5,238 Projects For Home Gardeners


I find off­cuts some­time and I put them to work, I stand them up on end with anoth­er lit­tle piece of scrap behind like a pic­ture frame, usu­al­ly cut­ting a slot through the big piece and then fit­ting the small­er piece through, and then stand­ing the whole thing up in the back­yard. I have a lot of stains left over from this or that project around the house so I usu­al­ly will just stain the off­cut and maybe the oth­er piece for stand­ing it up, maybe with anoth­er col­or, so like a wal­nut stain piece that’s stick­ing through more of a mahogany stain, which looks pret­ty neat.

-Jess Patchert, Mar­i­on, IL


This is good for a big lot with woods in the back. Gath­er any big fall­en branch­es, 5’ long or so, with a fork at the end. Store them until you have enough – maybe in the garage. Get latex paints, white blue, and orange, shades your choice. Get some big stor­age bins you aren’t using and clean them out thor­ough­ly. Fill each bin with a col­or of paint. Dip each branch, fork in paints, one after anoth­er, giv­ing plen­ty of time to dry for each coat. Mean­while, sur­vey a big twelve-foot grid on your prop­er­ty. Dig post holes at each point, and plant” each branch with fork side up. It won’t last for­ev­er but what does?! 

-Susan Kacz­marek, Apple­ton, WI


Sim­ple, gath­er up some pack­ing peanuts. Sort into three col­ors, any three are good. Stripe your lot with the peanuts, wide stripes or short stripes are OK.
-Mike Strunk, Rome, GA


When my old­est was born, we plant­ed a maple tree for him along the back fence. Then Hunter came and we decid­ed we would chip the first tree, plant a new maple tree, and put the chips from the first tree around it. That would be like Tyler pro­tect­ing his lit­tle broth­er. Then Jacob came and we chipped Hunter’s tree, and so on. We think it’s a pret­ty nice tra­di­tion. We call it our bless­ing garden. 

-Corey Fleck, Wren­tham, MA


It doesn’t look like much but when I get sore I take a box of fin­ish nails and I go out back and I just ham­mer them into the ground. I guess it wouldn’t be worth doing if the soil was bet­ter but it’s awful sandy so it feels good to bang them in. You know, at dawn some­times you can catch all those nails sparkling and it’s nice. 

-Howard Franks, Lewis­ton, ID 


I know it sounds sil­ly but lemons don’t do too well in our zone and I just want­ed some lemons around. So I made some lemons with papi­er-mâché, those were pret­ty much life-size. I couldn’t see them so well from the kitchen so I made some a lit­tle big­ger by putting the papi­er-mâché on chick­en­wire. Those are maybe two feet across. I paint them yel­low – oth­er­wise they wouldn’t real­ly be like lemons! I must have a hun­dred or so out there. They don’t tend to do well in the win­ter so I have my hands full every year truck­ing them out and truck­ing them in. 

-Sue Bopst, Sag­i­naw, MI 


So I took a 10’ length of sew­er hose, ran it off the drain­pipe on the north­west cor­ner of the house. Dug an 18” square trench (near as I could get it) at a 45 degree angle off the cor­ner, 7’ or so. Threw the hose in with the end stick­ing out, cov­ered it back up again and laid sod. Now when we get a heavy rain the water pret­ty well shoots out the top! 

-Tom Pen­ny, Eagle, CO


I built up a cone in my gar­den and there it is! 

-Paul Chan­dler, Sch­enec­tady, NY


My son got me start­ed with the cin­derblocks when he was in col­lege and now it’s my thing. I get the cin­derblocks here and there and line them up. Then I stack them up to make lit­tle walls. Not too high, only prob­a­bly three high. Some­times I get lit­tle plants from Home Depot, noth­ing spe­cial, marigolds or what­ev­er, and I put those in the holes of the cin­derblocks, in their lit­tle pots. I start­ed with the edges of my back yard, then my front yard, then my side yard, and now I have them going up and down the back­yard, so mak­ing kind of lit­tle plots. I don’t know, I just get a kick out of them. 

