Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Fairy Garden

As soon as I saw the Fairy Gardens popping up on Pinterest I knew that we had to have one of our own. An oak half barrel on the deck that usually houses cosmos was the perfect venue. I love cosmos, but they get so darn high that they block my view from the kitchen window to the backyard and shade garden. Nine year old Macy was only too happy to help with the work and the ideas. And the ideas keep on coming.

We started with a Michael's brownstone birdhouse, regular $16.99 on for $6.99 CDN. Macy painted the trim a custom turquoise... the secret recipe: one blob oyster white, one blob bahama blue.

I love stone houses so I knew we'd be havin' one of those. Mr. CF, the CF hound and I went on a pebble hunt (under the cleverly thought up premise of a fishing trip) out west in search of the perfect fairy house stones. No dice. Wouldn't you know he found the perfect fairy pebbles a half mile out of town? I couldn't have been happier if he brought home five dozen roses.

We used Lepages No More Nails Ultra as I couldn't find Liquid Nails which I had read somewhere would do the trick. This stuff is good for indoor/outdoor and is low odor -- the only thing I wasn't big on is that it is white. We did small sections at a time, bumping fingers and technique. We were both excited to see our house come to life. Five coats of spray sealer were added but I think I'll still bring the house in when there is a torrential rain. I'd hate to have the basement rot out from under the fairies!

We planted a dwarf delphinium, sea thrift, moss phlox, irish moss and transplanted a chunk of creeping thyme and hens & chicks from the bird bath bed. Miss M made her paths from pennies.

My potting bench backs up to the deck. It is due for a makeover this summer but it has been the handiest piece of outdoor furniture ever. It has held snacks, beverages and birthday party goodies and is an awesome work bench. Our apple and crab apple blossoms are losing their petals; the cedar waxwings will soon fly in to gobble them up.

Yesterday we added the birdcage and bunting. I just used wee diamond shaped scraps of fabric. Miss M was proud of her gazing ball: a marble on a golf tee. We have more ideas for this fairy garden and for the second one that Macy started after having so much fun with this one.

We'll keep you updated and let you know when the fairies move in. Thank you for visiting!

Update: Click here to see how our fairy garden is doing in July.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Peony Distress Call (Front Flower Bed Part II)

Ta - da!! Presenting my new front flower bed and trellis fence! Mr. CF helped me transplant some perennials and add a couple of new ones today. I will plant my seedlings Saturday as there is still a risk of frost tonight. I have sunflowers, delphiniums, cosmos, zinnia, salvia and black-eyed susan to add yet. I decided to move our 45 year old white peony (at the centre post) even though I know it won't bloom this summer now. It is suffering serious transplant shock -- at least it is cool and raining lightly to ease it's poor little self. My neighbour loves the new bed & fence -- it will add some privacy for her as she likes to sit out on her front deck and read in the morning. The elementary school is the building with the blue roof in the background, so there is quite a bit of foot traffic along here. The mailman gave it two thumbs up this morning!

We spent our May long weekend building. Miss M was very helpful as per usual. I have some cove moulding to cut and add under the post caps, but other than that, it is done!

Good thing there were only three posts; our little family of three was perfect for lifting it into place. We managed to step around the perennials given to me last fall by my cousin. I did buy an amethyst coralberry shrub, one each shasta daisy and purple coneflower (which I split) and three small tickseeds. The rest will be transplanted or seedlings.

The plans for our arbor and the trellis fence both came from this book; there are oodles of good designs in here.

 Don't you love it when they post your age right in front of your house? Living in a 30 zone was much easier to take. My sunflowers and delphiniums will be easy to tie to the fence and the cosmos and zinnia will fill things in nicely while the perennials get established. At least that is my plan... not sure what the neighbourhood hares and the occasional deer will think about the new buffet -- hopefully they will turn their noses up at it.

I'm so happy to have this bed in... I just can't wait for midsummer to see how it looks then. Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Front Yard Flower Beds Come to She Who Waits... and Waits (Part I)

September 2011... Macy needed a photo for school of her favourite place in the whole world. She wanted a photo of our home and that made me smile. It makes me smile again to know that we are finally putting in the flower bed I've wanted in the front yard for two years now. Note my almost 50 year old bleeding heart behemoth at the front door!

When we bought our 1965 spit level 3 years ago we knew it needed curb appeal but there were oodles of more pressing items to be fixed... like wiring not up to code, new attic insulation, parging to cover the nasty blue styrofoam insulation on the addition, hideous former kitchen remodel, terribly neglected empty back yard, and so many more. Oh, and filling the hole in the front lawn left by the birch. 

