Friday, May 22, 2009

Gnome Garden

It's been a long time since I have posted in my blog, I have been real busy in the gardens and really frustrated with my website, so I slacked off for a while. All of the gardens have changed a lot. I guess you could say that mother nature has been busy too. It's going to take a while to catch up on my posts. My favorite update is the Gnome Garden. I should have taken some photos as I built my Gnome town, because my plants have grown so large that they have all but swallowed up my Gnomes.

My favorite feature of Gnome Town is their out-house that my hubby and I built. It's so cute, and very necessary for my gnomes for obvious reasons. My husband really thinks I am nuts when it comes to my gnomes, but they need things too, Right? Actually I do sometimes get carried away with my decorating, But it's all in fun and a little whimsy goes a long way in making your day a little brighter. So Why not? I am trying to get my gnomes to do the weeding for me and if they like their new home maybe they will help out with a lot of my garden chores. I am beginning to think one of them is planting the weeds instead of pulling them because they are so bad this year, but I guess it could be because of the rain we have had an overabundance of so far this season. My Gnomes also have a table with a checkerboard and two seats, so they have something to do when they are not working. I have other things planned for it and will probably add to it as I find things that they need.

The gnomes have their own garden with statues, birdbath, and gazing ball. Of corse you know that garden decor is very essential in my book. They even have a shepards hook with a birdhouse on it. That is a deffinate must for any garden. I'm sure that I will think of many more things they need.

My husband thinks I've finally fell off the deep end when it comes to my gnomes, But that's o.k. I'm having fun with it and as long as they don't have me committed who cares? Right?

Another post coming soon!
by birdlady

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nice Weather, But Not For Long.

We had some real nice weather for a few days, so I actually got outside and got my hands in the dirt. It felt great to be puttering in the garden again. I got all of the mulch down , then went to get more. The first truck load covered my two shade beds, and my two ornamental plum trees.

They look much better now. The big bed will take about two loads itself. But there's a lot of weeding to do first. Sometimes I think I have the healthiest weeds in Indiana growing in my front flowerbed. Where do they all come from?

My husband and I took up the arbor in my front bed, It has seen it's better days. The biggest problem now is finding a place for all of the birdhouses that were on it, so since it's going to rain for a few days and turn cold, we have started building a post for my birdhouses. I haven't decided where to put it yet, I like to watch the birds while I rest on the porch or in my garden swing, so it will probably go in the front bed.

We also built an outhouse for my Gnomes. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but it will make a great addition to my gnome garden. It has turned out great and just needs a few coats of clear varnish to finish it. You can buy outhouses for your gnomes, but we like to build things ourselves. It rained all day Sunday anyway. Besides, We got to spend some quality time together. He also suggested that we build some birdhouses to go on the post we made but, I think I'll use some from my website, there are so many cute ones and we wouldn't be able to make them so detailed for a decent price, So costwise and definately time wise it would be smarter to buy them from myself.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Snow Brings.......?

Well it's April 7th and we are expecting more snow, I thought the saying was "April showers bring May flowers" I wonder what April snow brings, I'm not sure I want to find out. This is crazy weather. Saturday and Sunday was nice and warm enough to work outside. I pulled weeds, cleaned birdbaths, did some mulching and started clearing out an area for my much anticipated Gnome Garden. I worked until it looked like the rain was going to cut loose. Then it started, We had a lot of hard rain, it came down so fast and furious that the ground couldn't soak it up. We had some flooding and of course some of my new mulch was washed away. Hmmm could things get worse? You bet!!!

