Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gardening by the moon & suitcase planting

Hello dear friends & readers,

Do any of you use the lunar calendar to help with your gardening??
Back in June my friend Donna gave me a moon calendar ... it looks like this ...

Each month you set it at the date of the new moon & then work from there .... this month (in our hemisphere) I am waiting for the 10th to begin planting again ... currently I am mostly digging & weeding

I decided to try this method for 6 months & see how I went (I figured I had nothing to lose)
My vege garden has been growing prolifically since I began using the lunar calendar ... it tells when to plant all things that produce below ground (root crops, like my beetroot) 

and when to plant things that produce above ground (like my broccoli & cabbages)

slowly developing their broccoli heads
I also referred to it for when to prune my roses as last year, I experienced lots of die back

The Mr meanwhile, thinks I am completely batty & just shakes his head & rolls his eyes when I try telling him the best time to sow seed at the farm, to spray or to use liquid fert !!!!!!!!!!

The upturned wire baskets are to stop the birds eating my young plants ... my moon calendar hasn't quite figured this problem out yet!!

This week Cedric got a bit of a makeover - he was looking the worse for wear after standing outside for a whole year!!

The Op Shop provided some new/old clothes, he got a new hat & gingham scarf, & some new hair as well

He whispered to me that he was really rather chuffed with his "finding Nemo" overalls   :-)

Late last year, while shopping with my friend Sally, I bought a stool  from the Op Shop for $5.00

Finally, this week, it got a make-over . . .  a paint job, (Resenes Amulet) & a new oilcloth top

Thank You Catherine for recommending this green colour which I absolutely Love !!

I quite like my new/old stool with its freshen up  :-)

You may recall a few posts back when I helped my friend shift house & earned myself the nickname "Mrs Steptoe" for carting all her rubbish home . . . ??
Well this gorgeous red tartan rug was IN  one of the rubbish bags - this week I made a doorstop Owl from some of the wool fabric

and still have plenty left to spare  :-)

A lovely group of "oldies" doing a "country ramble" by bus bought their afternoon tea & enjoyed in the garden last Wednesday ... the sun came out, they sat & chatted, by the time they left, it was 4.30.


Lastly I thought I would give you a bit of a "how to" on making a suitcase planter . . . yes I can hear you saying "Oh hellooo Julie ... we are not dumb ... we actually KNOW how to make a suitcase planter you foolish girl" . . . but some folk have actually asked me how to do this so (for those that already know) just scroll down to the bottom here . . .  
I loved that my suitcase still had the key with it  :-)

Take one op-shop suitcase - can be any size but do remember you will have to lift it, so filled with soil, it can get real heavy

I just use a cheap black rubbish bag to line mine - poke holes in the bottom of the bag to let water through

You will need 2 pieces of wood to hold the lid open - I just used my kindling firewood - doesn't need to be heavy duty ... now heres the tricky bit ... this depends entirely on whether your Mr is around & helpful ... if so, then ask him nicely to screw 2 small screws through from the outside of the suitcase to hold the wood in place . . .  however if (like mine) he is always busy & is always "going to get to that" then just use your hot glue gun to hold the wood in place - works fine as the soil will hold it firmly once thats in anyway

I find a couple of clothes pegs stops the liner slip sliding around

I used a bit of my mulch in the bottom for some drainage - you can use broken pots/ stones/ whichever ... then begin filling with potting mix ... then add your plants - I wanted to make a herb suitcase garden this time but flowers too look lovely - I have even seen them done with a vege selection

When full, trim your black liner around to the top of the soil & give your plants a drink ... stand back & admire your handiwork & tell yourself how absolutely magnificient you really are !!!!

Don't be tempted to overplant as they will soon grow & fill the area between the lid ... here is a pic of one I did last year with flowers

Hope the coming week brings you only good things my friends 
thanks so much for popping by - happy suitcase planting to you all :-)
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0x


  1. Such and inspiring read tonight.
    Your bear scarecrow is just too lovely. I bet you get lots of visitors wanting to take it home.
    I think your garden is amazing so the moon calendar is doing a great job. I just started following our farmers almanac here for the first time. It will be interesting to see if it proves true.
    LOL I was so tempted to use my suitcase table on the front porch for plants but just decided no...what if I want to use it inside again one day so I am just using it as display but now I will know the proper way to do a planter :)
    Yours look amazing with your spring floral spilling out.
    How I would love to come down and sit in that garden of yours and have tea. No wonder they didn't want to leave.
    I imagine you thought you were going to need cots for them to have a slumber party for their stay, lol
    Well Julie your owl and stool turned out just amazing. You really have a gift of knowing what to "drag" home and turn it into treasure.
    Hope all is going well for the wedding plans and I will pop in on you soon to catch up.
    Have a great week.

  2. I say Cedrik is rather dashing fellow! I have a snowman called Cedrick.
    Love the stool, did you cover the top yourself?? Looks like you have it in a lovely spot. Gee your vege patch is fab, very happy & healthy looking. Have you seen Leanne's blog 'Cottage tails" she is an avid 'plant by the moon' gardener.
    Cool suitcases, when ever I did mine, I loved them, but was always sad when the suitcase started to rot.
    I just love your posts Julie, they brighten my day :-)

  3. Cedric is such a handsome scarecrow - I hadn't realised he was a bear!
    He looks so happy with his new outfit - ready to face the naughty birds again!

