Handmade Garden Projects

Last week my 20-year-old niece came over to visit me in the garden and as soon as she arrived I put down my review copy of Handmade Garden Projects. She immediately grabbed it though and after a few minutes of flipping thorough it blurted, “Wow Annie, these are really cool projects! I want to make something now. Like right now!”
And this is exactly how Handmade Garden Projects will make you feel too. Yes, there are instructions for the different projects, but there are also extra tidbits that will help with your overall funky garden design. Somehow, between the pages, the book gives off the creative energy of its author and creator too—Lorene Edwards Forkner. We could all use a little bit of personality sometimes and I think many gardening books lack it. This is not one of those books. 
Like others, I too had the pleasure to see Lorene’s garden during the Seattle Garden Blogger’s Fling in 2011. It was absolutely a high point during the trip. I too like to repurpose and recycle old things in the garden and I love how it continually changes how I see things. I am often in awe of those like Loree who are able to push the simplest and sometimes most inelegant of objects into things of beauty. It truly is an art to understand how to place found objects.
There is nothing quite like the chance encounter in a garden for the viewer. So often it’s where we’ve come to expect the expected. When we don’t find it—at least for me—it can be exhilarating. Just when you become blasé about something like this, it often takes the talent of someone like Lorene to open up your eyes all over again.
Here are just a few of the projects included in the book that I captured during that tour. Have a look through and at the end of this post simply leave a comment to win your very own copy of Handmade Garden Projects! (Deadline Friday May 25th at noon PST.)
Welded Gabion Column (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Outdoor Terrarium (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Cocktail Table. (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Wire Plant Support (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Shutter Storage Space (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Bamboo Obelisk (Lorene Edwards Forkner). 
Old World Water Fountain (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
Sleek Succulent Gutter (Lorene Edwards Forkner).
There were so many amazing things I had to leave a few more funky pictures.

So please don’t forget to leave a comment to win your very own copy of Handmade Garden Projects.

Here is your prompt: Have you repurposed or recycled something in your garden that you’re really proud of or do you have plans to do so this summer? Let us all know and good luck! (Deadline Friday May 25th at noon PST.)

Garden Crafting


A few months ago I purchased a globe similar to this at a craft store. To be honest, I am not sure what the purpose of the first one was, but I thought that it looked nice and I have since used many of them around my garden in various settings. Some are just sitting on top of empty planters, helping the pottery to look as though it may be in use with a kind of purpose that just isn’t apparent. Others though are stuffed with moss and native ferns taken from my dad’s property near the coast. Those I hope will grow nicely onto our two douglas firs, but I am not too sure yet about the empty others and their fate. I probably would have bought more of them if I could have, but I have to admit, with the largest being $10 I just couldn’t see spending much on them at all so I went to the DIY idea.
My globes are more like topiary basket/planters. I’ve used willow branches from my own yard and a few pieces of wire. In my former life, before I was a housewife with a pituitary tumor in “watchful waiting” mode, I’m not too sure I could have seen myself doing this kind of thing, but I really am a believer now when it comes to art therapy and illness. Nothing seems to have made me happier during the last few years than my silly little craft projects. The key is too remind myself daily that it isn’t my whole life, it doesn’t have to be my whole life, but is can be an excellent painkiller.
Besides, I have to admit that weaving today reminded me a great-great-grandmother I never knew. My grandmother says that she used to sit in the corner weaving baskets and she wouldn’t talk much. Of all the blanks spaces in my geneology, this woman is part of my darkest corner. Some people will tell you that it doesn’t matter who you are related to, but when you are a young childless woman, in the prime of her life, loved and striken with rare genetic problems that appeared out of nowhere, you will leave no rock unturned, and you will look even into the darkest of corners for clues. I won’t find peace in a bottle, or in a capsule, it starts here.