Monday brought Snow so heavy that it seemed like a blizzard. It was so wet already that it didn't stick and soon melted. That's great. But wait we are supposed to get more snow. What is this? I am used to snow in March but April? Well at least I didn't drag out my garden decorations yet. I started to but thought I'd wait until the mulching was done. At least I got the two small beds almost done. It's too cold and much too wet to work outside now, I guess I'll have to wait for nicer weather AGAIN. The birds are all cuddled into fluffy balls, I bet they are tired of this waiting for spring too. Well maybe next month. I just hope that I don't lose any plants during this freeze.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Little Greenhouse

I have wanted a greenhouse for years, but there is always something that is needed more to spend our money on. Maybe some day I will get a full size greenhouse, but for now I make do with a tiny portable one. It is easily put together when I need it and can just as easily be taken apart to store over the winter, taking up very little space in my shed. When I want to start my seedlings early, I get it out and put it together and am ready to fill it up with my trays of newly planted seeds and even some small pots. For the space it requires it can hold a surprising amount of plants. I put a 2 foot fluorescent light fixture with a grow light bulb across the top and rotate the plants when they need sun, but mother nature doesn't provide it. I also use it to protect bedding plants waiting to be worked into the gardens. When it's too cold for the plants outside, I bring it in, it's very light weight. It is perfect as protection against my plant eating cats too. When it is outside I tie it to the porch rails so a strong wind won't dump it over or carry it away. If it doesn't have many plants in it yet I usually put a stepping stone on the bottom rack to weigh it down. I live in what is known as tornado alley so we get a lot of strong wind, You learn to prevent things from flying away in advance.

So far my plants are barely coming up, and I haven't purchased any bedding plants yet. The weather has been so unpredictable that most of the places I buy plants from haven't even started selling garden plants yet. In fact the weather man said on the news last night that we may be getting some snow before the weekend is over, GREAT!!! Just what we need. It's not unheard of to get snow here in March, but snow in April is kind of rare.

The plants in this piture were given to me, One looks like a geranium of some sort, and the other one ? it kind of looks like a jade plant? The kids at the school greenhouse were growing perenials and the tags got lost, so I guess I'll have to plant it and find out. The sprouting bulbs are my Calla lilies I have to wait until the danger of frost is over to plant them, I don't think they can wait much longer. Do you?
I hate to wait to put out my garden decorations and lawn furniture but I guess I'd better. I do have some out that should be o.k. if the temps don't drop drastically. I guess I had better watch the weather report very close. I may have to cover some perennials that have started up. Spring??? YEAH RIGHT!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Garden Planning

Every year I plan out my garden ahead of time. I don't know why because it never works out the same as I plan it, But I guess it would be worse if I didn't think some things out ahead of time. Right? Today that is what I'm going to do. I have some of my plants started in my little greenhouse, but they are so tiny I can't count on them to be ready in time to put them in the ground. Last year we grew a salsa garden. I had so many peppers growing that I didn't have enough room to grow any beans. I like the Roma bush type beans. They taste good, are string less, and the compact plants really produce a lot of beans. This year I am determined to plant a few rows of them. I have to put windwheels or noise makers of some type in with them too to keep the rabbits from eating the plants, they seem to like the beans. Last year they ate the broccoli plants and radishes down to the ground. Broccoli doesn't really grow well in Indiana but my son wanted to try it, apparently so did the bunnies. I'm guessing they liked it. I haven't seen many rabbits this year, I think the stray cats that hang around keep them away. I have two cats myself and believe it or not their names are Salsa and Pepper.
SALSA & PEPPER (my cats)

I love yellow Zucchini, So does my family. I fry it in flour & cornmeal, with butter Crisco and they can't get enough of it. That is the only squash that we like. It's getting hard to find the seeds for it, because Burppe is the only one that can actually call it zucchini. Other types of yellow squash is not quite the same. It is so yummy. My Dad who hates squash and would never eat it when my mom would fix it, finally ate some a few years ago when I fixed it. Now he asks for it all of the time. We only have it in the summer because it costs way too much in the stores and they are also just little bitty things compared to the size that you can grow them to fry. The only problem I have in growing them is they get root worm easily. Over the years I have found that if you start them in a big pot with no bottom or one with large holes and then sink the whole pot in the ground when the plants are a decent size, they are less likely to get those pesky varmints in them.

This year I bought a new type of flower bulb to try too. Well at least it's new to me. I think it's actually been around a while. It's called Ismene. I'm one of those people who usually stick with the old fashioned favorites as far as flowers go. But these look interesting, so I'll give them a try.
Has anybody ever grown these before? If you have any information on them, drop me a line, I sure would like to hear what you think about these flowers.

