My Little Eden




I love gardening.  I remember working for an hour and a half mowing my grandparents yard and being paid the astronomical sum of "three whole dollars"  for my efforts.  It seemed too good to be true.  I have been mowing lawns and pulling weeds for as long as I can remember.  

Fast forward a few decades...

I still love gardening, but three dollars doesn't seem like nearly enough money for an hour and a half of work.   

Nonetheless, gardening is my escape, my gift to my family, my bridge to sanity, and, ultimately, my connection to God. 

My Cousin works at a fencing company.  They routinely install, fix, and remove vinyl fencing material.  When they have left over, scrap and used material, what better place for its ultimate resting place than my garden?

I used the recycled vinyl fencing material to build raised veggie beds.  They are 3 to 4 feet wide, 12 to 24 inches tall, and up to 36 feet long. 

My wife is a graphics designer, so the layout had to be aesthetically pleasing.  We went thru several designs before we settled on wht we call the "amazing maze design."  Essentially, what we ended up with was a series of interlocking beds that provided for easy access and maximum planting area. 

I have included pictures of the rest of my backyard area, including the chicken coop made from recycled fence material, the patio made from recycled sidewalk concrete, and other notable areas. 

As of today, my garden has
10 varieties of tomatoes
5 varities of sweet peppers
5 varieties of hot peppers
baby corm
snap peas
snow peas
soy beans
yard long beans
4 varieties of cucumbers
Swiss chard
Lima beans
blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries

I also have cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, lemons, grapefruit, limes, oranges, figs, almonds, walnuts and poppy seeds.

I am fortunate to be able to preserve enough food from the garden to carry us through the winter.  We are still enjoying last year's blackberry jam and preserves, diced tomatoes, peaches, apricots, figs, nuts, chicken soup (not my favorite chore) and poppies.

If you like my garden, please vote for me.

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    21 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Too bad you use Vinyl, so horrible for the planet and it's off gasing into your garden. It would be great if you could find a better material that doesn't contaminate your garden and the rest of the earth.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, the reason I used vinyl was for just that reason. You see, I hate my family and the Earth. I am hoping to grow an enormous amount of food in a seemingly loving and environmentally conscious manner. Once I lull my family into believing that I actually love them, I will feed them this vinyl gas-contaminated poison . Eventually, they will get sick and die a horrible, painfully slow death.

    Once this phase of my master plan is complete, I will use their poison-infused decomposing bodies to kill as many soil-borne microbes as possible. In fact, I estimate that each one of my children will render approximately two cubic meters of soil uninhabitable for at least the next 50 years. My wife may be good for up to three cubic meters.

    Though I truly appreciate your comments, I must ask you to please refrain from mentioning this to anyone. It would truly be a shame if, after working so hard on my diabolical plan, it were foiled so close to success. I'm sure you understand.

    By the way, about 66% of the water distribution pipes in the US are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It appears that the Department of Health has the same disdain for the general population as I do for my family and the earth. I'm sure that agency would appreciate your silence concerning this matter.

    In conclusion, thanks for the comment. I will think of it each time I use my plastic credit card to purchase a plastic bottle of water so as not to drink water from the plastic PVC pipes.

    Again, thanks, and don't forget to wear your aluminum foil hat and gas mask when you go out into the real world.

    Absolutely love your garden, but your humor is top of the line! If you are serious at peppers coming out your ears i’d like to borrow you for a season... I have seriously been looking for ideas of raised beds and glad to see yours! Thanks for ideas! Question? Do you use webbing above plants-the same stuff one would use over chicken pens to prevent predators from consuming you chickens. Thought of using it as pea fence but not sure if it'll work.

    2 replies

    Thanks for the comments. If I understood you correctly, you are speaking of bird netting: a light-weight mesh that has almost no strength. No, I do not use it above the plants nor would I recommend using it as a pea fence. The openings are too small to allow for easy pea-picking (ask me how I know!). They actually make a netting intended for pea fences but I have never been able to find it in a store. The mesh size is about 6 inches square, or so.
    What I do is make my own fence out of twine and clothes line. I stretch the clothes line near the ground and at about 7 feet up. Then I use the twine and go up and down, each time making a couple wraps around the clothes line (think modified clove hitch). Zig-zag your way to the other end of the row and tie it off. A few horizontal runs with the twine and you have yourself a pea fence. I'll post pics tonight.
    Another pea fence option is concrete mesh wire. It is 5 feet tall and has 6 inch square openings. cost is $100 for 150 feet, but will last forever and makes great tomato cages, as well.

