The Pond at the New House, finished!

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It’s nearly June and I’ve been working on the yard like mad. It was pretty much a moonscape when we bought the place, so I have much to do. The first area I tackled this Spring was the pond. The previous owner did the hardest part, digging the big 3′ hole, as well as lining it and adding the filter box and pump (see the “BEFORE” pics). I dug out the stream and hole at the top for the filter box, lined it and added all the rocks. (thankfully there is an great rock place right up the road from us). I’ve been adding plants and the dwarf Japanese maple bit by bit and now it’s done! Feels good to have one big project completed.

I have bits and pieces of other projects done as well, but will wait to post those images until they are complete. Still a long ways to go but making headway! Other projects I am in the middle of: Adding a cutting garden to the side of the house and adding 3 small raised bed vegetable gardens on the lower level. (Working on the inside of the house as well, mainly painting and wallpaper) Yard projects still to go:

Painting the fence, Staining the decks, Adding walking paths on the lower level, Adding a low rock retaining wall/planting bed on the lower level, Adding a bit of artificial turf (for Max the Pug!), Landscaping two bare areas behind the house, Planing along the back fence (likely lilacs and snowball viburnum), Adding a graveled seating area on the lower level. Painting the arbor, Painting the house. All this and then the upper level by the entry, which will require a landscape contractor. I sure have my work cut out for me! It is very satisfying work though and I know I am adding to my property values πŸ™‚ So without further ado here is the pond project:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Most of the plants came from Costco (a fantastic source for plants in the spring! Great deals) and Lowes. We brought the gazing ball, pots and most of the decorative accessories with us from our Denver house, and the new patio furniture came from Houzz.com and Wayfair.com.

Thanks for looking! Hope your Spring is colorful and bright πŸ™‚

Cute Hanging Succulent Plant Ball for the Outdoor Garden, Patio, Balcony, Wherever you like…

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My Homemade Hanging Succulent Ball

I’ve been wanting to make something like this for a long time, ever since seeing this amazing one from Martha Stewart:

source: apartmenttherapy.com via Marie on Pinterest

But of course, it had to be cheap and easy. I found the little round birdcage at a yard sale for 75 cents. A small piece of it’s bamboo was missing, but it was very strong and sturdy. I knew just what to do with it…

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I gathered my materials: Spagnum moss, potting soil, floral wire, needle-nose pliers and wire cutters, gloves,Β  a small but sturdy stick, and of course, succulents. I mixture of succulents would be great, but I have a rock garden area in my front yard where the Chicks N’ Hens needed to be thinned out, so I got all the plants for the ball from my garden. No cost! First I soaked and wrung out the moss. Then, using the little bird door that I could just get my hand through, I put a layer of the damp moss around the inside of the cage, pushing it partly through the wire where I could to keep it in place and reinforced it with twists of floral wire where I couldn’t get it through the side of the cage. Then, I filled it with potting soil and packed it in as best I could.

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Front yard rock garden area, source of Chicks n Hens.

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Bird Cage, Mossed.

Time to start planting. I started with the inside, and planted a few there. Then the challenging part began. I poked a hole with the stick and pushed the plant root in. Because of the way the wires are on the cage, I had to reinforced many of the plants with a loose twist of the floral wire. I was time-consuming, (and I poked my hands more than once) but it looks good and I dig it. I hung it up and watered it well when I was finished stuffing in the plants.

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Inside planted, now for the outside…

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Planting the outside.

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Almost Done…

And here it is! My funky little hanging succulent planter. Because I had all the supplies I needed on-hand, it only cost me the 75 cents for the cage (and a couple hours).

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I hope I’ve inspired you to think outside the box and use something interesting in your garden! I’d love to see your garden projects, tell me about them in the comments section. Happy gardening!

UPDATE:

It’s been a couple weeks since I hung the succulent ball. The plants have “found their footing” and are spreading out nicely. I thought you might like to see how it looks now:

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Succulent Ball, 2 weeks after planting.