The main reason that I have passed them up before is that, where I live you have to dig them up each year and store them for the winter. I'll have to remember to do it. Oh well I have to dig my Caladdiums, Calla Lilies, and Elephant ears too, So I'll just add one more to that list of must dig bulbs and if they are worth the effort, I may get some more next year.

I need to get some of the seeds I just bought planted in pots and growing soon, because Planting time is not far off. I am going to try and get to the place where I buy heirloom tomatoe plants, I will have to take my hubby in with me to keep me from getting too carried away with my tomatoes because I can't stop myself when I see all of those plants, they are very cheap and I love home grown tomatoes. I wish I could make my garden bigger, but we have made it bigger the last two years in a row. Oh well who needs lawn right?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Than Just Birdhouses

I love birdhouses, They make great decorating items for your porch, yard, garden and even inside your house as a theme for any room. I have a very large collection of birdhouses inside and out. My kitchen theme is birdhouses. I had a great time decorating my kitchen. There is not any space that doesn't have a birdhouse, or a picture of one. I have birdhouse towels, dishrags, pot holders, curtains, tablecloth, appliance covers, bag holders, bed tray, place mats, throw rugs, candle warmer, drawer knobs, canisters, wall trim, real birdhouses hanging and on shelves, even a birdhouse water cooler cover. It turned out great. and I love it. In the winter I feel like I have a little of the outdoors right inside my kitchen and it makes me miss going outside just a little less. If I didn't have cats I would probably have birds too. My mom used to have canaries when I was little and I loved it when they sang. I do have some birds in with my birdhouses, It just makes since for them to be added too.

One thing I had a lot of fun doing was painting and decorating an old cabinet to go with my birdhouse theme. First I stripped off all of the old varnish, stained the top to match my cabinets,

then I painted the doors the same blue that I used to sponge paint my walls and the cabinet itself white. I added rub-ons of birdhouses and birdhouse knobs. I did the same to my vegetable bins. I did stenciling and hand painting on the bulkhead that devides the kitchen from the dining area. My sister in law made me the clock. her web address is I'm kind of a finatic when it comes to home decorating, I like each room to have a theme. One bathroom is Dolphins, the other bathroom is Palm trees, and the main bedroom is Oriental theme, My daughters room has it's own theme all together it's called tornado aftermath. It had a butterfly theme to start with but it got lost during the storm called teenager.

Can you make out the little bluebird hanging in the photo above? I sell these in my store. it is a little lantern and it makes a perfect romantic glow while watching t.v. or just relaxing in the living room, It hangs in a framed out sort of window between my living room and dining room,

I love it. I have a lot of oil lamps, candles and lanterns all over the house because we have a lot of power outages where we live out here in the boonies. They really come in handy. The lanterns come in a lot of different styles and can also be used outdoors. We use ours a lot when we have company or a cookout. A lot of the items you can decorate with can also be use ful, I use the bed tray a lot too. It is perfect to take your dinner to the living room while you relax. and is kind of cute hanging on the kitchen wall too. Of course my husband likes this decoration too, because sometimes he gets breakfast in bed on it. Lucky Man.
the birdlady

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Still Waiting...

I have been very bad about not writing in my blog, I have been working on my website a lot and gathering things for the flowerbeds. One thing I have waiting is in my driveway, it's a truck load of mulch. I am hoping that I have a chance to get some of it laid tomorrow, we are supposed to have a decent day, and then get rain for almost every day next week. No worry, we also have a boat in the driveway. I know rain is important , but give me a break!!! I guess I'll have to cover the mulch up tomorrow too. wet mulch is a lot heavier and harder on my back as well as bad for the trucks suspension. My hubby's truck really looks weighted down.

