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Friday, July 2, 2010

My Succulent Garden

I've been collecting plants lately, since I haven't really been able to be up and around. There really isn't anything easier to grow than a succulent garden. Now, I've planted mine in a Bonsai pot (that one died years ago- just couldn't keep it alive for some reason...?) that's got a beautiful glaze to it.

I used cork from wine bottles to plug the two holes in the bottom- but now I'm thinking they might need to come out- the dirt isn't drying out as fast as it should. One of my plants now is dying- but I stuck it outside to "bake" as my horticulture sister said to do. So hopefully, in a few days, I can report back that my little garden is doing much better. The ones I'm referring to are the "Baby Toes" on the top of my garden, smack dab in the middle. The little clump of succulents- they're the ones that aren't making it so well. Hopefully a few days getting a tan will clear up whatever ails them and get them beautiful as they're pictured here.

Now that you see my cute little garden... I'm aggravated to report that those beautiful red "flowers" on the small cactus piece under it was a fake. Yes, indeed. I was very upset to notice this after the cactus died. It wasn't my fault though... Those "flowers" were hot-glued to the plant- no wonder it kicked the bucket!!! That made me angry.

I also was lucky and found this beautiful Jade succulent- with red tips! I'm hoping this one will grow, because I plan on planting other little gardens with it!

The leaves are so delicate, and it grows in such a close, luscious bunch... I had to have it. I'm sure if you saw this potted plant, you'd have grabbed it too! Speaking of interesting plants... I had to grab this one too- I'm not sure of the technical name of the plant, but it's absolutely gorgeous! It has both big plants that grow- in front as you can see- and little strips and bunches of these that grow in tight clumps and remind me of ruffles. Again- I couldn't resist.

My air plants I currently have are doing well- I'm hoping some of them will pup soon so I can get some good little ones for some terrariums. Yes, that venture will happen- I'm just not sure when it will be implemented.... But I'm optimistic it will be soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garden Excursion Update

Well, it seems my little terrariums will have to be put on hold for a little while.
I'm not feeling quite well enough to run three shops, as just running the jewelry one at this time has been more than enough to try and concentrate on. Don't worry- as soon as I'm feeling better and up and going again- I'll be managing all of them with no problems!

In the meantime, I didn't want to neglect this blog.
I do still fully intend to do my terrariums- it's just been delayed a while. So- I'll start giving some gardening advice and pictures to share with you of what Mom currently has growing in her garden... And the succulents I've summarily started collecting like crazy!

The last post featured some of the early bloomers in the garden. Since then, there's been a lot of weeds that have popped up (and must be weeded out soon! Wish I could help, but I can't yet...) and ferns are growing like crazy. Seriously- ferns are beautiful- but completely invasive. If you must plant them somewhere, make sure it's a place you don't mind them spreading everywhere and creating literally a carpet of green. It does, however, create an ideal canopy for cats to hide under and play with you.

I digress.

There are some new flowers in bloom that are outside currently. It's amazing what flowers pop up from the earth given a little time, rain, and sun-shiny days! I can't wait until the garden is in full swing- and I do have a plan to add a little something special to it for Mom too!

First up was something very special I found when I threw open my bedroom window this morning when I realized it was absolutely gorgeous outside. A nice breeze came through, and I looked out into the forest. I spotted some little pink flowers. Could it be? Already? I was excited!

Now, brief synopsis: I have a bad back injury, and I can't move quickly. I'm working on getting it fixed, but it's just going to take time. They think I have a badly torn ligament on the right side of my spine, from the top of my lumbar region down to my bum. Hurt? YES. Well, I got up, semi-dressed (I'm still wearing my PJ pants... Didn't want to take off Hello Kitty today!) and waited for my medicine to kick in before wandering outside with my camera. I was anxious. It takes about 2o min for the medicines to kick in and give me some relief. I walked almost to the garden, and into the woods we have to find my little beauties. And look what I found:

While common here in the North East, you do have to look for them. What are they? We call them Lady Slippers, but their Latin term is Cypripedium Acaule. They don't always grow in the same spot each year- but ever since I was a little girl I remember being able to find them somewhere, and at times in multiple spots, on our property here.

Imagine my delight when I found these 5- and a 6th just a few more feet away! These are considered Orchids- and they are illegal to be picked. At least that's what I've been told. It's also very difficult to "transplant" these little flowers- as they like to sprout where they take hold. If moved, they die very quickly.

The ones in my yard are mostly a vibrant pink, and veined as you can see. There is one among the group of 5 that's a paler pink- I think it might actually be a pale one when it comes closer to maturity. It's smaller than the rest, and the "slipper" part of the flower isn't fully developed. I'll have to wander back out in a day or two to see how it progresses! And perhaps, I'll go traipsing through the front part of my yard to see if there are any more to be found.

Aren't they just beautiful?!

