Spooky Succulent Garden

finished succulent garden

Halloween isn’t one of my favorite holidays.

However, I usually have one small decoration around this time of year.

This time, I made a Spooky Succulent Garden.

Succulents are about the spookiest thing I can think of.

They are sharp, odd shapes and colors, and have almost no roots. The best thing is that they require almost no care.

Supplies for garden2

I started with a saucer filled with cactus soil and some succulents that needed transplanting.

Supplies for garden

I came across these mini figurines at the Dollar Tree and I thought they would work great for this project. I had the crows left over from my decorations from last year, but I think they also came from the Dollar Tree.

in progress

To make the garden, I decided where to put the plants first. I wanted the “castle” to be the center of attention at the back of the tray and tried it out on a plastic container.  In the end, I decided to use a flower frog to put it on.  If you don’t have a frog, a plastic container would still work. Then I placed the trees, sticking them down into the soil to anchor them.

placing the plants

I purchased black aquarium gravel at Walmart to make the plants stand out and give the entire garden that spooky appearance. I removed the castle because I wanted it to sit on top of the soil along with the other figurines. I put the gravel over the soil, and patted it in place.

macro spooky succulents

I placed the castle on top of the soil next. The castle is sitting on a flower frog that I covered with floral moss for a bit of spooky, dead grassy interest. A few topiary pins hold it into place. If you use a plastic container, you will have to glue the moss on the container.

All these supplies came from the Dollar Tree.

I love the little crow in the tree, he is my favorite. I also love the pink Where-wolf, he cracks me up! Did you know Where-wolves wore pink? Neither did I!

At any rate, the colors in the figurines work well with the succulents.

birds eye view

A few wisps of spider web, and a couple of little black spiders make the display complete. I added a few extra rocks, just to make things interesting.

finished succulent garden

Spooky garden porch

Perhaps this little garden is not so spooky after all. Our giant squeaky rat and the Mamma crow stand guard over the succulents on our porch.

Thanks for stopping by!

I made it to week two of the So You Think Your Crafty contest! Thanks for all your support! The overall winner of this weeks competition is featured on SYTYC today. More projects to come, there are 7 more weeks to go!

 

Azaleas in Bloom

Autumn Sunset

This is a sponsored post, any opinions given are completely my own.

An exciting thing happened this week, the Southern Living Encore Azaleas began blooming! I was thrilled to see they are thriving after being in the ground a short time. If you remember, Southern Living sponsored this post earlier in the spring.

My plants are still in the early stages of development, and they are rather petite right now. That’s okay with me, I know they will do great things.

buds

I planted the azaleas according to the directions, and they have thrived all summer. We had steady rain this year, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of extra time watering which was nice.

The plants are covered with blossoms, I have been watching them every day waiting for them to bloom.

fertilizer

 

The biggest trick to being successful with Azaleas, is using a good fertilizer. I like the type that you just sprinkle down in the hole before you plant. Then you can add a bit more on the surface as needed. coffee grounds

My other secret ingredient, is coffee grounds. Lots of them!redAdd them to the roots of your plants about once a week. Azaleas like acidic soil, and it’s a great natural boost for your plants.

pink

I am thrilled to see that these blooms look just like the ones on the tag! I no longer have to sneak into my neighbors yard to covet his Azalea blossoms. This pink variety is called Autumn Twist.

red

It won’t be long and my neighbors will be sneaking into my yard to covet my beautiful Azaleas!

Thank you Southern Living!

Planted Chicken Coop

Finished red coop

I miss my chickens. The yard is so quiet without them around. The coop has sat lonely in the back yard for nearly a year. I decided it needed some flowers.

DSCN5086

 

If you recall, we built the coop from plans that we purchased on Ebay.  You can read more details about it here. It has been a focal point in the yard ever since.

Last fall, we had problems with raccoons and birds of prey in our yard. We lost 3 chickens, and decided to give the other two away in order to keep them from being eaten.

Sometimes, being a pet owner is hard.

designerssweetspot.blogspot.com

 

My sweet Alfredo and Barbie-que would approve of the new decor.

Finished red coop

The coop was planted with 3 plastic window boxes that I screwed into the top of the the roof. I filled them with Miracle Grow soil, and plants that I purchased at 75% off retail.

I am always looking for a good deal. It cost only $10.00 for the geraniums, vinca vines, marigolds, and dahlias that filled the boxes.

They will bloom until frost, as long as they are dead headed and watered regularly.

I am looking forward to getting some more hens next spring!

Adieu!

In Love with Orchids

 

designerssweetspot.com

 

Coming back from vacation has it’s perks. The snow is now gone, and I actually saw a robin in the yard today. It seems like overnight, winter has finally given up and warmer days are ahead.

Returning from vacation has it’s down side also, I can no longer avoid all the things I have been worrying about, and I am still suffering from the time zone differential, a.k.a., I need a nap. A long nap.

For today, I will share our vacation visit to this fantastic orchid greenhouse. I have never seen anything quite like this, an entire greenhouse full of just orchids.

It was absolutely amazing. I could have wandered around in there for days.

designerssweetspot.com

The woman who ran the place, had the most interesting way of organizing her orchids, rows and rows of vertical hanging baskets. Each one was connected to the one above by a simple metal hook. It gave the impression of being an entire wall, but it really wasn’t a wall at all.

Orchids do not need soil, some varieties thrive purely on air and water, others require bark or moss to cover the roots. These hanging “vines” are photos of all the bare roots, just hanging down from their little wooden or plastic baskets. I would love a greenhouse full of these!

It felt like a jungle. 

It was a jungle.

 This particular variety of orchid only blooms every 6 years ( I can’t remember the name of them, sorry!).  These are only 4 years old, and won’t bloom for two more years. I can’t imagine having that much patience waiting for them to bloom would be so hard for me!  Wow, this woman had PATIENCE!

designerssweetspot.com

I especially loved the orchids planted in the wooden baskets. They look so gnarly and rustic, what an inspiration! Don’t you just LOVE it?

designerssweetspot.com

Another wall was covered with wire fencing, then with rows of tiny orchid baskets on hooks. This system was part of how she propagates her orchids, and these were not for sale. Each one was labeled with the latin name, and she knew all of them!

 I would love to learn how propagate orchids, although I guess I should learn to grow them first without killing them. Sigh.

First things, first.

designerssweetspot.com

My son had the best time in this place, he found an orchid to take home with him as a souvenir. This variety, Phalainopsis, is quite common, you can buy them at Home Depot or your local greenhouse. They have the most dazzling blossoms.  Keep your orchid in indirect sun, and evenly moist. The bathroom is a great place for them, they love the humidity. You can put them in the tub with a bit of water if you have to go out of town, they will be happy until you return.

I must say, I really don’t know that much about orchids, I killed one once that I had been given as a gift. Fortunately, my son is very good with plants and I am hoping we can keep this one alive for a while. Forever, actually.

Next time we are on vacation, I am bringing home a dozen of them, at least!