Monday, 15 September 2014

"MIRACLE GROW" part 1 of the garden of #43





I didn't always enjoy gardening, but it was something I became very passionate about in the late 80's.


#43 with the outline of the garden and the old climbing rose


My interest grew over time until it came to pass, that during the 1990's , I was in the garden more than I was out.   I knew all of the botanical/ latin names of all of the plants in my garden and by the time I sold the house, I had cared for and cradled my wonderful garden, from its tiny infancy into its glorious maturity.

BUT
that was way back then.


Over the last 10 plus years, I have enjoyed my present garden a little
 less each year.   It is so big that I all I ever seem to do is clean it!  It is hard to sit in it and fully enjoy it because whenever I look anywhere, there is some job staring back at me calling my name
or just crying out
"HelP!"


Anyway, most of this past summer was all about the avoidance of my REAL GARDEN and gearing up for the work on my miniature garden of
 
#43 Green Dolphin Street.
Since my last post, I have been working night and day on it. 
NOW I had to try and remember what grew when, where, and how?   I pulled out some of my dusty gardening books, searched the internet, and looked out of my studio window at my rather neglected, Real Life Garden, and tried to get ideas and encouragement for what I thought I wanted to do in miniature. Most of all, I tried to  learn how to evoke the impression of and an interpretation of of a Romantic English style garden.


I have just completed the entrance and the right side of the garden in front of the kitchen window.
I shall begin again, with the front steps and then the make-shift rose that really got the ball rolling.


Your GARDEN TOUR starts now

Almost all of the plants in my garden "grew" the same way; that is, by"cut and paste."
I cut portions of existing floral materials and pasted them onto other cut pieces and then unified the whole with paints.

Most of the plastic plants came from the thrift stores but I also bought some from Michael's craft store, on-line at Factory Direct Craft, and the local dollar stores.
I look for stems that have tiny leaves in all shapes, interesting stamens,  and tiny flowers or fuzzy bits that can be cut and re-configured. 
I give an example here of some of the simpler plants, but the idea carries through to nearly all of them. I haven't begun the flower kits yet, as they are for the other side of the garden.  

the foam balls that I cut from the stems for the ground cover


As you may recall, I had some moss growing on the front steps.
My intent though, was to have as much growing in the garden as I could muster up for this house and so I decided to add ground cover plants that would creep out over the stone and soften the look of it.
I chose to represent SWEET ALYSSUM  in both the white and the mauve colors.
I used some green railroad model foliage for the base and used snippets of artificial foam flowers that I clipped from an artificial "mother plant". 

(see above )

I draped the plants so they conformed to the shape of the stone stairs.  I wanted the white alyssum to be the most dominant but the purple to weave itself through it for added interest.
the sweet alyssum mix
the new garden entry 

 And now for THE ROSE

I reworked the rose that I originally made right after Janine and Fatima were last here in for our Miniteers Meeting.
That same evening, I made roses out of white photocopy paper, trying out a tutorial that I had seen on Pinterest for scrapbooking.
After I made a handful, I glued them to some greenery that I had.
THEN I DECIDED TO PAINT THEM RED!

(I seem to like working backwards)
So what you see in the second photo from the top of the page is what I did several months ago.
I wasn't about to make any more roses, but I knew that I did need to shape up the rose structure and make it appear more rose-like.  I ended up gluing on some more leaves which I clipped from a vine purchased from
 FACTORY DIRECT CRAFT.
It had a fern like plastic vine twining around some other greenery.  I snipped off the fern, and groomed the leaves back to 5 only.  I used Quick Grip glue for plastic to make them stick.
When everything was on, that I wanted on, I shaped the rose to a more compact version, and began to paint the new base and stems, to unify it all.
I have found that glass and tile
air dry PERMA ENAMEL water-based paint, will really stick to the plastic and not puddle. 
 I painted it with straight acrylics after I got the color on the canes and the leaves, then I touched up the roses and made the centers with grated yellow wax crayon.
Using the wax crayon worked better than I thought and now I am determined to get a full box of
Crayola crayons and grate even more colors!
I used  a very fine grater, but a nutmeg grater would work too.

the finished rose
the red red rose
and a little brown bird

After the rose was planted by the front door, I turned my attention to the cement wall that would have the garden running along the inside.  Because of some previous re-thinking about a waterfront property and the revised property in town which I talked about in my last post, I was needing to level the gap between the top of the lawn and the retaining wall.  I pinned it in place with wooden toothpicks and backfilled it with chunks of styrofoam, painted first with brown acrylic paint and then white glue and used dried coffee grounds for the look of a very rich looking soil.
To finish the open end of the garden, I used draping plants, a
BROAD LEAF FERN, which was originally from a fish tank medley of greenery, purchased about 6 years earlier, from the thrift store.  I bought it during my "I'm not into miniatures" phase that lasted a full 12 years.  Obviously, the sub-conscious desire was still there, because I held onto it, regardless of my supposed disinterest.
I made a HOSTA from the silk leaves of some plastic bundle that I got from somewhere and glued a piece of fabric coated wire from the tip and all along the length which extended about an inch and a half, to allow for insertion into the dirt.  I shaped it and painted it with
 REVLONS MATT NAIL VARNISH 
to cut some of the shine. 
later on I decided to add the off-white flowers that grow from it although they would not be in season until later.  
call it 
"ARTISTIC LICENSE"
I made the BLOOD GRASS from a larger grass bundle that I simply cut down the center of each blade to make them to scale and then tied the ends with a very fine beading wire.  After which, I then poked a hole in the dirt and squeezed in some glue and planted the bundles and fanned them out.  I love the effect that they give.
Right behind the Blood Grass is the
SWITCH GRASS. This grass was from a floral decoration that I bought from the thrift store.  The pot was ugly, the flowers were ugly but the grass was PERFECT!
Not only was the scale right but so was the color.  It lifted out of the floral foam easily, and since it was already bundled at the ends, I just cut it to the length I wanted and retied it and planted it along the cement wall.  It moves with every gentle breath and the feather bits give the garden a fairy tale quality that I truly adore.

