Photo of the Week: Postal Petunias

A couple weeks ago, Paul and I decided to check out a nursery that had been overwhelmingly voted “best garden center in the South Metro” on the local Patch website, Gerten’s Farm Market.  For those of you familiar with the area, this is not the enormous, sprawling Gerten’s you can see from I-494 in Inver Grove Heights, but rather a separate business not too far down the road.  We were just planning to scope the place out, but then I saw them: so many petunias!  The pink and purple mix caught my eye, and that was that.  I bought a tray-full and brought them home.

But hmm, what to do with them?  After a little bit of scouring the property for good planting spots (there’s still not really many), we settled on planting them around the mailbox.  I hate mowing around that thing anyway, so let’s remove the grass from the equation, right?  After a trip to Menards for black plastic edging, a trip to the County compost site for some free mulch, and a few hours of prepping and planting, this is what we ended up with:

Of course, there were set backs — it wouldn’t be the Twin Cities Farmhouse without something unexpected!  I chose the diameter of my flower bed’s edging before starting, so of course, as I’m digging: CLUNK.  Upon inspection, I found a square metal post that had been sheared off just below ground level. Almost certainly a former mailbox post.  Unfortunately, it was really buried in there, and I couldn’t be asked to dig it out, so I shifted my trench over ever so slightly to set the edging into.  Luckily, the way the flowers ended up being spaced seems to have made it impossible to tell which side I shifted it to.  Dare you to guess!


About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on May 24, 2012, in Gardening, Photo of the Week, Property and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your petunias are lovely! And I say hoooray for any circles we can create in this linear loving culture!

    We had been for years wanting to make a big circle of wood chip mulch around the trees in our front yard. A friend, who makes yards and yards of compost out of the stuff, told us of a friendly arborist who will, for a phone call, dump a load of “wood chips” in ones driveway. We had to wait a couple of weeks for him to be working in the area, on trees that were suitable for mulch (he is considerate about not giving one sappy or diseased chips), but one day I came home to about a 4 yard heap of them.

    I put down a double layer of cardboard we had been storing up, watered it well, and carted over enuf chips to make a 6″ blanket.
    The chips had a lot of green leaves mixed in, so I can see how our
    friends use them for compost, with kitchen scraps mixed in. Still too
    woody I think–too much carbon to be growing veggies in. But around the giant Colorado Blue Spruce, they look lovely. Once they have turned to more into soil, we will plant strawberries there and see how they do.

    Our big news though is that we finally have the compost bin of our dreams—a 3 bin model with hardware cloth sides, removable slats on the front, and a lid. Still not sure what to actually cover the lid with.
    I would love to find a 3 X 9 sheet of old plexiglass laying around somewhere……rather than go buy anything. Any ideas?

  2. Wow, that’s really interesting that your friend uses wood chips in their compost mix, I’ve really not heard of that before. Now that I think about it though, it does make sense. When I had to dig out an area of wood mulch I’d placed last year, the stuff just below the top layer of chips was all but dirt. Just keep turning it, would be my advice!

    Congrats on getting such a nice compost system! Paul plans on building one at some point in the future–the 3 bin system is just great for large quantities of yard/food waste. My best thought for finding a 3 x 9 sheet of plexi would be the Craigslist free stuff section, especially if you found a piece of cheapo furniture on there (table, cabinet) that used plexiglass instead of actual glass. Then you could just take it apart and use the plexi. Hard to say if you could find a piece that long, though.

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