Problems generate opportunities


These are container gardens and a water garden, all designed for use on a deck. Click on image to enlarge

Deer are protected at Lake Monticello, so it is almost impossible to raise vegetables or flowers in the usual manner. Deer-proof mesh is ugly and essentially obscures the blooms you are caring for. Most people have gone into apathy and have essentially given up on gardening

Recently a new customer pleaded with me to design a wooden garden box for his deck that would let him cultivate vegetables while standing up. He explained that he loved to raise vegetables, but had no desire to squat and pull weeds.

While working on a design for his deck garden, I discovered the interesting world of container gardening.

You can use almost anything as a container, but most solutions are more functional than attractive. Plastic barrels crack, metal containers rust and wooden planters eventually disintegrate. Furthermore water draining from the planters will stain the deck and may cause it to rot. I wanted a better solution.

I located a line of plastic tubs that could be converted into planters and designed the series of hexagonal wooden housings for them that you see in the photo above. I put a drain in each planter with plastic pipe to carry the water off the deck. These hexagonal container gardens will fit right in on most decks and are durable enough for many years of service.

During the same week, a local garden shop asked me if I could come up with a housing to dress up plastic water gardens. Many of their customers were not physically able to install these water gardens in the ground. What they wanted was an instant solution so the water garden could be put to use immediately.

I was able to use the same approach to create a water garden housing. All I did was add a wider deck to make room for potted plants around the margin of the water garden. The water garden is shown in the front center of the image above. The hexagonal design seems to provide a feeling of strength and serenity and has been very favorably received.

This week I am going to a craft fair where I will be displaying the container garden designs as a better solution for “Deer-Free Gardening”.

It should be interesting. I have been able to go from concept to a family of original designs in little over a week and I will be testing the “Deer-Free Gardening” button on an entirely new audience. If my pricing is right for this target market, I should be quite busy for the rest of the month.

All of this came about because enough people had a problem and brought it to my attention. If my solution has the right value proposition, people will buy my designs. Can’t have any more fun than that!

Micro-businesses are enormously entertaining. You just have to make more correct decisions than incorrect ones. There are certainly no shortage of decisions to make.

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