Although I have NOT had any luck growing ORNAMENTAL ONIONS in my Real Life garden,
I was pleased with my successful endeavors in miniature.  The ball heads represent two different varieties. Originally purchased as a part of a larger plastic flower with white fuzzy balls attached, I was able to dye them with purple ink and then roll them in clear gel glue, followed by a pinky mauve flower foam.  I drilled a hole with a push pin and inserted a green wire stem and planted them next to the grasses.  As a companion plant, I then added
YARROW, using for stems a ferny looking plastic greenery purchased from the dollar store.  The vase shaped tops were filled with white Foam Glue and then dipped into grated Yellow Wax Crayon.  When dry, I lightly went over the tops with 'Yellow Moon' Folk Art acrylic paint.The combination of golden yellow and purple/pink is very pretty to me.
Next up...

NIGELLA
I have never seen a  Nigella plant before so I had to go entirely by a photograph.
I chose to include it because it was said to be a popular English Cottage garden favorite, commonly called
"LOVE IN A MIST" and it had a feathery foliage that I already had on hand, compliments of the dollar store's fish tank supplies.
The paper flowers came from a floral vine from
Factory Direct Crafts, which I separated from the vine, removed the top layer, cut the petals, glued on plastic stamens robbed from another source and then dipped into a yellow fiber that I made.
The flower were bunched and tied, planted and painted.  Afterwards, I found some old air fern that I also poked into the plant which gave it an even more ethereal appearance.
below is a close-up
LOVE IN A MIST


At the end of the row is a cone-shaped pine which use to be a topiary in a christmas theme miniature pot.  I cut the pot off and left enough of the dowel to insert into the styrofoam.  It serves as part of the foundation planting.  I left it much as it was when I found it.
I used a collection of tiny rocks that had flat bottoms and placed them in front of the border and then inserted more SWEET ALYSSUM and BLUE FESCUE grasses and allowed them to spill over the rock border to soften it.  The bits and pieces that fell off the plants and onto the lawn, I left in place.  

After I built the rose,  I was not sure how to fill the space next to it.  I had a tall shrub which I suppose was a holly because of the tiny red berries.  I bought it after Christmas season and just removed the disk that it was inserted into and stuck in the ground at the corner of the house.
I wanted a big floral something next to it so I took the entire head off a plastic stem and reformed it and tried to make it look like a
DAPHNE or HEBE.  By inserting tiny green plastic leaves, I feel it looks close enough.

To the right are a patch of
FRENCH MARIGOLDS.I used the button flower centers from another plant and dipped the heads into glue and yellow wax crayon.  I then added gold, orange and red and glued the heads onto more aquarium foliage torn into sections and secured with Quick Grip Glue.  Because the green plastic is almost fluorescent, straight from the package, it Really needed to be painted. I painted it first with a base coat of the REVLON'S MATT NAIL VARNISH, and then a number of different green acrylic paints.  The gold and green echo the Yarrow just opposite.   

French Marigolds
Sweet Alyssum and French marigolds
Just before I added the Marigolds, I made a bed of
 BLUE FESCUE.
The blue grasses were chopped from a branch of green plastic tufts which I painted to match the ones that I have in my Real Life Garden.  They have a sea urchin appearance but make a lovely foil for the Marigolds that I later planted in front, as well as, the Sweet Alyssum that now weaves and spills over the rocks.

BUGLEWEED

I tried a lot of different ideas out before I settled on the AJUGA a.k.a.  BUGLEWEED. I love this plant in Real Life and now I have some in my miniature garden too!
There are a number of different varieties on the market but I have chosen
Catlins Giant which is nearly black with green, blue, brown, red and silver shot through it.  Trying to get the right color was the trickiest part of the procedure.  The plant itself is simply glued layers of sections of a plastic round leaf plant, stacked up and spread out to get the form.  Then snippets of a glass beaded wire stem were cut and curved at the base and glued in as if it were growing out from it.  Everything was painted in situ, using a photo as a reference and guide.
Just for fun I took a section of plastic iron railing and placed it against the cottage wall.  The garden pitch fork is dug into the earth leaning against the shutter.  Perhaps the gardener is getting ready to lift out the
TULIP BULBS that have already finished blooming?
Can you see the yellow tops of the finished flowers?

This plant is called
PURPLE HEARTI love the colors and the look of it.   I again had a stem that had smaller parts that when cut and bunched together were reasonable facsimiles of what I was trying to grow.
After I installed this plant, I decided to add the 3 spent TULIPS.  They show only the leaves and the stems,  (which were originally the pale but very interesting stamens of another full-sized silk/ plastic flower).  They are to the right and in behind the PURPLE HEART.
You can just make out the green leaves of one of the tulips at the extreme right  in the photo below.  
And Last but not Least is the coral pink GERANIUM.  The flower heads are from dried flowers that I picked off and crushed, then dipped sections of plastic flowers into glue and then the dried bits.  When set they were painted and inserted into old foliage that started out as aquarium plants.  The Geranium is growing along the garden entry with the Sweet Alyssum just below.

A view through the garden gate






grrrrrr ><  
Of course, what is a garden without a DANDELION weed or two?  
(such a wonderful idea that I owe entirely to 
Tatiana of 
"My Little Dream" )
But the weeding will just have to wait,
because
 I'm going in now

 to
 take
 a
 nap


toodles  everyone

and thanks again for stopping by
***

elizabeth

90 comments:

  1. a luxuriant garden, thank you for the explanations
    j'aimerais me promener ou me reposer au milieu de ces fleurs, que de jolies couleurs pour cet ensemble

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    1. Good Morning Claude! Thank You for wanting to walk or rest in this little garden! :))
      That makes me smile because the "stand -in " doll that I have placed in it, is doing just what I never seem to be able to do myself.... relax and enjoy the garden.
      Your word "Luxuriant" is such a great word! I wanted something that looked more than just full, but lush, happy and healthy too, with just enough color injected to cheer both the gardener and her neighbors. :D

      elizabeth

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  2. Hello Lady Elizabeth,
    Wow! wow! wow! Talk about major curb appeal! that is stunning. You really filled the yard an it is magnificent. All the flowers look terrific and realistic and while I can imagine how long it took to fill everything it really makes it look realistic. The house was so charming already but now it is over the top wonderful. I cannot pic any favorite part, though the red red rose and the brown bird enchant me. Brava Elizabeth, you have once again created magic! Who needs a real life garden when you have a mini one like this?
    Big hug my friend,
    Giac

