Creating Whimsy In Your Garden
The Magic Garden
Back in the 1970's there was a TV show that was very popular. It was called "The Magic Garden" and it was on in the mornings. The Show was about a Magic Garden and two women, Carol and Paula, who would play in that garden. The garden had a magic tree and a chuckle patch of flowers that would tell jokes. There was also a talking squirrel. I thought that garden was the most magical place on the planet and I wanted to be Carol and Paula's friend.
I had a very active imagination and was very creative so I took apart my basement and built the set of the show. I copied everything. The only thing my Mother stopped me from doing was painting the carpet green. I remember feeling like I knew Paula, but didn't know how.
Photo Credit : Rockinpicks.com
The Magic Garden - 1970's
Children grow up and eventually I stopped my obsession with the Garden. One day when I was a teenager I mentioned to my mother how funny my basement garden was. Very matter of factly she said to me "Did you know that Paula is your cousin?". WHAT! That would have been something I would have wanted to know when I was obsessed and every kid in school watched the show. I asked her why she had never said anything before. She really didn't have an answer. There was no bad blood in the family or hidden secrets. My Mother just said that it had been years since they had seen each other.
It was true. She was my cousin and after my first daughter was born I had the good fortune of meeting her and Carol at one of their concerts. It was my brother who contacted her first and told her about the family. She was skeptical at first as she still had many star struck fans. She asked for proof and we were able to provide her with a family history and tree. . My brother stayed in touch with her. I can't say that I did. Life goes on and I moved across the country, but I am very proud to be her cousin.
The reason I felt as if I knew her turned out to be a strong family resembelance. I didn't put it together until after I knew we were related.
My First Garden - I Finally Had My Own Magical Garden
Finally I had my own house and my very own garden. This is when my facination for whimsical gardens surfaced again. I had a whole yard to create my Eden and the first thing I did was build a 2700 gallon pond.
The very large tortoise in the photo is made of polyresin while the Gnome in the background is made of metal.
Metal holds up in the winter very well and we leave him outside all the time. He has been in our family since my Grandparent's first house. He was my favorite, but was stolen from my yard 2 years ago. Gnomes can be friendly or not friendly so I am hoping he is bringing really bad luck to the person who has him now. We miss him very much as I grew up with him in my yard and he was like an old family friend. Gnomes are the number one stolen garden statues.
Photo Credit : Rockinpicks.com
My Pond - 2700 Gallons Of Fun
If you hunt around in the water you will find an albino turtle. He lived a safe and happy life in there. It also had crabs, fish, plants and a waterfall that you could fall asleep listening to. I put a safety gate around it because my children were young.
What Is A Wimsey Garden? - Wimsey Means Silly
There is a fine line between wimsey and tacky. I would like to think a person who likes magical gardens knows the difference. Wimsical gardens have Gnomes, Fairies, Silly animals where you may not expect to see them. You may have a Gnome pop out from behind a tree or maybe a Fairy peering out from a rock by a pond.
Today we have polyresin and that is the most popular medium for Wimsical figures. Polyresin is a resin that carves and paints very easily. It is also durable for all weather. This doesn't mean it won't fade. This is the number one problem with polyresin and it can be avoided with a little bit of care. I have beautiful polyresin figures in my garden now that are as nice as the day I bought them.
Polyresin is also the most cost efficient medium for garden figures and it is very light weight. Given all the positives you can fill your garden with all the magical creatures your heart desires.
These adorable Disney Dwarfs are made of Polyresin.
Hide and Seek Monkey Tree Decor Statue
Every time I see this I smile. This monkey is just so adorable and a must for any whimsy garden.
In general if you purchase something made of polyresin it will eventually fade if not taken care of. Bring it inside during the winter and place it out of strong sun. This will keep it in good condition for years and years. Some of mine are still going and I have had them over 10 years. This is the cheapest option for yard ornaments.
Cement requires very little care. If you decide to paint it then it will require repainting every few years. If you leave it alone it will stay looking the same way for decades.
Polyresin Fairy statues are a must in a wimsey garden. They can be both large and small and hidden so that when someone visits your garden they have to discover them.
