Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Planting Wine Bottles

Before I get to my latest revelation in planting, I have to introduce you to a new face in these photos. 

This is Kevin, my best friend from high school's husband.  Kevin, a farm boy from Iowa, and Aaron, a farm boy from Wisconsin, both found themselves married to two Minnesota girls.  They've found some common ground (no pun intended) in their small town background and have formed a bit of good ol' boy bond between them.

Sometimes Kevin will call up Aaron and say, "Hey, can I come over and burn some leaves?"   And the two of them will stand around burning leaves, drinking beer and talking about tractors

It's a type of male bonding we women will never understand. 

There should be no doubt that they would take the opportunity to bond over stump grinding a few weeks ago. 

I really hate to admit this, but one of the stumps was from an old lilac tree we cut down last year.  It was a painful decision to make to take that down because fresh-cut lilacs are one of my favorite things in this world.  But for the two weeks in May they are actually in bloom, their scent and beauty are almost enough to make their dry and dead appearance the rest of the year worthwhile. Almost.  But the unattractive straggly bush blocking the view of the vineyard 50 weeks out of the year was enough to pull the string on the lilac bush.  Plus, we have another one, so I didn't feel like I was totally losing out by cutting one down.

The boys went to work.  

Using big machines requiring them to sweat and flex their muscles...while I supervised.

It was male bonding at its finest. 

And I wasn't about to stop them. 

And after a long morning of stump grinding, they sat back in the Adirondack chairs with what I can only describe as a Big Gulp.

While they relaxed, I was left to ponder what to do with the big plot of dirt in the middle of the yard where the stump once resided.  We either had to plant grass seed... or plant something else.  After careful thought and consideration, I decided to make good use of all of our empty wine bottles and try and increase our wine production.  I planted wine bottles.


Oh.  That isn't how you make wine?  Plant a bottle and grow a wine tree?

Well, a girl can try. 

They do, however, make a pretty cool garden border.  At least the one I saw in the magazine looked pretty cool, and this seemed like a good opportunity to turn this little plot into a garden area and try it out.

My arm got a little tired after digging a few holes to fit the length of a wine bottle, so I asked Aaron if he had any tricks up his sleeve for some quick hole digging. 

Never doubt him.  He has a trick for everything.  He pulled out the extension cord, power drill, and an attachment and drilled me some holes.

Seriously, have you ever seen gardening so masculine? 

When was the last time you used a power drill when you were gardening?  I'd recommend it.  It saved me a lot of blisters on my hands.

And I got my wine bottles planted, laid some fresh red mulch...

And am still toying around with the aesthetics a bit.  Like, should I use all green bottles, or a mix of clear, green and brown?  And if I mix them, should I alternate colors?  Should I keep the two champagne bottles in there for size and dimension?  Should I plant hostas in here or flowers?  So many questions. 

I thought briefly....very briefly about using our collection of wine corks for mulch.  But thought that would be a little too much.  Plus, I'd need a lot of corks. 

I'll let you know how it all turns out in the end.  But for now, I like the open view much better.

I think it's fair to say I've done my "green" duty for the year in finding new life for used wine bottles as chandeliers and garden borders.  If you have any creative ideas for recycling wine bottles, I'd love to hear them!