Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Homage to Freecyclers

As a member of I have been able to obtain free things for my garden AND keep these same things out of the landfill, which is very important to me. These concrete blocks that line my newest garden are stuccoed on one side which makes them something special in my view. I obtained all of these blocks and the top blocks from several freecyclers and I thank them all! This garden was designed to take away weedwhacking chores by the oak tree and it also was designed to have a European flavor. I lived in Germany for over ten years and have always loved European gardens and have tried to make my garden have some elements with a 'continental' feel. Neatness, shade and the feeling of age are all elements I have found in European gardens.

This garden is filled with Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora', aka the PeeGee Hydrangea. I love this hydrangea because it requires very little care when compared to the typical mophead hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophyla), which requires alot of watering. The PG will grow to about 5-7 feet tall with the same spread. It covers itself with pure white hydrangea flowers about as big as a mans fist in August and the flowers persist until the next year. These little hydrangeas don't look like much now, but in about two years they will be quite impressive and fill in this bed. I strongly recommend this hydrangea to anyone who likes hydrangeas.

Thanks again to all fellow freecyclers!


  1. I was in Germany for 6 years and found myself fascinated with the cemeteries! A lot of Sundays that we did not have anything to do, you could find us in a local cemetery walking around enjoying the garden type atmosphere. They do not do the American thing of stick you in the ground and forget about you. They maintain cemeteries and treat them as if they are sacred gardens! I miss those little things in Germany, don’t you? Did you ever find yourself in a cemetery while in Germany?

    I like the idea of recycling but my hubby the Saint always cringes with my crazy ideas. He has no vision and cannot phantom what I have in mind. I usually don’t have anything in mind but know in time I will. I will not pass up anything for free! My best freebie was while visiting our friends south of Atlanta. We took their doggie Lobo for a walk in their newly constructed neighborhood. As we walked by houses still under construction, I noticed brand new bricks piled up as in trash piles. Upon convincing myself they were for the trash, I decided I had to have a load. I talked the guys into taking us gals to the area with our truck and to load some up. The Saint fought a bit but everyone else was up for the freebie. We loaded the truck with several hundred brand new bricks. During the process, the General Contractor stopped by to see what we were doing and he gladly agreed in what we were doing. I guess so as it was less of a load for him to have to pay to haul off. Once home, we called our friends to let them know we arrived safe and to thank them for the hospitality for the weekend, and they told us they had made two loads of bricks also. They ended up using them as a border around their entire front and back yards. I have made several projects with my bricks. I have dug some into the ground to form arched planters, and dug some into the ground to act as a border to a pea gravel pathway. I also stacked some into a square to form planters also. I have a few left but not enough to make anything that has come to mind yet. But by next spring, I will probably come up with the perfect thing…

  2. I had to laugh out loud when you said you convinced yourself the bricks were trash! Good for you rescuing those trashy ole bricks! They sure do come in handy in the garden and it sounds like you put them to good use. My motto is you can't have too many bricks and by spring if you don't figure out what you want to do with those leftover bricks I bet you will find some more 'trash' bricks around the neighborhood! Good luck!

    You know I really don't remember visiting a lot of cemeteries in Germany. I can't think of why not. I volksmarched every single weekend and surely I saw some that way but for the life of me I cannot remember! I was able to visit Normandy though. That is incredible and I coincidentally was reading "Blackhawk Down" on the bus trip there. Very powerful experience. Did you go there? Where in Germany did you live? I was mainly in Giebelstadt and Heidelberg. Did you garden over there? I had a little garden and kick myself everyday for not bringing back some Pfingsrosen (sp) or Peonies in English. I had some beauties and they grew so well over there.

    Thanks again for the laugh out loud! I can just see someone perusing a new neighborhood and convincing themselves the new bricks were trash-good thing the contractor agreed.:) Ummmmm what am I doing tomorrow? We have lots of new neighborhoods in Clarksville! Just kidding.

