Cottage Garden Ivy Chair

I rescued this child’s wicker chair from the curb in front of a neighbour’s house. There was a hole in the wicker seat. That suited me just fine. The garden was calling. But it was dull and uninspiring as it was.

I’ve been playing with a distressed decoupage treatment recently. I’ve done a birdhouse and a Thanksgiving sign. I thought I would try it on the child’s chair.

Rather than widening the hole in the seat to accommodate a plant pot, I wanted to add a vintage spring form baking pan to echo the green in the paper.

I painted the chair with my homemade white chalkpaint, and then used modge podge to randomly apply torn strips of paper. Then I let it sit for at least ly.24 hours to let the modge podge dry completely. Then I used a scraper and coarse sandpaper to distress it heavily.

I picked a couple of patches of moss to further echo the green in the paper and the springform pan.

The finish project is destined for one of my guerilla gardening sites, and I want to make it as vandalism resistant as possible. To secure the bake pan t the chair seat, I inserted a chopstick into the bottom of the spring form pan, attached a doubled length of gardener’s wire, which was fed through one of the holes In the chair seat and secured by wrapping the remaining wire around a second chopstick.

I sprayed the entire chair and outside of the baking pan with exterior poly (3 coats). Then I filled the bake pan with good soil and added several lengths of ivy and a couple of white winter pansies.

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Adventures in Guerilla Gardening: a diary

Nature's work

Nature’s work

 Rosemary clipping from the plant in my home garden.

more red annuals from my Canada Day display at home.

more red annuals from my Canada Day display at home.

Penstemons and another red geranium. They were rescues and still look a little droopy but they will perk up as soon as their toes get firmly rooted.

Penstemons and another red geranium. They were rescues and still look a little droopy but they will perk up as soon as their toes get firmly rooted.

This is a transplant from my home garden where it was in a location much to shady. It will be happier here in the direct sun and as it spreads it will help to hold the soil.

This is a transplant from my home garden where it was in a location much to shady. It will be happier here in the direct sun and as it spreads it will help to hold the soil.

these have been moved from my home container garden where neither was getting enough sun. English Lavender and a little daisy

these have been moved from my home container garden where neither was getting enough sun. English Lavender and a little daisy

This was a bulb I bought from a neighbour last year and threw into a pot. It didn't do anything last year, so I was surprised when it burst forth with life this spring. Instead of moving it to a bigger pot I brought it to this site. In White Rock we can often leave our Dahlia bulbs in ground over winter.

July 7, 2015 This was a bulb I bought from a neighbour last year and threw into a pot. It didn’t do anything last year, so I was surprised when it burst forth with life this spring. Instead of moving it to a bigger pot I brought it to this site. In White Rock we can often leave our Dahlia bulbs in ground over winter.

I brought one of my garden rocks from home to provide filler.

I brought one of my garden rocks from home to provide filler.

Rehoming red and white annuals from my Canada Day garden display

Rehoming red and white annuals from my Canada Day garden display

Purple Calla Lily

Purple Calla Lily

This is a purple Calla Lily. If I were purchasing it, I would have opted for the classic white Calla, but couldn't say no to a freebie!

This is a purple Calla Lily (behind the dahlia on the left hand side. If I were purchasing it, I would have opted for the classic white Calla, but couldn’t say no to a freebie!

Ask and ye shall receive

Ask and ye shall receive

 Red and white planting

Red and white planting

Canada Day planting

Canada Day planting

I am fortunate to live in a postcard pretty seaside town on the west coast of Canada. A large British/Irish population means the city has a lot of dogs and attractively maintained properties.  But there are always opportunities for improvement.  I have selected 2 sites: one near where I live, one near where I work, which I will attempt to beautify over the next couple of years.

One important caveat: I’m committing to doing this without spending one red cent.  For both soil amendment and plant material I will beg, borrow and barter, but not buy. I’ll let my family and friends know that gifts and advice are gratefully accepted. I can make use of planting supplies (including seed) previously purchased but unnused.  But from today, June 25, 2015, I will not spend any cash (or plastic) to purchase supplies for this project.

And I will post my progress here (including photos) so others can follow along.

 I have been

I have been “pruning” these rose bushes for a few weeks. The flowers are gorgeous, but if they aren’t dead-headed regularly the plants will believe they have done their job and will retire for the year. So I started pruning (including helping myself to a couple of clusters for our reception desk at work).

This site is in the heart of a commercial district and adjacent to a pretty well-used bus transfer area.

This site is in the heart of a commercial district and adjacent to a pretty well-used bus transfer area.

Unusually dry and warm conditions

Unusually dry and warm conditions

The best of guerilla gardening sites.

The best of guerilla gardening sites.

 So I am beginning this adventure in a location where the existing foliage is roses and Scottish thistle.

So I am beginning this adventure in a location where the existing foliage is roses and Scottish thistle.

Shasta Daisies, Rosemary & Nootka Lupines

Shasta Daisies, Rosemary & Nootka Lupines

The Nootka Lupine is native to this region, and it's one of my favorite perennials.

The Nootka Lupine is native to this region, and it’s one of my favorite perennials.

Use tap water - as hot as you can make it.

Use tap water – as hot as you can make it.

The soil at this site doesn't need much in the way of amendment,

The soil at this site doesn’t need much in the way of amendment,

I am a little worried about birds feasting on my newly planted seed

\I am a little worried about birds feasting on my newly planted seed

The Rosemary bush in my home garden.

 I took a sprig and planted it in the commercial site garden.

 This container garden in a municipal planter was let to go to seed. I helped myself to a small brown bag filled with calendula seed. I love this cheery plant (and it is sooo good for your skin, girls!)

  I also grow calendula at home, and I took these established seedlings to the commercial site and started new seed at home.

 I helped myself to a few seed heads of a blanket flower. For the seeds to be effective, the heads must be very dry: look like they will blow away. Once established these plants self-seed readily and you’ll find yourself giving plants and seeds to your friends.,

October 26, 2015

  We are well into autumn now, and I have not done a good job of maintaining this garden diary, although I have been working in this plot.  Here is the birdhouse I rescued from a garbage heap and painted and gave a new roof.  These are the penstemons planted in the photos above. I love their bright red spikes of flowers.

 This cheery colourful bed is the barren one in the “before” photos. The bright yellow flowers are the calendula. They are pretty hardy and will continue  to flower until we get a very heavy frost or snow.

There are several more plants that have yet to flower that I planted from seed.

  This child’s chair is a project described elsewhere. It was a roadside rescue, so I won’t be completely bereft if it is stolen or damaged. While I was working yesterday several people stopped to comment on how much they enjoy this pretty garden now.