Repurposed, Upcycled, Thrift Store Items Make Garden Whimsies

Repurposed Thrift Store Items Make Garden Whimsies with Mary Mirabal. Flea market style gardening with thrift store items is something Mary enjoys with her whimsies stealing the show.

Mary says, A passion for repurposing thrift store “treasures” is what my garden whimsies are all about. They’re the added “bling” every garden deserves. It gives me great joy to transform “found” pieces into unique, upcycled, one of a kind art for your garden.

No matter what your garden style from formal, eclectic to cottage, a garden whimsy is the perfect garden accessory. My designs include: Garden totems, centerpieces, garden stakes, plate flowers, candlesticks and wind chimes.  Each garden whimsy is truly a one of a kind design. No two are identical and designs cannot be duplicated. This way you are assured of having a unique piece of garden art that no one else will have.

Please visit Mary at Garden Whimsies by Mary

Mexican sunflowers attracts butterflies

Menopause Gardening is not for wimps

Not a subject many women want to talk about so of course I approach it freely. Menopause gardening is not for wimps. If you are already on fire, going out to sweat most assuredly is a less than pleasant thought. Women who experience hot flashes, emotional chaos, bouts of fits, and frequent jaunts of nakedness…are challenged by hot weather and bugs.

The other day I was cooking on the stove when it occurred to me that my grand dog might like a treat. Soon as I turned around to get one…I forgot what I was doing. When I turned back around to the stove, I forgot what I was cooking, and when I turned away from the stove, the dog barked at me.

If this episode of brain cell death happens while you are applying fertilizer, then heaven help the plants. Or suppose you get distracted and leave a 6 pack of flowers alone and abandoned in the frying sun. Money doesn’t grow on trees and this can get expensive.

One of my suggestions to you all suffering menopause sickness is to learn new curse words. If you haven’t been accustomed to using them now is the time to start. They don’t have to be ugly and unacceptable. They can be something like…’grommet headed toad lips’ and it can be applied to anything. So instead of saying, ‘expletive’ you no good lilly livered sap sucking aphid…get off my plant. Say instead, Good ‘grommet headed toad lips’ almighty…I’m gonna smash that aphid on a sharp rock and send his guts to Argentina.

During menopause gardening, it’s therapeutic to have the hose placed close by. If you see a neighbor coming and it’s hot flash happening time…then grab the hose and make it look like you are fighting it. Get in a real brawl with it and make sure water goes everywhere. When the neighbor approaches, shew relief that you only got just a little bit wet.

Plants can some times be down right aggravating. In that case, you have an opportunity to vent and show your snarky side. Menopausal women practice snark face attitude and it makes us feel better when we can use it for a good purpose. Study the dysfunctional attitude of the plant and apply the rod of discipline. Wack off the offending body part. Normal people call it pruning or trimming. Menopausal women call it amputation. We don’t take garden pruners to the garden…we take kitchen knives.

You’ll need to dress appropriately for the task. Wear nothing at all or your mate’s favorite exercise shorts. Dress loosely and most importantly…make it comfortable. Get a boat load of bobby pins and force your hair up and off your face. Carry a soft washcloth to wipe the constant bead of sweat off your lip. Drink lots of water. It helps to take some Ibuprofen before you start. Take a antihistamine. They do help menopause symptoms. No one knows why but they do work.

Don’t get overheated but take lots of breaks. Preplan and have a nice lawn chair close by so you can sit and sip a nice cool drink and admire you work.

Hot flashes in the garden are more bearable than having one while at the movies. So garden during this challenging time and put that sweat to good use.


Fine Wine weigela, Snow Storm spirea, Oso Easy Paprika, and Gertrude in unison

This is the spring shout out by ‘Fine Wine’ weigela, ‘Snow Storm’ spirea, Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’, and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I can’t believe my good fortune to have them all blooming at once. ‘Paprika’ is more manageable of the Oso Easy™ roses. I’ve had them all and they were aggressive growers taking over huge areas of the bed. I ended up giving them to a landscaping company and only kept ‘Paprika’. I love it….looks like orange sherbert with lemon drop centers. Look delicious.

 Oso Easy ‘Paprika’ is practically pest resistant. I use Safer™ 3 in 1 to help control mildew and aphids. This time of year in my zone 7a high humidity gardens the aphids run rampant and will attack the new growth. Safer™ takes care of pest and mildew as will Hot Pepper Wax and both do it organically.

I love the dark green leaves with the orange flowers. Hard to find a pretty orange and this is a grand one. This is spring 2011 with Flowergardengirl.

Just behind the Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’ is another ornamental shrub by Proven Winners Plants and I had to move this ‘Snow Storm’ spirea 4 times before finding a spot it liked. Each time I moved it—it took a season before it recovered. This is its prettiest season yet. It is in a semi dry spot, with about 4 hours of direct sun a day. It blooms profusely for about 2 months. It didn’t like our hot drought summer of 2009 and was in a location too dry and too many hours of sun–the leaves burned up. Then it was in a spot too wet in the summer of 2008. Now it’s happy. Continue reading

A wagon of sedum

Jenny Alexander has planted up this wagon of sedum guaranteed to bring smiles in all seasons.

photo credit:

Jenny Alexander