Unpacking Some Misc. Ideas Brought Home From Spring Fling

I found a few miscellaneous ideas and thoughts when I finally unpacked my bags and sorted through my pictures from the Chicago Spring Fling.

First thing out of the bags was this rabbit, which isn't surprising. Rabbits are everywhere, as it turns out, even in Chicago.

I saw real rabbits at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Ginkgo Organic Garden. And I saw this little stone rabbit, the best kind of rabbit of all, in Carolyn Gail’s Sweet Home and Garden Chicago front garden. (Thank you to Carolyn Gail for opening up her home and garden to us garden bloggers when we visited for Spring Fling!)

I also saw a few hoes while I was in the big city, as I knew I would because hoes are quite universal, especially in the gardening world.

These two hoes were on display at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

For those who are wondering, I do not have my hoes on display in this manner, with outlines of where they go on the pegboard in the garage and labels above them. My hoes are double and triple hung from pegs, wherever I can find room for them, and I just have to remember their names because they don't have name tags.

In the Rick Bayless garden, where his gardener grows salad greens for use in his restaurants, I noticed the use of this simple low fence at the end of the row. On one side were the “crops” and on the other side was this foliage that I'm not sure what it is, maybe daffodils?

I could do that in my garden! By the way, did anyone think to ask if they have problems with rabbits in this garden? It sure seemed like a place that rabbits would enjoy.

I loved these simple twig structures that I saw in the fabulous Lurie Garden.

I examined one of them a little more closely to see how it was put together. It looks like it was made by screwing together twigs and stems from some of the black locust trees that are planted in sections of the garden. One of the twigs was even sprouting leaves, demonstrating that for the most part, given the right conditions, plants want to live! I need to find some twigs and build one or two of these for my garden.

That would make more sense than digging up my lawn to create a river of Salvia.

And I could edge the raised beds in my vegetable garden with brick the way they did at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Some of the cedar boards I’ve used to edge my raised beds are reaching ‘end of life’ and I’m looking for some alternatives. This is a nice clean look that might be one to consider for someone who likes a little order in her vegetable garden. Now, where could a gardener get a hold of some bricks like that without spending a small fortune?

I’ll have to contemplate that and all these other ideas I brought back with me from Chicago as I get to work this morning tending my own garden, where the weeds are growing with abandon and there are more strawberries to pick. And I'm still worried because I haven't seen any rabbits this spring...


  1. Ah, yes, the pegboard tool array! That display made me laugh out loud. It's very Martha to me.

    It does make sense in a garden where tools are shared among multiple gardeners.

  2. and I am sure this is just a sample of the ideas you came home with. Some neat ones here. Don't care much for the outlined tool hanging puzzle.

  3. Love the bunnies, I have been on the lookout for more. Glad you had a good trip.

  4. Ah, only you, Carol, would have found the hoe display at the Botanic Garden:) I like the twig fence, too; that would certainly look good in your garden. I noticed MMD and another garden used simple logs as a way of edging their gardens. I liked that, and since I have an abundance of pine logs this year, I might try that.

    Not every idea we saw will work, though. I'm still chuckling over the thought of you digging up your yard to plant a river of salvia:) And just where ARE your rabbits??

  5. Working in "a garden where tools are shared among multiple gardeners," I think the labeling and outlining are an excellent idea. Even in my mobile tool cart, tools are not put back where I intend them to be, and it's one of life's little annoyances that gets more aggravating as the season goes on.

  6. I am still dreaming about the RR garden. I did notice the corner twig barriers. Where did your rabbits go? They may have migrated to my garden. I seem to have several this year.

  7. If you are serious about the brick edging, don't just use house bricks, they'll crack & break. You'll need paver bricks. They're on sale some times at the big box stores, or you could check freecycle or Craig's List to see if anyone is giving some away.

  8. No rabbits, Carol? What's going on? I'll ship some to you if you miss them.

    Tickled to be here - your sense of humor knocks me over and when I need a good laugh. Being a blog reader is a thing of the past for me, but I hope to change that soon.

    Hey, our three-year drought is over! I have blooms! I will post what's blooming in my garden next week and send you a nudge when I do. I can't believe it.


  9. That twig fence is so rustically lovely! It's bad enough that I missed the Salvia River at Lurie, but now I find out I missed little gems like this? It hurts! Please post any other small and/or overlooked items from Lurie!

  10. Yes, like MMD said, check around for some free paver bricks. We ripped out our old and dangerous brick walks a few years ago and I saved some of the brick for various things and gave the rest to a friend who needed some for edging her gardens. So they're out there and their free!

  11. I too like the simple twig structures and the low fence in the veg garden. Nice touches and easy to add.

  12. Now I know what to do with all those black locust seedlings I prune out of my garden every year!

  13. Some clever ideas -- love the rabbit -- we have lots of rabbits at Linderhof but luckily they are the stone kind.

  14. Wow! We are going to have lots of little twigs come Monday....why don't you stop by and we'll have a fence-making party!


  15. Hi Carol, I saw the pegboard and thought it a great display! There are so many ideas swirling around from SF. I was also charmed by the simple little fencing that the Lurie used to keep us from trampling on the corners of the garden; and even have it on my side bar as a good idea. I still think a river of tomatoes would be beautiful. gail

  16. I actually like the idea of outlining the tools on the pegboard or putting labels where they go. I never seem to put them back in the same place twice and it's maddening to spend precious minutes searching for them!

    The rabbits were spooked by the spoons ... somewhere there's a whole tribe of former May Dreams bunnies in therapy with Dr. Bunfreud.

  17. I like that twig fence idea as well... I'm getting ready to do major surgery on a redtwig dogwood so it's perfect timing! I use paver bricks to edge my gardens - they're really easy to run the lawn mower near (just put a wheel right on the bricks). I like the contrast of the random assemblage of overgrown stuff and the clean, rigid brick line. Makes the garden look more... intentional!

  18. I noticed the half bricks used as edging all over Chicago as well. I am hoping to find a local source here someday! Good luck with your supply as well.


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