    No we've not gardened by the moon - it is working in your garden Julie - everythings blooming!

    The stool makeover is lovely - such a pretty fabric and I love the green paint (our Fairy Godmother Catherine knows all these important things)!
    Lovely to see people flocking to your lovely garden again - what a busy life you lead J!!
    The suitcase is a perfect planter for your verandah - upcycling again good for you!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful collection of seeds you sent me - I can't wait to get back in the garden.
    Much love and HUgs

  4. Hi thanks for popping into blog - and yes you are in the draw. I garden by the moon and have been very busy in the garden this weekend weeding waiting to get planting. Lots to plant this month! I love your calendar a very POSH one.
    Love Leanne

  5. Always been drawn to planting by the moon but haven't tried it yet. Intrigued by your suitcase planting..... what a good idea. Jacqui x

  6. Hi Julie,
    Gosh your post if FULL of loveliness waiting for me this morning! I thought Cedrick looked utterly dashing, your stool turned out beautifully and is perfectly suited to green, your owl is a lovely addition to your home you clever bean, and the suitcase is wonderful! Suitcases have been very 'in' here in th UK and so are expensive.....if they weren't, I'd definitely be doing this. Mind you, the bad weather we get here would have it in a mouldy old mess within weeks I'm sure. A lovely post.....thank you xXx

  7. Dear julie .... I have just woken up from a most lovely lie in, usually up at 5.30 these days and it is half past eight!!!! So am sitting in bed with a cuppa and browsing blog land. I just love everything in this post, have always wanted to plant by the moon but never quite got there ...Yet. it makes perfect Sense to me. I am feeling much better about things and maybe just needed to reach a crisis to move on, had a good cry...always helps!! I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words and friendship, you have the most kind heart. As for the dreams I think you were spot on...have 're read several times, and makes so much sense.......before I right a whole essay .sending
    ..lots of love sent over the miles my friend and thank you xxx

  8. I have often wondered about planting by the moon but haven't quite got there! It's interesting to hear your results. Everything is lovely on your post, I love the stool makeover and the planted suitcase is gorgeous!! Thank you for the little lesson, hugs Wendy

  9. The Lunar Calendar will make a great Christmas present...stool is stupendous... how did you manage such professional piping? and as for Cedric...has he got a lady friend? I think you should make him one! Best wishes from Eco Ethel xx

  10. Hi Julie,
    I have one planted with pansy's and love it! I was told a tip which may help, instead of using stones for drainage in all your pots and containers, save that foam/polystyrene and break up and use instead-just not as heavy as stones and it does work the same! Lunar calendar has always interested me but have never used it-may start now tho!

  11. Hello Julie,

    Happy Monday to you. Love the Scottish inspired owl. Your make over on the stool is just so wonderful. Love the kettle on the top too.I will have to rescue my old kettle from the chook yard.I sometimes use the lunar calendar, lets say I bought one and used it for a while then I got slack. It does work though.
    Have a creative week.

  12. The made over stool looks amazing Julie! Love it! xx

  13. I am amazed by how well your moon calendar is working! I say if it works, keep using it! Cedric is looking so cute in his new outfit. Love the shade of green that you painted the stool and the trunk planter is just so charming!

  14. Hello dear friend, been back & forwards & now back to comment. I have looked at that fabric over & over again & wondered if it's as pretty as I think it've convinced me! Yes, how did you get your piping so perfect in oilcloth what's more?! I am so glad that we discovered Amulet..I smile about it every time I pull the curtains in my sewing room. I love the writing on your moon calendar..I wonder where Donna got it from? Definitely in the...I have always meant to departments, but so wrapt to see your results thus far.
    So, with the they last more than the season or are they a bit past it by then & if you've put holes in your liner then they get fairly damp at the bottom...on the porch or whatever? Such a great idea...thanks for the how to I love the effect.
    What a happy group of country pretty with all the blossom wafting around & the sunshine & the chookies.
    Much love for a happy week.
    Catherine x0x0x

  15. It takes the rookie, having no knowledge of planting, growing, and harvesting, to a level of understanding where other gardening styles become the dream and the possibility.kweekkast

  16. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks a lot! Textile planter

    1. Hello there ... thanks for your comment. You have come into my email as a "no-reply blogger" so I cant email you back ... I do hope you get to read this reply. You are welcome to use any of my posts so long as you link back to me. Thanks again for asking & not just taking advantage. Much appreciated :-)

  17. Using the lunar calendar for gardening sounds fascinating! Your results are impressive. Moon planting - nature's best-kept secret! 🌙🌱🌼

  18. I love the composition on your moon calendar..I wonder where Donna got it from? Most certainly in the...I have consistently intended to divisions, yet so wrapt to see your outcomes up to this point.


Hello, & thank you for taking the time to comment on my posts - I read and appreciate each and every one of your comments :-)
I always prefer to reply to your comments by email unless you are a no-reply-blogger in which case I will reply to your comments in this section here. Thanks so much for stopping by to read & comment on my blog x0x