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    1. Hello Sir Giac! Thank kind sir and I am so glad that the red red rose meets with your approval! :)) As it was the biggest of the plants, the most visible, as well as the most identifiable, I was the most concerned about it. It is not perfect by any means but it does give the appearance of a blousey, fragrant rose that is ONLY JUST kept in check. I have my daughter, who also gave it a passing grade after I finished it, telling me that it looks better shorter, rather than the longer version that it was initially. The little brown bird is a gift from my friend Bettie Smith that I was so pleased to be able to safely include out of the way of the cat, within the scene.
      Thank you once again Giac, for your great enthusiasm for this entire project, however, my Real Life garden would vehemently disagree with your last remark! hahahha
      A Big Hug Back :D

      elizabeth

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  3. Just stunningly beautiful madam! Your talent for creation is certainly boundless, I have so many clips and snips of things and I don't ever see myself having the ingenuity that you have flowing through your mini crafting fingertips!

    Oh the big gardens outside only have a short time in which they are enjoyable and then become your summers work..bleh leave it to the wilds I say!

    Just gander at your perfectly tended plot on Green Dolphin Street and project happy thoughts onto the one outdoors ;)

    Going back to stroll in your garden now,
    Hugs~J

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    1. Heeheehee, I like the idea of Real Life gardening by "thought projection" Jane. I may have even given it a try already, but although some of the actual flower suffered and died by this process, the weeds would not! Maybe I didn't think about them enough!?
      But Thank You my dear Mrs. Fanaticus, for your Always Welcome comments. They are Better than a glass of orange juice in the morning, to get me feeling good! :)) And you are so right. The real gardens have a short life span when it comes to the bloom of the flowers, the mini ones you CAN enjoy a whole lot longer.
      Hugs Back, Milady :))

      elizabeth

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  4. Elizabeth,

    I have never seen such a GORGEOUS miniature garden. You have done a brilliant job of making everything. It is all so realistic and natural looking. I can't imagine how many hours you spend creating it but it was worth all your time and effort.

    Thank you for sharing how you did it. It was obvious that a RL gardener designed it. It is just beautiful!

    Nap indeed PHEW!!!! ;-))

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    1. Hello Catherine! What a Wonderful Compliment! I know that you also are a passionate gardener so it is Doubly Dear! :)) My objective was indeed, to make it look realistic and natural. I planted it as I would a Real one with the foundation plants first and then I gardened around them. I tried for an English Garden look and think that I have achieved it as much as I am able to. The hours flew by but at least one side is done! I am so glad that you like it and I Thank You again for your lovely comments. :D

      elizabeth

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    2. It looks just like an English cottage garden. You have achieved a look that I never thought would be possible in miniature. Other miniature gardens I have seen are so contrived looking. They are just way to slick for my tastes. Yours is PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      How I wish I could make one. BUT not around here, not in my RL house. I would be spending hours with tweezers every single day picking off (air born) cat hairs that wrapped themselves around flowers and foliage. ;-))

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    3. Thank You again! :D
      I walk my dog daily and look at the gardens that I pass, but as soon as I began this project I started Really Looking and noticing the individual plants themselves. I also found a second-hand book entitled " The Cottage Garden" by Christopher LLoyd, that turned out to be a great help in keeping me on track with my miniature English garden because I didn't want a dollhouse garden. I wanted a garden with a past, a present and a future but, I am still only half way there.

      My sisters and I lost 3 cats all within a year. No contest; Better to have a cat, air born hairs and all! :))

      e

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  5. Fantastic garden Elizabeth. You have put so much thought into it and what grows in season etc. Our real-life garden is always neglected too. I'm sure you will get the gardening bug again and find the energy to do some work on it. Interests seem to come and go on their own free will. For now, you can enjoy your mini (almost weed free) garden without it ever needing much maintenance.

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    1. Hi Shannon! Thank You for your compliments! :)) The Knowledge that I use to possess about plants hasn't entirely left me and you are right in saying that the bug and the energy comes and goes, with me. I will have to make an real effort outside soon, in order to take care of some very persistent weeds that will not take "GET LOST" as a good reason to vacate the premisses. hahaha
      Meanwhile, I am very glad that you are enjoying my mini garden along with me. The second side will be a bit slower in the making, as my summer holidays are now over and making a living is back on my agenda.
      But this has been fun for me and although challenging.... very relaxing. :))

      elizabeth

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  6. ¡Qué maravilla! Es una explosión serena de color y variedad Un trabajo increíble.

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    1. Hi Isabel! What a compliment, Thank You! :D I don't know that much about a proper English Gardens but I do know that they love color and they love the exuberance of plants! I tried to reflect that as best as I could without over-crowding the limited space. I call it a 'controlled riot of color', and I am so glad that you like it too. :D

      elizabeth

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  7. Your garden is amazing. I cannot imagine the hours spent making and planning your garden, but it was worth every minute as it is so wonderful. Thank you for explaining your methods, and I am really looking forward to your next post.
    All the best and take care.
    Vivian

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    1. Hi Vivian my reply got bumped down below Victoria's

      Delete
  8. ¡¡¡Maravilloso!!! Es el jardín en miniatura mas bonito que he visto nunca.
    En la entrada anterior, te comenté que al ver las fotos pensé que eran de la casa donde vives.
    Si ya quedé impresionada entonces, al ver el jardín en todo su esplendor, me he quedado maravillada.
    Te felicito. Es un trabajo magnifico, y te agradezco que compartas la forma en que lo has creado.
    Un abrazo

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    1. Oh Victoria! Such Wonderful and Encouraging words, Thank You So Much! :))
      My last post was an adventure into an area that was new territory and I was really making things up as I went along, but constructing this garden was just a question of triggering my Real Life experiences with the garden and trying to capture some of what I most enjoyed about it. It Thrills me that you thought that the doll's house in the last post was my REAL House! What could be a greater compliment than That! :D
      Very Big Hugs

      elizabeth

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  9. Thank You Very Much Vivian! :D I am Delighted that you have enjoyed this tiny garden! I did indeed spend hours, but as I enjoyed the entire process, the time literally, FLEW by. I hope to have a good representation of custom made, kits, and home-made plants for this project, especially for the the larger second half of the garden.
    Currently, I have no concrete idea, of how the left garden will be laid out but, even if I did, I would probably change it as I begin to install the flowers. But for now, I am taking a 'mental nap' from the mini one and will have to address the Real Garden again, very soon.
    And so until we meet again, Thank You and please continue to Enjoy! :D

    elizabeth

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  10. Ok. This is why I don't do mini gardens. Because if I cant have something as gorgeous and realistic I don't want one. I look at the flowers I have accumulated, but don't know if they would look like a real type of plant!
    Your knowledge of flowers and their arrangement allows you to create something so magnificent. The stone steps...just the whole front is...ok give me a word here...I JUST LOVE IT and want something just like it!

