Portable is the word for me, when it comes to gardening, this spring. Selling a home, and planning a move, means I will very likely be somewhere else, mid-gardening season. I’ve been forced to leave two beautiful gardens at the peak of harvest, with our previous moves. So, to say that I am unmotivated, this year, to get a big garden going, only to leave it behind, is a HUGE understatement. It’s quite the conundrum, really. Something about this time of year urges me outside to turn the soil, plant seeds and engage in the “therapy” that is gardening. I truly enjoy nurturing and watching plants grow and the sense of accomplishment when we can put food on our table that I’ve grown in our own yard . Vegetables, berries, fruit and flowers — I enjoy working with all of them. God is so good to bless the work of our hands with such incredible beauty AND bounty. So, while I am not highly motivated to raise a garden that someone else will eat, there is no way for me to forgo the joy of planting and watching the miracle of all that develops. The compulsion to “grow things” is too strong, not to indulge it. Thankfully, I have discovered a way to plant my garden, and EAT it, too — no matter where we’re living. 🙂
Pete, from Roped on Cedar, approached me about reviewing some of his handcrafted raised beds and planters and when I started exploring his Etsy shop, I knew my problem was solved. His gorgeous, cedar boxes, planters and raised beds are the movable solution to taking my garden “whither our journey may take us”. I’m excited to share a little with you, about all the great options he has to offer.
Small container gardening, whether it be with raised beds or patio and deck gardens, is an important trend that is sweeping our country. For many, producing at least some of their own food will be an absolute necessity as we watch grocery prices continue to multiply out of control. What did you spend on groceries a year ago, as compared to, today? If your costs haven’t nearly doubled in this treacherous economy, count yourself incredibly fortunate. For many, having some sort of garden is simply a matter of survival and stretching the food budget as best they can. For others, it’s the only realistic and affordable way to provide nutrient dense, organic food for their family’s table. For the purists, it may just be the promise of a fully ripe, juicy and flavorful tomato — a tomato that tastes like we all remember tomatoes — a tomato unlike anything you will ever buy in a supermarket. Maybe you have a little bit of all of them in you. I sure do. 🙂 Whatever your reason for choosing to garden, it’s definitely a good one! And without a doubt, you CAN do it, regardless of the amount of space you have to work with. You only need one large pot sitting in the sun to grow a fabulous tomato plant, or stick a mini trellis in that big pot and grow a cucumber vine or pole beans. There is SOME level of achievable gardening available to almost everyone. I’ll be sharing about another option that Roped on Cedar has for you, in upcoming posts, but today, I want to focus on their upright planters stands that bring raised bed gardening to a whole new level — the level where I don’t have to crouch on my knees. I’m loving that idea!
My cedar plant stand and planters arrived on my porch in a giant box. When I opened up the carton, I was immediately greeted by the wonderful scent of cedar and was instantly happy. I removed all the pieces from the box and looked over the instructions. One of the planter boxes had been damaged in shipping, so I shot a quick email off to Pete and was amazed at how quickly he got a new one right out to me. After several interactions with him, I can say with confidence, that customer service and satisfaction are TOP priorities at Roped on Cedar. Each planter box or garden accessory at Roped on Cedar is handcrafted, individually, by Pete. He invests time and attention to detail in each and every piece.
The instructions I received with my kit were pretty basic and incomplete. Instead of contacting Pete, right away, like I should have, I simply visited the Etsy shop, looked at a few photos of the assembled plant stands and “winged it” on my own. After all, my dad’s a carpenter and cabinet builder. This will be a cinch! After about 30 minutes of being frustrated over what is literally a 5 minute job, I finally did get the planter stand assembled. I was having problems getting everything squared up, properly, and as much as I wanted to blame the pre-cut cedar braces, they were all cut to identical lengths and had absolutely no problems. This was definitely a case of user error, though I just couldn’t figure out what I had done incorrectly. When the stand was finished, and the planters mounted, I was ecstatic! I absolutely love the “rustic” look and feel that will blend so well on decks, patios and in gardens. The natural wood is gorgeous! Still…something was not quite right.
I just couldn’t figure out the problem. Then, suddenly, looking at the top riser, I decided there was no way a planter box could sit up there without a cross brace there, too. Back to the Roped on Cedar shop I went, to study the pictures there. Sure enough, there was no brace on the bottom front of their planter. I quickly removed the front cross brace, on the bottom of my planter and attached it to the top riser of the planter stand. I set all four planters in place and stood back to admire my work. Love, love, love! Quick glance at the computer screen….wait a minute…I have my side walls turned INSIDE OUT! So much for “reading” pictures. Oy! I determined to leave things as they are because I love my finished planter, but seriously, I needed to talk to Pete about the instructions.
Wouldn’t you know with someone so dedicated to customer service, Pete’s response was immediate and one of taking full responsibility. He actually rewrote and illustrated his instruction sheet and sent a copy to me, to ask my opinion. The new instructions will be included in all future shipments. After discussing my assembly experience with him, and confessing to looking at the pictures on his website when I needed help, Pete and I discovered that he needed a NEW picture in that product description. There actually IS a cross brace on the bottom front of the plant stand. The picture in his online shop was old and didn’t reflect the new, sturdier design, so he went straight to work and took new photos. I am so impressed with Roped on Cedar’s response to customer feedback and desire to continually improve their customer’s experience.
As you can see, I completed the project successfully, albeit with my own special “flare”. 🙂 You can see it assembled, correctly, in the photo below on the Rafflecopter entry form. When you assemble yours, follow the instructions and if you have a question, email Pete. Life will be a LOT simpler. Just sayin’….. I can’t wait to get back from my trip to Arkansas and get my garden beds going! How fabulous is it that I can stay standing on my feet to tend the whole thing! My knees, and my back, thank you Roped on Cedar. And truthfully, so do the neighbors, probably.
Okay, if you haven’t already guessed, there will be another post to show you the boxes, planted and beautiful, when I get home from SoFabCon. There will be color, texture and a fabulously intelligent garden layout. Promise! In the meantime, I want you all to visit Pete’s store on Etsy and share some love. ♥ Favorite his Etsy shop, Roped on Cedar, won’t you, please? Check out all the fabulous hand crafted items you can add to your gardens, decks, porches and patios. Plus, just to keep you busy while I’m gone, let’s do a giveaway! Pete has generously agreed to give one lucky Busy-at-Home reader one of the same quad-level planter stands with four boxes that I reviewed. Customer service AND incredible generosity!
To enter, visit the Roped on Cedar Etsy shop, look around and find a product you would love to have. In a comment on this post, tell me the name of the product, post the link and tell me what would be the first thing you would plant in it. That’s THREE things: 1) name of product, 2) link to product page and 3) what you’d plant. Go! Have a blast and I challenge you to only love one thing. 🙂
Be sure to register your comment in the Rafflecopter Form, below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy garden planning. I’ll “see” you in a few days with tons of exciting posts and information. You won’t have to miss me too much while I’m gone, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+. I’ll be keeping you updated on my activities, and just for the fun of it, and to make you wonder just a little, I leave you with this question/hashtag, “#WheresMyChicken ?” Watch for it! 🙂