Every Wimsey Garden Has A Soul - A Gift From My Father
My first house was purchased from my Father after my Mother passed away. There were two trees that were planted when we first moved into the home. I grew up watching those two trees mature. The one in the backyard was a mighty oak and it shaded the patio so well that it was comfortable to sit out there all day no matter what the sun was like. I always thought that tree held the soul of the home because it provided so much comfort.
One day I was looking out the back window and the tree had a face sticking off it's trunk. I had never seen that before and I absolutely loved it. I knew my Father had something to do with it and he did. The face was made of polyresin and it matched the color of the tree perfectly.
When we moved from my home I had gone onto the west coast a few months before the rest of my family. We did it this way so that I could set up the house without discomforting the rest of the family with hundred of boxes all over the place. I had forgotten about the face on the tree and didn't pack it. I was sad about that, but never contacted the new owners about sending it.
A few years later while visiting my Father he started talking about the faces he put on his trees. I mentioned having loved the face on the old tree, but didn't want to buy another because that was the face I wanted. He looked at me strangely. Apparently my Father had gone back to the old house to say goodbye to it one last time before the new people moved in and noticed I didn't take the face. He assumed I left it there because I didn't want it and he took it home himself. He didn't think about telling me. There sitting on one of his trees was my tree's face. Now I have it on my tree in Nevada.
The trunk of the tree it is on now did not match the resin and it looked odd so I painted it. I now have to do maintenance on it yearly, but it's still the same face and I feel I brought the soul of the tree with me.
Photo Credit : Rockinpicks.com
Garden Tree Spirit Toad House
The wise old stump is a perfect edition to a Wimsey garden and will attract toads if they are in your area. This stump has a kind face and will give everyone a smile as they pass by it.
Made Of Weather Resistant Resin
Indoor Or Outdoor Use
8 " X 8 " 9 1/2 " High
What Does Your Tree Look Like? - Is your tree handsome or maybe old and wise?
I have had my tree face for over 10 years and they have held up really well. They are made of polyresin and I have kept it on my tree year round. I didn't not have a fading problem, but painted the face once I moved it to a tree it didn't match.
Choosing the right face for your tree is important. Try it match it's personality, it's texture and color.
11 1/4"L X 9 1/2"W
Fill the mouth with birdseed
Made of polyresin
Measures 12 x 12 inches arranged on tree.
Highest quality polyresin available.
Comes with a one year warranty.
Handmade in the USA.
Cast in quality designer resin
My Cement Planter
This is another one of my favorite whimsical accent in my yard. It's a planter made from thick solid concrete. It weighs around 150 pounds. I have had this planter for around 10 years and it requires no maintenance at all. Normally I put annual plants in it and clean it out in the winter. Each spring I plant something new. This year I am planning on a miniature fairy garden.
Because of the weight of this piece I keep it on wheels so that I can pull it in and out of the sun. My backyard gets full sun most of the day and it's very strong so a small planter dries out quickly. By being able to move it around I can find some shade for it easily.
I have often though of painting it, but once you paint cement you will have to maintain it every few years.
Sweet Vegetable Markers From Polymer Clay - Fimo Markers
I love vegetable markers because most of the time I forget what I have planted. Instead of those plastic ones that come with the plants I put these around the garden for a spot of color and fantasy. These are made from Fimo Clay and sprayed with an outdoor sealer.
A Metal Horn toad
This is a horn toad made of metal. I don't do any maintenance on it other than hose it off. I like the patina the rust creates and the color difference in the rock bed. To keep it from the corrosion that bare metal can get I keep it in a well drained and dry rock bed under my lemon trees. He has been there for 7 years and has no weather damage. I don't take him inside in the winter. I had thought about cleaning off some of the rust and painting him, but that would require more maintenance in the future.
My Grandparent's Ducks - My Oldest Yard Ornaments, Made Of Cement
These ducks were in my Grandparent's home while my mother was growing up and I love them so much. When I was a child my Grandparents lived off the beach and thought it was really funny to throw them off their pier and into the water. This would force my Uncle to have to go in and get it. I remember being young enough to say "Duckie in the water", but old enough to know they were not real ducks and I just wanted to see my Uncle get wet. Wow. I never admitted that before.
The babies are missing their beaks because I used to throw them. They can easily be repaired, but I will never do it. For me it reminds me of the past and those memories are really happy. I do paint them every few years. Obviously this is the year I have to paint them.