I've also been gathering things for my new gnome garden, I can't wait to get it started. The gnomes are going to have their own little garden too. Some of the things I want to put in my gnome garden I can't find anywhere, so I'll have to make them myself, That's O.K though because crafting is another one of my hobbies. I have a lot of things in my craft supplies that will be perfect for my gnome project. I have made a birdbath and a gazing ball for my gnomes to use in their garden, They turned out kind of cute. I wish I could get my hands on my daughters Barbie stuff, I bet there are a lot more things in there too! But her barbie stuff is all packed away somewhere. Oh well I have a lot of things already, and I'm sure I'll think of more as I go.

When I was looking for gnome items, I found another cute frog so I snatched him up too. I have so many plans for the garden this year, I'll never get them all done. I am hoping for good days for my Mieneres disease and Fibro, so they don't prevent me from working outside. I have to do it a little at a time, work some, rest some, work some, pain pills, rest some. I'm sure some of you know what I am talking about. I wish I still had the strength and energy that I had years ago.

My hubby or one of my sons will have to do the tilling and other hard things again this year. It takes me forever to lay the mulch since I have to do it bucket by bucket, because I can't handle the shoveling. But I will get it done one way or the other. My hubby always fusses at me , saying I work too hard in my garden and one of these days they will probably find me face down in one of my flower beds dead as a doornail. In reality, I will probably be face up since I can't bend over or get on my knees much, I scoot around on my butt a lot. All I can say is can you think of a better way to go? Nobody will even have to send flowers and whoever made up the saying dead as a doornail? It is not an option in my book, Aren't they all dead to start with?
the birdlady

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garden Frogs and Toads

Do you like Frogs and Toads? How could anyone possibly not like them? They are so cute. I love frogs and toads of any size or color. A person could collect frog statues and never have them all, there are so many on the market today, litterly thousand's of them. They are everywhere you look. I am lucky to live in a place where there are tons of toads and frogs in my yard in the summer months.

I have a special area in my front garden called toadtown U.S.A. which is where I put all of the toads and frogs that I find hopping around my yard and driveway. Usually they stay there, but a few may be wanderers and have to be placed there over and over again. One particular toad I saved kept returning to the backyard, He was found by the dog a few times but kept returning when placed in toadtown, after several trips to toad town he would see me coming and hop right straight to the vegetable garden and through the fence I put up to protect the garden from the dog. Well I could use a bug eating helper in that garden too, so I left him there. He was happy there and never wandered far.

For those of you who can't have toads and frogs or don't want them, there are statues and figurines galore to choose from. I have several in my store to choose from and they make a wonderful addition to any garden. You could even make your own Frogville or Toadtown.

Have fun with it. My frogs have their own swimming pool, houses, birdbath, solar light, and a sign welcoming visitors. I have pathways made out of rocks and pebbles and a lot of bigger rocks for them to sunbathe on. It is always loaded with frogs and toads real and not. A night It sounds like a symphony of frogs and I love it.

The frogs do a pretty good job of keeping the bugs down, That many frogs and toads can eat a lot of bugs. They are also make for a perfectly themed garden and attract a lot of attention. In my opinion every garden needs a toadtown. It is a great way to decorate any area and everyone needs a little Whimsy in their life. Frogs and toads make even the grumpiest person smile.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Quick Taste Of Spring

Well we finally had a very short taste of spring here in Indiana over the weekend. The temperatures soared up into 60s Saturday and the 70s Sunday. Wow! It was great. Today well it's 45 right now... It's great while it lasts. I did get some work done outside even though you can't really tell by looking. It is supposed to get around 60 again today and rain later tonight and tomorrow. We are supposed to have bad storms Tuesday. I guess I'll wait a little longer to start dragging
out my garden decorations.

I did find some green in my flower beds, if that's what you want to call it. In other words not a great start of anything except the tulips, daffodils, and some magic lilies. All of the other greenery is barely sprouted, but I guess that counts. The birds are all excited and you can hear hundreds of them happily singing and chirping away. They think it's spring already, but I know not to count on it until I see it. Indiana weather is the most unpredictable thing in the world. Speaking of Indiana I got a picture of my goose in her Indiana Pacer dress and hat. It's too cold for her bikini and she can't go naked, right? I have been gathering things for my gnome village, I'll start it soon, I have two spots in mind and can't decide which one I want to put it in yet.

