Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Last summer's garden walks

Last summer we had several garden walks in our area. The gardens were neat and colorful, but none of the plantings really caught my eye. I saw the same Knockout roses, daylilies, and acres of Impatiens. Not that there is anything wrong with these hard working plants. They are just very common and show up on every single garden walk. On the upside, you can't go into anybody's garden and not learn something. I snapped a few pictures of things that were a little unusual. Maybe you will pick up an idea you like from one of the photos.

This first trellis-entry into a back yard is not unusual but very nice. Garden designers go on and on about creating 'outdoor rooms'. This seemed a very good way to define an area and separate it. There is another trellis farther back leading into another 'outdoor room'. I think the rose on this trellis is Ramblin' Red, an excellent climber which is hardy to zone 4 and I believe bred by William Radler, the same man who gave us Knockouts.

The last three photos are of unusual birdbaths. The first one is made from terracotta pots. A few tall, moisture loving plants around it might have softened the look.


This birdbath is cast from a large leaf. I haven't tried this hypertuffa technique yet but I plan to. My rhubarb leaves should make excellent 'molds'. I think I would like this birdbath better if it were set on a concrete post, a tree stump or even sitting on the ground. The aluminum stand looks out of place.


This last birdbath is a little different. It is just a large glass bowl sent into the seat of a chair. I'm looking for the right chair and plan to shamelessly steal this idea. On the ground is a big shell with hen and chicks growing in it. That was cute.


I have more garden walk pictures for a later post.

45 comments:

Sweet Repose said...

It's fun to stroll through green pastures as we await certain elements(we shall not name) I love the flower pot birdbath, what a cleaver idea...is it spring yet...

Darla said...

Get out of town!! I have four yellow rod iron chairs without seats in them........one will become a bird bath now. I agree with all of your comments concerning the lack of imagination around the birdbaths. Great post.

tina said...

I like your garden walk pictures and post. Very good ideas. I think I will have to steal that seat birdbath idea too. How clever and yet so simple too. I do like the trellis entry. I'll be looking forward to the rest of the garden walk photos too.

flydragon said...

I agree. I would have loved to see that large leaf birdbath just sitting in a little hollow on the ground. That would have looked neat. Do like the one in the chair, too.

ramblingwoods said...

Outdoor rooms, I had never thought of it that way...Clever bird baths. Some of the baths that are sold, I think could be toxic to the birds as I have seen warnings on them. Mine are pretty simple....

Jamie and Randy said...

I think it's just great to share ideas that other creative gardeners have. Unfortunately, there just isn't a large gardening community in our area for some reason. Or at least, we haven't found it yet.-Randy

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sharon. No it isn't spring yet. It's a blizzard outside. I have a feeling this will be a miserable winter.

Hey Darla, send me one of those chairs;)

Hi Tina, I'll post more this weekend.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Flydragon, I agree. When I make one for my garden, I'll set it on the ground.

Hi RamblingWoods. I would not be surprised if some birdbaths had toxic materials. Manufactures that put toxic chemicals in baby formula wouldn't think twice about making birdbaths out of poisonous materials.

Hi Randy. Your blogging friends will be happy to be your garden community. Maybe you could start one in your area. It would be easy enough to host a garden club for friends and neighbors once a month.

Marnie

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I adore that chair bird bath! Oh my, it's just to die for!

Cameron

TC said...

Thank you for this walk Marnie, it's nice to get out and revisit a warmer time!

I like the first trellis photo, but it's mainly because of the rose, not the trellis. It seems this style has become almost cliche, perhaps one could redefine it some so as not to make it look like a....what's the word... clone?

Your analysis of the terra cotta birdbath needing something around it to "soften the look" was spot on. I'd use it in my landscape but would gaudy it up some with a little festive painting of birds on the sides.

You're most definitely correct in saying the "aluminum stand looks out of place" in the photo of the hypertuffa birdbath. It looks too much like the wire legs of those plastic pink flamingos. It might have worked had the gardener painted the leaf pink instead. I did a small hosta leaf some time back just for fun, it came out pretty good. I'd say a large leaf from your rhubarb would do nicely. Give it a try.

