Part 3! Big Crazy Bohemian Garden…it’s Not Mine, it’s Tiffany’s. (Lots of Fun Ideas Here!)

Like all good things, this series must come to an end…

Part 3 of the Big Crazy Bohemian Garden.

(Part 2 HERE)

(Part 1 HERE)

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The greenhouse. It’s pretty killer. It has an ingenious self-watering system, and a deep koi pond on the North side that functions as a heat sink in the Winter. The Koi are crazy huge, sorry it was too dark to get any pictures of them. You know I wanted to snatch that Japanese eggplant right off the vine…

What garden is complete without a couple Pink Flamingos?

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Another great recycling idea, old plastic Halloween “Witch’s cauldrons” painted blue and used as planters…

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And of course, there are chickens. 5 feathery friends, providing breakfast for all. I especially like the art and fancy glass hanging light in the chicken coop.

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And now, on to the Front Yard. No lawns here at the Smyth Abode. Hardy strawberries take the place of grass beautifully, and provide delicious berries!

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I love the mannequin on the front porch, no doubt reclaimed from the ArtSmyth Mask Shop.

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There’s an amazing Wisteria on the front gate. (We’ll have to get a shot of it in bloom next year) Great Idea Alert: She has strung wire from the fence to the second story balcony on which the vines are growing. Natural shade!

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The fence on the North side of the house is covered in blackberries and roses, a beautiful combination.

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And last but not least, a large mirror in the front side yard reflects a pair of plant-covered deer. Charming!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this delightful garden tour as much as I have. Until next time, Happy Planting!

Part 2! Big Crazy Bohemian Garden…it’s Not Mine, it’s Tiffany’s. (Lots of Fun Ideas Here!)

Part 2 of our 3-Part series on the amazing bohemian garden of mask-maker extraordinaire Tiffany Smyth

See Part 1 Here: Big Crazy Bohemian Garden

Let’s just dig right in shall we?

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The first thing you’ll notice is the blue heads. I love the blue heads. What a creative edging! The heads were leftover from a failed project. They were intended to be display pieces for Tiffany’s masks, but they turned out a bit too heavy and a tad too small. No matter, they are marvelous garden accessories!

Next, note the shelves on the fence. I love this idea, and I will be stealing it…a great way to add vertical gardening to the yard and add visual interest to an otherwise boring wood fence.

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What a fun spot for hanging plants. I like the found object embellishments…check out the old Victorian shoe 😉 Spray paint the fence? Sure, why not. And the blue color accents the heads nicely. More old windows on the fence. It’s a good thing.

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Old metal bed frames. (Where is she finding all these?? I’ll have to ask…) Great for delineating space and providing climbing surfaces for vines. More fun found objects decorate the fence. Nice bunny. Elevating him on the pedestal makes him look ultra-special, which of course he is.

And finally, one of my favorite areas it the garden. Skulls may not be your cup of tea, but I love them. Great use of old Halloween decorations…skulls as planters! Love it. I like how she pulled together unusual elements and made them work as one by painting them the same way. Note the continual use of the blue. There is a ton going on in this garden, but the consistent blue ties it all together.

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Part 3, with chickens! Coming Friday. Stay tuned!

Big Crazy Bohemian Garden…it’s Not Mine, it’s Tiffany’s. (Lots of Fun Ideas Here!)

This week we’ll be wandering around someone else’s garden. This wacky & wonderful garden is chock full of fun and unusual ideas using found objects, leftovers, chickens and more. This creative space belongs to mask-maker Tiffany Smyth of Denver. If you don’t know Tiffany’s masks, you need to http://www.artsmyths.com Once you see the masks, you’ll understand the garden. I’ll be covering this garden in 3 blog posts this week.

Without further ado, here is post #1:

Fairy Garden & Porch

The yard is gently divided into different zones with creative fencing and edging. The Fairy Garden is on the North side of the house, with the entry marked by a curved arbor.

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The Fairy Garden is a charming little space. I love “Secret Garden” areas like this. Some ideas to steal here are the metal headboard as a trellis, the old windows hung on the fence, and the old metal chair, painted blue and used as a plant stand.

