Making Things Pretty

I was outside today, admiring the twine trellises Tom made for the clematis. He spent a good two days making these; they took math, knot, and art skills. The clematis' love them, and they are speedily climbing the heights.

Tom also made me some twine pot holders. These are simple, but should last forever.

As I was out looking at the pretty stuff Tom made, I decided to refresh some other places in the garden that needed prettying.

We have cheap concrete stepping stones that provide a path through our back yard, past the water feature, past the hive, by Adam's shed. These I paint with craft paint every few years. I like using bright, fun colors - why not?

They get dull after a few years, so I spend an afternoon and redo them. I'm always so happy when they are fresh. I love the pop. It's a simple and cheap project.

I found some interesting mosaic materials in the garage the other day, so I decided to add them to the stones below the water feature. This fountain is something Tom and I made when we moved in, almost 10 years ago. We dug a huge pit and filled it with water and a pump, then covered it with mesh and the pot, then the stones. It has reliably bubbled for us all these years, and it's been the single best thing we did in our yard for the wildlife. Birds visit this fountain all the time, not to mention larger creatures. We love looking out our kitchen window and watching hummingbirds bathing.

The stones had started to look a little boring, though. And I wanted to make sure the bees knew where to go to safely perch and drink. So, in went all the mosaic materials.

You can really tell which side of the path is awaiting paint, can't you?

I also found a bag full of pretty shells. So I put it around in some pots that are waiting to grow in with coleus. It looks pretty in the dark dirt.

I've always liked looking around people's gardens and seeing little surprises.

We've long collected interesting stones from the beach, and logs from our trees. They add little touches in the yard.

The kids have also added their own flavor, with colored rocks (heat the rocks, then draw on them with crayon - it melts and lasts for years). This one is nestled in some yet-to-bloom nemophila:

All this to say, you can decorate in the garden cheaply, as long as you think creatively and look around the places you visit for interesting collectibles.

That said, I do love when folks give me presents of garden art - thanks Mom!

I have yet to see any real quail in my garden, so it's nice to have these pretty guys around.