Tag Archives: Outdoors

Keyhole gardens: why and how to build a hybrid raised bed with compost

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Keyhole gardens originated in Africa, but work well anywhere.
Photo courtesy of Send A Cow. 

Keyhole gardens are the best idea I’ve unearthed in more than two decades of garden writing. The gardens originated more than 20 years ago in Africa, where AIDS and drought took a toll on people and gardens. Keyhole gardens combine the best of raised beds and composting, can be irrigated with gray water, and make the most of garden space.

I first learned of the gardens during a drought in Denver, and gathered materials to build one, but never got around to it because I feared the garden might appear junky in my small back yard. However, landscape architects embracing the keyhole garden concept are building these raised, typically round gardens from handsome stone that makes them an attractive highlight in any garden.

My article published by The Denver Post includes step-by-step tips for building a keyhole garden, properly siting the keyhole, and what to plant in these ingenious gardens. You may read my article at this link.

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Filed under Friday Jones Publishing, Writing

Warm Up To Winter: Four Stay-Warm Tips

ColleenSkiShotThe last three days, in sub-zero conditions, I skied Vail, and lived to tell the tale. On the down side, I suffered: frosty fingers and toe and a wind-blown face–that is, where my ski was exposed to the elements.
On the up side, not many people braved the arctic conditions, so I did not wait in any long lift lines.
Even if you’re not a skier, you might appreciate some tips for warming up to winter:
1) Layer up. Under my down coat, I wore a Patagonia Primaloft layer, a mid-layer, and a base layer.
2) Wear a hat. When I ski, I wear a helmet. And under my helmet, I wear a head sock.
3) Sip a cup of something warm. Hot cocoa or tea or whatever you prefer will warm up your insides, but you also can warm you hands on the cup itself.
4) At the end of a cold day–or whenever possible–slip into a warm bath: the quickest way to warm up on winter’s coldest days.  (LINK to my examiner.com article about plants in the bath)

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Filed under Laid-Back Skier