All (Gardening) Hands on Deck

I ‘m still not sure how my back deck went from being a space for relaxing and grilling to an apparent all-out garden center.  At least, that’s the way it looks with so many plants and flowers now occupying the space.

These are just a few of the plants and flowers that my daughter, Cameron has been cultivating as part of her own private, personal gardening effort.

She certainly has a little bit of everything in her pots, including herbs, a handful of colorful flowers, lettuce, potatoes and other veggies and flora.

Cameron is even growing several watermelon plants in large planters. I didn’t know you could grow watermelon in pots but they actually look pretty good right now.

We’ll see how they turn out.

more gardening racks

Every day after school (in fact, every morning before school too) she scurries out here to the deck to check on the plants and their level of overnight growth.

She shuffles and re-arranges the pots and brushes the plants off and generally inspects each and every one.

Cameron the gardener

She’s most proud of this little green pepper and she’s anxious to pull it.

Clearly, we encourage her green thumb efforts but it was getting a little crowded.

So, in the interest of everyone involved I decided to organize the space a little better so humans and plants can better co-exist.

green pepper

I started with a trio of wrought iron baker’s racks which would provide an easier way for Cameron to access her plants.

wrought iron racks

These racks were reasonably priced and even better they’re fold-able.

If we ever have to take them off the deck and store them, they’ll be easy to store and because they collapse.

folding racks

 OK, here’s another look at what we started out with when I decided to makeover this space.

plants and pots
Here’s a look at it now.

Much better, don’t you think?

NOTE: Individual shelves can also remain flipped up (as I did here with the left and center shelves) to accommodate the height of plants on a lower shelf.

baker's racks and pots
The racks allow us to move everything from the center of the deck and take advantage of all that empty vertical space on the back wall.

Cameron can now see how everything is growing with one wide glance.

gardening racks

more gardening racks

Since humans still need to share the space with the plants, I decided to keep this space people friendly.

I removed the large circular table that was here and replaced with the matching Bistro table and chairs that had been out in the back yard.

Bistro table

Of course, no Bistro table is complete without a few new custom cushions and these were super simple to make.

(1) Remove the padding from old cushions.  (2) If foam or padding is loose, create a new pillowcase with muslin. (3)  Measure old cushion fabric and cut new fabric to size, add piping, stitch. (4) Stuff muslin-covered pillow form into new covering and stitch closed.

cushion construction steps

VOILA!  New cushions.

I also covered two 18-inch, store-bought pillow forms for even more impact (and additional comfort for the wrought iron Bistro chairs).

  cushion and pillows

Here’s how the Bistro table and chairs look now with new, colorful cushions.

NOTE: There’s a screen-in porch area right next to this deck area and I made matching throw pillows for that space too.  I’ll share that outdoor living space here later in an upcoming post.

bistro table and chairs

bistro chair
Meanwhile, Cameron loves the new space and her plants, veggies, flowers and herbs are now much easier to access and view.

Cameron gardening

Somehow, I think the plants are happier too.

Here are a few more photos of Cameron’s healthy harvest which includes basil, begonias, tomatoes, watermelon and one green pepper so far (which she plucked).

pesto pot

  begonia pot


green pepper

This space is now so much neater and more organized.

Moving the plants up against the wall and replacing the large circular table opens up the deck even more, making it look larger and feel roomier than before.

Bottom line, it also just looks a whole lot better now too.

  garden deck

This was a quick and easy makeover and as a result the plants are happy, Cameron is happy and now, so am I.

So, are you doing any container gardening this year?  Making any changes to your deck?



  Blog-granola-jars   Whether it’s sprinkled in cereal or just tossed in the mouth for snacking, Granola is a delicious food favorite.

 Coming up on Monday (6/17), I’ll share a super easy and very tasty Granola recipe that you can whip up in a jiffy.

By the way, my FRIDAY FOODIE segment is taking a summer hiatus and briefly moving to Mondays. 

Next week, I’ll launch my first fill-in segment called THE MONDAY MUNCH.

   THE FRIDAY FOODIE will return this Fall.

Hope you pop by this blog again next week for GREAT GRANOLA and THE MONDAY MUNCH.

See you then.

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    I think it looks great! Great idea on the bakers racks!

  • Angie

    Love those baker’s racks—where can we get one or three? 🙂 Your daughter’s garden looks awesome. 🙂

  • SuzK

    I live in a 3rd floor apartment, so container gardening is the gardening of necessity. I grow impatiens, swedish ivy and herbs. Love the herbs – they smell so good when I’m watering everything. The nice thing is that it all can come in the house in the fall; the plants help keep moisture in the air once the heat is on.

  • Bev

    Looks like you’ve found a perfect solution to your expanding plant collection. It’s great the Cameron is discovering the world of gardening!

  • Pam Capone

    I’m having a heck of a time with my deck garden. The chipmunks have already eaten through 3 tomatoes and they keep visiting my peppers. At least they are leaving the herbs alone.

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