  3. We started out TDY in Darmstadt then moved to Heidelberg and remained there! The Saint worked on Campbell Barracks and the ironic thing is, we are trying so hard to get him to Ft Campbell as Clarksville is home for me! He is currently working here at Ft Gordon which is Augusta GA…

    We did the Volksmarch thing as well. How many steins and wine glasses do you have??? LOL…

    We had lots of German friends and we did indeed have a German Gartenplatz! We introduced our German friends to the world of gardening. We taught them everything from clearing the land to planting seeds. We had a water pump and it was a pain in the butt but we got a generator and figured out how to have it pump the water for us. None of them had ever seen crook necked squash before and it flourished in that soil as did cucumbers and my flowers! We purchased a garden house and set up a grill and had some great parties in the garden! We set up a small pool for their grandchild to splash in as well. We turned an over grown weeded mess into something beautiful! They learned a lot about gardening from us. The Polish family with the garden to the right side of us learned a lot of American culture from us as well! It was a wonderful life we had in Germany and I miss those great times. But it was time to get back stateside as I missed my American Family!

    We did not make it to Normandy but we did go to the place where Patton is buried but for the life of me, I cannot remember the name. I guess that is to be expected without much sleep. My cat woke me up at 3 this morning and I never went back to sleep and I have been going non-stop since sunrise! I may think of the name tomorrow...

  4. You were the same place as we were! Did you by chance have a gardenplatz in Schwetzingen out by Thompkins Barracks? I know they had some and Americans could garden there but I never got one. I gardened around the building on PHV where I lived. That is where I learned mums can come back every year as they did over there each year. The soil was so great for growing! Sounds like you had a great time and I can't believe your friends never had a crook necked squash. Good thing you introduced them.

    We totally loved Germany and could probably live there for the rest of our lives if it wasn't for one small fact-it wasn't home! Why did the cat wake you up? My dogs woke me up early yesterday because of a storm-was it a storm?

  5. Our gartenplatz was not in Schwetzingen but we use to ride our bikes through those! We lived in the small village of Bruhl just behind those gartenplatz! Our gartenplatz was in Oftersheim on the way to the Rod & Gun Club. We were members of the R&G Club and spent a lot of time there partaking in events such as the chili cook-offs, which I won “Best Over All” beating out 11 other entries! Brag Brag... We were very active in Germany and did a lot of volunteer work for the German and American community. We loved our days there and hated leaving as it is a wonderful way of life but I missed my family way too much and being separated by an ocean was not good for me! Our favorite cantina was on Tompkins barracks! They had the best schnitzel meal for about $6.00!!!

    Sorry on the confusion of the cat. I am a Pet People blogger and forget you don’t know the details of my babies. Sheba is a good cat but has a few quirks as any pet does. For some reason unbeknownst to us, she wakes us up around 3-4:00 in the morning loving on us! She had a rough life before we took her in and she did not show much affection the first two years of her life with us. So we enjoy her showing us affection but just not at 3:00 in the morning! Some nights she lets us sleep but waking us up is about normal and it drives us nuts. I think I may have figured it out though. We have the paper delivery person drive up to our house to deliver the paper then she drives on out our long circular driveway on down the road. This turns on the automatic outside lights and I think Sheba may be waking us up to let us know the paper is here. She is the protector of the two cats. On rainy nights, I will get the paper inside when I hear it is here so maybe Sheba is just letting us know the paper is here. Could be but who knows….

  6. I know right where Bruhl and Oftersheim are. I worked at the Heidelberg Airfield. I loved it there. Thompkins Barracks did have a good cantine. I miss the food over there but I heard Edelweis on Fort Campbell Blvd has excellent German food. Have you tried it? Supposed to be kind of like a cantine. You are right to brag brag about winning best of best in a chili cookoff. I would too if I could cook (not very well sad to say).

