Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raised Beds, Bottle Beds and Papier Mache

Yesterday I called the lumberyard to price the wood for my raised vegetable beds. Yikes. The guy talked me into cedar, which is going to cost almost $100 a bed, and I'm making 4 of them. Since my backyard slopes, I have to figure out how to make them level, too, by either cutting into the slope, or somehow propping up the downslope side. While I was researching the different methods for leveling raised beds, I came across this wild idea from Graham Burnett at,

and found another inspiring photo from Aranya Gardens, also in the UK:

They're overturned wine bottles! I figure it would take over 700 bottles to do all the beds. I do like wine, but I'm afraid even the entire winter's drinking wouldn't generate this volume. So I'm just going to edge the herb circle (a small section that I'm planning in the middle of the beds). I figure about 100 wine bottles will do it. Between my wine drinking friends and I, we can get those together within a few months (and I'll be volunteering to take out the trash at all the holiday parties this year.)

Before I sign off I can't resist showing you how I spent Wednesday night:

Is it not the most beautful newspaper-covered balloon you've ever seen? Soon to be a pumpkin head to be worn in Saturday's Halloween parade.


Kitt said...

Fun! Can't wait to see the finished punkinhead.

You might check craigslist for landscaping timbers. I often see them listed there, along with other excess landscaping materials like rocks and mulch, that people want to get rid of.

Karen said...

Does seem like an investment but hopefully they cedar will last for a really long time and it will be worth it in terms of increased garden yield? Love the bottle idea! I saw a path edged with old bowling balls the other day... love the ingenuity some gardeners find!

Louise said...

Please post pictures when you're done with the pumpkin head! What Halloween parade is it?

Joanne said...

That's a Whole Latte Wine Bottles! And yes, definitely post the finished pumpkin head. Would love to see.

Kate in NJ said...

Thanks for 'visiting" my blog today.
It is so nice to "meet" other gardeners. ;-) I love that "bottle" idea. Have you joined a
group near you? Often people have the previous owners landscaping that they want removed, and you can pick up timbers and rocks etc.We pick up slate quite a bit that way in our area.You can also post a "wanted" once you offer something yourself.
You could even get more bottles that way.;-)

tut-tut said...

Just ask a few restaurants if they would save their bottles for you. You'd have a bunch in no time . . .

Viooltje said...

Great idea, with all the drunks in my 'circle of trust', I might as well export the surplus LOL. Looking forward to a shot of the pumpkin head. Many shots!

JGH said...

kitt - I never thought of looking on Craigslist for landscaping materials - what a great idea.

Karen, I would love to see that bowling ball path!

Louise, it's the Nyack Halloween Parade and it was just postponed due to bad weather prediction. Fingers crossed for Sunday!

Joanne, I'll show you a slew of pumpkinheads! Stay tuned.

Kate, I'm a member of freecycle! I'll bet they will be a good resource. Thanks for the great idea!

Tut - of course! Restaurants! Why didn't I think of that?!

Vi - if you weren't so far away, I'd be there drinking wine with your circle of trust! :P

joey said...

Clever idea for wine bottles (wish we lived closer ~ happy to help out ... could have been gathering during wine country trip plus those in our recycling bin ;) Please post the finished pumpkin head ... I'm still searching for costumes and this sounds very cool (not for me but punkin' head better half).

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