Ange wanted to share his favorite flowers with you. He likes them because there is "no weeding, no deadheading, no fertilizing, no watering, the deer don't like them, and they are always in bloom."
Spring has officially arrived, even though on some days it sure doesn't feel like it. As an indoor alternative, I am celebrating spring with a low-maintenance succulent garden. It certainly brightens up my kitchen on cloudy or rainy days.
I added a bit of whimsy to my indoor garden in the form of an upcycled sterling silver spoon that is hand-stamped with the words "Kindness Matters." I purchased my spoon online from Etsy. There are a variety of different sayings and vendors available. You can even customize the words on your spoon with some artisans.
Care of Succulents:
Succulents are easy-care houseplants. They need about six hours of sun each day, Succulents will lean towards the sun, so rotating them often will help them stand up straight. Leaning may be a sign that they need a sunnier spot. When potting, use cactus soil or mix potting soil with sand, pumice, or perlite. Over-watering can kill your succulents, so make sure you let the soil dry in between watering. Water no more than once every week while the plants are actively growing during the spring and summer. Water the soil directly until water runs out of the drainage holes of the pot.
My favorite garden whimsy is the kind that stays outdoors all year-long. In our gardens we have a variety of antiques made of hard-core cast iron that don't mind the extreme temperature fluctuations in Wisconsin. There's no need to shuttle them back and forth from the gardens to the garage or basement each season. This eliminates one more garden task to make our lives easier, and you can't argue with that!
Here are just a few examples of the whimsy in our yard. Believe it or not, we purchased most of these items at garage sales.
This awesome antique weather vane ended up at our yard in a most unusual way. One Saturday afternoon Ange walked next door to visit our neighbor just as he happened to be loading a bunch of items into the trash. The above weather vane was broken up and heaped in a pile ready to be tossed. Ange asked, "Really? You're throwing this out?" Our neighbor said that his wife had been mowing and got the weather vane grounding wire tangled up in the mower. (The weather vane had been on the roof.) She accidentally dragged the wire and the weather vane around the yard behind the mower. She didn't realize it was dragging behind the mower because she was wearing headphones. Oops!
So Ange brought the weather vane home, knowing that I would totally love it! After some needed repair, this amazing weather vane is perched upon a metal pole placed in my garden by the garage. As you can see, it looks especially striking in the winter.
As the 17th century proverb goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
Life is never boring with Ange. One day he came home with a cardboard box full of live baby chicks in his car trunk. (True story, and no, we didn't raise chickens.) Then there was the huge boat motor. (No, we didn't own a boat at the time.) Or the rusted-out green 1940-ish Ford that sat in our front yard for an entire summer giving our house that much-desired 'white trash' look. Or yesterday...the box full of vintage tin Mexican face masks. I can't imagine needing these any time soon. Too funny! The boys and I could go on-and-on about this topic.
Pictured is one of Ange's more recent innocuous finds - a fossilized tree fungus. At least that's our best guess at what we think this is. It measures about 12" wide. Ange's garden whimsy resides in a flower bed that is protected by the eave of the garage so it can live on at our house for many more years. It makes him happy, so I'm happy!
What I like best about the antique whimsy in our yard is that it never needs to be brought inside and protected over the winter. It stays outside where we can appreciate it all year long -- in this case, every time we go in-or-out of our back door. I also like the history that comes along with each piece. This awesome 'vintage double harpoon hay fork' was given to us by our friend/neighbor Becky. She told us that one day it spoke to her and said that it needed to be in our yard instead of her storage shed. Who can argue with that? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT.
The first hay carrier patent goes back to the 1860's and the hay forks were still in use up until about the early 1940's. Carriers needed to be simple, dependable and strong to quickly harvest the valuable hay crop. The forks evolved from primitive blacksmith-forged single “prongs” into multiple fork varieties.
Vintage hay forks like this one were used to lift and hold the hay from a horse-drawn wagon as it was suspended into the barn loft during the era of loose hay handling. The fork was then attached to a 'trolley' riding on a track which extended the length of the barn. A rope ran from outside the barn front, through a pulley to the fork, then through a second pulley and out the rear of the barn and hitched to a horse. Once the fork was set into the hay, the horse pulled the fork up to the trolley, into the hay loft to the desired spot. Once there, a person pulled a "trip" rope attached to the fork which let the tines fall to vertical, dumping the hay.
After years of hard work, our vintage hay fork is now in retirement and sits by our back door just looking good. Thanks Becky!
Hay carrier history is from an article entitled 'A bit about hay carriers' by Dennis McGrew & Doug DeShazer, 2012.
I'm crazy about rocks. All of my flower beds have rocks of some sort in or around them. Most are river rock from a quarry or limestone scavenged from razed barns (with permission, of course). Over the years I have collected literally tons of rocks, and I love working with them in the landscape. So much so that I decided to create a tiny rock garden where I could place all the neat specimens that I found, or were given to me. My favorite little princess in the whole world, Jade, often gifts me with rocks--and many of them are covered with glitter paint. So my rock garden even has extra bling.
The large rock pictured is a Colorado red rock, a garage sale find from Ange. The other rocks include rose quartz, white quartz, basalt, agates, amethyst, petrified rocks, and lots more of "I-don't-know-what, but-I-like-them" rocks.
What I like best about this garden is that it rarely needs weeding!
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!