    No problem on the kitty. Everyone in my family is a pet person and my oldest daughter has several kitties including one considered feral. She fosters for the Humane Society in Maine and wound up with this kitty. Like your Sheba, her kitty is not affectionate but I think she has had her only one year or so. Maybe she will get better with time. I bet Sheba is just waking you for the newspaper. That makes sense to me. 3:00 is mighty early though! Do you just have three cats? What are their names and do they like catmint? Do you grow catmint by your big boathouse? I just discovered this plant this year and it is great stuff! Long bloom of pretty blue flowers and very little care. I hear cats go crazy for it but if my little Orkin likes it in my garden, I cannot see any sign of it:)

    I told my neighbor about your brick story-she laughed out loud too. She reads this sometimes and even if readers don't garden it is nice to talk or listen in.

  7. I did stop by the Edelweiss one time when I was home. It was yummy but not everyone in my party was happy with their choices. I had the curry wurst and was pleased with my choice. If you are looking for a good schnitzel, check out the VFW by the hospital on Friday night!

    We only have two cats named Sheba and Cheetah. Our Skeeter has past on to the Rainbow Bridge. I talk about the neighbors cat CC (Christmas Cat) as he gets into my garden and poops and stalks the birds at my feeders! Sheba and Cheetah were stays that came to us one day out of the woods. Sheba was Cheetahs young mother and I am sure she had a worse life then Cheetah before we took them in. We took them in due to our Skeeter dying 4 months earlier. He was our baby for 16 years and with us not having two legged babies, he was the next best thing. It was devastating for us to loose our little man. So it was easy for me to fall for the new arrivals to help fill my void….

    Skeeter was my salvation when the Saint left us for a 10 month TDY to Bosnia in the year 1995… When I met the Saint, he was in the Air Force but soon left to pursue the world of Government contracting. He supports the Army on a computer system currently working for General Dynamics here on Ft Gordon but he is hunting high and low for a Civil Service position so we can work our way to Ft. Campbell some day soon!

  8. Thank you for explaining the call name and about your kitties. What type of cat was Skeeter? Do Sheba and Cheetah look like him or remind you of him sometimes? The neighbor's cat sounds typical. They always seem to leave their yard and go poop in someone elses!

    I hope your "Saint" can find a job so you can come home here to Clarksville. You are originally from here right? Family and all? Does he also have connections? Maybe something will turn up soon. Good luck.

  9. My Skeeter boy was a short haired yellow tabby. His stray mommy was being fed by me and others in an apartment complex when I lived in Shreveport, LA. The Saint was my neighbor and he took Skeeter and named him when he was born on my porch! I found homes for all the kittens that stray gal left me! I was not smart enough to have her fixed and she was not mine. She belonged to the entire complex! Duh,,, ya live and ya grow up and learn! I heard that some one did take her in and get her fixed after we moved out. The Saint and I ended up together so I got Skeeter back! He became my baby for 16 years! He now sleeps under the trees in our back yard with a stone marker on top of him. He is surrounded by a Nandina bush that my parents bought him and some Confederate Jasmine that the Saints mom gave us…

    Our two current girls came as strays as well. They just walked up from the woods one day. They are both long hair black cats! I was going to just keep them as yard cats after getting them fixed, but the kitten Cheetah was such a needy shy baby that I knew she could never survive in the wild. So they are now pampered housecats that rule our every move! Cheetah has some of Skeeters traits but he was a perfect cat in every way. These two keep me on my toes all the time. I don’t really think any two cats are alike. Sheba is Cheetahs mother but other then color; they don’t have much in common. They are so different from each other…

    I am from Clarksville. Born and raised there without military ties. My moms family is from the Waverly area and Louisiana. My dads family started in Manchester but his mom is from South side! My entire family remains in Clarksville. We don’t have any ties with Ft Campbell now but at one time did have a friend stationed there. We know people from all over the country but the Saint is not one to ask for favors! His parents live with a huge influence of military high ups, but we just don’t do that. I am almost to the point to do that and have reached out to Pet People for help but no luck so far. Oh well, one day….