-Paula C. Gibbs, Lima, OH 


My spe­cial gar­den has goats in it. I don’t much mind what they eat but they end up every­where and peo­ple always stop by my house to see the goats up on the shed and so on. 

-Lau­rie Patchen-Smith, Arca­ta, CA 


I dig a hole in my gar­den when­ev­er I get the notion. Could be one foot, foot and a half deep, you get the idea. Not more than three feet across, round as I can make it. When I don’t want to look at just the bare hole any­more I get some grav­el and fill it in. I like a pea grav­el, #4, #5 – change it up a lit­tle. If it’s bet­ter as just the hole I’ll take the grav­el back out and put it some­where else. 

-Steve Pope, Annapo­lis, MD


For a feel­ing of liv­ing like the Greeks did you don’t need to go over­board. I take any old pipe and knock it into the ground, then a paver on top of that. That’s one kind, sim­ple. Space them out, you’ve got to space them out exact­ly or it doesn’t look neat. Then the grapes, just plant the grapes and run cable from one pipe to the next. No one can believe how many grapes I get back here. 

-B. Shack­le­ford, Texarkana, AR 


Death! Death be not proud! How many hosts have died in this place! And all shall go into my death hole! 

-Pen­ny Pinch­beck, Bowl­ing Green, KY 


I pick a pret­ty dry day in the spring to run amuck” and set some fires in the yard. Some­times I have a go at draw­ing a pic­ture or some­thing but rarely does it turn out. Most­ly I like the smell and pok­ing my shoe around in the char. You nev­er know what you’ll flush out. 

-Stew Shel­ley, Man­ches­ter, NH 


I have a fine lit­tle gar­den in a box but I won’t let any­one else see it, so when we have com­pa­ny over I take a top and put it on the box. I nail it shut! Dri­ves my wife crazy. I don’t much like her look­ing in the box either. 

-Rus­sell Pet­zel, Rochester, MN 


It’s fun­ny, when we bought our place we didn’t want the has­sle of the oak out back so I just had a bud­dy cut it down. Fig­ured I’d use it for fire­wood but then the seal in the chim­ney had cracked and I couldn’t get any­one in for a fair price to fix it. Then I end­ed up stor­ing some lum­ber for anoth­er bud­dy for a project he was going to do and he hap­pened to pass away so I had all this wood back there. Then my son had some hare-brained idea that he was going to get rich off pal­lets so he drove up one day and left damn near 200 of the things back there. Then my neigh­bor comes up. Says he’s going to make a good prof­it off of a stand of wal­nut trees on his prop­er­ty and could he stow the wood back here to cure for a while. Long sto­ry short he runs off and I’m stuck with all these wal­nut rounds. So my property’s damn near full of wood and who knows when I’ll get around to offload­ing it all. 

-Dar­rell Davis, Okla­homa City, OK 


I think I bore peo­ple walk­ing them around my For­est of Arden Gar­den. I’ve named just about every­thing in it! I call the wis­te­ria Charles. The Knock Out’ rose is Ros­alind, nat­u­ral­ly! When the helle­bores come out in the fall I call them all Jaques, because they have that sad look. I’m work­ing on labels for every­thing but they aren’t ready quite yet. 

-Don­ald Betsch, Pis­cat­away, NJ 


I make pat­terns with indus­tri­al-strength glue (trade secret) in the back lawn and the nice thing is when the glue catch­es leaves and what­not and you can real­ly make out the pat­tern. I get a quilt mag­a­zine and most­ly copy pat­terns out of that. Yes, I just get stakes and lines and a lev­el and fig­ure them right on the lawn. Dia­monds, stars, you name it. Circle’s not hard, just cut off the line to the right radius length, tie one end to the stake, and just walk it around in a cir­cle! Once the lines are out I just drag around a lit­tle wag­on with my glues and squeeze them fol­low­ing the line. Of course I always get some glue on my gar­den shoes – it can’t hard­ly be helped. You real­ly need strong glue to get it to work so when that hap­pens it’s so long shoes. I would rec­om­mend my glue gar­den to anybody. 

‑Danielle Boudreaux, Bid­de­ford, ME

(October 2019)