I'm undecided about the last chair birdbath. It may seem rather crass but when I first saw that, I thought of a potty chair. Perhaps another type of bowl would help my mind distinguish it from something you use to potty train a toddler. A cardinal climber vining up the back of the chair would help too.

Again, thanks for the walk, I enjoyed it immensely on this cloudy gray day in western PA.

Phillip said...

It is nice seeing those gardens here in December. I really like those bird baths!

Barbee' said...

Enjoyed my stroll through your post. And, especially your photo of the Catbird in your sidebar.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cameron, of all the things I saw during my garden walks, the chair birdbath was my favorite.

Hi TC, still laughing at the comparison to a potty chair. You know I thought the very same thing;) I guess my taste is kinda low brow because I like it anyway. I like your idea of painting the leaf stand pink and surrounding it with pink flamingos. Very campy!

Sometimes things are over used because they look so good. That's what I think about the trellis. I'm a huge fan of picket fences and this entrance really dressed up the fence. This was beside a little ranch house that would have looked awful with a grand gateway.

Phillip, I agree. We are having a snow storm here and that green grass and blooming rose look really good.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Barbee, that catbird entertained me every evening singing outside my window. I got very fond of him.
Marnei

Kathleen said...

I LOVE a good garden walk and going on one (thru your photos) in December is even better. A friend of mine put a container in the hollowed out seat of an old chair and I've been wanting to pilfer that idea forever too. The birdbath is a good alternative. Garden walks are good for inspiration. Thanks for taking us along on this cold winters day Marnie.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Kathleen, I've seen the container planting in chairs like you mention. I like that too. Finding interesting old chairs is the hard part.
Marnie

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Your comment about the trellis/arbor/arch thingies reminds me of the Arlington Heights garden walk I did 2 years ago. It seemed like every house had one of those at the side leading into the garden. It got to be a bit of a joke. The nice thing about the one you show is that it is more than one. The repeated use of that element leads the eye into the garden much more than just one would.
The leaf birdbath could still be on that stand were it surrounded by plants to hide the stand. I agree that it does look odd standing to bleakly by itself. The chair idea is wonderful.

The Birdlady said...

I sold that chair birdbath in my store - I loved it!
And - you can hear the tubas - just scroll down and it comes up.

Dog_geek said...

I like the chair, but I'm worried that someone would try to sit in it!

Gail said...

Thank you for sharing the garden walk photos with us...you never know when something will catch your eye! I do like the chair birdbath and the shell with sedums is also a keeper. Gail

joey said...

In the midst of snow, sleet and rain ... you have cheered me up! Countdown 'til spring ...

Patsi said...

So nice you reminded me of the wonderful growing season that is so dearly missed this time of year.
Can't wait to see more of your garden walks!

Cindy said...

What a nice walk and a good way to start thinking about spring! My favorite new idea is the hens and chicks in the shells. I love that.

troutbirder said...

Now I know what to do with all those old pots. Turn them upside down and make a birdbath. Neat!

Blossom said...

I want that chair!! I like the idea of a birdfeeder made with pots, but yes, you need some plants around it! The garden arch is beautiful. I've always wanted one, but I need something more rustic looking in order for it to fit in with my garden and neighborhood.

Thanks for your photography tips Marnie. I'll add them on to my post for others to enjoy!

Amy

Naturegirl said...

I love every one of these ideas! The pots..what a great idea..to use all those extra pots that we don't fill..I'm going with that one next summer..stay tuned..thank you for sharing with us!! Oh and that arbor entry..wonderful!!Happy touring around!

Arija said...

The chair version is a great idea, especially if someone inadvertantly sat on it!

flowergardengirl said...

There is a ton of interest in your backyard. Then you add the critters who love it too and you are not dull. I agree that the birdbath in the chair is clever. I can't wait for things to grow in my yard.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
I'm with TC about the "potty chair" birdbath ... that was the first thing that popped into my mind too! I'm not so sure about that one, but we had one of the terra cotta pot birdbaths given to us by a neighbor some years ago. They're very cool, but they don't do well if left out all winter (like ours was) because they tend to break after a year or so. So if you do one, probably should put it in somewhere.

I'm w/you and MMD on the arches.. they are way too cliché these days.

Here's one for you compliments of my sister's boyfriend. He found some old iron headboards from twin beds, painted them w/weatherproof paint and put them up against her privacy fence in the back yard ... she uses them for trellises for vining plants and they look really cool!

walk2write said...

