Down in the Flower Garden, You Might Find . . .

Down in the Flower Garden, You Might Find . . .


Published On: 02-28-2012 12:35am

Comments: 6 - Hits: 0

Category: Collections

With Spring popping up all over here in the high Chihuahuan Desert (however fleeting it might be!), I started thinking about the joy of planting and caring for an ecologically sensitive, organic flower garden.  A garden that welcomes birds and butterflies and bees and even a shadow dog or two!  And, yes, also a garden that sometimes does "battle" with voracious deer and rabbits, but a battle waged in a non-harmful, integrated pest management way with the shadow dogs always playing a large part.   

To celebrate Spring and the new flower garden I am going to plant, I curated a collection a couple of days ago from the studios of the very talented Checked In Today guild.  The collection is called "Down in the Flower Garden, You Might Find . . . "  Now this collection is in remembrance of the flower gardens I've had in the various places we have lived, mainly on the East Coast.  I'm still learning what will do will here in a much more arid, desert climate.  

Here are a few selections from the collection with a bit about why they were chosen:  


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A favorite flower quote was written by Gerard De Neval, a French novelist in the 1800's:  "Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature".  I have taken that to heart because my soul blossoms with the miracle of flowers, from seeds to exquisite beauty.  These beautiful rose pink wooden flowers were handmade from birch shavings by AccentsandPetals.



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Luna moths are my favorite moth, a ghostly, ethereal being that delights when it shows up at night.  Their adult life span is very fleeting - only 1 week on average.  In fact, they don't eat because, as an adult, they have no mouth parts.  Their sole mission(s) is to reproduce (and bring beauty into the world).  This amazing quilled luna moth is by Sandra of QuillingbySandraWhite.



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Birds have always played an important way in my flower gardens to help control unwanted insects.  I had many, many bird boxes of all different types placed around for bluebirds, chickadees, wrens and many other birds.  It was always great fun to watch the birds going about their business, picking off insects and then carrying them back to waiting, hungry mouths in the bird boxes.  This wonderful bird house ornament was handmade from maple, sepele and ebony by Steve of stevepritchardwoodturning.



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And speaking of birds, I monitored the bird boxes twice a week, from nest building, to egg laying and brooding, to hatchlings, to finally when the baby birds fledged.  Data collected was sent to various appropriate agencies.  It was always a thrill to see the growth of the birds and to witness that initial flight into a new, big world!  These happy chicks were knitted by Rachael of BlueShedCrafts.



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Pollinators of all different types were/are always welcome in my gardens:  bees, wasps, hornets and flies.  I would stand and smile while watching the business of the pollinators, much as I do now watching them in a pear tree in the back yard here.  Without these important creatures, we would not have most foods, and, unfortunately, their numbers are drastically declining.  The quaint pollinator illustration above is part of a Victorian bumble bee stationary set by Karen of ThreeFrenchHens.  



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Now I never had a koi pond as part of my flower gardens, but a longtime organic gardener friend does, no matter where she has lived.  We have sat out by her ponds on many, many occasions, talking, pruning, sipping a glass or two of wine, watching the "wildlife" in her gardens and enjoying the soothing sound of her koi ponds  Koi are supposed to bring good luck and I always felt that sitting there with her.  These fabulous lucky koi earrings were handmade by Mary of PrettyGonzo.


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And the shadow dogs were always welcome into the flower gardens.  They actually were very easily trained to stay out of the areas where shredded hardwood mulch was scattered.  Such good dogs!  And because they were in the gardens daily, their scent helped keep deer and rabbits away.  Such good, good dogs!  "Scotty the Pocket Pup", lovingly handmade by Rose of walkinthewoodsllc, reminds me so much of Mesa, my avatar - just needs one floppy ear!  LOL! 



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And, up until now, we had always lived in forested areas.  The avalanche of leaves that were shed each fall were always raked up and hauled to the various compost bins.  Mother Nature provided the "black gold" that resulted by Springtime, nature's fertilizer used to mulch and feed the new year's flower gardens.  The necklace was created by me, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs.  


I hope you enjoyed the stroll through my flower gardens, meeting my friends.  Gardeners are always hopeful about what the new gardening season will bring.  I'm hopeful and excited about a new one here.  To view the entire collection, here is the link:  "Down in the Garden, You Might Find . . . "

Please leave a comment if you so desire.  Thank you!


My contact information:
Artfire studio:  ShadowDogDesigns
Twitter:  ShadowDogDesign
Pinterest:  Shadow Dog Designs

Reader's Comments

By ShadowDogDesigns on 02/28/2012 @ 08:35pm

That is so true, Rachael! Am looking forward to it but also am a little scared that I'm going to doom a lot of plants to a slow death as I try to figure out things! Fortunately the botanical gardens are near by so am going to rely heavily on their suggestions. The gardens here definitely are not going to have that English cottage garden feel I have always managed on the East Coast. LOL! Will miss those flower gardens but will definitely learn LOTS of new things here! Thanks for the comment! Peace and joy . . . Catherine

By ShadowDogDesigns on 02/28/2012 @ 04:54pm

Thank you so much, Rose, for your fabulous comment! Have been a follower of your blog for quite a while, so am honored you had so many good things to say about this post :) Peace and joy . . . Catherine

By BlueShedCrafts on 02/28/2012 @ 04:40pm

It must be pretty tricky trying to cope with a garden in your neck of the woods but also very nice to have such different plants to choose from.

By walkinthewoodsllc on 02/28/2012 @ 10:17am

The Collection alone was lovely, but this blog post adds so much ... about the items, the artisans who created them ... and an opportunity to get to know you, Catherine, a bet better. What a gift!

By ShadowDogDesigns on 02/28/2012 @ 04:12am

Thank you so much for your kind comments, Mary! Wish you could have been at Cindy's too, and shared in the beauty of the gardens, the sound of the koi pond and a glass or two of wine :) An enchanting place! Peace and joy . . . Catherine

By PrettyGonzo on 02/28/2012 @ 02:59am

What a wonderful stroll through "the flower garden"! So well thought-out, so interesting, and (most important) so meaningful. Thanks for being such a great, informative guide here and for using such lovely items for illustration. I'm so honored that you included my koi earrings among those items. Love your section on koi ... I felt like I was there at the koi pond with you and your friend, and certainly would've liked a glass of wine (or two) myself! :) All in all, such an outstanding entry!

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