Installation August 2017
Watching our gardens grow is one of the many perks of our job. Last week, we revisited the Chain O' Lakes project to plant annuals, mow, weed & mulch. The bed installed last summer is filling in nicely. We can't wait to see it bloom.
Chain O' Lakes Project - June 2018
Pillywiggins first appeared on this site in 2016 returning each year to add another sprinkling of garden enchantment. Follow our progress by visiting our 2016 & 2017 blog posts "Water, Weeds & Critters" and "Working on the Chain O' Lakes"
This summer we will be installing (3) new wildflower beds - two beds lakeside & one in the side yard. Last year we covered these areas with black plastic to kill the grass & weeds. All that's left to do is till the soil & sow the seeds.
We'll be using Midwest Mix from Vermont Wildflower Farm. This mix contains 26 different wildflowers native to our region. It includes 13 annuals for 1st year color, 4 bi-annuals & 8 perennials with early, mid & late bloom times. Also on our to-do list, create a new lakeside perennial bed inside of an old row boat. How fun!
"Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair"
Susan Polis Schutz
Hey Pillywiggins! How do your gardens grow? We're glad you asked. We share a lot of project photos but that's just the beginning of a great garden. What about the end result? Where's that Pillywiggin magic? We get it. It's not always easy to imagine how a bed will fill in. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to perfect our Pilly-Vision Garden Goggles yet. So, we revisited two of our favorite landscape projects two years after install to snap a few photos. Take a look at these before & after shots then try to imagine what 1 Pillywiggin + 2 year's time can do for your landscape!
Eastport Market Landscape Installation 2016
Eastport Market June 2018
Petoskey Project Phase I & II
2016 & 2017
Construct Multiple Stone Beds, 2 Patios & Retaining Wall
Petoskey Project June 2018
In our last blog post "Elk Rapids Chamber Project" we talked about reusing the spoils whenever possible. The Petoskey Project had many examples of recycling spoils. We split, relocated & reused most of the existing plants and used the old landscape block to build a new retaining wall at the back of the homeowner's property. To revisit this project under construction click the links below.
Pillywiggins often go unnoticed, but their gardens never do!
It's a perfect little project to inspire Do-It-Yourselfers & weekend gardeners looking to spruce up their landscape without breaking the bank. Simple designs are affordable, easy to install & can be very easy to maintain. Just one Pillywiggin completed this project in about 8 hours start to finish.
The bed was cut in & the prep work completed late on a Saturday afternoon. We chose to work around the Chamber's hours of operation so we wouldn't disturb business, theirs or ours! It was a cool, rainy day - perfect digging weather. Damp soil made it easier to pull weeds & remove the sod around the sign. The light rain also helped water-in the repairs made to the lawn & settle the new compost/topsoil. In a few hours time the bed was complete, mulched & ready for plants.
For this project, we were able to reuse the topsoil & sod cut from the new bed area to repair a problem spot in the lawn. A large dip between the drive & new sign with sparse grass coverage, no doubt the underground electrical service to the sign. To repair this area, sod & topsoil clumps were reused to fill in the low spot. Clumps were turned upside down (sod down, roots up). Fresh topsoil was added & the area was reseeded by hand.
Goldflame spirea, daylily, catmint, blanket flower, black eye Susan, Shasta daisy & sedum
We chose low-maintenance perennials that provide color & interest spring through fall, limited in height so they won't block the sign as they grow. Our color pallet includes white mixed with various shades of yellow & orange repeating the colors in the Chamber's logo. Those colors really POP! against the Chamber's dark blue sign.
A touch of blue from the catmint and a dash of pink from the spirea & sedum blooms will keep things interesting. Two flats of orange & yellow variegated marigolds were added for instant color while we wait for the perennials to fill in. We'll go back in the fall to plant a colorful mix of spring bulbs also in shades of white, yellow & orange.
Layout & Planting
Laying out plants is the fun part of the job. Pillywiggins rely heavily on the ol' eyeball using our sketches as loose guides. Take your cues from Mother Nature. Play around with your design before you start digging. Read the plant tags for height, width, bloom time & color then arrange plants in odd numbered groups switching up the different colors & textures of the plants. Keep tinkering & rearranging plants until you achieve visual balance without being too symmetrical or too perfect.
Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Pillywiggins Garden, LLC joined the Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce last fall, but we first became acquainted through their Annual Arts & Craft Shows. We've participated in several throughout the years. Here we are in 2012.
The Chamber hosts 3 arts & craft shows each summer on the streets of Downtown Elk Rapids. Note to our artist friends, the Chamber has by far the easiest, most efficient load in/out process of any event we have ever attended! We've always enjoyed participating in the Chamber Arts & Crafts Shows.
The Chamber also hosts a weekly Farmer's Market every Friday from June 1st to October 5th. We love this farmer's market & highly recommend the certified organic produce from our friends & neighbors at Providence Farm & CSA. Look for their booth at the market!
Greetings! My name is Julie. I'm a bookkeeper by trade, an artisan by choice & the author of this blog by default. :)