Friday 2 May 2014

Floating Garden

I've got a real treat for you today. I asked my blogging friend Margy to do a guest post on her unique floating garden.  Enjoy.
Powell Lake Floating Garden
Hi! My name is Margy and I live with my husband Wayne much of the year in a floating cabin on Powell Lake.  That’s only a 25-minute boat ride up the lake from Powell River where Susan lives. Thank you Susan for inviting me to share about my unique way of gardening at the cabin.
Living on the lake has been the most exciting experience of my life. I love to garden, but my lake surroundings make it a little difficult.  Our good friend John, who also built our cabin, came to the rescue.  He created a special float to give me the "land" I needed to create a garden.  He lashed together a dozen cedar logs (they float the best) and installed four one by two metre raised beds on top.  

To get enough soil, he had to tow the garden to the marina to fill the beds with topsoil from town.  You see, up at our cabin we have mostly exposed granite cliffs.  Then the completed garden was towed up to the cabin and installed on our breakwater. Now my dream of gardening for harvests of lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, potatoes, radishes,  and asparagus is a reality.

I keep the garden tied to the breakwater most of the time.  That keeps my maturing plants away from shore and hungry critters like mice, squirrels and wood rats.   I use a simple pulley and rope to bring the garden next to our cabin's deck when I want to plant, weed, water or pick something for supper.  Then a gentle kick and pull of the rope sends it back out to its protected spot.

A solar panel runs a water pump so that I don’t have to bend and dip water out of the lake.  Porous heavy-duty mesh cloth covers the bottoms of the beds, which stay just above the lake surface, allows for drainage.  I plant my garden just like you would on land.  I just have to be careful that I do not put anything on the soil or plants that would be harmful in the water, which we drink after boiling.

Harvests for asparagus, lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, and green onions begin in June and last throughout the summer.  Carrots and beets come in July. As I harvest, I replant for fall crops.  I’ve expanded my garden space by using pots on the cabin decks.  Here I grow potatoes, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans, and rhubarb. We eat most of our produce fresh, but I have started drying herbs and canning some of our extra goodies for winter meals.

Garden trimmings and kitchen scraps go up the hill to my compost bin. There it decomposes to become part of my future soil supply.
My floating garden is quite unique, and it shows that you can garden just about anywhere as long as you have good soil, water, sunshine and loving hands.
If you would like to read more about my floating garden, come to my blog at and select the “Gardening” category. You can read more about our float cabin living experience in books from Wayne’s Coastal BC Stories series.
Thanks again Susan for letting me share my gardening experience.
Margy Lutz
Powell River, BC

Visitors from Margy's blog, be sure to scroll down and enter for the give away.


  1. I have to laugh - Margy makes it look so easy, but it's gotta be a HUGE amount of work!!! Unbelievable!!!

  2. This makes my raised beds look incredibly simple. What inspiration!

  3. This is just awesome! Awesome and genius all wrapped into one! It just goes to show you that you can garden anywhere! Margy I am sending you a high five! This is just inspiring!!!! Nicole xo

  4. This is truly inspirational - just shows what you can do with a bit of determination - I actually can't believe that you have managed to float a garden - I am in awe!

  5. I love Margy's float garden and visit her blog on a regular basis. It is nice to hop over to your blog and visit too.

  6. This is so neat! It just shows that you can garden anywhere. I love all the inventive ideas like the solar pump. I am so impressed Margy!

  7. So very cool....I remember reading in India, I believe, that they do these types of gardens or used to. Lots of work but I am sure so worth it.

  8. what clever resourcefulness. I loved this

  9. Thanks Susan for allowing me to share my garden with your readers. I've been up the lake this week preparing the beds for the new growing season. It feels so good to get my hands in the soil when it's warmed by a nice spring sun. The seeds are going to love it. - Margy

    1. You are welcome Margy. It was a lovely piece.