    Cool Thanks for tip! I was actually going to try it but if it won't work you saved me some time! lol Yes I'd love to see pics.
    Thanks Laura


    7 years ago on Introduction

    That comment that you made regarding the ecoeejit that dissed this amazing garden is most probably the best comeback that I have ever read. For this reason alone, I have decided to join the instructables community and post our home made problem solvers and lateral thinkings to share with other like minded people. You sir, are truelly doing more than anything to give we 'rest of the earthers' out here a more balanced idea of how there might just be some interesting, inovative and dare I say it "self deprocating and funny" Americans. Thankyou SO much for making my day and pushing that ecomoron off their bike :o) I hope you don't mind, but I am going to put the link to this response on my blog for my appreciative readers to marvel at how well you extinguished this do gooders ecoflame. You are doing the most amazing thing reusing what would otherwise go into landfill. You sir, and your family are doing more for the environment than 100 eco naysayers who would have us believe that you have to pay through the nose for ANYTHING that is worth preserving. By the way ChrysN, my husband won't enter the garden unless he not only has a glass of red in hand but has a decent fortification of said wine prior to entering the green tangle and he has his Diploma of Horticulture so he is no eejit!
    Man...I am still smiling over that reply. Thank God for people with restraint, humour and a seriously good grasp of the English/American language. You rule! :o)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ahh, the garden we all wish we could have, but aren't all willing to put the work in to achieving. Kudos to you, and thanks for sharing your pride and joy.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I was searching for uses of recycled concrete in the garden and this came up. Wonderful! We are building a similar little Eden here in Berkeley. I keep freaking my husband out bringing home carloads of bricks and concrete and other architechtural salvage. I only get anywhere in life by sheer hubris-thanks for fanning the flames!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome Garden! If I ever get my Compound ( I mean Ranch ) I am going to model my garden after this, I like the whole raised garden maze thing going on and an A++ for the jxross vinyl reply comment!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is the way I like to garden too, except I use what I'm able to find for my raised beds such as tires (they've been studied folks and they are not polluting the ground/water as previously thought), glass bottles built up into raised beds using cement, and I use straw in-between for weed control. Oh, I do the wine thing, too...LOL! Great job! I think you have probably inspired a lot of people to get going on their own dream eden by posting this. ;-)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome. I love it. I have a small back yard container garden, but not nearly so impressive as yours. Keep it up! You might like to check out



    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, what a sweet-not-so-little-Eden you have. Wonderful...would love to walk through your garden and see and smell....

    btw: have you invited Mary-Jane? I'm sure she'd love it...;-)))

    Cheers from Switzerland


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful! You're my hero.
    yes me 2 me 2 :)
    this is just my dream coming true but in ur garden


    7 years ago on Introduction

    "Poppies. Bees love 'em. DEA...not so much." LOL
    You grow food and you have a sense of humor, my kind of human. :)

    WOW! you grow lots of different veggie plants and lots of fruit trees. but i have a few questions if you dont mind answering them. first where do you live? then from your experience which are the hardest and which are the easiest plants to grow? also, what kind of dirt do you use? and are you all organic? thanks, love your garden and hope you get a good harvest. :)

    1 reply
    jxrossflamming arrow

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I live in Visalia, the southern half of the Central Valley of California.

    As to which plants are easiest/hardest to grow, I have no real good answer. Some years tomatos (for example) are easy, the next year they fizzle: I was never able to get anything out of peppers until a few years ago, then the peppers were comming out of my ears. Last year my apricot tree was loaded, but this year, due to weather, I can only find a handfull on the tree. I was happy to get a handfull of cherries last year, and this year, I can't dehydrate them fast enough. Squash always seems to be easy, Beyond that, it's a crap shoot.

    As for the dirt. I use dirt. Granted, I live in the breadbasket of the world, and the topsoil around here is 200-300 feet deep, so I start out in a pretty good spot. To that, I add a lot of municipal compost ,chicken manure, and some self-produced worm castings (well, not exactly self produced, but you know what I mean),

    I am most definately NOT organic. That being said, I use only ladybugs, preying mantis, chickens, Neem oil, dish soap, and diatomatious earth for pest control. I never use pesticides like Sevin, Methaldihide, or malathion, because I don't want to harm the beneficials. I use glyphosate liberally for weed control outside of the beds, and some will excoriate me for this, but they aren't the ones pulling my weeds! I guess my philosophy falls in line with every other farmer in the country...." I am as 'green' as I can be and still get the job done."

    As for the harvest, squash is doing great and I suspect I underestimated the amout of room I should have given it...oops. Tomatos are on track for an average harvest, Peppers and cucumbers are sucking hind teat. Everything else is producing as expected.

    Thanks for the comment and the interest.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, what a great job you've done. I love the gardening-on-your-butt-with-a-glass-of-wine photo. Doesn't get any better than that. Although I would prefer wooden beds in my garden, if I had a source of free vinyl fencing, I would jump at it. Great job.