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    1. Grandmommy, you are sooo funny! I always get such a charge from what you write! Thank You so much for your Wonderful Words but remember "Rome wasn't built in a day" :D My experience with gardening had to start somewhere and I had to learn as I went along. The same holds true for my miniature garden and so I pass this onto you... start from wherever you are.
      There are loads of tutorials on-line and believe me I am following them because I need to know how to make what it is that I want in my garden. Most of what you see is of very simple construction, with the exception of the rose.
      The hardest parts are the foliage because there is just so much of it and I don't have the patience to make them individually, so the plastic comes in very handy. But if you are wanting to make a garden, begin with some kits. I will be making some that I purchased from " The Miniature Garden" and from Jeannie Lindquist; Jeaninie@moreminis.com for the second side of the garden, which I am really looking forward to, and search out the flower making tutorials on-line. There are some French, English and Asian sites that are truly Out Of This World!!!
      and have FUN, Grandmommy

      elizabeth

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  11. Wow! This garden is great, looks so real!! So many things to look at, lots of great details, just the way I want it =)
    Hannah

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    1. I Thank You So Very Much, Hannah! :D I really tried to make it look as real as I could. There were some failures and rejects along the way, but the results of the right side of the garden has turned out to be very satisfying. Now with the summer drawing to a close, it will certainly cheer me up as I go through the usually dismal fall and winter.
      Good Mental Therapy and without any pills! :D

      elizabeth

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  12. Your garden is just fabulous!!

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    1. Hi Robin! Thank You Very Much for your Compliment and might I say in return, that I have become a Great Admirer of your miniature garden style, too! :))
      You have a very natural and easy way of translating your English style into a very laid back kind of garden, that I Love! :D

      elizabeth

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  13. Glorious!!! Heavenly perfection! This garden is so beautiful. I just can't imagine how incredible the final product will be. Eeeeh! I can't wait!!
    hugs♥,
    Caroline

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    1. Hi Caroline! Thank You for all of your Great Enthusiasm! :D
      I am Very Happy that you think that this garden is "Beautiful",'cause I'm feeling pretty stoked about it too! :)) I don't know about you, Caroline, but I am always somewhat "surprised" by what the finished product morphs into. I would love to say that this is all exactly as I had planned, but other than the rose, it was all free-style. Which makes me also wonder about what the "final product" will be! :))

      elizabeth

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  14. Awesome. All these colors put a smile on my face.
    You have done a splendid job on the garden, all these different shapes and colors, it is just overwhelming. And just how a real garden would look like, provided someone spent a lot of time working in there ;).
    I had some of these ornamental onions in one of my gardens once and they smelled really really awful... yuk!
    back on topic: chapeau for realising this beautiful dream of flowers!
    Hugs,
    Gee

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    1. Hello Gee! Thank You for saying that!!! I smile too, when looking at the colors in this garden. :))
      I had ONE survivor of the onion plant in my garden too, but I could never get close enough to smell it because it grew in the same planter as my Hydrangeas. The Hydrangeas always overwhelmed my one lonely Allium. When I tried to move it to another location, so that I could see it; it perished. However,I am determined to try again. No need to smell it, when looking at the plant is more than enough reward, am I right?
      And in the miniature garden I will just have to imagine that the fragrance of the roses fills the soft summer air,...
      to the exclusion of all else! :D

      elizabeth

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  15. Elizabeth, I had left you a comment with my whole heart and soul in it and for some reason it did not get published. I'm so disappointed. Well, it's late and I'm too tired to start over again so I'll come back tomorrow.

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    1. Oh Lucille, I am so sorry I missed what you had to say. :(( However, I know how much enthusiasm for and encouragement you have been to me, with this Arthur Dollhouse Project. Just seeing you here is enough and I Thank You for it! :D

      elizabeth

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  16. Elizabeth my friend, you have created a marvelous serene garden filled with an amazing amount of flowers, so real, so peaceful so inviting. I want to live in that garden. And who is the lovely lady sitting in the garden? I don't believe we have been formally introduced. Do tell.... I waited for the right time to read and take in all of the amazing details, both verbally and through the photos you have so generously provided. Thank you for sharing. I had dinner and this was sweeeeeet! So this was my desert...less the calories. Love love. OMG! can't stop writing.....

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    1. HI FATS! So happy to hear from you again! I am glad that you are pleased with the garden Fatima, because this is where your Wonderful PEONIES will be residing soon. :D
      As to the mysterious lady.... That my friend, is my little bald-headed gal doll, that tests out the scale ratio to help keep it real around here. She also has a friend that is currently occupied playing a cello,( and very quietly too, I might add,) who is sitting off by herself. The garden lady, is not dressed for company, she needs clothes and she needs hair.

      But at least she has a hat! :D

      elizabeth

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    2. Peonies....for sure, you know they are coming but need to know colour scheme. Warm shades? Send me a colour and consider them done! Hmmmm lady needs a dress you say!
      I have totally enjoyed this post. I have viewed various times now. And each time my eye catches something different. And I'm still in AWE my friend.