Ok, now for the rest of the garden. The Little Guardian is finally settled in, still a bit dirty from a rainstorm the other day, but he permitted me to get some shots of the flowers that are sprouting up from the garden itself he guards. The first would be one of my favorites:

Bleeding Heart, otherwise known as Dicentra. There are many different varieties that can be found, but I have the white hearts and the wild pink ones. I had a beautiful pink one that was my grandmother's that was 50+ years old- but I don't know what happened to her. I'm anxiously awaiting any sign that she may have survived the move from CT to NH, but I haven't seen anything for the past year. I'll have to get another one in her memory- since she always used to let me sit on the porch step and touch the little pink and white hearts. These white ones are beautiful- full, and so bright! It's amazing a flower could have shapes the way they do sometimes- and the curl up at the bottom of the heart is just the best feature of the flower I think!

As you can see, there's a definite difference in the formation of the White Bleeding Heart and the Wild Pink ones. The wild ones are smaller and more compact, and there are more per stem that bloom. They're not in full bloom just yet- but I'll give them a day or two and go back to check and see how they're doing.

A little bit of a close up of the wild Bleeding Hearts. These really do flourish well in gardens- after they've bloomed, the greenery of the bush itself makes a nice backdrop for other flowers that may be planted in your garden. Or just a good green filler. Whatever you desire!

And last, but not least.... Another one of my favorites.
Pansies! Typically I really enjoy the dark purple/violet, blue, and yellow ones... But these are absolutely charming and just too sweet. I wonder, though, who chewed a bit of their flower buds off. I'll be out searching for that culprit soon...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Little Guardian

Mom has a pet Gargoyle.

Well, he's not exactly a pet. He's more like the Keeper of the Gardens we have.

He sits out, seasons without end, through fall, winter, spring and summer.
He gets buried under snow, which he tunnels through. Rain sometimes washes him off- but best it be gentle, otherwise big raindrops splatter him and throw the dirt right back up. Sun makes him warm, and night doesn't scare him. He glows by the moonlight on clear nights, quickly ushering those wee folk that dare to stop and try to grab a blossom or two right back on their merry way.

Sometimes it even seems as his expressions change.

Some days he's happy with the garden we tend, and others, he's chased away an errant animal or three... Squirrels, fox, bear and coyote. Turkeys come through from time to time as well. He does his job well, and he's well rewarded- with a beautiful garden full of blooms just for him.

Spring is just on it's way in, but you can see his magical touch here and there- and the flowers that have already started to peek out early- well, I needed to share!

I do have to say, having a Little Guardian was the best thing Mom's done!

Great news is in store- as I have all my supplies at hand now!
This week, I do say, it's all about crafting, pictures, and new listings in my shop!
Check back to see what I've done!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Can't wait, can't wait... For a very important date!

I haven't decided what day... yet. But the Grand Opening of "The Secret Gardens" is right around the corner!

I've ordered my supplies... And have a few more little things to pick up. And then??
Lights, camera, action!

I've been dreaming up various options as to exactly what kind of mini-gardens to offer everyone. I think the best is sweet and simple- minimal design, maximum impact. I think letting the little gardens speak for themselves in a very simplistic manner will be in order.

I can't wait for my items to arrive!
The way I figure it, I'll have them by next weekend... And then... Crafting time! More exciting will be picture time- because there will be so many variations of these little wonders that will delight and entertain!

Undecided as of yet as to use sand, small stones, or perhaps a combination of both. I think I may try all three- and depending on the style that's ordered the most, will base further designs off those. I've also managed to find some miniature figurines too- and most likely will be hunting around Etsy for some really cute handmade ones. There are some fantastic sellers I've already found- and can't wait to place an order with! Patience, I keep telling myself... Patience!

This is all so very exciting- I can't wait!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's been a while since I've been especially interested in... Well... Anything.

Winter this year came in with such a fierceness, it caught most people unexpectedly. It's not often that I sit and daydream about spring flowers, warmer weather, sundresses and getting outside barefoot. Typically... I'm all about the winter sports- skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, etc.

This year though... Well, I'm all about the warmer spring weather which has so suddenly come on back! However, I know better than to expect it to say this temperate for long... Virginia gets awful humid, awful fast! I'll just enjoy it while it lasts!!

For me... Spring means cleaning out the garden of all the dead plant matter. Turning the beds, and planning a new garden for this year. However, since I'm in an apartment now, I don't have the luxury of having a yard- never mind a little area to grow a garden. People would either steal the flowers I'd plant, or destroy it.

My newest inspiration comes from miniature terrariums. Small plants inside vessels that are simple to maintain, and brings a little bit of the outside.... Well, inside! My plan will unfold through the next few weeks- and hopefully I'll be opening shop soon! I've found a great supplier of glass vessels I plan to use, and now checking out some great shops for supplies and plants. I love purchasing from other handmade artists... It means I support the handmade community!

Plans include miniature terrariums, as in small containers like candleholders or bulbs, to larger glass vessels that look like bubbles. The key point in all this... Is that the little ecosystems can mostly take care of themselves! The point is just a little maintenance, right?!

It's on its way! And I can't wait!

I've only created my shop at this time... I don't have any of the mini-gardens created yet. Careful culling of other sites and shops for interesting and eye-drawing containers and plants will be acquired in the next few weeks. Once the basic supplies are received... I'll be crafting away, and providing everyone with pictures and listings!

Are you excited?!
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