Darn! I guess my desire for arches and ubiquitous roses is unpopular. Once a nerd, always a nerd, I guess. I love that potty chair birdbath. Wouldn't it be a good practical joke to play on someone, placing it at the patio table for extra seating? The stand for the leaf bath reminds me of an ironing board's legs. Thanks for a funny post, Marnie.

Marsha said...

I loved this garden walk post and I am so going to steal that chair idea too :-) Thank you for sharing it all!

perennialgardener said...

It's always great to get inspired by other gardens. I like the large leaf birdbath and the chair birdbath. Very creative!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi MMD, I don't see as many of the gate/tellis combos here. Don't see many picket fences either. I still like them. Bleak is a good word to describe the aluminum leaf stand;)

Birdlady, I will stop by and listen to the tubas;)

DogGeek, pretty embarrassing if someone sat down and soaked their pants:o. Maybe it needs one of those 'Don't peek, birds bathing' signs;).

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Gail, I think so too. If I find the right chair and shell I will copy these ideas in my garden.

Hi Joey, I'm counting too. Winter is beautiful but not very 'interactive' in northern Illinois.

Hi Patsi, glad you found something to enjoy. I hope you like the next garden walk post.

Marnie

Cosmo said...

Marnie--I'm ALWAYS behind in my reading. It's nice to see flowers again (I've been reading a lot of Western bloggers lately . . .) I love the idea of garden rooms, probably because our property needs some dividing--I've been trying to figure out how to do it without hardscaping (Salix like open views). Thanks for sharing your walk--

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cindy, the little hen and chicks were cute. I have them in a saucer but the shell was really nice.

Hey Troutbirder, it would be a good way to use those pots that are just sitting around.

Hi Blossom, I never seem to have original ideas, but I am not above borrowing them;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi NatureGirl, I'm glad you found an idea you liked. I guess that's what garden walks are all about--sharing ideas.

Arija, in addition to the water they might get a lot of glass slivers in their butt.

Hi Anna, isn't it fun to spend the winter searching for garden stuff and planing how to fit it in?
Marnie

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, thanks for saving these photos for these cold dreary days, great idea! I love the chair too, this is a fabulous idea and easy to copy. Yard sales or thrift shops might yield the perfect chair, the bowl would be easy. I agree about the leaf casting too, and wonder if the stand was sold with it? The arbor was welcoming and the rose stood out well against the white, very cottagey. I can see why you chose all the photographs, for inspiration in times like these. Great job!
Frances

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi IVG, I like the idea of iron headboards too. Unfortunately the prices on this old iron stuff are out of sight.

I've lost some clay pots in the winter. Nowdays, I'm very carfull of them.

W2W, what's wrong with us? I like those arches too. We will just have to accept the fact we aren't 'trend setters';) LOL, it does look like an ironing board. Now I'm wondering if there is a use for ironing boards in the garden.

Hey Marsha, we will be seeing chair birdbaths everywhere;) I'm going to put a vine on my chair like TC suggested.

Hi PerennialGardener. I can't take credit for creative. I just document or maybe exploit others creativity;)

Marnie

BeadedTail said...

Beautiful trellis and I love that chair bird bath too!

The Organic Gardener said...

I like the bird bath with the leaf mold. It is very cool, I didn't think of that. You may also want to try a burdock leaf. Those are easily found in parks allong the tree line, you can't miss them, they are huge!

Abou the camera cord... you gave me the best idea of all. My computer has an SD card reader in the tower. I had completely forgoten about that. You are a GENIOUS!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi BeadedTail, that birdbath right outside the window would certainly entertain your kitties;)

Hey Zack, thanks for pointing out my genius. I'm a legend;)
Marnie

Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Some really great starter ideas for unique birdbaths, Marnie. Thanks for the inspiration.
Meems

The Garden Faerie said...

Love your cast-leaf birdbath. Have you posted instructions on how to make those, that maybe I missed?
~ Thanks! Monica

Tony Destroni said...

Fantastic photos of garden accessories ! i was envy on this . about that birdbath i was thinking what it is made of plastic or clay ? i hope you have garden accessories photos like the popular garden wind spinner . thanks !