugh*

Your comments really brighten my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...