Friday, November 3, 2017

The Watermelon Propane Tank in Tiger Way Gardens

Good morning and hello new and regular readers of this blog. It has been quite a while since either Skeeter or I have posted but I can assure you, we have not forgotten about you all! I still love this blog and all of its memories and readers and the Internet, I just am not on the computer as much as I used to be. Smartphones and Facebook seem to be about the only blogging I do lately. So, if you like this blog and would like to hear more from your Coach in the Garden be sure to like my Facebook Page found here

I have been traveling in Europe, puttering in the garden, and generally keeping myself busy. Sometimes I am so busy I forget where all the time has gone. I know that can happen to a lot of us often. The project I am sharing today is such a fun and easy project that I wonder why I had not yet completed it-like last year when I had the vision to dress up my big 250 gallon propane tank. I guess, aside from being busy, I was a bit afraid to tackle this watermelon. I really had no idea where to begin to paint this monster and make it look great for me. Well, once I got started it was really SO easy I should've finished this long ago.
I think it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to and it fits into my garden and home setting so perfectly it could've been custom made-and it was!
This whole project took perhaps an hour or two. Mainly, the time spent was letting the paint dry. The active part of the design came from squeezing the trigger on the paint cans. And that's it! I did not draw anything nor did I worry about preciseness on my watermelon. I added the seeds to the watermelon by hand using a black patio paint and paint brush.
The tank has been in place for three years (that's how old my house is and how long I've lived here). The tank is actually in an out of the way area but still within thirty feet of my house and I wanted it to blend in. In the above state, it did not much fit into the garden even though I tried to disguise it with planting 'Shenandoah' grass clumps around the tank. 

I first cleaned the tank really well and sanded it a bit with steel wool and a fine sandpaper. I then began spraying an Self Etching OD Green Primer all over the tank. It took two cans of the primer to cover the tank. You can just make out the OD Green primer on the far left end of the tank in the above picture.
I then covered most of the tank with a lime green Anti Rust Paint. I left the far end OD Green because it would be the cut part of the watermelon and would be painted red.
I next took a can of OD Green and spray painted lines similar to what you might have on a real watermelon rind. At this point it was beginning to look like a watermelon and I was encouraged. The colors I picked were perfect (they are pictured below). The lines needed to be blurred a bit so I scribbled around them to fatten them up and make them appear to be more natural.
The above colors and paints are what I used for my watermelon. All are easily found in any big box store. I also applied a coat of polyurethane over the top of the completed tank.
One more look at my "Watermelon" propane tank!

Loving it in the garden.....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, June 9, 2017

Some of the Rest of the Gardens-I Can Finally Share Some Pictures

We have a new mascot for Tiger Way Gardens! If you know whose mascot it really is all I am saying is it's a tiger-wildcat!
Just below our mascot is a bunch of daylilies just about to pop. Did you know you can eat daylily buds? I eat a few every year. One of these days I really need to prepare some stir fry with them for Mr. Fix-it. He likes to eat what we grow and flowers count.
Some of the daylilies are beginning to open up. It's daylily time in Tennessee!
Allium 'Millenium' is beginning to open up. I really love this allium as it is not a self seeder and looks cool all season. Check the link for more information on this great perennial. I have noticed it is showing up in local nurseries just recently. I purchased my starts in Ohio.
Hydrangeas are by far my favorite shrub. I have a lot of hydrangeas here in Tiger Way Gardens of all types. Here we see 'Annabelle' hydrangeas and 'Sikes Dwarf' oakleaf hydrangeas in a foundation garden.
Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica) is also located in the foundation gardens. I love native shrubs and this one is a good one that deer leave alone. I have my shrub growing on the outside of the large foundation gardens as a deterrent to the deer and so far it's working. And NO! This sumac is not poisonous to anyone like poison sumac or poison oak or poison ivy! Rest assured, touching the leaves will not leave you with a nasty rash. This is a suckering shrub that stays less than three feet tall but will spread to eight-ten feet. It blooms with yellow flowers very early in the spring then the berries appear. The berries are eaten by wildlife. It grows quite well in dry shade and does even better in the sun in good soil. I also have the native Rhus aromatica growing right next to the hybrid Gro-Low and that one is also a nice shrub, but it is much taller. This native shrub is a great replacement for some of the invasives people buy at local non-informed nurseries. Use it instead of barberry or burning bush.

Astilbes are making quite a nice show this year. I really need to divide them and spread them around.
Some of my hostas the deer haven't found yet are getting quite large. It's nice to see that in the garden!
The fence garden is filling in. This location gets the run off from the house and has been difficult for me to develop since it is in an out of the way spot, but I persevere and my efforts are finally paying off. There are berries growing on the black chokecherry bush and soon all those rudebeckias that my friend Eddie gave me will be blooming brightly. I'm excited to see them all! Birds will flock to them. Speaking of which, we have a pair of bluebirds nesting in the birdhouse in this garden. At the base grows a great clematis that was stunning in bloom. This garden is also filled with Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). I ordered and planted about 100 plants last summer. This is a photo of one about to bloom below. I am really surprised the swamp milkweed is doing well as I have had no luck with growing the 'Soulmate' cultivar of this very same type of milkweed.
Gingko 'Jade Butterflies' looks pretty when up close. It hasn't grown even an inch in three years I don't think.
Our wild area in a corner of our backyard contains three huge 'Carolina Moonlight' baptisias and several wildflowers. Notable among the wildflowers are the American Columbo you can see in the background. They are the tall spiky candelabra looking plant. The bloom has gone by now but the stalks remain for the seeds to form on. The seeds are the shape of sunflowers but without the shell. The plants that are blooming this year will die since this plant is a monocarp. It's a really unique plant!
American Linden (Tilia americana) is a new addition to the garden last summer. I purchased this one and also the European linden (Tilia cordata) and both trees are doing great. The American one is blooming beautifully. It is not really the bloom that is so great for me as it is the white bracts that hang down like leaves. They make the tree stunning and a stand out! I've seen mature ones in Hopkinsville and oh my did my heart ever go a racing! As a bonus this tree is native and my honeybees should really love the blooms.
Native swamp milkweed just about to bloom. These plants had tons of monarch caterpillars on them late last summer.
I have a special hosta garden since the deer ate all the hostas that were out in the gardens. So far they have left this lovely and relaxing garden alone.
The Butterfly Garden (formerly the Prairie Garden) is coming into its own. This side of the Butterfly garden is brand new this spring. It is really looking good with Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset' (peach color), and 'Moonbeam' yarrow blooming together.
The other side of the Butterfly Garden has been weeded and mulched. It is also doing quite well and attracting the pollinators. Our goal at Tiger Way Gardens is to garden naturally for the pollinators and to raise our own food. So far we are doing pretty well as the years fly by....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden