Create a cool beehouse for your garden!

Anyone can create a cool beehouse for their garden. All you really need is a drill!
Anyone can create a beehouse for their garden. All you really need is a drill!

Before my hike through the Sweetwater Marsh on Saturday, I took a stroll through the Native Pollinator Garden just outside the Living Coast Discovery Center. After reading a variety of informative signs, I paused in the garden to look at some very cool beehouses!

As I read about the beehouses, it occurred to me these would be extremely easy to make.

I took photographs just in case anyone reading this blog would like to make a beehouse for their own garden! Read the captions to learn more about the habits of ground-dwelling solitary bees and the materials you can use to make them a beehouse!

The Native Pollinator Garden at the Living Coast Discovery Center includes some very cool beehouses!
The Native Pollinator Garden just outside the Living Coast Discovery Center includes a couple of very cool beehouses!
Bees are extremely important. More than two thirds of the world's crop species rely on pollinators.
Bees are extremely important. More than two thirds of the world’s crop species rely on pollinators.
A large Feed a Bee Pollinator Habitat in the native garden provides shelter for solitary bees and information for the curious.
A large Feed a Bee Pollinator Habitat in the native garden provides shelter for solitary bees and information for the curious.
The rear of this bee condo! Holes have been drilled in a variety of materials, including logs, lumber and bricks.
The rear of this bee condo! Holes have been drilled in a variety of materials, including logs, lumber and bricks.
Solitary bees don't live in colonies. They often seek out hollows of fallen logs, bark and branches. They make up a majority of the 4000 bee species in the United States.
Solitary bees don’t live in colonies. They often seek out hollows of fallen logs, bark and branches. They make up a majority of the 4000 bee species in the United States.
A close look at the fun beehouse. I think even I could make one of these.
A close look at the fun beehouse. I think even I could make one of these.
Creating various hiding places attracts solitary bees, which can be as small as an eighth of an inch.
Creating various hiding places attracts solitary bees, which can be as small as an eighth of an inch.
Feeling inspired? Handy with a hammer and nails? Make your beehouse into a cool work of art!
Feeling inspired? Handy with a hammer and nails? Fashion your beehouse into a unique work of art!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Make a “lending library” box for your community!

A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!

Here’s a cool idea that almost anyone can bring to life!

Once in a while, as I walk about, I notice cabinet-like wooden boxes on neighborhood streets that are filled with books. They’re usually placed near a sidewalk–a spot that anybody passing by can easily reach. These community “lending library” boxes are filled with used books, magazines and other reading material that neighbors can freely borrow and return when they please. Anybody can add to the small library. Now that’s very cool!

Here are photos of four boxes I’ve come across. Their designs appear to be rather simple. They can be built however one likes, as long as the inside shelves are visible and waterproof. And they can be painted creatively!

Does your neighborhood have a “lending library” book box? Looks like a fun, inspirational project! It enriches the life of your community and promotes literacy!

A lending library book box built like a cabinet along the Fifth Avenue sidewalk on Bankers Hill. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
A lending library book box built like a two-door cabinet along a sidewalk in San Diego. The contents are always changing. Today the shelves were almost empty!
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill.
This fancy book box has a sliding glass door and sloped roof. You can find this tiny library at the east end of the Quince Street Trestle pedestrian bridge in Bankers Hill!
A lending box created by Boy Scouts and the Friends of the Coronado Public Library.
A lending box created by Boy Scouts and the Friends of the Coronado Public Library.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few short works of fiction that I’ve written, visit my special writing blog Short Stories by Richard!

Holiday fun at the new SMARTS Farm in East Village!

People check out many planters full of vegetables and flowers at the new SMARTS Farm in East Village.
People check out many planters full of vegetables and flowers at the new SMARTS Farm in East Village.

Today I walked to East Village in downtown San Diego to check out a holiday event at SMARTS Farm. I didn’t realize that this cool community garden had recently moved. Their new and improved location is at the corner of 13th Street and Broadway.

At SMARTS Farm, anybody is welcome to become an urban gardener–growing flowers or vegetables in the heart of our sunny city. Downtown residents can relax here, kids can learn about farming, botany and nature, and I believe photography classes are still offered.

If you’re ever downtown, swing on by to see for yourself!

SMARTS Farm in San Diego's East Village is a community garden where hearts can grow and minds thrive.
SMARTS Farm in San Diego’s East Village is a community garden where hearts can grow and minds thrive.
A wreath is hung on the barn inside SMARTS Farm to celebrate the holiday season. They've moved to a new location and are open to everyone in the community!
A wreath is hung on the barn inside SMARTS Farm to celebrate the holiday season. They’ve moved to a new location and are open to everyone in the community!
Someone makes a wreath the week before Christmas during a special SMARTS Farm holiday event.
Someone makes a wreath the week before Christmas during a special SMARTS Farm holiday event.
These guys were rolling out yummy pizzas!
These guys were rolling out yummy pizzas!
Walking around the large colorful garden. Schools and community groups can grow their own plants in an urban environment downtown.
Walking around the large colorful garden. Schools and community groups can grow their own plants in an urban environment downtown.
Lessons about how to plant urban crops were underway in the late morning.
Lessons about how to plant urban crops were underway in the late morning.
A young gardener sows some seeds at SMARTS Farm.
A young gardener sows some seeds at SMARTS Farm.
Hands on farming includes a children's garden and plants grown by nearby school KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy--my neighbor on Cortez Hill.
Hands on farming includes a children’s garden and plants grown by nearby school KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy–my neighbor on Cortez Hill.
A pleasant day can be had tending a garden and learning about gardening in the middle of downtown San Diego!
A pleasant day can be had tending a garden and learning about gardening in the middle of downtown San Diego!
Nature, Water, Air. At SMARTS Farm, every day is Earth Day!
Nature, Water, Air. At SMARTS Farm, every day is Earth Day!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego residents learn a cool craft in a park!

Neighbors gather in San Diego's East Village to learn how to make cool mosaic planters!
Neighbors gather in San Diego’s East Village to learn how to make cool mosaic planters!

This morning, residents of San Diego gathered at Fault Line Park in East Village to learn how to make mosaic planters! The neighborhood event was put together by the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Home Depot.

To make your own cool mosaic planter, you need a clay pot, ceramic tile adhesive, and broken bits of tile, colored glass or mirror. Apply a generous coat of adhesive to the outside of the pot, then press in the colorful, shiny mosaic bits! I was told it takes a good 24 hours for the white adhesive to thoroughly dry and harden.

What a fun DIY gift idea! Or a cool craft project for a downtown apartment or condo!

I think I heard that events like this will be happening at different parks around downtown San Diego every first Saturday of the month!

An event held Saturday morning at Fault Line Park taught participants how to produce an easy, artistic craft.
An event held Saturday morning at Fault Line Park taught participants how to produce an easy, artistic craft.
Home Depot sponsored the Do-it-Yourself Workshop. Everyone learned how to piece together beautiful mosaics!
Home Depot sponsored the Do-it-Yourself Workshop. Everyone learned how to piece together beautiful mosaics!
A layer of ceramic tile adhesive is applied to the exterior of clay pots.
A layer of ceramic tile adhesive is applied to the exterior of clay pots.
Lots of broken bits of tile are spread out on the table like jigsaw puzzle pieces!
Lots of broken bits of tile are spread out on the table like jigsaw puzzle pieces!
Art is easy! You just gotta do it!
Art is easy! You just gotta do it!

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