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    3. Hi Fats! I have just been to this site
      www.sunset.com/garden/flowers-plants/great-peony-varieties‎
      I have chosen the "Pink Double Dandy" so see what you think, and get back to me via email.
      I am so excited about PLANNING the second half as it will be another new challenge for me.
      On my way to work now so will catch up with you later.

      e

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  17. Hi Elizabeth, Lucky, lucky me! I know I will have an opportunity to visit your Dolphin Street garden in the near future.
    It is wonderful - very artfully arranged (as always) and you do tell us how to go about it ... but I can never seem to transform exactly the same things that you have (mainly because you have given me a bit of most of your acquisitions), into such realistic "impressions" of reality.
    I do love the way you aged everything in your last post.
    Love it all.
    Janine

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    1. HI JANINE! It is such a treat to have you and Fatima, here Back to Back... It has been way too long.
      Thank You my friend, for your praise and might I add that that is how I feel whenever I get to come over to your house to play with YOUR doll's house and see first hand, the Marvelous Garden that you and the Mighty Bruce built! I love your suggestion made earlier of adding a mini Bee Skep! After seeing your hive alive with bees, in Your Real Life garden, I am doubly enthusiastic to implement this great idea, for #43! I will be sure to factor that into the site, when the time comes to start on side Two! :D

      elizabeth
      and I am glad that you like the ROCKIN IT! post. I know that you know, just how much I enjoying aging everything, but me! :))

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  18. un peu de ceci, un peu de cela, mais beaucoup de patience et d'astuces, Elizabeth vos fleurs sont M A G N I F I Q U E S !
    Un très beau jardin, un peu sauvage qui va faire le bonheur des papillons, des abeilles et autres insectes, sans oublier celui des passants !
    Bises. Joce

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    1. Thank You so Very Much Joce!!! :D It is funny that you have mentioned the insects that would be enjoying this garden. I have been searching high and low for a tiny butterfly that I have ' PUT IN A SAFE PLACE SO THAT I COULD FIND IT" and now,of course; I can't. I have spent close to a week trying to hunt it down so now I give up and will wait for God to reveal it when the time comes. My mother use to say " It didn't just get up and walk away!" but sometimes I wonder.....? Maybe it did! :/
      I was telling Janine on the phone, that there was fruit fly that I took a picture of that had come to rest on one of the fake trees in the mini garden. A Real Insect!!! Janine suggested that I try to paint it yellow, if I could, to turn it into a BEE, since she is going to make me a bee skep for this garden. hahaha Unfortunately, it will NOT stand still long enough, especially when it see my big paint brush coming towards it!
      I'll just have to keep trying. hahahah

      elizabeth

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  19. Brilliant!!! I really love the dandelion. So many details! Wow, you must be thrilled with how this project is taking shape.

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    1. Hi Sherri-Lee! Thank You for your comment it is Very Much Enjoyed and Appreciated! :D Using a dandelion is an idea that I lifted, LOCK, STOCK AND BARREL, from Tatiana and her marvelous blog "MY LITTLE DREAM"! Tatiana had made a most detailed and atmospheric garden scene that Impressed itself on my mind so much so, that that when the opportunity came to make this garden, I knew that I a dandelion or two would be on the menu.
      I have already told Tatiana about how her lawn chair vignette, has impacted me. I think that I shall amend my blog and include this information because she is the original source and that dandelion idea, is a tiny tribute to a fellow miniaturist that I can't help but greatly admire. :))

      elizabeth

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    1. hahahhahah!!!! What a Wonderful Compliment, THANK YOU, Merja! :D

      elizabeth

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  21. Está precioso, Elizabeth. Has conseguido un jardín con un aspecto muy real. ¡Enhorabuena!

    ¡Un abrazo enorme!

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    1. Hello Pedrete! A Very Big Thank You! I know that you yourself have a passion for all the finer details in Your scenes too, which I also love! :D
      I am glad that you find that this garden looks" Real", because it was "Real" fun for me to do! :D
      Thank you for your Congratulations and for your compliment!

      elizabeth

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  22. Hi Elizabeth! Why should you go inside to take a nap, after you just have created such a beautiful and atmospheric garden?? Why don´t you plant a pair of trees for a hammock :)? It is a miniature dream which came true, a fairy tale!! Oh my, Elizabeth, how much of your time did you spent for creating such a dream in miniature ;)?? I love the English look of the garden, it suits perfectly to your house, it is fantastic.........I think that I'm running out of (English) words :D LOL!! Well, look at the other comments, they say enough, isn't it ;)?!
    Love that tiny brown bird (I now learned an other English word for this type of birdie :o)!!
    Big hug, Ilona

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    1. Hahahha!!!! You are always so Practical, Ilona! I had a good look at hundreds of English Cottages and what I found was that there are not many big trees within a small cottage garden, and thus, no hammock. :((
      As far as time spent developing this tiny plot,.... WHO KNOWS?
      And You know how it is once you get going on a project.
      When you are busy stitching your tiny outfits for homesick, crawling and crying babies, you too, must loose track of time in the sheer pleasure that you derive from just DOING. Isn't it so? :))
      But, I wish to THANK YOU Ilona, for saying that this garden suits this house! That is music to my ears, because I know how much you love both gardens and gardening, and how highly valued your own Extraordinary Miniature Plants are within our miniature world. That you have so generously complimented mine, is a Treasure I hold close to my heart. :D

      elizabeth

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  23. О, Элизабет! Вы большой художник! Вы создаете живопись в 3 D. Я смотрю на фотографии и поражаюсь!! КАК????? Ваш сад смотрится так реально!! Я слышу, как пчелы жужжат !!! Вы так предусмотрительны!! Вы посадили розы около входной двери! Аромат проникнет в открытую дверь. И появится ощущение умиротворения и счастья! Оказывается, что вы знающий ботаник!! Такое разнообразие растительности!
    Спасибо, что рассказали, как вы создаете красоту. Но, мне кажется, что только вы сможете это повторить ! :) :) :)
    С уважением
    Татьяна
    РS
    Я обратила внимание на одуванчик ! :):):)

