Free Pallet Patio Garden

Easy Step by Step Guide

Fancy growing your own fruit and veg? I thought the same and am now managing just that! Here’s how to build your own free pallet patio garden.

Last year I had a new patio and it’s a great area to sit out in as it captures a lot of sun.  The boys use our garden to play football and I learnt the hard way that football and plant borders don’t mix well! I actually get upset when I see the ball thud into the plants and race over to see whats happened. The boys then scurry away waiting to see if yet another tomato plant has bitten the dust.

So when the patio was laid I started thinking of ways that I could enjoy growing some fruit and vegetables on the patio.

I wanted a way to use recycled products and make something that really made the most of the small compact space we had.

Here’s a step by step guide to how I made this brilliant pallet patio garden out of mainly recycled bits and bobs, for free!

Free Pallet Patio Garden
Our blank canvas!
Free Pallet Patio Garden

We put a base down so that the structure wouldnt sit directly on the slabs and cause too much discolouration.

Free Pallet Patio Garden

Here is my other half fixing a free pallet that we picked up onto the back of the crate used to deliver the patio slabs in. If you can get hold of more pallets then use them to make a crate. You can find them on free sites or even in skips.

Free Pallet Patio Garden

We had some weed suppressor mat in the shed and if you havent got anything like that hanging around then they are easy to pick up very cheaply. I just wanted something lining the inside that would help with keeping the pots contained and not having the water running straight out onto the ground.


Free Pallet Patio Garden
The you are all ready to go and start putting in the pots that you wish to have there. What I found useful was that on the sunny days I can move the pots onto the top of the back pallet and they can make use of the sunshine. When it’s a windy day they can nestle back into the base and be a bit more protected.

free pallet patio garden

You can see by these photos how the plants are coming along. The potatoes are growing well and the carrots on the right hand side in the base are showing nicely. I’ve planted onions next to them as apparently they fend off one of the mites that would eat the carrot tops.

free pallet patio garden

Come back soon for an update and more than likely a recipe made out of some of the home grown veg. It will be great to see you again.

Have you got any tips on growing veg in small spaces? You might be a seasoned pro or just starting out. I’d love to hear.

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You never guess what… It’s Holiday Time!

Yippie, it’s now just around the corner, in just a jiffy we’ll be jetting off for a week in the sun! Fingers crossed on the sun bit but I’m hopeful, optimistic and downright determined that it will be sunny so that these legs can turn from flour white to bronzed turkey goddess!

via GIPHY

It can’t come too soon, it’s been a busy year so far and I know when work and the whole juggling aspect of my chosen lifestyle gets a bit much. The kids, my mum and I will be going for the sun and my OH will be heading to the mountains for his visit home. We always have a break this time of year then we do the family holiday around the end of the summer holidays.

I’ve enjoyed having some more guest posts on the blog recently there’s a wonderful banana pancake recipe that has a twist. I have also been experimenting and have developed a vegan chocolate cake that has gone down a treat at home.  I am so pleased that I found this outlet of blogging and I thank you for reading what I come up with to share. Every visit is appreciated so much.

vegan chocolate cake

I will also be sharing my gardening adventures shortly. The patio vegetable garden is coming on a treat and we recently had our first lettuce on our dinner table, it was a big whoop whoop moment for me! Watch out snails, these are not for sharing!

it's holiday time
A small lettuce but with a big heart:)

I am hoping to write some poetry while I am away. I have had ideas swirling around about some topics that are dear to me. To be honest I just haven’t had the head space to be able to concentrate on them. Too much going on and no quiet time. Another reason why the break is going to be so good.

All of these will be available on the blog in the next week. I look forward to seeing what you think to the latest adventures in the myrealfairy household.

I’ve also seen this great blog takelessons.com which provides classes and you can search thousands of teachers for local and online lessons.

 

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Our River Stour Walk

 

During the summer holidays and during one of my days off work, my eldest, big ‘M’ and I decided to go for a River Stour walk as it’s just behind where we live. He had one of his friends round and it was good to get out and about to stretch our legs. The river is so pretty, it’s also known as the Dorset Stour so that it doesn’t get confused with other ones around the country with the same name.

The river here is brilliant because it’s got a really good footpath so it’s safe for the kids, even though I always keep them in sight around any sort of water. Apparently the footpath covers most of the 60 miles length of the river. I know in my area there are voluntary groups who help to keep the pathways clean and it always looks beautiful and well kept. We recently got involved in the Great British Spring Clean where we all volunteered and cleaned up the footpath down to the river, it was a great experience, have a read and you can see how you can become involved.

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com
The River Stour – Dorset

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com

Back to this walk though and ‘M’ wanted to take some pictures for the blog so all of the pictures here are taken by him. The boys had so much fun because they both had a phone to use and really got into the spirit of being amatuer photographers. If you read my previous post about my blogging habits you would see that I don’t have a separate camera or any editing suites apart from a couple of filters which the phone offers up. I haven’t got into the photography side of things, we all enjoy pointing the phone and snapping away at all the things which we like ourselves. We saw these lovely swans below. The babies were slightly hidden in the reeds while one of the parents patrolled!

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com
The swan family….
RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com
and their guard!

 

 

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.comWhen I was a child we used to call these white flowers above ‘granny pop out the beds’. We would push them out at the base when they were ready and they would pop out, it was great fun. Have you heard of that saying?

