A Cedar Hope Chest of a Garden
Painless Garden Test 2010
As you’ve probably read, the first tenet of Painless Gardening is to move your garden up – to raise it so you can tend it without bending or squatting.
The main garden we’ll test this growing season is the best raised garden station I’ve found, the Cedar Creek 2472 Garden Center.
Here are the details:
• 24″ x 72″ raised cedar garden bed planter. (It’s also available in smaller sizes.)
• 36″ height allows you to work comfortably while standing. (24” high seated version also available.)
• Crafted of western red cedar, a naturally insect and weather resistant wood
• Planting depth of 7.5 inches
What is not featured in the official product description – though it’s nice to know – is that these planter kits are made in a sheltered workshop in Cedar Creek, Illinois, as a way for the town to provide work for its handicapped citizens.
It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved… and they make what appears to be a high-quality product (at a very reasonable cost.)
I bought my Cedar Creek Garden Center kit from ?? There are quite a few places online where you can order one, and the prices range considerably (from $189 to $299 when I was looking for mine.)
Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest price, even though the merchants are all selling the exact same kit. Because… it’s the shipping that’ll kill you.
When I ordered mine, the cheapest vendor wanted $189 for the kit. Once I hit the checkout, I was horrified to find $150 in shipping charges larded on. The shipping weight of the kit was listed at 150 pounds.
I quickly did more research and found what was the best DEAL at the time.
I bought my kit from ?? for $229 with free shipping. (Saving me about $100 over the “cheapest” offer.)
By mule through Tibet
Since the shipping was free (and others wanted $150 for it,) I assumed ?? would ship my planter by slow mule train via Tibet. I was surprised and happy when it arrived by Fed Ex less than a week later.
I was also relieved when I discovered that it came in two boxes, both of which did not add up to but 70 pounds or so. So, I could actually lug them into my yard, though the main box is six feet by two feet and pretty unwieldy.
(And I was doubly happy I hadn’t paid for 150 of shipping.)
What’s that coffin doing in the breakfast room?
It was still cold and intermittently snowing when I got the kit so I decided to thrill my wife by assembling the planter in our breakfast room, just off the deck.
It took three days.
It’s actually only about a one- or two-hour process to assemble but the instructions weren’t as clear as you might hope. (Hint: download the picture here – it’ll show you how the thing is supposed to look, something woefully missing from the instructions.)
What took the most time is, Obsessive-Compulsive that I am, I had to customize the basic kit to fit my requirements.
My wife was surprisingly calm about it all, especially since she opined that it looked like a raised casket set up for a wake in our kitchen.
I told her that I thought of it more as a cedar hope chest… in hopes of spring. The poetry of my simile escaped her; she asked what I’d been drinking.
NOTE: If you buy one of these kits yourself, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you my Annotated Instructions (with photos) for easier assembly and my tips for tricking this baby out. Free, of course.
And now my cedar hope chest is standing at the edge of my deck, half-filled with shredded fall leaves – awaiting my first batch of fresh compost and some Perlite.
It’s still too cool out to do much more yet than dream.