Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blue Witches' Hats

Blue Witches' Hats (pycnostachys urticifolia) ...what a great name for this pretty and unusual-looking flowering shrub. Available at Annie's Annuals, it grows best in USDA zones 9-11

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forget Keuckenhof- project a garden

Keuckenhof is a famous garden in Lisse, Holland, known for it's gorgeous annual display of bulbs.

But forget that. Now those lucky Dutch have a garden full of life inside an old building. Or outside. Or kind of both; you decide:

Anyway, that 3d effect has the mind reeling with sinister possibilities.
I betcha the porn people are all over it, too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Living statues, part three: Human topiaries

Imagine your front garden.
Now imagine your front garden with these people dressed as topiaries in it, subtly shifting as the mailman arrives.

He may never deliver there again.

Available for hire in England, at the Living Statue Company.

How they got all those tiny leaves packed so densely on their clothes is beyond me. I'm pretty sure Joanne's Fabrics isn't carrying Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica) in 45" width rolls these days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Living statues, part two: Weeping Angels

You don't have to be a Dr. Who fan to love this!

See, Weeping Angels are creatures that look innocent -often with their hands over their eyes, as if weeping- while you stare at them, but if you so much as blink, they turn into fanged savages that will suck the life out of you (just like my boss at work.) They first appeared in a memorable 2007 Dr. Who episode called "Blink". Here's a 5-minute clip. Happily, they were brought back for two episodes this April.

When I first saw this Weeping Angel costume made by a fan who wore it to a Sci-Fi convention, I was excited by how great this would be in a haunt. Then I read the tutorial with it's accompanying step by step photos and became ever so humbled. The creator strove to make every detail perfect, to the point where she glued gray-painted false toenails onto her gray socks- even though you never see them! She's got a Hula-Hoop for a hemline, for gosh sakes! She also sacrificed a clear field of vision, by looking through gray-painted plastic containers that come from gumball machines. After reading that, I decided I would just buy a 5" poseable Weeping Angel action figure off eBay instead. You know, to serve as inspiration. To make it someday.

Fast forward, and here's my friend Nina working on the wings for a Weeping Angel. For her own haunt.
No worries; Once she's in costume, I'll just kidnap her!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Living statues, part one

Just the thing to liven up your Halloween cemetery. In classical Greek flavor, or NEW! scary flavor.

Come, Little Children

The time's come to play
Here in my garden of magic

A bit of the song was sung by Sarah Jessica Parker in the 1993 Disney movie "Hocus Pocus". This is a hauntingly beautiful version of the full song, done completely acapella by the wonderful Runae Moon. It's 2:20 minutes of pure haunt-y goodness.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bell Jar

No, this has nothing to do with Sylvia Plath's novel. It has everything to do with glass bell jars, also known as belljars, also known as cloches, and the way they can make anything inside them look like a curious laboratory specimen.

Designed to protect tender young plants outside during cold weather, bell jars provide a warm, humid environment which can speed a plant to maturation. But because they act as miniature greenhouses, they also can cause a plant to overheat in a deadly way during the summer, so be sure to raise the bottom for ventilation. If you can't find anything prettier, you can use a pair of bricks to do this.

And do you know what bell jars are great for? Holding your precious little carnivorous plants captive in their perfectly humid environment. See how happy this pitcher plant (sarracenia purpurea) is in this bell jar from English Creek Gardens? If an insect-eating plant like this can thrive under the glass dome, just imagine your man-eating Audrey plant inside one of these puppies!

If your laboratory happens to be more anatomical than botanical, bell jars are also extremely effective with a skull underneath. Check out the one above from Dapper Cadaver. Other creepy display alternatives include a hand, a heart, -or heck, a whole baby doll! Naked, like this one.

For year round usage, a faux bird's nest with some blue robin's eggs (also faux) looks nice. These are available from floral suppliers or from craft stores like Michael's. Never use a real nest. You want to imitate nature, not disturb it.

I love versatile items like this, that work so well for gardening and Halloween. You just can't go wrong.

Halloween countdown

Garden Lady

Hello, World!
This is my first blog. We'll see if I get it right. I think I'll be posting a lot about things I covet for my garden, such as this reclining garden lady. I wish I had the space to grow something like her. I've had this photo for a while. I think it must be one of the works in Montreal, at the Mosaiculture ( exhibit.
A slideshow of many of the intricate plant works there was making the e-mail rounds. I'm not fond of slideshows (sometimes there's no control over the pace), so here's a link to a scroll-through version.
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