Some peo­ple are just born clever and handy.  These are the peo­ple who don’t fear the sound of power tools or those long, scary aisles of bits and pieces in the hard­ware store. They have DIY in their DNA.

Oth­ers of us need a lit­tle hand-holding, a kindly pep talk and a wee bit of a kick in the pants to con­vince us to put down the mail order cat­a­logs and light a fire to get our cre­ative juices flowing.

If you’re in the sec­ond cat­e­gory, there is no bet­ter gar­den DIY guru to get you started on a hand­made life out­doors than Lorene Edwards Forkner, author of the newly released book Hand­made Gar­den Projects.

Bold and beau­ti­ful author Lorene Edwards Forkner

Lorene is one of these peo­ple who just bub­bles with enthu­si­asm. This is a woman who doesn’t fear the color orange, who hauls an old Airstream trailer into her back yard to use as a grown-up play­house and calls it her “canned ham” and who has turned some old bed­springs into an amaz­ingly artis­tic rusted out­door statement—in the front of her home!

Sev­eral gar­den blog­gers had the chance to visit Lorene’s gar­den last sum­mer when she was putting the fin­ish­ing touches on her book. We saw first-hand the results of her crafti­ness in her own gar­den. Now the book is released and every­one can see a bit of Lorene’s garden—and some clever and easy ideas for a hand­made life outdoors.

Bam­boo Edg­ing — Photo by Allan Mandell

Hand­made Gar­den Projects is as much an inspi­ra­tion book  as a DIY recipe book. Before launch­ing into the how-to por­tion of the book, Lorene lights the cre­ative fire with a quick jaunt through three gar­dens heavy on the hand­made. My only com­plaint is that she only gives you a peek at her “canned ham.”  (Since it’s so adorable, I’ll share you a cou­ple of pho­tos I took when I vis­ited last year.)

Each project is care­fully described with a list of mate­ri­als, tools and other sup­plies needed. But the intro­duc­tions don’t read like your usual how-to manual—many of which read like they were writ­ten by engi­neers. (Sorry, not all engi­neers. You know who you are.)

Feath­er­weight Troughs — Photo by Allan Mandell

For exam­ple, when talk­ing about her mate­ri­als used to make her rugged steel trel­lis, she writes, “Incred­i­bly strong, vir­tu­ally inde­struc­tible, and beau­ti­ful besides, rock screen scrap is my favorite heavy metal.”

But she’s not just clever. She’s help­ful too. She goes on to explain what rock screen is, sizes you can expect to find, where to look and the friendly reminder that “Unless your sal­vage yard can cus­tom cut pieces to size, it’s best to keep an open mind, scout­ing for inter­est­ing pieces and suit­able weights.”

Lorene’s Airstream — Her “canned ham”

Projects in Hand­made Gar­den Projects include path­ways, step­ping stone and edg­ing ideas, trel­lises and sup­ports, dec­o­ra­tive accents, con­tain­ers and fin­ish­ing touches. None of them appear very dif­fi­cult and most can be accom­plished in an after­noon or a week­end, depend­ing on how many times you stop for beer.

Inte­rior detail of Lorene’s grown-up play­house “canned ham”

It’s a fun and use­ful book to set you on your path to a hand­made life in the great out­doors. You can thank Lorene. She’ll be the one wear­ing orange, hav­ing fun and rev­el­ing in her own clever hand­made garden.

Want to win this copy of the book? Leave me a com­ment by Wednes­day, May 23, and I’ll select a win­ner through a ran­dom drawing!

Want to see other blog posts about Lorene’s book on the vir­tual book tour? You can visit them here where there are more giveaways.


Tim­ber Press, pub­lisher of Hand­made Gar­den Projects, pro­vided a free copy of this book for review.

UPDATE: The win­ner of Hand­made Gar­den Projects is Mary Davis. Mary, I’m email­ing you. Come on down! (Well, send me your mail­ing address anyway.)


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37 Responses to “An Inspiration and DIY Recipe Book: Handmade Garden Projects — And a Giveaway!”

  1. DeDe @ Designed Decor Says:

    Looks like a great book packed full of ideas. I am just start­ing to work on the out­side of my house and need alot of inspiration!

  2. Africanaussie Says:

    oh gosh I would love to win that book! I live in Aus­tralia — can you mail it here?

  3. Patty Hicks Says:

    Now that is my kind of book! I’m a junk repur­poser at heart so can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. And that lit­tle trailer is delight­ful, I want one for my gar­den too please. (oh that’s right…it’s a book give­away.) Thanks for host­ing this. Good luck to all!

  4. Nicole Says:

    I am just start­ing my gar­den­ing jour­ney and need all the help I can get! Your blog is one of my inspi­ra­tions. Thank you.

