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Of Cobalt Blue Bottle Trees & Gardens During a Storm… plus fairy rock gardens

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the finished product, before the storm hit.

Observation from my soon-to-be graduating high school senior, quoting Parks & Recreation, when I told him I was thinking about getting the bottle tree the other day:

Connor: “We have the most colorful, eccentric, and eclectic yard in the neighborhood, with all the flowers and hammocks and art and stuff, Mom- I like it, ‘treat yo’ self'”

Maisie (poking her head out from around the corner and lisping in her toddler voice): “YEAH! TWEET YO’ SELF!”

(UPDATE: THE BOY HAS SINCE GRADUATED- STILL UGLY CRYING OVER IT, WILL POST ABOUT IT LATER)

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Ironically, the comedian Retta, who played Donna on the show, said she was ‘so over’ people using the phrase this week. My kids didn’t get the memo. It’s become part of our culture, if a teen AND a three year old are using it.

So… my friend delivered the items. His mom passed away recently and he is rehoming her stuff. We also received some punched tin and steel stars, plus other gewgaws I will be redoing for outdoor art projects. He has river rock in her garden we will hopefully get for the new landscaping project we’re planning this summer.

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Steel star, punched tin star, and a cute birdhouse that we will repaint for the garden!

I LOVE outdoor projects! IDK why, but I enjoy them far more than indoor things. Gardening and hard work are so good for the soul and body.

A storm, the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto, was positioned to hit our area of the Great Lakes yesterday, so we had to work fast before the storm blew in.

I had an old birch tree that we cut down years ago after it died. Later, we decorated the stump with shards of broken pottery, strawberry plants, succulents and used it as a planter for years. It finally rotted away totally, so this was where the new tree needed to live.

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my sad old stump, like the book The Giving Tree, she’s been repurposed many times since she died-with it’s shards of pottery crumbling away from it now, from the last incarnation as a planter- and the oregano, columbine, and lemon balm growing wild-

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R digging out the old stump. My garden’s been absolutely neglected due to health issues and is being re-landscaped this summer.

Once planted, we discovered that the tree was missing 6 blue wine bottles. A friend generously donated the remainder to me-. My dad and I finished the decorating of the tree… and we were very pleased with the results.

We didn’t get the labels off til the next day, as the storm blew in before that could happen.


SO, the next day, we put down a rock garden beneath the bottle tree, planted some flowers, and installed little plants and fairy things for a fairy garden. The rocks provided the tree with additional stability in case of a wind storm.

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Little fairy garden

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Fairy house and ‘tree’ nestled in the rocks

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after the rain

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so much more to do, but she’s in love with the whimsical garden and so are we!

Maisie was absolutely enchanted with it.

We also planted 2 types of heirloom tomatoes and some cucumbers in the purple ‘bunny bed’. My kid expects fresh cukes to be growing on the fence every year- they’re her favorite things to eat.

We have SO MANY more beds to clean and re-plant/landscape. Since we use a majority of reclaimed/recycled materials in our landscaping, things have to be updated or redone every year or so.

I am having health issues, so it is slow going. Hoping to get back outside tomorrow and start gardening again!

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Purple Hamsa DIY Birdhouse Art Project

I received a birdhouse from a friend this week and re-did it to live on the hammock post.

It was originally a plain wooden birdhouse, nothing particularly special about it.
Maisie and I spray painted it purple, painted the brackets a hot pink, then attached it to the top of the post.

I wasn’t happy with it, so I drew a Hamsa which is good luck against evil eye in many faiths and cultures, using sharpies. I did it freehand and it would have looked better, but Maisie insisted on swinging on the hammock, shaking the post as I drew.

I was perched precariously on a step stool at the time- and I have really bad vertigo lately from weird ear crystal issues- so I just wanted to get this done with.

I love the way it turned out! It’s looks pretty hippy dippy 🙂

 

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Hot Pink Mr Bunny Garden Makeover and “Fairies Are Super Cool” vid

The garden/landscaping project continues!

We had a forlorn little terracotta garden rabbit that was hidden in the brush, unpainted, and I wanted to paint it and give the poor old thing a makeover.

he was originally something like the above- I didn’t take a before picture, though.

Maisie INSISTED on choosing the spray paint colors this go ’round, so he had to be hot pink. I didn’t do the greatest job with the spray painting, I honestly just wanted to get it over with. However, it looked really creepy without ‘real’ looking eyes, so the child insisted Mr. Bun get them.

 

I didn’t have any craft paint, so we used sharpies, which turned out to her satisfaction, as far as hot pink bunnies go.

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The made-over Mr Bun

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he also got a nose and mouth

He still looks a little sad and lonely, but at least he now has pizzazz and eyes.

Maisie was very pleased with this project, so all’s well that end’s well!

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Happy Happy Day! Blue Bottle Garden Trees

I’ve been wanting on of these things for years!

Now, the ones in the pics aren’t MY tree, I just found a smaller one that will fit a teeny hillock on the NW corner of my garden.

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I’m obsessed with blue bottle trees like these- and blue glass evil eye trees

My friend is delivering it in about 30 minutes. Granted, mine is much smaller- about 16″ at base and 5 feet tall, but it is the perfect size for where I want to place it.

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pic of the one I bought from my friend, minus the bottles

I plan on making a fairy garden for Maisie nearby.

I love lots of whimsy in my gardens and Maisie loves helping outside. We live in a very artsy, laid-back beach town- so growing food on your lawn and sculptures are pretty much the norm in my book.

 

My gnomes will appreciate this, too.
BTW, my mysterious gnome problem ceased about 2 yrs ago.

 

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Maisie’s 1st Chestnut Gathering Time At Papa’s Farm!

freshly gathered chestnuts!

I haven’t been posting much lately because Maisie’s going through major teething PLUS my iPhone app for WordPress had been on the fritz. I couldn’t post photos without having it crash- but I deleted the app and re-downloaded it and now I’m back in business!

my ‘chestnut can’, which is basically a tin can attached to a long stick, so that you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Next to it is the hedgehog porcupine chestnut burr filled with chestnuts

baskets filled with chestnuts

My dad has a farm about 14 miles away from our house. Every fall, the chestnut trees drop their prickly balls filled with nuts. Picking them from the ground has to happen DAILY for about 2 weeks, or the deer/dogs/other critters will eat them all up. It’s hell on the back, so we use these cans attached to long sticks to retrieve them.

My father is selling them this year for $4.00/lb. If anyone wants any, let me know. I can send them via USPS flat rate priority boxes.

Maisie exploring at my dad’s farm

Maisie had a fantastic time running after my dad’s Aussie, Trooper, and playing in the grass. I worried about her pricking her hands on the sharp chestnut burrs. By the end of the day, we were ALL exhausted from picking and chasing after this child.

my father’s dog, Trooper, running to greet Maisie.

Maisie following Trooper out to where the men are gathering chestnuts

she spots them and starts running toward the trees