Backyard Discovery: Oasis Garden Review

This is my first review.  I was fortunate enough to receive this garden bed from Backyard Discovery recently. In return I would need to review it, photograph, and blog about it.  I was (still am) a little nervous about doing a review of anything. How does it work? What if I don’t like it?  Do I still tell people what I really feel? I mean I am totally grateful for the trade, but what if it stinks? I don’t want to be misleading.

Well lucky for me it doesn’t stink.

First of all, I was getting ready to purchase this bed, it actually worked out well that I was lucky enough to review it. But I was definitely ready to spend the cash.  I had my eye on this last year but thought for the first year of gardening, I wasn’t sure I needed this much space. So we ended up building our own up against the side of our house.

This year I was adamant about expanding my vegetable growing space. But I also needed to make sure Honey-Do was okay with it. I mean he has been totally supportive of all of my new obsessions but he also is usually a little big skeptical too. Was I going to dig up our yard?  How was it going to look?  Is it going to be in the right space? Take up too much of the kid’s area?  This garden was my solution.

It is the perfect size and tidy enough not to overwhelm Honey-Do and it fits nicely in the space alloted.


I am head-over-heels IN LOVE with my new garden bed and let me tell you why!

It looks good. Don’t judge us. I know the important thing is that we are growing our own food.   But we adore our backyard, we spend a lot of time there. And we want it to look good. And it does!

It coordinates perfectly with all of our other things in the yard: swingset, playhouse, chicken coop, etc.

It’s easy to put together.  It was a bit intimidating to read that it would take 2 people up to 8 hours to build but my Honey-Do built it by himself in less time than that.  He started on it late in the day and then worked on it in a 3 part phase.

Anyone who is handy with a drill can put this thing together.

Plus they have a great video tutorial if you get stuck.

It’s a raised bed. It’s a really high raised bed. It’s perfect for not breaking your back. It’s perfect for anyone who would need wheelchair/handicap access to the garden. It’s perfect for little toddlers.

It is predator proof.

It has a nice gate to keep out the critters and some wandering-I-like-to-harvest-early-little munchkins.

It has small trellises on the front and sides and a very large trellis in the back.

I ended up planting tomatoes next to them.

It holds a ton of vegetables. I will share my full garden layout soon.

It comes with an automatic drip system; very easy to control and work.  My dad came out for a visit and helped me setup the drip system. We wanted to link it to my first garden. Now my garden grows itself.

Thanks Dad. Love you for that.

It does require a lot of fill/dirt. But I think that this is a plus. I prefer a deep garden bed.

I used the same mix I used in my first garden; Mel’s Mix.

It is affordable. Now I know some people might not agree with me on this.  I am sure there are many people who could figure out a better plan for their yard for a much more affordable cost. But with this garden you get what you pay for.

A great design and an easy to put together raised garden bed.

Here is my complaint.  Yes, I have one.

Last year when I was looking into with this garden there was a wonderful blog about what they planted and where. They even had a breakdown of how much they harvested based on costs at the local grocery store.  They really showed how this garden pays for itself.  Well, that blog has been deleted. I am not sure why.

I am bummed. I hope they bring it back.

I did manage to find their old flickr photos which you can check out here.

Thank you Backyard Discovery for giving me my first review. I adore my new bed. I look forward to a bountiful summer’s harvest and sharing it all with my friends and family.


Celebrating Teens

It is “Celebrating Teens” week at i heart faces. Here is my entry.  Go check out the other amazing ones here.

Congratulations to Em and all of her friends from the Class of 2010.

I recently went back to California to visit my family and to attend my niece’s graduation. While I was there I met up with an old friend who took me out and gave me some amazing photography tips, tricks, and equipment advice. He and I doubled up to do a friendship/graduation photo shoot for my niece and 7 of her friends.

There were so many great pictures to choose from but I decided on this one from my camera.

I love how comfortable they are together. They were such a great group. I am so proud of all of them.

I will share a full post of pictures from this session as well as what my friend captured. His shots are simply beautiful.


grateful for our teachers

Special Teacher

Thank you special teacher
For helping me to know
The things I need to learn
To live my life and grow.

I feel good with you because
Your teaching makes me see,
If I work at it, I can do it.
Thanks for showing me!

Princess and I want to thank all of her teachers for their wonderful gift that they give to her every day.  We hope you have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall.

We gave these adorable gifts to them during teacher appreciation week but if you are looking for last minute-end of the year teacher gifts then give these a try. Super gorgeous and super simple.

You can find the full tutorial over at my favorite blog:  Ashley Ann Photography.

Beware–you will be hooked on her blog once you get there!  Have fun.


Happy Father’s Day

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it … Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~