Fall Gnome Garden

It was so nice today; almost balmy for a fall day. And the little gnome garden that I planted back in July has dried up and was looking like it needed a little makeover. So, I stopped at the local nursery to get a few plants, all under ten dollars to transition into the season. Dusty millers are one of my favorite plants, as they are not only beautiful but easily last into the cooler autumn months. I remember them sticking around past Thanksgiving one year. And I was lucky that the “Dark Star” Coleus still looked good and worked great with the Dusties. Add in colorful mums, pumpkins and enjoy! Have fun planting!

DSC04712

Wire planters spray painted in a bright orange color transition through spring, summer and well into autumn.

DSC04742

Check out local plant nurseries for fairy accessories to make that gnome garden complete.

DSC04714

Onion pots are a favorite addition to my front steps, the color works great with cabbages, Dusty millers, mums and white pumpkins.

DSC04715

Gnome Garden

I’ve been warned of many things happening when you are expecting a baby but the one thing that no one warned me of, is the loss of creativity. Is it just me? I’ve heard of books being written while women were pregnant. I waited for my novel to come, begging to be typed up and it never came. What about my masterpiece? I was going to name it, “Expecting.” The inspiration never came to pick up a paintbrush. I saw a plaque once that read, “Make art or make babies” I thought to myself, “Why not both? Why was there an or in between the two? And then I understood, making a baby for nine months is pretty creative in itself and sometimes there is not enough creativity left over for anything else. And then it hit me, a day or two past my due date, I got the urge to be a little creative and made a little gnome garden. (I’m hoping it’s a sign that the baby is coming soon.) It’s a quick project that’s easy and brightens up any deck or front door. It’s a great project for everyone that missed out that planting window. Have fun gardening!

DSC04642 (2)

Start of with a fun container, I got a vintage wire container and spray painted it. If needed, line it with coco fiber. I measured the container and got it at a local garden center for a great price, it’s worth shopping around for. Add in your dirt, almost to the top. It’s a good idea to map out your plants so you have an idea of what kind of little world you want to create, go with annuals that will work with the amount of sun you have along with any color theme you want to go with. I went with “Dark Star” Coleus, “Ice Cream Mango” Celosia and a fiery red Impatiens. Next top with moss. If you have a bit of shade in your yard, you probably have some growing and you can gently remove it with a hand shovel and add it around your plants. I have a nice amount of shade so I went with shade loving plants and the moss but if you have sun, you can find great soil toppers for your gnome world, such as “Creeping Jenny” and you will have so much fun picking out those sun loving annuals.

DSC04637

Next add in your gnome accessories, a really cute idea are these mini pots that you can add in a little greenery. I planted some mini plants last year that came up and just used a little bit of them in the mini pots.

DSC04645

Add in accessories that contrast in color so they really stand out, these slate chunks make a pathway leading the gnomes to a resting spot complete with mushrooms. With it being the beginning of July. lots of garden centers are having sales and with fairy/gnome gardens being so popular, it’s a great time to shop around for some fun gnome accessories. My local garden center had a 40% off sale where I found the mini pot, mushrooms, bench and even the slate chunks.

DSC04640

Lastly, add in your gnomes and don’t forget to water your plants. Enjoy!

A Gnome Just Looking for Love…

As every year goes, when it comes the gnomes, they just appear, sometimes they all come back at once, other times, they make a slow appearance, one by one. When, is hard to say though, they are unpredictable. I’ve seen them arrive as early as April and the latest in June. That year was the worst, they really slacked off and my garden really suffered, everything bloomed late, if at all. I loudly told them they weren’t welcome next year. But being gnomes, they just know, that I was venting and didn’t mean it. So, the following spring, they were here in early April and it was the prettiest garden I’ve ever had. And as they appear, they just poof, disappear. It happens like clockwork, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I’ve always found it weird being the Saturday after. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Black Friday shoppers? It’s just too much of a coincidence. But the date of their departure, I can bet on. I think they have some kind of Gnome Convention they have to get to. I imagine it’s in a warm and sunny location, like Hawaii or Tahiti. (I know if I were a gnome, that’s where I would go, beaches, blue water and pina coladas…) So, you can imagine my surprise as I came home today to find a gnome house. In the snow, with a snow storm on its’ way? I rubbed my eyes. Was I just seeing things? Wishful thinking? No, it was indeed there, like it never disappeared in the first place…

I had to get the gnome detective herself, Daisy, my dog. She will find them, no matter where they are hiding. One day, last summer, she was pacing back and forth, she wanted to go out. We just got back from our morning walk and I thought it was so strange that she needed to go out again but took her anyway. Sure enough, she was leading me with determination, to a mossy covered rock, about a block away. She sniffed it, looked up at me and did her little dance. I bent down to get a closer look and guess who jumped out? You guessed it, a little red capped cutie. I didn’t ask but I suspect he just wanted some attention. We all have those moments, aware of them or not. So, Daisy lead him back home and we made him feel extra special, planting a little mossy grass next to his little house. We all need a little pick me up now and then, gnomes included. So, after I got over my initial shock of seeing this fresh arrival, I went inside and put Daisys’ leash on. She rushed outside and her little nose was busy at work, close to the ground, getting snow on it and all, making snorting sounds with her deep focus. It wasn’t long before she found him and there he was, up in the tree. He looked as sad as a Basset hound, sitting on his mushroom, in deep thought.

