Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Garden Tour

Welcome to my little summer garden tour, being hosted by the lovely Tracey of Notes from a Cottage Industry. Tracey, who also hosted last year's garden tour, thought it might be fun this year to "focus on one specific idea, or spot, or project in your outdoor area."

So, with that in mind, I thought I'd focus on a specific idea, mine being using things for purposes other than what they were intended for.

This little birdbath planter rusted so badly that I didn't dare use it as a birdbath any longer for fear of poisoning the birds...


So for the past several years I've been using it in various spots around the yard as a plant pedestal. I usually buy a nice hanging plant, remove the hanger, and plunk it right down on the rusty basin.


This idea works just as well for inexpensive plastic birdbaths that don't hold water anymore...


...due to cracked basins.

This is the cracked birdbath last year, up on the deck...

...but this year it's down on the patio, sporting a hanging fuschia to attract little hummingbirds (oops - still need to removed the hanger!)...
I have no idea what this is, but I call it "the white cage thingy." It's all enclosed so you can't even put anything inside of it - not even a little votive candle. I found it at the dump last year in the "free recycling" area. It consisted of this cage type structure, a long white chain, and a hanger. Conversation that day:

Hubby: Why are you taking that?

Me: I like it.

Hubby: What are you going to do with it?

Me: I don't know.

Hubby: That's why we have so much junk. You're always bringing things home that we don't need.

Me: I know, but it will be fabulous when I figure out what to do with it!

Introducing fabulous #1: The hanger thingy, which has a hook at the top, is perfect for hanging this petunia plant from the girls' old tree house! (See, hubby? I told you I'd figure out something!)

Introducing fabulous #2: I hung the white cage thingy and chain from a mulberry tree branch and then hung a plant from it. I think it looks kind of neat - and you sure can't beat free!!


Speaking of the tree house, I love using old windows around the yard. This one was the perfect size to dress up the "window" area of the old tree house. With a flower box hung underneath, it's a nice little focal point in this corner of our yard.

I also like to hang old windows on our stockade fence...

... with flowerboxes mounted underneath...

It's better than looking at a plain old fence as you go through the garden gate into the backyard, don't you think?


This is the screen feeder outside our dining room window...


We love to feed the birds during the long....

...COLD....

...snowy....


...New England winters...


But for the summer, I thought I'd put the screen feeder to work as a "planter" box (after all, there's plenty of natural food for the birds during the summer months!)... So I set some impatiens flats right on the screen (which should be fine because they're very light weight). As long as I water them daily I'm hoping they'll do just fine!


The same view taken just a few months ago in March 2009... I like the view now soooooooooo much better!!!
Speaking of long, cold New England winters, we lost a major portion of a couple of our trees during an ice storm this past winter... Before the trees were cut up and removed, I told hubby I wanted to keep some branches because I had a project in mind for the summer... (Hubby: Oh no, here we go again)...

So this past weekend we built a very rustic obelisk...

...out of four branches to support a honeysuckle vine we bought a couple of weeks ago (gotta keep those little hummers happy!)....

Right now it looks like a giant unfinished teepee, but hopefully within a few years it will be covered with that beautiful honeysuckle vine!


We staked each of the four branches to the ground with long spikes so it will withstand the strong winds we get sometimes!


And as I've posted about recently, this is the birdcage planter I put together for our deck. If you've read my blog before, you know I have a big thing for birdcages (it goes back to wonderful memories from the 50's of my beautiful Nana and her parakeets)...

So last month, when I spotted this birdcage on the roadside at a yard sale that was just closing down, I knew I'd found the perfect cage for my outdoor garden project! (if you'd like to learn how to make one of your own - and avoid making some of the mistakes I made along the way - click here)...


I love finding fun uses for things, other than what they were intended for! I hope you enjoyed your visit to our little cottage and "garden in the making." It's always a work-in-progress around here!
Now be sure to visit Tracey's garden and all the bloggers giving "garden tours" today!


Happy summer everyone!!!


Donna

27 comments:

Jan Mader said...

I feel like I've just been on vacation. Your blog is lovely.

I'm a children's writer and dog/animal lover. I haven't felt much like writing this week, but I've been blog walking.

Please stop by for a visit sometime.

Allidink said...

I have had that exact conversation with my boyfriend before haha! Oh men...lol. Beautiful photos! It's neat that you were able to reuse those bird baths for the plants they look great! I love the flower boxes! Sweet :) All the little birdies that visit your feeder are so cute!

All the best,
Allison

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

Loving those touches of beauty in your garden! The window - divine! The bird bath planter - smart! Everything is just sooo pretty!

Briana said...

