Things I Love Thursday | Garden Whimsy

The garden is an enchanted place.

It is a place of countless generations, plants that have been around seemingly for all of time, and new ones planting their roots and sprouting new life every season.

Rock Concert source unknown

Rock Concert source unknown

Now that spring has officially sprung (kind of, it’s still 15 degrees here in Chicago and it dusted snow yesterday), it is high time to get back to the garden. In spirit anyway, there are still a couple more months before we should really be putting anything in the ground around these parts.

Although we don’t have a garden of our own this year, we are still working on my parents’ Retirement Garden. My mother adores garden whimsy and decor, so today I thought I would put together a roundup of some of my favorites!

Fork & Cork Plant Markers via Artsy VaVa

Fork & Cork Plant Markers via Artsy VaVa

We have always had trouble finding the small markers we have used in the past for plants. These are so cute, cheap and easy, and it looks like we’ll actually be able to find them!

Fairy Home via Greenspirit Arts

Fairy Home via Greenspirit Arts

I have had my eye on this little fairy home forever. There is a tree out back that is literally begging for one of these.

Primitive Tipsy Pot Planters via The Pink Hammer

Primitive Tipsy Pot Planters via The Pink Hammer

I just love fun planter solutions.

Owl Painted Stones via My Owl Barn

Owl Painted Stones via My Owl Barn

So precious. I can totally make some of these. Look, Andrea, owls and foxes and bears oh my!

Fantasy Garden Signpost source unknown

Fantasy Garden Signpost source unknown

This is more a nod to our and Baby Bear’s geekiness than my parents, but come on, this is the coolest thing ever.

Leaf Stepping Stones via Lowe's

Leaf Stepping Stones via Lowe’s

Such a cool DIY! The current round stepping stones in the garden are what Baby Bear refers to as the “magic stones” – these are even more magical!

Fairy Container Garden via Studio G

Fairy Container Garden via Studio G

You all know I have a thing for fairies, right?

Miniature Fairy Garden via Liquid Sky Arts

Miniature Fairy Garden via Liquid Sky Arts

Moar fairies!

Hanging Rain Boot Planters via Green Upgrader

Hanging Rain Boot Planters via Green Upgrader

I have had my eye on this wellie container gardening idea just about forever.

Zombie Garden Gnomes source unknown

Zombie Garden Gnomes source unknown

And this one is just for me. Braaaaaaiiinnnsssss…… If you dig into the archives around here, you will find I also have an obsession with evil gnomes.

Do you have any pieces of garden whimsy that you just adore? Share in the comments below!

7 Tips to Help Spindly Seedlings

My poor seedlings have not been doing well lately. They have been getting tall and weak and spindly under the grow lights downstairs for a few weeks now. I had been working off my best research and what the dude at Home Depot had told me, but when I noticed they were flopped over all pathetic-like with mold starting to grow, I got on the horn to my garden guru.

Tomato Seedlings

Vixen's bamboo skewer and twine tiny tomato seedling cages.

Vixen, as one dear Community Member is now answering to, has saved the day again. She talked me through what might be going wrong and sent me a photo of her little tomato seedlings with their adorable little handmade cages.

Now that I have some solid advice and real world experience, here are 7 tips I implemented to save my spindly seedlings.

[Read more…]

Daily Inspiration | April Flowers

Our poor garden is so confused. Everything started flowering super early due to our weirdly warm March. Now, in April, things have cooled off again to NORMAL spring weather, and I’m worried about everything we have out there. These Jacob’s Ladder, which started off as one smallish plant in the front yard, dying in the too-strong sun. I split it up and spread it thinly over a larger area in the shady backyard. It seems quite happy with its new placement.

Jacob's Ladder

Holding strong through these nightly frosts via Instagram

Today I’m feeling inspired by these resilient little guys, and perked up by their tiny blue flowers outside the kitchen window. I’m also inspired to go get my hands back in the dirt. But it’s cold out.

How is this bipolar spring weather affecting your garden?

Ready to Landscape for Spring!

On Monday I told you the story of The Retirement Garden Project and the state of the garden at the beginning of the project, before we broke much ground. Today I’m going to show you where we are at today, 9 months and a very weak winter later. On Friday, I will be bringing you THE MASTER PLAN for the rest of the project. Be excited.

The Retirement Garden Project

I am so very proud of this curvy garden path feature.

Let me preface all of this by saying I am an extremely novice gardener, but a fantastic researcher. I have a whole tome of gardening knowledge in my head and at my fingertips, but little practical experience. I have found gardening tips and advice to be more contentious and contradictory than religious discussions in a barbershop, so who knows what to believe.

I know there are armies of you out there that know the hell out of what you’re doing in the dirt, so I want to crowd source this sucker. If you keep reading all the way to the end, I’ll tell you how you can be my hero and be a part of making my lovely parents’ retirement dream garden come true.

[Read more…]

The Retirement Garden Project

Today I’m going to tell you the story of The Retirement Garden Project.

My father is 60 years old. My mom is a couple of years behind him. Despite the fact that she is graduating from nursing school right now, at some point they are going to retire, and most likely in this house. It’s a great house, in a great area, and this is where the grandkids are going to be, so they likely will not be moving to some far-off locale. The Baby Bear step-granddaughter has given my mom a taste for the grandbabies, so certainly not going anywhere before infant versions arrive.

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden Love

The objective of The Retirement Garden Project is to give my parents the garden of their dreams for their golden years (I’m not calling you old, mom, but eventually you will be, okay?). The front yard will be bright and cheery with fiery warm hues, with a meandering path and clearings all the way through. The back yard is to be soft and relaxing in light pastels, filled with flowery perfume. Both will be a haven for birds, bees and hummingbirds for my dad to sit out and watch. Pure heaven.

[Read more…]