This and That

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's been awhile since I've posted in my blog and the above picture is why.  After several slips on the old pool ladder, my husband spray painted a line in the grass.  This is a "oh no you didn't" thing with me.  A spray painted line in the grass will always be followed up with a build :-)  And build we did.

The design was discussed and discussed and researched and finally settled on.  So the framing went in and post put down and cemented in.
We had friends over for a visit and he suggested the double entry which we liked so the stairs were put on for a double entrance as well as steps to the upper deck.
We go fishing in Marathon each fall so we thought a "boat dock" feel would be appropriate for our taste.  And the following pictures are of those decorations and the furniture.  We found the chairs and table at Old Time Pottery, on sale and they worked with the budget I had for decorating.  I still have a table and lazy susan coming but this much is now done.
I love the paddle and balls.
Add in an anchor, life preserver and propeller and of course at every boat dock there is a pelican. This one is solar and gives off a nice yellow glow at night.
When something makes me laugh out loud while shopping for decorations, it must come home.
Looking down from the top deck
Looking in from the side

All of my landscaping has a fairy garden. I was able to find "seaside fairy items"...I know...magic was happening :-)
And every boat dock needs the old sailor.

And the ships wheel and boat rope. There is another solar light that you can see on the other side.

All that is left is to enjoy our new summer pool side deck :-)  
Magic is everywhere - if you look.  That's my dirt for this day. Hope to "see" you again soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Every "Home" Needs Curb Appeal

 It had to be done.  In February we purchase our new baby chicks and built them a chicken coop.  After putting it all together and visiting with them each day, I decided the area needed some TLC to give them a homey look.  Every home needs curbs appeal.  It looked so barren before I put a little touch to it.
Not exactly the place you'd want to invite "friends" to visit. LOL.  I started by working the dirt and then putting in some bulbs.  I have Dahlia's and along the front side and Beard Dianthus along the back.  Also along the back I planted some Sunflowers.  These will take awhile to grow so I needed some plants for the front. 
You can barley see them but they're there. These will grow to approx. 4' tall, Sunflowers.

In front of the sunflowers will be the Beard Dianthus. It will give a nice layered look.

In the front I planted the Blue Butterfly Shrub and also the Pink Whirling Butterflies.

My husband bought a Jalapeno bush while we were out so I planted it out there too.  It will only last until it finishes producing the peppers.  
 I added some stepping stones in front of the door for the "walkway".  A friend shared with me a video of how to turn a pot into a Hobbit house by turning the pot sideways and gluing moss all around it. So, I found a pot and did just that.  I also had a door that was the perfect size to put in front of the pot to finish off the house.
I planted some Mother of a Million Tears (catcus) on each side of it.  As this plant grows it will produce plenty of babies that I can plant in various places along the new "river".  And I added some whimsy to complete the front. A little bistro set, some stones for the walkway to the Hobbit House, and a Gnome.
 On this end I added a little "pond" with some chickens enjoying a cool drink and another gnome and walkway to the fairy house.  I love the magic.
                                      A splash of blue aquarium rock makes a nice river look.
                                             And of course, every river needs a little bridge.
 The gals kept a close eye on me to see what I was doing to their landscape.  A friend suggested they might have been thinking "Mom likes to dig in the dirt too"....they are right ...grin.
 A couple of days and a few hours work and I'm pleased with the new curb appeal of our gals home.  I can't wait for the bulbs to come up and bloom and give a huge color pop to this area.  The area to the right is unplanted.  The coop is mobile and once a month I pull it out and clean underneath so there won't be a build up of chicken droppings.  This will eventually make a great compost but because it's so high in nitrogen, it will take quite awhile to break down.  Never add chicken droppings directly to plantings. It will burn them.  But when landscaping the area, I had to make sure to have a way to pull the coop out for cleaning and maintenance yet maintain the landscape. So I put a magical "tic tac toe" game to fill in the space.
 Once the bulbs grow along the side and back I plan to complete the details of a village around the side and back.  I can't do it right now because I forgot the exact placement of the  But, when our Granddaughters come, this little area will add another spark of magic to the yard as well as the fascination of the chickens.
Eventually there will be an arbor in front with a sky vine to make an inviting entrance.  That's my dirt for today.   The magic is everywhere, if you look for it. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cabinet Nightmares - Do You Have One.....

Cabinet doors are a wonderful invention.  One would never know what lies behind them if they could remain closed.  I finally decided it was time to tackle my nightmares that lay hidden behind my clean white doors.  LOL.  Yes...a nightmare is what I will call it.  I actually found a lizard in the pot cabinet and the scary part was - he was still alive.  As I was pulling the pots and pans out he arrived inside my slow cooker. Needless to say, every single pot, pan and lid was scrubbed in hot water, dried and put back.  I finally decided that I didn't need so many skillets and other items that never get used so those will now become bottoms for pots that I grow plants in outside.  The before and after of the pot nightmare I faced every time I cooked and put them away.

I purchased this cleaner at the Dollar Store.  It's Awesome!! If you've never tried it, do.  It cuts grease faster then anything I have found to date.  The name of it....I all ready said... Awesome!! So appropriately named as well. Word of caution. Do  NOT use this on rubber - it will eat it away. Perfect cleaner for everywhere you need to quick clean grease, dirt, soap scum or whatever else you would normally have to clean with some muscle. It only cost $1.00 per bottle. It's Awesome!
The next is the dreaded plastics cabinet.  If we weren't such fans of left overs, I would not have a single plastic container in my world.  How does one get so many lids with no containers to match.  Every time I clean this cabinet, I always have more lids then containers. Once again, it's cleaned and organized and there are still some that I have in the dishwasher for a good hot clean.

I think I've solved the problem of where to put the lids.  I went to the Dollar Store (yes, I love shopping there for household things) and purchased this basket.  It's perfect to keep them least for this moment.

That's my dirt for today.  I found magic at the Dollar Store to solve this problem.  Magic is everywhere, if you look for it!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Quick Makeover - Rock Lake Garden

With the arrival of spring comes spring cleanup in the yard so I painted the river deck and noticed that the area along the outside of the river was woefully bare.  The fig tree was nice and coming into season with small figs everywhere.  I had planted some Zinnias in a little patch in front of the rock and knew it needed more.
So I grabbed my hoe and hard rake and shovel and promptly prepared the area for a little fantasy garden.  I purchased some log style landscape bricks at the local hardware store and "fenced" the area in. 
 I planted several kinds of flower seeds that will bring much magic later but it needed some pop while waiting for them to grow so I placed a few Phlox to hold it until that time arrives.  I put some weed barrier on the ground, mulched it all and gathered my Christmas houses from the shed. Then decided it needed a lake.  Thus the name Rock Lake.  Of course every lake needs a bridge so...I turned to Larry and asked - "won't you build me a bridge" and he did.
I find I'm out of fairies so in the interim using my little village people and a few turtles makes the village a nice spot to look upon and smile.

The pot with the tree is my Shaving Brush.  I have decided that it will need to be moved but it is just getting it's blooms and has shot a tap root into the ground. For now, until it blooms, it will stay. Once that is finished I'll carefully dig it up and move it to a new permanent home.  I had a visitor while I was working.  I believe he likes the new area....grin.

The entire project took 2 hours and I feel it was time well spent.  And, on to the next project.
I use Weed and Feed in and around my gardens.  It's the perfect "tool" to help prevent weeds from growing while letting flowers and bushes share their beauty.  
Always feel the magic.  It's everywhere, if you look!!