I just realized that I was going to clean and set up the birdbaths, I won't have time today. I'll have to make time soon. The birds will be fine though, there are ponds not far from me in both directions, so they have water close by. I won't get the fountain going until I'm sure the freezing temperatures are gone. I don't want my pump to freeze up on me. Tomorow I'll have to get out the rest of the birdhouses because it looks like the birds are fighting over them, I guess I have a housing problem. Oh well, I will do what I can. There won't be a problem once the trees start leafing up. It looks like the trees will be loaded with nests this year. That is just fine with me,I love to watch the birds. They also keep the insect population down for me. With all of these gardens to take care of I need all the help I can get.
the birdlady

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Secret World Of Gnomes

After my last post I realized that a lot of us like Garden Gnomes. So I thought I'd post a story that I wrote about Garden Gnomes. I wrote this some time ago and I thought that I had posted it, but I couldn't find it when I looked back on the older posts so here it is again.

The Secret World of Gnomes
Let me tell you about a secret civilization of little people, that some of us gardeners are lucky enough to have living in our gardens all over the United States. They are very shy individuals who value their privacy but as long as I do not disclose their location, they have agreed that I can do a tasteful and informative story on them. I am sure some of you have heard of them before and just dismissed them as a folklore or fairy tale, when in fact they are and always have been very real indeed. There is proof. But please don’t try to capture them they belong in the wild. They are not pets. They are very interesting little people.

I know a local gardener who didn’t believe that Gnomes existed, He was stumped when one of his wind chimes kept moving from the Shepard’s hook in his garden and placed on the hook on his porch. The first three times he placed it right back only to wake up the next morning to discover that the wind chime had been moved again to his porch hook, So he then removed the hook. He thought he would teach this prankster a lesson. Well the next morning the wind chime in question was gone. That’s o.k. he thought I have more. So each night he replaced it and found it gone the next morning. Five days and five windchimes later, he found them all in a pile hidden under a bush. He decided to place a trap out and bait it with cookies.

The next morning, anxious to see what has been causing his trouble the gardener hurried out to the garden and discovered a very frightened gnome in his trap. The gnome explained that the wind chime disturbed his sleep, so he moved it to a more suitable spot. He needed his rest because he was keeper of the fireflies and has to be up all night long to keep them fed. So the gardener put all of the wind chimes in a row along the porch and not only does the porch look beautiful it sounds beautiful too. Once a week he also places a cookie out for the gnome and in the morning in its place he finds a seed to plant in his garden from the little gnome.

Gnomes are very hard working, loyal, and shy, but they do have a fun side to their personalities and love to play pranks on the humans and each other. As I show you the secret world of the Garden Gnomes, Please keep in mind that there are several of them out there that are still homeless and you could bring them to your garden to live and be forever entertained by them. but remember their charm can very easily become addicting to some individuals. And before you know it, you may be overrun with these mischievous little wonders of nature.

Let me introduce you to Grandpa Gnome, He is a very sweet natured man who loves his job of caregiver and storyteller to the children. He passes his spare time taking naps under the trees in your yard and when he’s not there he is usually playing with the garden hose because it is also his job to make sure everything is getting watered properly and to keep the birdbaths and little watering holes full of fresh water, He has also been seen hitching a ride on some of the bigger frogs in the garden.

The next gnome is very well known as a prankster, his name is Lester, in a photo he is offering a warm and friendly welcome greeting, His smile can be very convincing because he is a very playful gnome who is always happy to have new visitors to play his jokes on. He is also in charge of caring for the birds and keeping the birdfeeders full. It is always a good idea to be on your toes when Lester is around, because you never know when you will be the object of his next prank.
This adorable little guy is Vincent Gnome, He takes care of all of the garden toolsand equipment. He also likes to decorate the garden and lawn , Sometimes he plants magic mushrooms in a circle (called Fairy Rings) so the humans have something confusing to ponder over. Vincent is very shy and can sometimes be found hiding behind the decorations in your garden.

