Stone Hill Garden

A Quick Trip to NC

I recently traveled to Havelock, NC for two months to train other Marines in my job field.  My weekends were spent driving around the area and admiring the gardens and colorful landscaping.  I found a some great picture opportunities for my digital camera, and a chance to show my wife and children this beautiful area. where I was previously stationed from 2002-2005.Bench 

One of the streets that I drove on provided an interesting find.  I spotted a home where the owners apparently purchased the front and back lots and used the rear lot as a garden.  I must admit that some jealousy ran through me for a few seconds.  The owners had also erected a bird motel consisting of numerous hollowed out gourds.  This is a great way to keep your natural insect control close at hand!


I even managed to find an elevated water barrel that was used to water a short row of vining plants.  This is something I have been seeing a lot of in gardening posts on various sites, and I am interested in trying this in the future.Water tower 

While my home in California, and most of the western US was in a drought, I was pounded with rain during the majority of my trip in NC.  During a trip to the local New Bern Farmer's Market in New Bern, NC, I was informed that there had been an incredibly long dry spell there as well.  I guess my arrival coincidentily marked the beginning of the much appreciated and needed wet weather.

  My time in NC was enjoyable, but it's great to be home again and tending to my own crops at Stone Hill Garden in sunny Southern California.  My summer crops did not fair so well with the intense heat, so I am hoping for a good fall/winter harvest.  Happy planting and picking to all, and feel free to visit us at FaceBook.

Reaching out to San Antonio

We recently took some vacation time and traveled to Texas to visit Tabatha's family.  While we were there, we decided to plant some trees in my father-in-law's backyard and start a potted garden for him as well.  The trees came first.  My brother-in-law helped me dig the holes, and boy did we get a workout!  I didn't know that just below the top few inches of soil was a whole bunch of rocks waiting to be dug out.  We worked hard and finally had three nice holes dug and ready for whatever my father-in-law would bring back from the store.  He delivered two small fig trees and a tall peach tree that would grow to provide fruit and shade for the backyard.   We set the trees, backfilled with garden soil, added a brick border, and topped the dirt with some wood mulch.  We were all very pleased with the results.  

 One of the fig trees 

 Peach tree 

After the trees were in place, it was time to work on the garden.  My brother-in-law had started some tomato seeds that he received in the mail.  I notice that the neighbor had some plastic 55 gallon barrels in his yard and I inquired as to where he got them.  Turns out that this guy is a truck driver for the local grocery store and is able to get these food grade barrels when they are emptied.  I told him that I wanted to get one to make a garden and he kindly passed one over the fence to me.  My wife decided that cutting the barrel into three sections to create a raised garden border would be our best option.  I used my father-in-laws cordless reciprocating saw to easily 'cut' through this task.

55 gallon barrel  

The tomato seedlings were transplanted to the newly created raised garden, and we added some bell pepper seeds and carrot seeds to increase the variety and yield of this garden.  We didn't use all of the tomatoes in the garden, so we put some in pots and placed them in the front room of the house where they get plenty of sunlight and should continue to grow.

Tomatoes in pots for the front room  

My wife's family was very grateful and excited about their new fruit trees and vegetable garden.  My brother-in-law has been doing an excellent job at taking care of his new garden and looks forward to enjoying the tasty food that it will provide.  Please visit us at Stone Hill Garden to see updated pictures and posts about this garden in San Antonio and our own garden in Southern California.