Sharing a Garden Project

It is the little things in life that bring me joy. This time it was a garden project my neighbor Dick and I completed together. Dick lost his wife Nancy just before I moved into the neighborhood so I never got the pleasure of meeting her but I can see by their yard and gardens what a wonderful gardener she was. Last week Dick had suggested to me that I could place some plant containers on the cement easement in front of my home. Here is what it looked like before Dick and I worked our magic to liven up that drab area.

The side walk was badly stained and the area was boring. I do have a pretty flower bed on the inside of the sidewalk but the outer side needed some attention. Dick offered to help me beautify this area.

Dick was in front of my house 8:30 am Saturday morning and while he power-washed the sidewalk, I prepared the soil for the two half whisky barrels I had purchased at a local nursery. I chose a poly container over the real ones as I hoped they will last longer and hold up to the abuse the trash men may inflict on them.

You can see how my sidewalk is sparkling after a little TLC and some elbow grease.

We then drove to Nancy’s graveside to thin some of the plants in the garden surrounding her grave stone. The garden that Dick had designed was breath-taking. There was even a small bird house. We thinned a few plants like salvia, lambs ear, iris, and another plant I could not name to be placed in the planter containers. This was a somber visit for each of us. I finally got to meet Nancy as Dick had placed her pictures around the stone. The verses on the stone were lovely and the garden added such beauty and peace. On the way back to my house Dick pulled into a nursery where he was quite the celebrity and let me pick out more plants to enhance the ones we choose from Nancy’s grave. Forget diamonds, take me to a nursery and let me pick whatever plants I want! I picked zinnias, hens and chicks, dusty miller, and geraniums.

See how nice the area looks now? For the soil I used Mel’s Mix which is one part vermiculite, one part peat moss, and one part compost. I had also placed about 4 inches of pebbles in the bottom of each barrel and drilled holes in the sides (at the bottom) to assist with drainage.

We are both very pleased with how our project turned out. We have even had offers from other neighbors for our services! The other little thing I enjoyed from this project is spending time with and getting to know a neighbor.

Share Your Next Garden Project with a Friend or Neighbor.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Remember those military men and women who have gone before us, fought our battles and other’s, sacrificed everything, and made our country a land of liberty. We also take this time to remember friends and loved ones who have passed. Cherish the good times, forgive the rest.


  1. Sabrina
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    What a beautiful post and those are beautiful containers. I am impressed that you put so much in them. I guess that is why mine never look so good. Thanks for teaching me.

  2. Lalycairn
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful. The containers are lovely, and the plants will always have such meaning to both you and to your neighbor every time you look at them. Thanks for sharing this.

    I’ve always liked to have plants in my garden that come from friends. Somehow it doubles the joy – every time I look at them I remember the person who’s garden they came from.

  3. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes]
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Wow. I know next to nothing about gardening, but you and your neighbor did a great job. It looks real pretty 🙂

  4. Sheila
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea. I tend to think just about my yard, not the sidewalk of the neighborhood.

    I like the idea of the bird house at the grave site. I have thought about planting things at my Mom’s grave, but a little bird house would be so sweet. Like welcoming visitors when I am not able to visit.

    Sweet words about forgiving, too.

  5. Karen
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    What a nice neighbor! You sure prettied up that area!

  6. Donna and Greg
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Our neighbors would call the cops on us for promoting the evils of whiskey by the barrel!

    Your planting area looks great and I like the fact that you were able to use plants that are very meaningful to your neighbor.

  7. Elyse
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    What a wonderful project! Dick sounds great. A pure labor of love. Your plants and flowers look stunning. Great job, Robin Sue and Dick!

  8. unconfidentialcook
    Posted May 23, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    I keep thinking about replacing the grass by the street with a vegetable garden…but then I keep thinking about the dogs peeing there…

  9. gfe--gluten free easily
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    What a wonderful collaboration! I just loved reading it and seeing the step-by-step photos!


  10. That Girl
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    I’m sad I have such a black thumb! Everything looks so lovely.

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