Monday, February 2, 2009

Summer 2008 Inspiration - February Posting!

Hi! This month is devoted to the newest Fun and/or Whimsical Items
you've added to your gardens!

Last Summer I had a great time recording and posting about a variety of whimsical items (that I'd never really taken stock of) due to the Meme suggested by
You will see these items in this post of July 22, 2008.

I found this little cutie in a greenhouse, as I traveled US Hwy 34
towards Omaha (to visit my daughter and her family) this last Summer!
She reminds me of myself - a gardener who loves butterflies! :-)

Back to the Meme at Hand:

I made and assisted in making quite a number of birdbaths last summer. I first read the information in a Garden Gate magazine and then Rebecca's Garden (do you remember this short-lived magazine?) about 4 years ago!

We used hosta leaves (these are 'Sum 'n Substance'),
and rhubarb leaves.
One of my neighbors' techniques varied,
but look at the great birdbath she created! :-)

Some of you are wondering what we mid-westerners do during our long Winters. This mid-westerner dreams, schemes and works on projects, some of which you'll find below.

Before you see the work-in-progress, this type of decorative item is what inspired it.

You've probably seen these little fellows in gift and garden centers.
I've envisioned them hanging from garden fences, etc.
These particular ones are hanging from trellises in the guest room.
Yes, the trellises double as headboards.

I figured I could make them, and I knew just who I could reconnoiter to help me!
A few of my local gardening friends!
We'd already decided to meet during the Winter (rather than just during the Summer months).

One of my gardening friends is the cook at my (where I used to teach) elementary school. In November, she brought the big vegetable cans you'll see below.

We proceeded to flatten the cans somewhat,
"sewed" the bottom edges together with wire,
added a handle, and gave them a coat of exterior spray paint.
These are great the way they are, but I plan to add a little embellishment
to mine (above) later. There was another that was painted bright blue.
A collection of bright, primary colors on a fence would be eye-catching,
wouldn't it?

Our next project is to make birdhouses out of gourds.

I know you've seen this done before.
My dad painted this one years ago!
Here's a sneak peek at our gourds.

I'll post the results later.

Last, but not least - this cutest of all bunnies.
He's supposed to hop into the garden wilderness this summer.
He hopped into my life at Christmas.
A gift from my daughter and son-in-law.
I believe I'll have to make sure MMD doesn't spot him!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Good to see that you are keeping busy with projects. I have a gourd or two I could mess with. Glad you reminded me. I want to add to our Purple Martin colony.

Gail said...

Dear Shady,

I love the flattened and painted cans! What a great idea and one I can accomplish! Love the headboard trellis, too! Tina (In the Garden) gave me a lovely gourd that I am going to dye a fun color... it's on the to do list!


Shady Gardener said...

Lisa, You must have a good open place for purple martins. Our former neighbors had them. It has to be a major feat to clean the houses, though!?

Gail, Isn't it fun to get ideas from others? You have given me the idea of making the copper fiddle leaf fern fronds that looked so fine! ;-)
(Sorry, but I was having a little too much fun!) ha.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

You are so talented. Every time I visit I see something else you can do! I've always wanted to try the bird baths with the leaves.
I like some whimsy in the garden!!

Shady Gardener said...

Catherine, Thanks for the compliments. Although I think one could overdo the whimsy, I also think the garden should reflect your tastes and/or personality. P.S. the birdbaths are not hard to make. You should try it! :-)

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Very creative! I like the buckets and birdbaths, too. I'd love to cast a colocasia leaf.

Hmmm... if we had bad winters, I guess I would get a lot more done! :-)


Shady Gardener said...

Cameron, I don't know about that!! If you had bad Winters, you'd just have more time to think about things... ;-) It seems you get Plenty Done as it is (and all very handily!) Yep, I'll watch to see if you cast a birdbath.

Patsi said...