  5. Merrilee Says:

    Love the ele­ment of recy­cling while hav­ing fun in the gar­den. And the sweet peas in the glass(es) in the “canned ham” are just gorgeous!

  6. pat Says:

    just found your blog through a pic­ture on pin­ter­est and have been read­ing your back posts — love it! now you’ve got me won­der­ing whose nest the pair of cow­birds in the yard are going to “use” — book looks like fun — i’ll have to check it out

  7. Esther T. Says:

    I live in a town­house and have a very small patio/deck area. I’m con­stantly look­ing for ways to jazz it up. The book sounds like it would have lots of amaz­ing ideas. Thanks.

  8. Lisa Cox Says:

    This book looks great. Such inspi­ra­tion and very cool ideas! Thanks for the chance to win it.

  9. Shirley Says:

    This looks like a great book of good ideas and how to for gar­den projects.

  10. Brenda Says:

    I love the lit­tle trailer! I have one in my yard not be used for any­thing but stor­age. I need a play­house! Thank-you for host­ing this great giveaway.

  11. Leah Kessel Says:

    Looks like a great book and what a fun, grown-up playhouse! :)

  12. Marissa Says:

    This book would be the per­fect gift for my grandma. She’s just that kind of per­son that crafty and likes to make things herself.

  13. Natalie Gaba Says:

    This book looks just delightful.

  14. ryan@what is my purpose Says:

    What a cool look­ing book and blog. I’m always look­ing for new ideas to do neat things in the yard. You know I like DIY projects, but I also like a lit­tle pep talk.

  15. Keith, aka Bricky Says:

    As one who can han­dle tools and hard­ware but lacks cre­ativ­ity, this book looks the goods.

  16. ryan@landscapingbrisbane Says:

    Hi Lorene,

    You seem like a fun lady. Come check out my blog. I might have to buy this book for my wife. She and I love work­ing in the yard together

  17. Ansley Cisneros Says:

    Would love this book– just the inspi­ra­tion I need!

  18. karlin Says:

    So many ideas, inspi­ra­tion, and gar­den bliss. Who wouldn’t want a copy of this book? Hope I win.

  19. Laura Cottrell Says:

    I would love this book! I love to repur­pose garage sale and flea mar­ket finds into items for the gar­den and pot­ting shed.

  20. donna Says:

    These look like fun projects. Thanks for a chance to win the book — I know I would enjoy it.

  21. Alice Says:

    The book would be some­thing won­der­ful for m
    My short peo­ple (my two boys 10 & 8) to spend
    Time mak­ing things out­side together.

  22. Alice Says:

    Im not sure how the smi­ley face made it on there
    But my other son is 8!

  23. Mary Davis Says:

    This looks like an amaz­ing book. It would be a fun thing to have this sum­mer as my girls(14 and 9yrs)and I spend our first sum­mer in Ger­many. We could make neat things for our own back­yard gar­den. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

  24. Lorene Says:

    Yeah! Thanks for all the kind words from the lady in orange~

  25. Heather Says:

    This book looks amazing!!

  26. Graziella Says:

    Love those stone con­tain­ers, it’s some­thing worth look­ing into. Lovely suc­cu­lents too!

  27. Jennifer Says:

    Cute book. I could use a lit­tle more flair in my garden.

  28. Jennifer Says:

    Cute book. I could use a lit­tle gar­den flair.

  29. Jennifer Says:

    Oops sorry for dou­ble, ahem now triple, post. My green thumb is bet­ter then my tex­ting thumb!

  30. Tina Says:

    I could use this inspi­ra­tion! Fun book, and great blog!

  31. Donna B. Says:

    Firstly I’m happy to see you post­ing more often! It’s been awhile since I’ve dropped in, but it makes me happy that you are! I miss read­ing about your pooches and your chick­ens! ♥
    And that book! I remem­ber see­ing her gar­den from the last gardener’s get-to-gether! I was immensely inspired by her dec­o­ra­tions! To now know she has a book about it?! I have even more excite­ment… whee!

  32. barbara Says:

    Love this book!! And loved have a chance to hang out with you in all those won­der­ful gar­dens in Asheville. Great blog, BB!

  33. Suzanne Says:

    This looks like a great book — I could see myself try­ing some of these projects.

  34. Shawna petty Says:

    Looks like a book I will love:) can’t wait to win it ;))

  35. Lisa Says:

    It would be great to win! I am fairly new to gar­den­ing and have been inspired by the beauty and inge­nu­ity of gardeners.

  36. Lynn Coulter Says:

    i love the ideas you’ve shown here! please enter my name for the drawing!

  37. Sherry Fraser Says:

    This book looks amaz­ing. Hope I win.