Dragonfly Treasure: 2018
Welcome to my
Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mermaid Garden

It maybe Fall but with temps in the high 90's
 it's hard to think of it as a seasonal change yet.
This project came right after The Fairy Garden. 

Still craving the beach and adding to my Mermaid Deck,
I thought "Why not a Mermaid Garden?"

I dug through my Treasure Pile and came across
this tin box from Dad's Shop. 
Yes, I still have lots of Treasures from the farm

Thought it would be the perfect size for what my end vision would be.

Deciding to paint it instead of leaving it au naturale.
I used Rust-oleum American Accents in Gloss Seaside.

It came out beautifully, if I say so myself!
One thing I planned to do differently from the Fairy Garden
 was to use ALL faux plants. I knew I wanted shells, sand, 
beach glass and other small beach paraphernalia and didn't want 
to take the chance of them being dislodged by watering.

I filled about 3/4 of it with styrofoam, added soil to fill in the gaps,
then started my decorative top/

I draped a piece of netting I found over the inside of the lid, 
which stayed open on it's own. :)
There's faux air plants, seaweed, seahorses, a small mermaid,
a dinglehopper (oh YES! my baby fork embellished with rhinestones)
 along with other ocean inspired bits
entwined in the netting.

On the left ~ 
coral (from Miami Beach), starfish, 
sea glass (from Jewel Beach in Kodiak),
 shells (Miami and Kodiak), baby seahorses,
a dried lotus I stuck Dad's iridescent marbles in, 
faux plants, and a pretty under the sea castle. 

On the right ~
A gorgeous Mermaid I happened upon at Hobby Lobby
(yes, I know she's too big, but it was love at 1st sight - what can I say - 
the heart wants what it wants. LOL
She sits upon a piece of wood with real moss attached 
my sister brought back from one of her treks - 
perfect divider between ocean and beach, don't you think?

Faux plants, a sand castle, 
beach chair (from one of my Birthday Cakes!),
white sand (Miami), and shells (Miami and Kodiak)
dot the beach.

I know I crammed a lot, probably too much,
but I love it!
Another piece of my beach fix til I get there ;)

Piese de resistance!
Says it all! 

 c'est fini

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

Build a Healthy Garden Starting in the FAll

I think I touch on this subject every year. I guess because it is so important to me. 

There's no need to rake your leaves!

Yes, I'm a lazy gardener, but the benefits of not raking leaves outweigh the clean looking yard.
Leave them lie

There is no waste in the natural world. Every part of every living and nonliving thing recycles into molecules that serve a purpose in ecosystems. Leaves are no exception. We’ve learned to think of leaf litter as a problem to be hidden in our landscapes. In places where there is a distinctive Fall, with deciduous trees losing their leaves en masse, we scrape them off our lawns and out of our gardens, bag them, and send them to waste management. Leaf litter plays many important ecological roles. Here are some of the ways leaves are secretly at work in your gardens.

Leaf litter can be a critical element of soil. Leaving leaves to decompose replenishes soil by releasing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other inorganic compounds.

Leaf litter also helps to retain moisture and regulate temperature. This is important in cold regions where organisms live under leaf litter during the winter, and where plants can receive some protection from extreme temperatures under a blanket of leaves.

Leaves provide homes to a variety of living things from the smallest bacteria to the largest macro invertebrates. In the image above, a caterpillar has sealed itself inside a leaf. It will remain inside until the spring. Several invertebrates, like butterflies, will lay their eggs in leaf litter, using it as a nursery. Raking up these leaves and sending them away in the Fall has the unintended consequence of removing some of next year’s garden butterflies and moths.

As a home for many different invertebrates, leaf litter is an important foraging space for birds, small mammals and carnivorous insects. Pulling back the leaves on a forest floor will reveal a world of interactions, like image above of a caterpillar overrun with ants. 

The removal of leaves from suburban and urban homes and community areas is a common practice. But, it doesn’t have to be. Choosing to leave your leaves where they fall is your right as a property owner. As long as leaves are not posing a threat by creating slippery conditions on sidewalks or roads, they can lie where they fall.

Tips: Some communities have rules regarding raking leaves when they fall. In these situations you can gently rake leaves into larger piles, securing with light fencing and using them as: 
1. Mulch around large trees or shrubs and garden beds.
2. Layers in your compost pile.
3. Leaf Mold for soil drainage and enrichment.

Rethinking leaves in our yards could mean instead of Fall “maintenance” they can be an investment in the long term vibrancy of a yard ecosystem. You might be rewarded with improved soil composition for healthy plant communities as well as increased biodiversity of butterflies, moths and other beneficial insects.

And when it decomposes just look what it breaks down into

Pure Garden GOLD!
Lovely Leaf Mould with luscious soil underneath!

("Leaf Mould" - The matter from decomposed leaves. 
It is used to improve the soil.)

I remember when I was little Mom used to always buy "Leaf Mould" for "special plants" in her gardens. Why it fascinated me I have no idea. But now it brings back fond memories and I get excited when I see it in my garden "au natural".

I added some of that lovely ''Leaf Mould'' to a hole where we used to have the small Dragonfly Pond.  That 'hole' has become my compost pile. Eventually I hope it will give me a fertile area to plant veggies. Prior to ridding the small pond, I would take any veggie scraps, egg shells, used coffee grounds, etc. and go dig a hole and bury them. There's not enough room in my yard for an actual compost pile/bin/etc. per se.
But I had very happy worms!

See it's a good thing to be a ''Lazy Frugal Gardener" :)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fairy Garden Drawers

What do you do with drawers you've picked up from the 
side of the road for FREE?

Make a Fairy Garden!

This is another project that has been in the making for a couple of years. I knew I wanted to make one and where I wanted to put it.
 But there was a big obstacle in the way.

 It leaked out that I wanted to make a Fairy Garden and before I knew it at every occasion I was receiving Fairy goodies. I had planned on making most if not all of the decor, but plans do change and before I knew it I had a pile of Fairy Garden Goodies!

Once that obstacle was removed I painted the cement 
the same color scheme as the deck so it would 
flow together as best as possible.

Next was to actually start the Fairy Garden!
The fronts of the drawers were already black which is what I wanted. You can't see it in the photos but the sides are painted a light purple.

I planned on writing a saying on them and came up with
 "Leave room in the Garden for the Fairies to Dance" ~ of course.
I also drew dancing Fairies here and there. 

Next I drilled holes in the bottoms for drainage.  I added coffee filters so the soil wouldn't drain/fall out through the holes.

I stacked them the way I wanted, placing a piece of styrofoam in the back of the bottom one where the top one sits. No use in wasting soil where there won't be any plants plus it also helped to provide stability for the top one to sit on. 

I poked a few holes in some plastic I had and placed that over the coffee filters to help hold in some moisture during our 106+ temps. During those days I rarely get out to water so this made sense to me.

I had a bit of Miracle Grow on hand so I tossed that in

When that was gone I added some Potting Soil

and sand that I had on hand.

I mixed then up right in the drawers.

Next was the fun part of figuring out where to put ALL the goodies! 

Done? Just about ~

I still find myself tweeking it here and there every so often

The plants have grown twice their size since these photos

Things are coming along as I saw it in my minds eye
as the Fairy Garden takes it rightfully place.

* ~ * TIP * ~ *

To help the smaller items stand up properly
glue a nail to their bottom

When dry, insert where you want them. 
They will stay put and not fall over!

Closeup of the top

Se fin!


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