I wondered to myself, “What was he was doing back so early?” And why did he look so very sad? At first, I wasn’t exactly sure but it became apparent as I looked around. The door to his house had a heart shaped handle and there were red flowers in the window boxes. With Valentine’s Day a week away, it became clear that this little guy is just looking for love…He wants to find his Valentine. And I hope cupid helps him out, everyone deserves a little love on Valentine’s Day, gnomes included. ;)

Gnome in the House!

I had a dream that there was a gnome in the house! He was running around the living room, giggling. I didn’t know what it meant, until now, he just wanted to come in! So I had to make him a home and I knew exactly what would make him happy. I walked into a west elm store the other day and did I leave inspired! I always do though, it’s such a cool place! And among all the coolness, they had air plants. ”Tillandsia” was just hanging out and I had to know more about her. One of the nice and knowledgeable people that work there, explained to me that they don’t have root systems and are actually parasites! They need a little mist, here and there. Sounds good to me, a plant that can take care of itself! lol. There was also a great book about these awesome little terrarium worlds by twigterrariums, great book to have on your coffee table. You can check out them out at http://www.twigterrariums.com/ for some great inspiration! West elm also has a great how to guide for terrariums along with cool glass terraium containers that you can check out at http://www.westelm.com/. I thought it would be fun to combine the the two worlds, the mossiness of the terrarium and the air plant just hanging out. The curls of the leaves rest on the edge of the glass securely. To happy terrarium making! :)

 This is what you need to get this gnome house:
  • 1 clear glass cylinder, 6×6
  • 2 pounds of decorative sand, I used terra cotta color
  • about an inch of terrarium potting mix or sterilized potting mix
  • moss top layer
  • 1 Tillandsia air plant
  • 1 happy gnome
  • 1 mushroom

Start layering your cylinder with the sand or you can use decorative rocks or both. Followed by the potting mix on top of the sand or rocks. Lastly by the moss on top of the potting mix. I just went into the yard and scooped up some moss from the lawn but they do sell little mossy pots at garden nurseries, meant to creep between stone paths. Drape your air plant over the side of the cylinder, the bottom doesn’t have to touch the moss, it can just hang out and invite your little gnome in! ;)




He’s napping already! :) Tillandsia needs bright light but not direct sunlight. Mist to water twice weekly. Protect from frost.

   

Gnome Invasion III

All the rain we got must have brought the gnomes! So happy they have come! Awww…his little boots are muddy from all the rain we got in the past few days! All the raindrops brought not only the gnomes but a pet toad for them too! I wonder what they are gonna name him. And they decorated their little house already! I love these guys! Curtains in the windows, so cute! They must have been worried that the rain wouldn’t stop though, thinking there might be a flood, they have built little steps bringing the door above ground level! This is incredible, so proactive! And a lantern hanging outside too, they must have a plan B, like an S.O.S system in place. And it looks like they have planted themselves in the jungle, hidden away from danger. Good thinking! These gnomes are awesome! I bet they have some extra flashlights on hand, good thing, just in case I need to borrow one, when the lights go out!  



Hmm…my Bed Bath & Beyond coupon is missing. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Well anyways, love those blue curtains!



Gnome Invasion II

Another gnome has moved in, and a really stylish one too! He must be of a more modern generation of gnomes though, no red cap? And really brightly dressed! How did he know turquoise is is in? I almost love his outfit, such bold colors on such a dreary sorts of day, cloudy and rainy. It must have been a long journey for him, he’s sleeping already. I hope he gets up soon, I have to ask him where he got his cool boots! ;)



I love the slate steps!





What a cool gnome, he matched his cap to his mushroom!



Gnome Invasion

Ahh…springtime, more like summertime, it felt like yesterday with temperatures near 80 degrees. But the gentle breeze is back and the promise of new growth is here once again. I woke up super early today and got the leash ready and boy was Daisy happy! Returning from our walk, Daisys’ tail wagging, we see we are not alone. The gnomes have come back! Warm weather is here to stay, and they have moved in. Gnomes have been known to bring good luck to your garden and home. And who doesn’t need a little extra luck these days?  I love the folklore of them, running in between your flowers, watering where you missed and protecting your home with a watchful gnome eye. Do you need a little magic in your garden? Or a smile on your face? These cute little guys in red caps make it happen ;)



Close up of the red capped cuties