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    1. My Dear Tatiana! I THANK YOU and I have now dedicated that "pesky" Dandelion specifically to YOU as you have continued to inspire me time and again with your Marvelous creativity and the Excellence of your body of work!
      You are so right about the fragrance of the rose, being caught on the breeze and wafting in through the front door.
      I have a HUGE climbing rose growing just outside my Studio window and from inside, I watch the tiny birds perched between the thorns, the bees vigorously working each blossom, and the wasps and flies perpetually knocking headlong into the window glass. Squirrels jump right through the rose and that always surprises me as they never ever get tangled up! Larger birds survey the grounds from the top of the garden gate and swoop to pick off the unsuspecting bugs below. There is just so much going on all around us, all of the time, and so much also goes unnoticed. I tried to capture some of how this makes me feel within my miniature garden.
      There is a verse that I Love by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I hope I recite it correctly, it goes like this...
      "Earth's Crammed with Heaven,
      and every common bush aflame with God,
      But only those who see, take off their shoes,
      the rest sit around and eat blackberries"

      I don't know that much about botany, and most of what I thought I knew flew out of my brain a long time ago, but I know what I can see and what I see just Fascinates me but only when I decide to pay closer attention.
      I think that this must be true with you too, because that is what I can feel whenever I visit You within your LITTLE DREAM. :D
      Blessings!

      elizabeth

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    2. Дорогой друг! Вы процитировали прекрасные слова! Такой богатый смысл! Душа поет, когда читаешь такие слова. Мне очень приятно, что вы вспомнили меня и маленький одуванчик. Я очень надеюсь найти возможность и сделать одуванчик. Сомневаюсь, что он будет такой же реальный, как ваш...Я уже в сотый раз смотрю на ваш сад! :):):) И, восхищаюсь.....
      Вы порадовали меня, когда рассказали про ваш реальный сад. Это большое счастье, когда у человека открыты глаза и душа. Ты превращаешься в маленькую песчинку, и счастье тебя переполняет....
      Татьяна

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  24. Your garden is a real marvel, I would love to be a tiny girl to be able to sit in it and walk around it. I'm absolutely fascinated.
    Geneviève

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    1. Thank You Very Very Much Genevieve! :D And I know of TWO tiny little girls that are more than Welcomed to come with you, when you visit the garden, although it may be more fun for them to build castles in the sand! :))

      elizabeth

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  25. Sam here.........*faints with gorgeousness overload*
    WOW!!!!!! No words as usual. Your attention to miniature perfection astounds me.

    As to real life gardens, I love the look, but cannot bear to do any sort of gardening. I was not born with a green thumb. In fact, I do not have even one drop of yellow or blue in my thumb, just a solid red! (I think I was born into the wrong family. I was meant to be rich and just stroll leisurely through the magnificent gardens manicured by the gardeners!)
    Oh Elizabeth, I just love your work!!!!!!

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    1. Hello Sam!!! :D I think that you were "meant to be rich" too!
      And I can certainly relate to your complaint of Lack of Greeness in your thumbs. At one time I suffered from that disease too. In fact I was accused ( and rightly so), of "cultivating the weeds" and not the plants. At the time, I shrugged that remark off my back like water.
      But then a Miracle Happened, and Green Thumbs sprouted and grew from out of nowhere!!!! ???
      So I think that there may still be hope for you too Sam! hahhah In fact, I think that there is a higher likelihood of growing Green Thumbs than in winning the lottery.
      Although, having said that, the news on the radio this morning was of a couple who just won the 649 lottery jackpot for a second time. First time they won a MILLION DOLLARS and now they have won 2 MILLION!!!!
      AND... I hear they plan to "stroll leisurely through magnificent gardens manicured by the gardeners"

      its a small world after all hahahhahha

      Thank You for your Very Cute Compliments Sam. And I hope that " Rich" is just around Your corner! :))

      elizabeth

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    2. Thanks Elizabeth, I hope so too! Well, maybe not "rich", but "comfortably, financially cushioned" would be nice.
      By the way, I have the most fantastic crop of weeds this year in my garden. I am an excellent weed cultivator! I have decided not to pull them out anymore. Any "plant" that flourishes despite being pulled, poisoned, not watered, grows in between rocks, sand and concrete, deserves to live.
      (I am not a pretty sight out in the garden trying to pull weeds. Tears stream down my face, and Genesis 3:17-19 runs through my head!)
      I must say though, that I am enjoying helping Luka "plant" the dollhouse gardens.

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    3. Hi Again Sam! I just found a solution to getting rid of weeds and that is to douse them good with undiluted WHITE VINEGAR. I saw a neighbor doing this to the weeds growing along the curb and she said that a friend of hers had told her about it, so I have tried it too .... and it works! You are supposed to do it on a dry day. I had a ton of weeds curbside and they are now all dead and yellow. I shall need to shovel the remains into the trash but this is a sure fire way to take care of your Genesis 3:17 concern! ( that reference really tickled me! ) Watch out weeds!
      Looking forward to seeing the gardens at Luka's new house too! :))

      e

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  26. Votre jardin Elizabeth me fait penser à la chanson de Charles Trenet: "un jardin extraordinaire" tout semble magique et pourtant si réel. Je n'ai jamais rien vu d'aussi beau comme jardin en miniature. Vous êtes une grande artiste.

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    1. Hello Jean-Claude! Thank You for your compliments about this little garden. I Appreciate it Very Much! :D I googled up and was able to listen to some of the song The Extraordinary Garden" by Charles Trenet. I wish that there was an English translation, because it has a jaunty and light-hearted melody. There is a song that I have also listened to called " In An English Country Garden" which is like a textbook of how many varieties ( sung in rhyme ) grow in the garden and then types of birds and then bugs etc. It use to be the intro music from an old television gardening show I would watch ( in black and white ) from when I was a child.
      Meanwhile, I will continue to try and find an English Version of your song, and Thanks for telling me about it! :))

      elizabeth

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  27. Your garden is gorgeous! I like the plants and flowers; their colors are wonderful.