Great stuff !
I want that little girl...very cool!
I have a gourd like yours and was thinking of making a birdhouse out of it. :)
I see you're very the bird bath.
I really need to be retired so I can garden and craft to my hearts delight.
Don't have much to work with but I'll get a post together for your Febuary meme.
Thanks for reminding me.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Patsi, I'm so glad you've stopped to visit. You could post some "I wish I could" or "I hope to" plans! ;-) You are very creative, so I know you'll put something together!!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi ShadyG,
I just love the can planters, they look like something I could do! I have many places on my deck and porch where they could easily be hung and look great!!! I think you've got me 'hooked' (no pun intended, but I noticed it after I typed it!).

How do you work with the gourds? How long do they need to dry out, do you have to remove the inside? I've never done it, but I think I'd enjoy that one too!

Kathleen said...

Shady Gardener you are SO clever! I love all your creative ideas. The birdbaths are fantastic. The one with the rhubarb leaves is really cool. You need to do a post on how to make them now (or have you already done that and I missed it??) Those can baskets are too cute. I can envision those decorated every which way. Great post!! I knew you weren't just sitting inside drinking Chai tea all winter!!!! ;-)

Shady Gardener said...

Jan, I've let goards sit in my basement for a year or so before they dry out. They'll accumulate a layer of mold, which will have to be soaked/scraped or sanded off. Drill (my dad has a hole cutter bits) 1" holes for wrens. Last, you paint with acrylic paints and use outdoors polyurethane to seal them. Easy! ;-) There's all kinds of information on the web.

Kathleen, Oh... I still drink plenty of chai! ;-) Here's where you'll need to go for the scoop on making birdbaths:

If you navigate the site, you'll find hyperturfa (sp) planter instructions that I really want to try as well!! I think Frances at Fairegarden did these last year.

Patsi said...

Hey !
I tried green...but no comments.
Maybe I'll do blue, or blue and green. I am happier with this look.
Thanks so much,

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Bunnies are fine - as long as they're in someone else's garden! Those hanging pocket can things are so neat, you and your friends are so talented. I have admired those things, but I never thought about attempting to make one. I will be trying a leaf casting this year. Of course I'll have to wait until autumn to do it, but I really mean to do it this year.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Patsi, I like your green. It's not obtrusive and it's very natural looking. Maybe that's why you aren't getting comments? I love your bird photos!!

MMD, Oh good! Let me know when you're ready to make them... I'll help! :-)

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi again Shady, Thanks for giving more info, above. I can also surf the net, and when I have some time I will,

I have a problem with my Blogger comments not publishing.
I just had 2 comments and I read them then published them. But then I checked and yours had vanished. This has been happening to me since yesterday. I've lost almost 20 comments and I don't know how to fix the problem.
If you want to leave me another comment I'll try to put it on...I don't know why this is happening.
Take care!

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the link Shady Gardener. I printed out the instructions so hopefully I can find time to try it out. Yours turned out so nice.

Shady Gardener said...

Jan, I'm not understanding the problem that Blotanical is having with Blogger comments "publishing." I haven't been over there for a few days... I'll check into it myself sometime soon. :-) gives complete information on gourd growing, drying, etc!

Kathleen, Have fun!! And I'll be watching for the results. :-)

Anonymous said...

Love the creative, crafty projects, especially those birdbaths! Trellis headboard is nifty, as are your colorful containers... recycling at its best and most decorative!/Deb

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Deb, I was sure I'd left a comment for you here. Hmmm. Must be dreaming. Thanks for your nice comments. I always pick simple, easy-to-do projects. ;-)

Anna said...

Some great ideas here to while away the winter months. I especially like the birdbath :)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Anna, The birdbath is quite an easy project! look for Garden Gate Magazine website. They provide a step-by-step video!! :-)

Sue said...

I love your garden decor, but there is one I would not have, and that is the rabbit. I don't do rabbits, because I have too many real ones that drive me batty, eating my lettuce and other veggies.

Shady Gardener said...

Sue, I understand completely... the rabbits around here don't like my gardens very well. I don't grow the Good Stuff that they Really wish I'd grow! (As you must do!) ;-)

Sunita said...

Thats a lot of projects! Jan (Thanks for 2 Day) pointed me here to take a good look at your birdhouse gourds when she saw my latest post.
Wow! I really like the painted one. What do you use to scrape the mould off?