I love to visit Other People’s Gardens for several reasons. Primarily, it is to get ideas for my own gardening efforts, to see what is possible on lava. Here are some of the ideas I found on the McDaniel acreage.
A path over the lava where we need to walk is critical. The lava rocks can trip up someone much too quickly, and as we all get a little older, we need that extra safety factor. Sandy and Joe have made nice wide paths all over their property.
Occasionally, they’ve even put up railings to grab onto. That’s a wonderful idea!
Here is a terrific idea for a large planter box. Joe has put together scrap wood and it saves the expense of large containers at Home Depot or Lowe’s. The bottom is left open so that roots can explore. This is what I’d like to build to house my fruit trees.
I put up a scaffold-type construction for my green beans, but this is a good idea, too. There are enough scattered limbs from dead trees on my property to do this.
Joe had bees, but many of the plants they relied on to make their honey were killed in the vog, so the bees literally starved to death. Here is the empty hive. I hope he tries to raise bees again. At some point, I’d like to consider having bees.
Everyone I talk with says that goats are high maintenance, but it still appeals to me to have a few. I love goat’s milk and the cheese from it is pure heaven. These girls seem to be love being part of the family.
I already have chickens, of course, but I’m always fascinated by the different designs of coops people have built. Perhaps someday I’ll do one whole post on all the coops my friends have. Here are the two where Joe and Sandy gather their eggs. The chickens are all free range, but they do lay their eggs in the nesting boxes.
Their rooster is a complete ham and knows he’s beautiful. He kept “posing” for me to take his picture.
Some of the “girls” needed to get into the act with Sandy.
In addition to the food sources (vegetables, goats, chickens), they have not neglected creating nooks of beauty. There is no doubt that this orchid house belongs to Sandy.
Here are a couple of the beauties inside.
Even the trees in the orchard are semi-contained. They were still in their plastic when they were put into a hole. Now the trees have grown to a decent size, forcing roots through the broken down plastic.
It seems I’m always drawn to playful yard sculptures. These chickens don’t need to be fed, but neither do they provide good eggs.
Do you want to know which way the wind blows? Try putting a whirl-a-gig in your yard. I suppose the faster the wind blows, the faster she dances.
Every garden needs a nature spirit.
Even some of the plants have to work on this farm. These pitcher plants have a sticky surface that hangs onto bugs until they die. Here is a small one, and you can see the bugs inside.
Here is a shot of a dead one on the ground that shows how enormous they can get. This must have been 10-12 inches long.
Sandy may have “HERS”, but Joe has his own, too.
His playful spirit comes through with the Harry Potter influence. If you are familiar with that series, you will recognize Platform 9, of course, with the luggage half-way through.
And every Harry Potter fan knows you need a “portkey” if you want to get to another place quickly. Joe didn’t tell me where he goes when he enters this particular portkey
At the end of our tour, we came to a resting spot near this delightful lily pond with Mr. Froggie at work.
As always, I’m inspired by the relatively short amount of time it takes for people to create a haven of beauty on this new land created by the lava. It takes persistence and determination, hard work, and a desire to show love and respect to this planet.
Thank you, Joe and Sandy, for allowing me to enter your little piece of Paradise.