The Back Porch

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The big Idea to Steal on the porch is the seating made from an old headboard. The feet were cut off and became the front legs, a thick piece of wood was added for the seat, as was foam. The seat is covered in leopard print vinyl and attached with a staple gun. Decorative wall shelves have been added to the headboard. Love this one.

And last but not least, the Deadly Nightshade Garden, marked appropriately with a shiny-eyed skull…

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Wednesday we’ll explore the backyard further, stay tuned!

A Tale of Two Chandeliers (DIY Lighting Make-overs)

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A Tale of Two Chandeliers (DIY Lighting Make-overs)

It was the best of lighting, it was the worst of lighting…ok, I’m getting carried away with the Dickens here I know. It’s just a couple simple chandelier make-overs. I’ve had this crazy chandelier in a box in the basement for 4 years. Something had to happen with it. Alas, it’s too heavy to hang in the dining room (It’s a weak old ceiling in there, and the light is solid brass, about 15 pounds), but it was covered with fun food and fruit themed beads I had strung for it eons ago that would be so fun in the dining room. (the beads came from Ornamental Beads,  and the chandelier I found at a yard sale for $40) I decided to take the beads off it and add them to the lackluster “chandelier ” (I put it in quotes as it is actually painted plastic, and not truly worthy of the moniker) already in the dining room. Sort of a switch-a-roo. Then what to do with the heavy brass light? Paint it of course! I wanted a light for the covered front porch, and why not a chandelier? Here are the two chandeliers BEFORE:

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Yes, that’s an ornament hanging from the dining room light. It’s hand-painted glass and looks good in the room, so I’m leaving it. The first thing I did was remove all the bits and pieces from the brass chandelier, then everything needed to be cleaned. It’s amazing how dirty a thing can get sitting in a dank basement for four years. Then I taped off the electrical parts and the brass light was ready to paint.

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I used 2X Rustoleum in gloss white. Worked great, and only used about half the can.

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After the paint dried, I reattached all the clear crystal bits. Then I had to wire it to plug into a standard outlet. This is easy to do, don’t be afraid. I used an extension cord, cut off the end, stripped the wires, and wired it together.

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Time to hang! I screwed a large heavy hook into the wood ceiling of the porch, hung it up and plugged it in. I dig it! What fun to have a chandelier on the porch. I do want to hang it a little lower, and will pick up more chain from the hardware store. And yes, I know that is one crazy assortment of light bulbs on there, and I will get a set of led chandelier bulbs soon. As for the other light, the already-strung beads were simply placed on it where they fit. Easy-peasy. It’s not a big change, but it is a fun and festive addition. Here they are all done:

 

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Of course now I’m itching to get to making over the rest of the porch…

 

Cool Modern Industrial DIY Coffee Table – Free! (From Found Objects)

Cool Modern Industrial DIY Coffee Table – Free! (from Found Objects)

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I am always amazed at what people throw away…another fabulous alley find while walking the dogs, this big thick red acrylic “box”. Yes, it has a few scratches, but is in pretty good shape. The minute I saw it, I knew it was destined to be my new coffee table. This is what it looked like when we found it:

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It was pretty amusing watching my man carry it home for 2 blocks 😉 I had a set of 4 big heavy industrial wheels I was given years ago, just waiting for the right project. This is it!

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I admit, I was too afraid to drill holes in the acrylic for the wheels, so I gathered an assortment of industrial glues.

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I measured out where I wanted the wheels to go, roughed up the surfaces with heavy-grit sandpaper, and went to town with the glue. I used both Liquid Nails and Duco Cement. I added a little hot glue to hold the wheels in place while they dried overnight.

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And it worked! Well, sort of. It MOSTLY worked. The next day when I went to turn the table over, one of the wheels fell off. I’m really glad it didn’t land on my foot, those wheels weight about 5 pounds each. Which is probably why the glue didn’t hold as well as it could have. I reinforced the fallen wheel with more hot glue, and it all seems to be holding together. We’ve been using the table for about a week without incident. I do plan to bite the bullet and drill those holes to make it super-secure in the near future.

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I love it! It makes an awesome coffee table. (Please excuse the ugly sofa cover. Anyone who’s ever owned pugs understands. We are desperately seeing a new couch, something along the lines of a leather chesterfield, if you know anyone looking to part with one…) I’ve displayed magazines and my father’s inherited violin inside the box. Coolest free coffee table ever!