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    1. Hi Faby!!!! Thank You Very Much! As you have read, I was quite determined to have a Colorful Garden for this little property and I was purposeful in what I chose to fill it with. It was great fun but it also made me dig into my head again and exercise my brain. It seems that I have more buried in my head than I had originally thought!
      Whew! :))

      elizabeth

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  28. The garden looks gorgeous, Elizabeth! I'm particularly fond of the ornamental onion plants you "grew." They are really gorgeous! I'll have to look around for some tiny "white fuzzy balls" of my own at the craft store. Thanks for the fantastic tour. I'm looking forward to seeing more. xo Jennifer

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  29. Thank You Very Much Jennifer! :D Aren't those onions Great to look at!? I have some smaller and more purple ones already made and waiting for the other side of the garden. I think that I found the "Mother Plant" stem, at Michael's but Joann's usually has even more than Michael's, so hopefully you will be able to source it out. I might suggest that POM POMS could also possibly work. :))
    Happy Hunting and Thank YOU again for your Sweet Compliments! :D

    elizabeth

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  30. Oh Elizabeth what a lovely garden you've created and what an interesting read. I love it - it's so realistic and beautifully done. Like you, I spend a ridiculous amount of time filling the garden refuse bin and not enough time sitting out there which, again like you, has got to change hence a major overhaul of the garden this year (to the detriment of the minis I'm afraid). I'm really looking forward to reading Part 2 of this garden.

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  31. Hi Irene! Thank You; from one Green Thumb to Another!:D There is a lot to look forward to when a "major over-haul of the garden" is on the horizon. Janine and her hubby, have done just such a thing this past summer and I was there, before, during, and after it was all done and what a Delight to be able to sit in amongst all of that beauty and just enjoy their garden instead of having to work in mine!
    I would imagine that you are relieved that the Scotish vote for Independence is over so that you can focus on the more serious things like the future of how your Real Life garden will be growing and on what kind of native soil it will be growing in. :)
    This is will be a type of a Part 2 for you too now, AND for the nation.
    Moving forward: I hope that you will invite us for a look see of your RL garden when it is finished and ready for visitors.
    I will be looking forward to That! :))

    elizabeth

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  32. What a wonderful garden. And so inspiring too - I love every bit of it. Thanks very much for telling how you did it all. That's really appreciated.
    Sandie

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    1. Hi Sandra! I am Very Glad that you have enjoyed my little slice of England. Thank You !!! :D This was and is a fun project for me and I am still in the midst of it as I continue to plan the second half of it. I will try, the next time around to take some photos of the process as I do it. Meanwhile,..... Enjoy!


      elizabeth :D

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  33. The garden is BLOOMIN' BRILLIANT! :D It's absolutely beautiful. I really envy you, having a garden like this for your mini imaginary people. I will have to pretend I have this surrounding my conservatory :D Something incredibly charming about miniature gardens, but they need super patience, you must have had loads, ive never seen such variety, and it has that nice undulating effect too, as though it has just grown by itself. Excellent planting scheme Elizabeth!! I am definitely going to copy your ornamental onions some day.... :D I love those in real life too. Plus they dont have individual petals to worry about :D

    P.s. My RL box plant screamed a death cry at me the other day, so I had to repot it before it croaked, it had been over 10 years since it was last done......... whoops :D

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  34. Hi Sarah! Thank YOu Very Much!!! :)) What a 'Bloomin' Nice thing to say! :D
    Actually Sarah, I have very little patience, which explains why I chose to use this method where so much of the work was already done, i.e. the cutting out of all that tiny foliage. If I had chosen to be 100% accurate about it all, then I would still be plugging away at it. No fun there. It is not that important to me to be that exact, but I still care enough to want a close representation.
    I am very happy with my planting scheme too, so another big THANK YOU for that compliment Sarah. Those onions were/ are such a joy to me, because they turned out Better than what I had expected and were dead easy to do. I didn't show it, but I found some plastic leaves on a different plant that I nabbed for the foliage of the larger onions. They curve over with the same gracefulness as they do in Real Life and they helped to swallow up some of the dirt and fill out the garden. I only used them on the large ones, the smaller ones just got stuck directly into the ground, no leaves!
    And I know just what you are talking about with a root bound plant. I have one that has been in the same pot for 12 years and I Can Not extract it. It of course has died, but the sucker thrive! I am just waiting to see if it will suddenly burst forth out of the pot all by itself!? hahah

    elizabeth

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  35. You have created a gorgeous garden, Elizabeth! So "faery"...all these shapes and colors... just amazing!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  36. Hello Nono! Thank You Very Much! :D I enjoyed the assembling of the various plant shapes and getting them to "play nicely" together. I believe that This is what makes most gardens in Real Life, the most interesting to be in, is a variety of shapes, colors and textures, as well as fragrance, so it was important to try and translate that into the mini garden too. :))

    elizabeth

    elizabeth

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  37. My Dear Elizabeth.... What can I say that hasn't been said already??? You are AMAZING! And your garden is just Unbelievably creative and Beautiful and Realistic and detailed and Overflowing with charm, sensitivity and Your own brand of "sticking stuff together and slathering with paint until it looks.... PERFECT" is just so inspiring and maybe even a little daunting!!! Where to start? You just jump in!!! With glue and stuff!!! I am still tip-toeing around the idea of "maybe someday learning how to make plants" for all my different projects.....! *sigh* When will I start? Obviously your knowledge of the real garden and how plants go together has helped you put together an AWESOME mini one!!! (I, too have been gardening passionately since the mid eighties.... and sold my old home with the Big garden.... and now am struggling to make myself tend the newer and smaller one... so I should know where to start, Right???! HaH! In my Dreams! LOL!!!) And on top of everything else, your pictures are just Divine! Did I tell you how much I LOVE this place you have created??? LOL!!! I keep coming back here to look closer and to memorize the stuff you use and the methods you use.... You are Such a Fount of Wisdom and Courage and Information! For that I thank you deeply! Well.... I am a firm believer in "Someday"! It Always comes.... so I need to get my "stuff" and get ready!!! LOL! Thank you for teaching me so much!!!

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    1. Hello My Dear Betsy! Thank You for your Most Welcomed Words, but you have been mistaken in thinking that I "just jump in". I have tip-toed around nearly every project since I began this Cottage, and I am tip-toeing still. I always Approach with Caution, because of my own uncertainty about what the outcome will be, and not only that, but I undo a lot of what I have already done. What everyone sees is the end result with most of the angst already behind me. I know how much your work has inspired me, so it pleases me that mine has inspired you in return,and can relate to what you've said !00%!
      I keep on trying to improve what I do and so I have already made some re-adjustments to the right side of the garden. I am stalling on beginning the left side of the garden. sigh the cycle begins yet again.


      and Yes, the "Someday" does always come....

      elizabeth

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  38. Again, I am speechless. So wonderful beautiful and so lifelike. I come to think of English gardens and Agatha Christie.
    That is so nice. So complete. It must have taken a very long time.

