Sunday, December 30, 2012

Walled Garden

So begins another challenge.  The garden needed to be laid out, and decisions be made about how this little garden would be used. I wanted to indicate a space for relaxing, flower and vegetable  gardens, utility area, paths and peek a boo views through gates and walls.

A centre circle for a fountain feature perhaps? Path edges built with stucco covered cardboard, textured and painted. Underpaint is where the gravel will be glued. I have already increased the amount of gravel as I was a bit daunted by producing foliage for the larger areas.

Gravel coloured and glued to board.

The stone-look walls were built using blocks cut from 1/2"/15 mm. acoustic ceiling tiles. I did one large section cutting them with a mat knife which took a long time but failed to keep the edges straight. Very discouraging.  Bruce thought we may be able to use the table saw to cut it.  Success and it only took a few minutes.
 I painted the blocks with colour appropriate latex paint then textured some of them with a wire brush and sealed them with acrylic matte paint.  I was worried that the drywall mortar would get into the layers of paper.
Bruce mortared  a section with drywall mortar but found some bricks were not stable. We needed to apply mortar or spacers to get some definition between each brick to show the mortar - otherwise they seemed too closely packed. I did consider rendering the bricks to give a finish similiar to the exerior of my mini house but wanted a different look for the walled courtyard. I'll save that technique for another time. Once the bricks were set with a combo of white glue/drywall mortar I scraped the mortar out in part to give more dimension to the stone-look slabs.

Gates looking satisfactorily rusty.

Birds-eye view of space taking shape.

Bruce, supportive husband and side-kick extraordinaire fabricated the two gates. He used solid brass wire stapled to a piece of plywood to hold the wire in place while he soldered them together. The centre is a decorative medallion.  He painted and used fine sand to texture and give a rusted appearance to the gates.

Here you see the staples holding the wire. Bruce says if you are soldering, the rod needs to be secure to prevent the heated rod from releasing the adjacent soldered joint. If you prestaple the whole frame it allows you to position each rod before soldering.
Perhaps a few brass beds are in our future!

Now I have come this far I had to play a little!  Garden tools, pots, seed packets and row markers in a basket. Ball of string in a clay pot and window box for the window sill. Already the space seems smaller.

Cushions and tray by Elizabeth. Lucky me! You can visit her blog by clicking the link:

Leather diary and lavender plant in thimble pot made by J. The steamer chair was a Christmas decoration from the Restoration Hardware store a few years ago.

Soon to follow - experiments in landscaping. Thank you for visiting.

Regards Janine

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Merry, Christmas is not over yet!

Seasons Greetings All, I know everyones attention is turning to the New Year but I wanted to add my best wishes to those of other bloggers in our mini world.

My friend Elizabeth has just begun posting and can be found at

Some of you know that she is an avid mini maker and over the past twenty years has given me so much encouragement, inspiration and actual stuff that I mention her input regularly.

Our mutual friend Fatima visited to help celebrate Elizabeth's birthday last month. It was a wonderful visit and serious miniature discussions were underway until we reluctantly parted to return to our real lives.

Elizabeth never "passes go" until she has left small treasures for my house.  I don't always have to bribe her with chocolate moose cake but it certainly does not do any harm!

Lemon tart  - it looks temptingly edible, the pastry is fantastic! Everything perfect!

 Little Eiffel Tower bauble display, white Christmas tree with snowball meringue and lemon tart.

So Merry Merry everyone.

warmest regards Janine

Oh, I have been working on the courtyard garden .... will post very soon. J.