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Below are three pictures of some of the other plants we spotted along the way. The next step for us is to try and identify some of them and find out a bit more about the types of plant they are. Any points in the right direction would be appreciated!:)

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com
Any ideas?….
RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com
This looks familiar!

 

 

RIVER STOUR WALK www.myrealfairy.com

Have you been getting out and about during the summer? Where are your favourite places?

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Little G’s Olympic runner…..

…runner bean that is!

Little G has been in the garden again to have a good look at how his runner beans have come along. We’ve managed to do this while watching as much of the olympics as we can see, it’s such an exciting time!

He also wanted to get a good look inside to see what the seeds looked like close up and to harvest them for next year. Our little greenhouse and packets of seeds have produced lots of plants and we have enjoyed our evenings looking at how they have come on.

Little G is inquisitive and loves to get to the bottom of things so wanted to get a good look at what was inside the little green pockets. You can see him in his latest ‘vlog for his mummy’s blog’ below, covered in black AstroTurf from his day at football school. Boys will be boys!

I think his little friend managed a speedy getaway to the finish line of the edge of the lawn while we were looking at the video playback….lucky for him!

Have you any little plants sprouting and of course, have you been enjoying the olympics?

You can also see Little G’s first vlog here to see the start of his green fingered career!

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10 Facts About Seahorses … and how to help them

1.  Their scientific name, “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”.

2.  Even though they are fish they are really poor swimmers and can often die of exhaustion in storms. They also might just hang around clinging onto to a piece of seaweed or eelgrass for a few days just resting.

3.  It’s the males who give birth…yep its true! The female seahorse pops the eggs into the male and he waits out the gestation period and then contorts his body until the live young are pushed out. They even have contractions!

seahorse3myrealfairy

4.  Their eyes work independently of each other! One eye can look forward and the other back!

5.  The smallest seahorse is the Pygmy Seahorse and is around 2cm long and the largest is the Australian big-bellied Seahorse at around 35cm. However, there was a massive one caught in Poole, Dorset in 2015. It was thrown back unhurt which but was 34cm which is huge for a ‘spiny’ seahorse.

6.  You can keep up to date with local conservation to see how you can help out. In the U.K. there is a project close to where I am which is the Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Trust supports Seahorses and other marine life. Read here to learn about Studland Bay and the amazing conservation work the they carry out.

7.  It’s thought that they are at risk of extinction so what can we do to help? Well, firstly, steer clear of buying dried seahorses as souvenirs. Secondly, as they are used in some countries as herbal medicines, it’s best to try to find an alternative product so that using them starts to get less and less profitable. Thirdly, do not buy as pets for aquariums as they may of been taken from the wild and imported to the UK.

blueseahorse.myrealfairy.com

8.  Seahorses are thought to hold magic qualities and there are stories of them wrapping their tail around people’s fingers and emitting a healing feeling to the person. This is the tale of folklore and not certified

9.  There are organisations and charities who assist in the conservation of seahorses, there are some pointers below if you wish to become more involved in areas of marine life conservation.

Seahorses, have now been listed as endangered under the United Nations Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. They are also protected under U.K. law.

10.  There are further folklore tales of dried seahorses being used as good luck charms to assist in the production of breast milk for nursing mothers. Thankfully this was rare. Many cultures see it as a carnation from the seas gods and link it with strength and power.

A couple of additional links which I found useful are below.

http://www.projectseahorse.org

http://www.blueoceannetwork.com

http://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

I must also thank Emma Rance, Marine Conservation Officer with the Dorset Wildlife Trust in assisting with the factual accuracy of the post. Not the folklore aspect of course.

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Bee House….is it a good idea with kids?!!!

I’m starting to have second thoughts about this already. I hope to talk myself back into it by writing this post. Let me explain a little further…

If you read one of my last weeks posts Spring Garden Makeover – our way! then you would know that we are in the throes of planning our garden spruce up.  Having two small football playing mud slingers as our opposition just adds to the fun.

I’m also wanting to make some real lifestyle changes for both of us grown ups. So much time is taken up by our jobs and the external demands on us that we both need to kick back, enjoy our time off more and make the most of what we have. The kids will benefit from this so much. We are making a good start….

So, the other evening…. the other half trots off to get the essentials in town and against his normal traits he comes back laden down, whoop whoop. What is the jewel in the crown is a ‘bee and insect house’! I’d never even seen one before.

We all love our outside space and having a fairy garden with little nooks and crannies around for creatures to make their own is a wish of mine and the other half.

Since he brought the bee house, I’ve been frantically looking up if bees will be a danger to the kids and will suddenly besiege us while we sit soaking up the rays of sun that our british summer time chooses to give us.

The general consensus is no. The best advice is to place the bee house out of the main part of the garden where it’s quiet. Place it where it’s not likely to get disturbed. Really important for us – start to educate our boys on what could happen if you poke the bee house with a large stick! Bees only sting if they feel under threat, not for fun.

Bees are in danger of disappearing from our country and are in need of a little TLC, this is our way of seeing if we can help them out and involve the boys in something a bit different.

Also, who knows what will choose to take up residence there, we could be in for a total surprise. We might have a ladybird nest….wow! I digress…..

So, under limited input from myself (I hid), the other half took his life in his own hands and found a remote spot up the bank and placed it high enough up a large tree not to be touched. It’s safe and secure, out of reach and open for business. Let see what the summer brings. Lets hope its not antihistamine!

I’m pretty happy now with the decision but I’ll wait and see. Have you tried to introduce animals into your garden or your environment that you hadn’t previously thought about?