    I think I've written this before, but I would love to sit with a book and flip through page by page and see your photos of your garden and beautiful room of your house. You have a unique style. So lovely.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.
    Hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Hello Wyrna! If you are thinking Agatha Christie and English Gardens then you have right away, warmed my heart, Thank You! :D To do the left side took me 10 days, but I am even now, still amending it. As in Real LIfe, no garden is EVER finished,... or so it seems.
      Thank you for thinking that my photos are Book Worthy, Wyrna. The photos are a part of the process that I enjoy the Most, and the funny thing is, that when I began this blog back in 2012, I couldn't deliberately take a decent picture to save my life. It is wonderful to actually see that I am improving on the quality and so lovely that it is noticed!
      Many many thanks! :D

      elizabeth

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  39. Verdaderamente una maravilla! Felicitaciones por un gran trabajo. Un beso

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  40. Hello Maria, Thank You and Welcome to my blog! :D It makes me very happy that you are here and that you have enjoyed this little garden! A kiss to you too :D

    elizabeth

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  41. Wow! You have been super busy Elizabeth! I have just started gardening (in real life, not mini!) this Spring. There are so many flowers and types of plants! I love how you were able to incorporate so many variations into your mini garden. The roses are spectacular! I can't believe you were able to get them to look so delicate from plain copy paper; you are amazing!!! I also really like the marigolds and the lone dandelion. That was too funny! I know how hard it is to get plants and flowers to look realistic when they are that small. Great job!

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  42. Hi LIndsey! I Was "super busy" for a while but all is quiet on the western front, again. I have seen your "before" Real Life garden from some of your posts last year, before you and Todd, re-painted the house exterior. You and your hubby, have done such a major but budget friendly job with both the interior of your home and with the Curb Appeal of the exterior! :)) It was so exciting to watch the transformations take place and so I know that you can relate to the developments that have been underway here on Green Dolphin Street.
    The climbing roses were a surprise at how easy the flowers were to assemble, but the painting was a bit trickier because the roses "wilted" as soon as the wet paint hit them. I had to watch how thin the slurry was so that I could color them but still maintain their shape. I am very pleased that they managed to survive me, after all. This entire side was more fun than I had imagined but I had no idea what it was going to turn out like, until it was actually "finished". I use that word with caution, because I am still "amending" the right half, when I should be getting serious about the left side. Ah me.....
    Thank You Lindsey for your Enthusiastic Comment! It was lovely having you visit and I hope that you will come again when the sister side garden is ready to show, but
    Enjoy getting your Real Life garden ready for bed.
    I'll be thinking of you as I work again soon, in mine.

    elizabeth :D

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  43. What a grand grand garden tour that was, E! Thank you, thank you, thank you :). I can't believe we were both working on our respective gardens at the same time. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw your picture on google+. Our gardens could not have been more different, (mine more like a poor man's plot whilst yours the grande dame of grandeur!) but it was like being on the same journey as you :). Watching you work spurs me on, Elizabeth. I am inspired, intrigued, intimidated (but in a good way) :).

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  44. I am speechless, Elizabeth! and very impressed with your talent and patience! Gardening in miniature is my weak point, :((, but I can enjoy watching these beautiful flowers grow and blossom in your garden! Mini hugs, Natalia

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    1. Hi Natalia! Thank You So Much, but if you knew how erratic and undisciplined my work habits were/are, you wouldn't call it "patience",you would think of it more as a minor miracle that I got Anything done! :D But nevertheless, there was a lot of personal pleasure when I got it to this stage where I enjoyed photographing it for everyone else to see and enjoy; and I am very happy that You Did :))
      elizabeth

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  45. My Dear Sans, I Thank You So Very Much for your wonderful comment and what a delightful surprise to visit your Artist's Garden at the Abandoned House.
    Great minds think alike!!! :))
    There was so much poetry in your garden Sans and you are just getting started.
    One of the great differences between our two gardens are not only the lifestyles of the mini gardeners but also where these gardens reside. Yours, I feel, is an evolving expression of being in total harmony with God's green earth, while mine is more the gardener striving for mastery, dictating which plant should grow where and how. :D
    Two completely different garden styles and both perfectly suited to their respective caretakers.
    THAT, I find- is Very inspiring! :))

    elizabeth

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  46. Hi Elizabeth! After reading about your gorgeous swap with Miss Jane I had to drop by to find out who the other part of this swap might be... ;O) Your garden looks awesome - and I wish I could steal this red door right away from the pictures...

    Greetings from Germany
    Birgit

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  47. Hi Brigit! Isn't Jane the BEST!? I have just come back after spending a wonderful afternoon with 2 dear Mini Friends, where I brought along Jane's wonderful mushroom basket and the cake and apple tart that she sent me, for a bit of Show and Tell. :)) I am pleased as punch, to be the Proud Owner of some of Lady Jane's Marvelous Minis.
    It makes me Very Happy Brigit, that you have enjoyed my mini garden so much that you want to make off with my Front Door! hahahhaha
    But since it is Almost Always standing open anyway, I probably would not even miss it! :D
    Thank You for your compliments and also for joining my blog. A Big Welcome to you!

    elizabeth

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  48. Interesting...I left a comment late yesterday which no longer seems to be here! Oh well, if at first . . .

    I wanted to let you know how beautifully I think you captured a real English garden! I am a bit of a gardener myself, and you nailed it! Excellent work, cannot wait to see the rest of the garden! I love the idea of the bee keep too...this should be great!

    Doug

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    1. Hi Doug! I found your first comment from yesterday on my other posting MORE COLOR, so you are not going crazy, just in case you thought you were. :))
      Thank you for taking the time to leave me such an flattering and encouraging compliment, because I really do appreciate it. I may sound like I always know what I am doing but it is sometimes just smoke and mirrors, so when I think I have done something right, it gives me more confidence when other think so too! :D

      elizabeth

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    2. LOL...Leave it to me. Evidence of crazy abounds! :0)

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  49. Love the little dandylion, that is one of the plants I want to add to a scene.
    Greetings

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