This sleepy little guy is Milton, He has the important job of night watchman. He keeps all humans and gnomes alike, safe during the night. He is also in charge of cleaning the bird bathsand fountains.He makes friends with all of the animals and helps them find food for their families, while everyone is sleeping. During the day you will see him snoring away in his hammockand Sometimes late at night he can be seen darting from one light to the other because it is also his job to make sure all of your garden lights are in working order.

It does not require much effort to find this next gnome. His name is Jerome. He naps by the garden signs, most of the day.
He is the troublemaker of the bunch, He can be helpful when he wants to be, but he is also the first one to complain that gnomes are not appreciated. His main job is to take care of the weeds in your garden, when you find many weeds he has been slacking off or, it is speculated sometimes that he plants them himself, just because he is in a cranky mood, which is about all of the time. If you see Jerome napping, it’s best just to leave him alone unless you
are in the mood to pull weeds.

This handsome little fellow is Alfred, He is a dreamer, and can usually be found on your garden bench or swingjust daydreaming most of the time. It is his job to make sure everything runs smoothly in your garden, He is the leader of the gnomes and finds uses for all of the gnomes. That is the only requirement to live in the gnome village, all gnomes must have a useful job to stay in this little community of the gnomes. Alfred is also the statue repairman and he keeps your statues clean and fixes the broken ones.

There are many websites on the Internet that have garden gnomes for sale, and even a few who sell gnome accessories too. My favorite accessories are mushrooms and gnome doors and windows for you to create your own gnome village. These doors are so cute and look adorable on trees, birdbaths, rock walls hills, and many other things. You could just set them out and let the gnomes decide where they want to live. But I like to decide where things go in my garden, myself. There is a very talented man in Florida who makes gnome doors and windows as well as many other great items in his own workshop. You can visit his site at

There are so many ways to make your own gnome village, and as usual you can find a lot of information on the Internet. All gnome villages I have seen have mushrooms. And a few have wishing wells and of course bridges if they have water that the gnomes have to cross. I have even seen some outhouses for,(well you know). There is a website called Gnome Garden that has a photo gallery with many Gnome pictures. They sell Gnome accessories and have quite a bit of info on the history of gnomes. You can visit them at

I can’t wait to start my own Gnome village and have several of these happy playful helpers in my garden. The only problem is deciding which ones I want to add first. There are so many I like. I just can’t make up my mind.

Whimsical Garden Decor

Do you need a laugh now and then? Can you use something fun to brighten up your day? I believe everyone needs a little fun and laughter in their lives. A whimsical spot in your garden really perks things up, and you can also have fun creating it. Give it a try, it's guaranteed to make you smile.

The best place to start is to gather some whimsical garden decor, whatever you want, Frogs, Garden Gnomes, pink flamingos, monkeys, Whatever you like. great items can be found everywhere on the Internet, There are even naughty Gnomes. Gnome accessories too, such as gnome doors and windows, bridges, wishing wells, mail boxes, even outhouses. (well gnomes need to relieve themselves too, don't they?)

Frog decor is a great idea too, You can build a toad town, There are fat frogs, funny frogs ,frogs that sit on rocks, Royal frogs, dangly frogs, even frogs with bumps like chicken pox. O.K. that wasn't perfect, but You have to give me credit for trying. I'm nuts about frogs, some people might say I'm just nuts. But I think that in today's world you have to be a little nuts just to get by. At least in my world you do.

Pink flamingos are fun too. Believe it or not they are making a return to the gardens. I also have a soft spot for the big garden goose that you dress up according to the season. Mine has a Santa suit, Indiana Pacers dress, a rain coat and of course a leopard print bikini and straw hat. She is one cool bird.

No matter what you like you can make a fun spot in your garden, It doesn't have to be a big spot. Gather you stuff first and get some ideas in your head, It can be anything at all. I know a lady that has a bottle garden, Why? Well, I guess she likes to save pretty bottles and wanted to make a place in her garden for them. It is pretty, especially her bottle tree. All it takes is your imagination and a little work to create something great and make you smile and that alone is worth it.
the birdlady