Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Friday, April 18, 2014

Raised planters from livestock feeders.

Today I entertained a special gentleman in my garden. He took many photos and plans to share them with Master Gardeners in the Houston area as well as in his work with the Agri Life extension service.  I am happy to think that this simple planting solution might work for a lot of gardeners who do not get to the ground easily. 

I discussed my wishes for raised beds with my daughter Beth. I have had the ones with wooden frames before, but at 83 something higher is needed.

A few days later she called me and said she had seen the perfect solution in a Tractor Supply flyer. We looked together and began to think how to modify and use the livestock feeders offered.  I would never have imagined re purposing these as she did!  Cattle feeders 10 feet long were the most attractive at first to me. Horse feeders 5 feet long and taller were also offered for a higher price. After a time I came to like the taller ones best.

A trip to the store showed they look almost indestructible. We came home with two of the tall 5 foot ones and one of the lower 10 foot type.   My son in law Gary drilled a lot of holes in the bottom.  I had the idea to put a layer of Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom covered with a piece of fiberglass screening. Then many bags of a good quality potting soil filled them all.  Gary fitted the long one with a metal stock panel down the center to serve as a support for vine crops like snow peas. This panel was held in place by stay wires on each side in several places. 

These big planters are now a central part of my vegetable garden for salad crops.  Beth calls them my Salad Bowls. Two are shown in the first picture. This was last fall before I had all of the grass removed.
Another view shows the 10 foot with winter broccoli and young peas. 
The third picture shows two of the Salad Bowls in my garden this April.
These are one solution, there must be many other things being repurposed for tall feeders also.  Best, Edyth O'Neill


  1. I use the hog panels with 4x4 squares, still 4 x 16. I'm using them as lattice inserted into wood and galvanized tin fencing. When I lived in San Antonio, Gardenwille used to sell tomato cages very similar to yours, except the edge squares were cut in half and rounded into a circle and each panels circles were brought together with a 18 guage wire going down the center of the side circles to hold together.cattle panels I bought for of them and have had them for years and are still in great shape. They fold into one piece for storage.

  2. Edyth, you are so creative and have such a lovely home! Wish I had your talents! Enjoy your summer!


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