Greenest Thumb Entry: Erin and Hank's Fixer-Upper

Greenest Thumb Entry: Erin and Hank's Fixer-Upper

Heather Blaha
Jun 29, 2006

Welcome to Erin and Hank! Final voting for the Greenest Thumb Contest starts tomorrow, when you'll see a recap of the month's entries. Happy voting!

Name: Erin and Hank Location: Champaign-Urbana Size: 400 sq. ft.

Our garden has only come about in the past month. We just moved into this townhouse, and when we got here, brand-new puppy in tow, we knew our weed-riddled excuse for a backyard had to be fixed up—fast! Oh, and cheap. Really cheap...(See more below the jump.)

Before: only one month ago

After: dog's eye view.

We wanted our yard to be something we could all enjoy, so we decided on the following things: a little grass for Gemma the puppy to roll in, a table and umbrella for my husband, and flowers and veggies for me. We were lucky enough for a friend to give us her patio set, for my in-laws to give us the Adirondack chairs (which we painted with $5 mis-tint paint), for my aunt and uncle to give us splits from their own plants (yellow and pink primrose, daylilies and coneflowers), and for my parents and sister to help till the ground and plant everything.

Tall coneflowers


The sod (from a local farmer) was a bargain at only twenty bucks. Clematis, runner beans and peas are making their way up the trellis, as well as a wayward branch from our neighbors' honeysuckle. The planters have tomatoes, sweet potato vine, mandevilla, jasmine, impatiens, wildflowers, nasturtiums, and various herbs. In the corner is a black-eyed susan vine which came from the local farmers' market, which is a great resource for well-cared-for cheap plants. I started all my veggies and most of the herbs, plus some bells of Ireland, nasturtium, and marigolds from seed which I purchased from Burpee.

View from the back door

We've really been happy with how our quickie yard turned out and hope to break it in soon with a big barbeque!

Thanks, Erin!

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