I got my first glimpse of our house circa 1971 from my dear neighbour a few weeks ago -- I was so excited to see this photo. We had the very same fence in turquoise and white in the house I grew up in. Note the size of the cedar at the corner of the house and then look above to see what 40 years of growing can do!

We planted an amur cherry in the fall of 2010 (we had BIG ones at a previous home and loved them) and took out both corner hedges this past summer -- but not on the day of this hailstorm. :) Macy is sentimental like her mama and insisted that we keep part of the hedge. The bit left standing was relocated to the back yard.

To say we're starting with a clean slate is an understatement.    Photo from April 2012.

Mr. Crow's Feet, Uncle Bradley & their supervisor hard at work this morning. The trellis fence is starting to get built tomorrow and I've got seedlings waiting, plants to move and a shrub to pick out.  I hope to buy just the shrub and some tickseed for this bed. We shall see. The sunflowers, cosmos, zinnia, black-eyed susan, and others are a few inches high. Good thing they aren't planted yet as there is a frost warning tonight. Sigh. I'm heading out now to cover the baby boo pumpkins and the canary creeper. If the weather (and Mr. CF) cooperates I will hopefully have an update by early next week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mother's Day Bouquet

 Here they are... the spring stars of my garden. That is the whole show. My dry shade flower bed in the back yard surprised me this spring with this blast of colour. I totally forgot about the grocery store primrose that I had stuck back there after the blooms faded and now here she is. I checked last years photos and we still had tulips here in June. I'm a bit envious of of my green thumbed friends south of the border with... ahem, slightly longer growing seasons! Oh well... I will take all the green I can get right now. And the purple.

After the Mother's Day Brunch guests left I puttered out in the yard watering and pulling a few weeds. It is a beautiful day and brunch was fun. The photos of everyone on the 'clothesline' were a HUGE success. Macy gave me one of her famous manies and pedies. She made my day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I made a new sign for Sunday... a little tweaking of the spring mantle and we're ready for our annual Mother's Day brunch. At least the mantle is ready. The grocery shopping has a ways to go yet.

Easy, peasy and total cost: $0. I used the font LD Petticoat Black, printed out and transferred to one of the old fence boards in my stash. I used craft paints that I had on hand and dried well using my high dollar drying station, pictured at right. Sand and voila!

I enlarged and printed the photos at home and picked up the clothespins from Mom last night. They are the same ones that I used to pin the clothes on the line back in the 60's and 70's when we were much smarter and used clotheslines.

I printed photos of everyone that will be at the brunch with their mothers. My mom, my dad, my daughter, my husband, my aunt, my mother-in-law, hubby's aunt and our neighbour. We're all there and DD knows who everyone is in these old photos, and that makes me smile.

 This is one of my favourites. My mom and I on our way to church in front of the house I grew up in (which is in the same city I live in now). Roots are good. Wishing you all a very Happy Mother's Day! :)

Edited on Mother's Day to add:
We were happy to add two more guests to brunch and photos of them with their mothers to the clothesline: my cousin and our neighbour friend from across the street. The photos were a HUGE success!

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Recreational Hazard

I have a new health and safety poster at my desk -- albeit a bit too late. I don't know what I was thinking, but we didn't put my desk up on a perch when we moved here and it is too low. Or... my armrest was too high and I didn't think to lower it. Needless to say, many hours of doing genealogy, surfing, scrapping, and pinning and I have mouse elbow. It is similar to tennis elbow, but I am finding it much harder to heal. I am trying to rest it, but it is the start of gardening season. I am using my left hand for my mouse when I can, icing it, massaging it, and taking ibuprophen. Sigh. I thought that making a poster would help -- but I used my right hand for mousing. Ooops.

The skeleton & Miss Mousie are from The Graphics Fairy of course. The text was found here with a slight modification on that last line. The addition of the Red Cross logo was inspired by Vickie at Ranger 911's post here. I think it makes it look awfully official!

I am waiting to get in to see the doc as I am finding that this just does not go away on it's own. It is painful to even turn a door knob let alone garden. Has anyone else had mouse elbow? What helped you??

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Butter Late Than Never!

In the early 1900's my great grandmother Eliza Anne used to make butter and sell it to the grocery store in town. Luckily my aunt still had some of the parchment butter wrappers and gave me some about three years ago. I have always wanted one framed to hang in my kitchen and finally... ta-da! I had envisioned a pricey custom frame, but instead I used a $1.50 thrift store eighties number and after averting my eyes from it's peach hue, I painted it cream. It's 5.5"x6.5"... just right I think; it may get distressed a bit yet... that can always come later. Mrs. Robin needed a spring kerchief and I had to get out a coordinating salt & pepper. 

My great grandparents and my grandmother (circa 1920) on Garden Hill Farm with one of the first cars in the area.

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