Soon to be renowned!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Financial Report

News today from FPG's CFO: I am sorry to report that both our recent Rock Sale and last month's Dead Plant Clearance Event were utter failures; as such we have missed our revenue goals for the fiscal quarter ending—wait, how do fiscal quarters work? Ah well, there's a reason I became a gardener and not something useful.

What this means for the continuing development of the Gardens is that our operating budget is roughly equal to any buried change or scrap metal we find in the earth-moving process. Thus far, our coffers contain two and a half tire-irons, an old matchbox car, a surprisingly complete set of silverware, two dozen rusty nails, a screw driver, and a small pair of scissors.

We're saving up for a trip to the scrap yard, but until then we are forced to be thrifty and innovative in our use of tools and landscaping materials. For example: gas for the lawnmower is expensive! But, in a pinch, one of those hand blenders from the kitchen on an extension cord can work just as well. Probably. Bang. That's real savings right there.*

Or consider a retaining wall (oh, do consider a retaining wall). I wanted to build a short one to put the veggie bed up on a small terrace, but allan blocks or natural stone can be pricey—in that they have a price and so are not free, which places them light years beyond the aforementioned operating budget. (I don't even want to think about how many tire-irons it would take to pay for that kind of hardscaping.) So the ingenious solution I stumbled upon was to simply use materials found around the yard. The previous owner left behind lots of good stuff, so surely I could find something with which to build a retaining wall. But what?

Lo and behold: bricks! Old, leftover bricks work splendidly for a small, informal retaining wall. I couldn't believe the previous owner didn't want to take these with her! Well, you know what they say: one man's trash is another man's … masonry. So I rounded up all the bricks I could find and voila, I had a great dry-stack wall complete in no time. Now, unfortunately, I could only find three bricks, so the wall is a little patchy in spots. But at a total cost of nothing I'm pretty darn proud of the results. Check it out:

This retaining wall was built entirely with found materials!
*Who am I kidding, this is a bad idea. Really, just terrible. Don't waste your time attempting this. I just wanted to seem thrifty and innovative.


  1. Save your bricks. They are expensive to buy and hard to find. To build walkways at our 130+ house we wanted vintage bricks, but had to settle for putting a row down the middle of the walkways with newer on the outside. We love our old bricks.

    1. I never even considered that these might be vintage bricks. Since they are of an indeterminate age, I'm just going to assume that they are, in fact, vintage (it definitely sounds cooler that way).

  2. There is money in old distressed wood. I notice you have quite a few pieces, and the mottled blue if perfect. Worth a fortune!

    1. I knew I was sitting on a fortune! Time to liquidate.