Winter Project

Not impressive now, but wait…..

The Front Garden needs something new, a focal point, and I’ve decided an adaptation of Jim Charlier’s decorative posts will be just the thing! If you don’t know Jim, you’re missing out on one of the most dedicated and talented gardeners in the U.S. Read his book, or visit his blog Art of Gardening or best of all go see his beautiful garden in Buffalo, N.Y. You’ll be inspired! I certainly was.

My posts will not be exactly like his, because I’ve decided to make them hollow, rather than using a 4″ x 4″ solid post. The plan is to pound a short metal fence post into the soil and slide the post over it. That will make it easy to bring indoors for the winter, and also if I get really ambitious to change them out over the season. If winter continues, I may have time to do one in colors for Halloween and maybe even one for Christmas. I’m hoping that is not the case and that spring comes early, but with snow on the ground again today and temperatures falling outdoor work may continue to be delayed.

I also decided to make the center post a bit larger than his, so it is 6″ x 6″. As you may be able to tell, I’m using a corner of the basement where I seed for this endeavor. See the bag of ProMix in the top photo? First step was a trip to the lumber yard, which was a real eye-opener! I didn’t realize how much wood prices have increased since I purchased boards for replacement raised beds late last fall. So, I only bought wood for the first post, plus some nails and wood glue. The post went together easy…2- 6″ x 6″ boards opposite one another, and 2 4″ x 4″ boards to make the rectangle. Since I had to buy 8′ lengths, there was plenty left after cutting them at the desired height for a top piece.

Next was paint! Another sticker shock experience! Fortunately there was some leftover green paint in the garage that was still usable, but most of the rest were the wrong colors or dried out. A white primer was needed, and I wanted a buttery yellow and soft orange/salmon to go with the house’s brick and the flower colors already in the garden. A quart of exterior paint is nearly $30!! Whew! So, I’ll definitely be making more posts because that paint can’t go to waste! The photo is just the first coat, but I’m already having fun and it gives me something to do besides being tempted to order more seeds and plants! And you can see that the worm bin and a chair were pulled into use temporarily because I needed the crates that were holding the post in the first picture for those dianthus seedlings shown in the last blog post! I’d use my saw horses, but they are holding up a shelf in the greenhouse already. I think I can find a couple of plastic tubs to use instead. Once the base coats are on and dried, then the design work can begin. I’ve sketched out a half-dozen different combinations, so it’s time to decide on the final plan. Such fun!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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10 Responses to Winter Project

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh fun. I do have several “large” post but they might be too heavy. Its all the little extra trim that will add to the cost. ( there is always something). Now…how are you going to keep them standing straight on a fence post inside. I’m thinking a t-post of metal.


    • carolee says:

      Yes, I have a stack of metal T-posts in the pole barn that will be used. I’ve been saving some bits and bobs to use for “decor” so wood and paint are the big costs, and there should be plenty of paint left to do some more. Maybe I can even sell a couple to recoup costs if I get super ambitious!!! HA!


  2. Peg says:

    Will be interesting to see these when you are done. I expect they will be beautiful!


  3. Tamara Brown says:

    I love art for the garden and especially this idea. What a wonderful project for these dreary pre-spring days. The posts will be the perfect compliment to your wonderful flowers and gardens!


    • carolee says:

      I’ve missed painting, but just hadn’t been able to “focus” on an idea for a canvas piece. This project just appealed to me, and now that the brush is again in my hands and I’m having so much fun maybe the little bit of artist in me will pop out a bit more often! Hope you are painting…often! You are indeed an artist!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren says:

    So excited to see them installed- love this idea!


  5. Going Batty in Wales says:

    This sounds an interesting idea so I am looking forward to seeing the finished article.


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