I love your ideas for reusing things. Your garden is pretty and fun to look at. I will have to get more creative around here! Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Every piece you have brought home has been used wisely and adds to the welcome feeling in your yard and on your deck. Never listen to a husband when it comes to the decor... *giggles

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

I know where you are coming from...I get the same comments from my hubby. I always have the "vision" and he can't see it but he usually ends up happy with result. Love the window on the fence!
~Patti

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Great ideas! Great photos! Loved seeing them. (My husband no longer asks the question, "What would you do with that?" Ha!)

Bellamere Cottage said...

Great post! Loved the cracked birdbath idea. I'm always looking for things to elevate my plants...I think it makes it a tiny bit harder on the slugs! :-) Yep, I've had that identical conversation with my hubbs... I don't think they were born with that same "re-think" gene!

Blessings,
Spencer

A Stitch In Thyme said...

I love the color... so very pretty.

I don't like your snow.. not so pretty. too cold.

I love how your bird cage experiment is coming along. It's quite pretty really. Catches your eyes nicely.

Lisa said...

I love the "white cage thingy!" I would have brought it home too!

Your garden is lovely - thanks for sharing it with us :)

Lisa

rozetta said...

You have inspired me with your wonderful ideas!

~elaine~

rozetta said...

You have inspired me with your wonderful ideas!

~elaine~

Itajeff - Something To Share said...

what a great pictures you have here, so wonderful. I love it all especially the white cage. Nice blog, love it.

Have a nice day
Lots of luv,
Ita

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

I use to have a "white cage thingy" just like that! It was a decorative hanging planter from Home Interiors...way back from the late 70's probably. I had a silk arrangement put in it and it hung in the corner of my bedroom. Geeez, I was just recently thinking about that planter too so it's weird I would see one here on your blog. I donated mine to Goodwill years ago but now that I've gone all "cottagey" at my house, I've wished several times that I still had it!

Your garden is so pretty! I especially love that beautiful purple flowering plant that you have sitting on your repurposed birdbath.

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I am giggling here in my chair! Your hubby sounds just like mine!!! But LOOK what you have done with all of your fabulous "junk!" I love each and every element of sweetness! You have inspired me to add more to my garden!!

:) Becky

Brenda said...

Well, we gotta learn to make lemonade when we've got lemons. Charlie Ross knocked my birdbath over trying to get to a squirrel. So I've got one cracked up birdbath out there I'm gonna have to resurrect into something...
Brenda

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Everything looks so pretty. Love the bird baths used as plant stands, and I have loved your bird cage planter since the first day I saw it. Turning your bird feeder into a pretty window box is so smart-beauty inside and outside. And I LOVED your conversation with your husband. It sounds like a conversation I've been having with my husband for almost 40 years!! laurie

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Hi there,
I’m writing to everyone who left a comment on my ‘Wednesdays with Mom’ post to see if they would like to run over and sign up for my big giveaway before it closes at noon today. It’s right under my mom’s post.
Good Luck! : )

mamas*little*treasures said...

What a beautiful post! I loved strolling around your yard and garden and getting ideas for my little lake cottage . . . nothing fancy, but like you said, "free is good," so I'll be working on my own little corner of the world with some of your pictures in mind. Thanks for sharing! nina @ mamas*little*treasures

Dawn said...

You really have some clever ideas. It was so much fun going on your tour. I've got a cracked birdbath that will now become a plant holder! I also loved your use of windows everywhere.

I'm lucky, my hubby has the same heart for "junk" that I do.

Dawn

Joy said...

love the way you made the bird bath into a planter and the lovely bird cage design. Your garden looks great!

Linda said...

very cute ideas!

TattingChic said...

What a nice garden! That's a funny story about the "white cage thing"! Sounds like a conversation I've had before. It does look nice where you've put it! I wonder if a tea light could get stuck in there...then you could light it with one of those long fireplace match sticks! LOL! Just a thought. LOL!

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I also love finding things that might look like junk and repurposing them. You have done a terrific job! I think my favorite is that "white thingie" which doesn't even hold anything. Oh, I would have taken it home too! I think it is beautiful in the garden holding the plant! I also really like the idea for the obelisk. Why spend all kinds of money when you can get great things for free?

Kady

Joanne Kennedy said...

I would love being able to come walk around your garden. There is so much to look at and enjoy. I love your ideas of using things that others would toss out. You put your magic to work and turn them into beautiful works of art!

Hugs,
joanne

tales from an oc cottage said...

Your garden is AWESOME!

m ^..^

Heidi Colton said...

what a wonderful inviting garden you have. You have inspired me to look beyond the ordinary to find extraordinary! Thank you for sharing.