Archive for the ‘notes from our garden’ Category

A few years ago we garbage picked this old chair. It was ugly, but I thought it would be good for… something… I can’t remember what? Anyway, I gave it to Karen and Ryan and they “up-cycled” it for me into a bird bath. Very cute in the kid’s garden, but as all the plants have grown we ran out of room for the chair. Time to up-cycle again…

Grace and the soon-to-be kindergarten gang came over to watch. They heard I had the staple gun out and evidently that means “Ms. Theresa is up to something.” Good thing too because soon-to-be kindergarten students are great a demo work – too bad I grabbed the camera too late for that 😦

Once we had it down to just the chair with a hole in it we pulled out a scrap of burlap that I just happened to have in the basement. We stapled it on all hodge-podge to make a basket for the plants.

I recently bought a bunch of succulents at my favorite nursery using a gift card from one of my favorite students. We planted right in the burlap basket and found a place for the chair in one of the last empty spots in the garden.

Grace added a rock collection that she brought back from Lake Michigan yesterday, and a gourd bird house that has been unoccupied this summer.

And there it is… a bunch of succulents in an old chair… I hope the soon-to-be kindergarten gang, now jumping on the neighbors trampoline, is impressed!


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I came up with a fun idea for the butterfly garden — a butterfly bath. After reading that butterflies like to drink water and land on something shallow – I thought this would be a cool addition what will soon bloom into a colorful corner of my back yard.

I used a platter and tea cups that I found at a thrift shop. Bought the planter and the hardware for almost nothing and talked Tim into pulling out the hammer drill to make it easy.

I have been letting the rain fill it up – but if I water the flowers I give it a little splash as well. I read that the butterflies also like a little sugar in their water, but that sounds like one more thing I have to worry about – so this little bit of whimzy and plain water will have to do for now…

If I get a photo of a butterfly on the bath – I’ll be sure to share. There have been a few visits, but I’m not quite fast enough with the camera.

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There is a fire-prairie crabapple tree right outside my window. Tim and I planted it last summer in the same place where a similar tree had stood. Unfortunately, the past tree was caught off guard by a rare northwest wind. We were sad, but I found a smaller tree on sale and tried not to think about it too much.

We took the new tree out of the only home it had known – a brown plastic garden store pot. We planted the tree and then sunk two thick metal sticks into the earth just to the northeast and to the southwest of the tree. We wrapped straps made from the same material used to make tires around the tree trunk and tied it to the sticks. Like a boy scout, this tree would be prepared.

The tree looked beautiful, proud, and sturdy for a week. Then, it began to miss it’s pot. It had a temper tantrum and threw all it’s leaves to the ground. It was alive, but stubborn. It sulked through the summer – naked and narrow – but well staked.

When autumn arrived and the other trees dropped their leaves the little tree outside my window stopped looking so out of place. I forgot the tree’s prior bad attitude and forgave it for misbehaving. As one of my charges, I kept an eye on the tree through the winter as it slept.

Now, spring’s arrival put an end to the long nap. Last week I saw six tiny yellow finches sitting on top of each of the highest branches. Playmates. The birds swayed in circles, like heavy ornaments atop the tree’s tiny arms. Since then the tree has begun to blush the beginning of pink buds. A patient parent I am happy to see the change.  Distracted from the toy I took away, deciding to be happy in it’s new home.

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