Use What You Have, Get What You Can…A Free Garden Make-over, Before & After (+ 2-Month Update)

the Year of Living Fabulously

2-Month UPDATE! (see original post below)

The Garden Make-over in the front of the house is now two months old, and it’s filling in nicely. About a month after I posted this, a friend gave me some hardy strawberry plants and a few Datura from her overgrown garden, which I added into the front planting. The day-lilies haven’t grown much, but they are alive and well and I am confident they will come in great and bloom next year. The chicks-n-hens, fool-proof little darlings of the garden that they are, are getting bigger and sending out lots of babies already. Most of the plants that I divided and re-planted are doing well (I did lose one or two vinca transplants). I admit to spending $8 on some pansies to add a little color, and I may get a few more (on sale at Home Depot for $1.99 a 4-pack!) but…

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Bringing the Tropics to a Denver Backyard…Bromeliads in the Trees, + Painted Birdcage Bonus

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Bringing the Tropics to a Denver Backyard…Bromeliads in the Trees

I was inspired on a recent trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens by this tree full of bromelaids. Such a fun tropical look! Here’s what they did:

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I’ve been cultivating as much of a tropical garden as I can here in arid Denver, (of course I want the opposite of what I have, I’m just crazy like that) and thought this would be a great addition, I just had to figure out how to do it. There are no horizontal branches low enough for this in my backyard, so I went vertical. I bought 3 small bromelaids and one large. I got a great deal as the little ones were less than perfect, but that’s fine with me. I spent a total of $25 on all 4 plants. Watch your local Lowes-type stores for clearance plants! Ask in the garden section. If you have a little bit of green on your thumb, you can make the plants happy again.

Here’s what the tree looked like before the bromelaids. I liked the fern and bird houses where they were, so I worked around them: (I bought the fern last Summer and over-wintered it in the house)

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Here’s how I did it: I created small plant pockets with chicken wire, attached them to the tree with floral wire, lined the pocket with sheet moss, and planted the plant into the pocket. It worked great! I then finished the pockets off with some dangly Spanish moss. Both mosses came from Home Depot at about $3.50 a bag. Here’s the step-by-step:

First, I gathered everything I needed.

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Then I put the sheet moss in the bucket and covered it with water to soak while I cut out and shaped the chicken wire, using the plant as a rough size guide. Do wear gloves. I only wore them part of the time and have the scratches on my hands to prove it.

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Next I ran green floral wire around the tree where the top and bottom of the wire pocket would be, twisted the two floral wires firmly in place (not too tight, you don’t want to harm the tree) and bent the edges of the wire firmly around the floral wire to hold the pocket in place.

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NOTE: I will be removing the wire and plants for the Winter. You do not want to leave the wire wrapped around the tree year-round, as it can harm the tree.

Next step is lining the wire pocket with the sheet moss. I pulled a section big enough to fold over inside the pocket out of the bucket, squeezed out some of the water, and placed it in the pocket to form a nice planting area. Don’t skip the soaking of the moss. It’s far easier to work with when it’s wet. Then I just popped the plant out of it’s plastic container and into the pocket. Easy-peasy! If there is extra room in the pocket, just add some tropical soil mix.

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After doing this for all 4 plants, this is what it looked like:

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The final touch was adding the Spanish moss over the wire and dangling it a bit. I just tucked it into the chicken wire. I love this! It really adds a fun tropical feel to the yard, and the whole project cost less than $35.

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And now for that Painted Birdcage Bonus I mentioned…

I’d been looking for something fun for that dark little corner next to the tree when I found this birdcage at a yard sale for .50 cents. Can’t beat that! I picked a bright lime green gloss spray paint and painted it (I used the whole can) and I dig it! Just the thing to brighten up that dark corner, and it only cost about $4 (cage and $3.50ish for the spray paint)

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Wondering about those big white orbs under the tree? Perhaps the Best Outdoor Garden Lighting Idea Ever…DIY High-End Looking Glowing Orbs for about $3

And that Gazebo pocking out behind the tree? DIY Exotic Asian-Moroccan Gazebo Restyle with Thrift Store Finds

What are you up to in the garden? I’d love to hear! Tell me in the Leave a Reply/Comments section.