I had such a lovely weekend working on both early spring pruning and getting my outdoor patio area cleaned up: this was inspired by an early spring.
With that, I wanted to share with you, a few easy kitsch garden decor ideas and also open up the dialogue to how stuff happens in the garden, and that sometimes failure presents some fresh opportunities for change and aha moments.
Over the few days of working (If I can call it that) I felt so much satisfaction…
It’s your space. YOUR personal outdoor space. Big space, small space, balcony, whatever, it’s a way to have so much fun and connect on whatever scale works for you.
One of the great things about garden decor and tchatchkas is that you can continue to play like you were a kid. I do that with spray paint every few years, and even had my amazing niece help me out a few years ago, to paint assorted pots and metal pieces.
So, here are some of the talking points concerning my weekend spent working on the garden at my mountain cabin in Lake County, California. (It’s USDA Zone 8; Sunset Zone 7 – Has hot dry summers, typically cool wet winters, & deer live in the neighborhood.)
Experimentation is Fun, Let Yourself Take Some Risks…
I bought a few plants recently specifically for my cabin. Because the climate is very different up there: it’s two hours north of San Francisco in the mountains at 2700 feet; I’m always considering what will survive and thrive. This gorgeous Dyckia plant is new to me. I’ve never used it before for a client or myself. But, it should be able to handle the cold winter, deer issues and very hot summers. One of my experiments is that while all of my plants are on drip irrigation (for now, we use battery operated timers on different hose bibs around the small property), this small succulent pot (photo above) sitting on the chilled purple table top, has no supplemental water. It will get watered, but likely 1 to 2 times per month. If I see it going in decline, I have options for sure. After all, it’s in a pot and is portable. But the idea here is to have fun! I bought two crowded and ready to be divided 1 gallon Dyckia plants; this purple one and a bluish green one, with the intention of gently dividing them and making several pots, while getting bang for my buck and starting a collection.
To divide them, I had to use a little brute force; but then gently teased the roots apart, so that smaller pups (or babies) plus larger clumps with roots, could be placed mainly in a variety of containers. A few made it into the ground.
Finds at the Flea Market, Swap Meat, Garage Sale
There was a time that I went on an antiques binge and drove down with my pick up truck to Southern California to plant shop, pot shop, antique shop. I had so many things that I wanted to do, and so many places that I wanted to visit. The end result was some fun finds for the garden. The garden scale is one of several I picked up on that trip. I’ll include photos in a later post, in case that interests you. Three live outside, year round, but are close to the house and in a sort of rain shadow.. Anyway, I spray painted smooth rocks (river rock) to match my pots, repeating color around for accent and pop.
Put Together a Collection of Local Rocks, Sea Shells, Sticks…
Here’s an inexpensive example of garden decor that’s meaningful, as obsidian rock a.k.a bottle rock, relates to the geology of the cabin. I find collecting rocks to be really enjoyable and zen. Same thing for the beach or anywhere. Though the idea is very basic, many people have complimented the rocks and asked about them. Another thing, is that I don’t have to water the pot, which is part of the reason I like using natural materials.
What about you? Any fun ideas you want to share. We all need some new ones!
ps: If you like the paint I used, the color palette and choices are incredible. I bought several cans of MTN at a local art supply store. I also use Krylon – which is great to paint metal patio furniture. The color choices are few; but, I found that for what I was looking for, it does a nice job.