Make your own beautiful mossy landscape terrariums. The fun is truly in the making.
Spend some time outside. Ethically harvest some moss and other small plants. Stones, shells and even small pieces of bark can look very nice in your landscape. To start, mound some potting soil or garden soil on a dish or tray of your choosing. Arrange moss to the desired effect. Add embellishments like a stone or an acorn. Cover with a glass cloche.
This one has a stone path.
I love this tree-clubmoss (Dendrolycopodium obscurum) that grows on my property!
This one has an empty snail shell that I found in my garden.
I made these cloches from glass juice jugs that I cut the bottoms off. I will give instructions on that another time.
Remember to lift the glass and mist your mini landscape from time to time. Place in indirect sunlight.
I also like to use a little plant with red berries called partridge berry (Mitchella repens) and it can be found locally and grows nicely in terrariums like these. Here is what the plant looks like.
Introduce your kids to bird watching by setting up a birdfeeder within easy view of a window. Children will have an easier time learning to use binoculars by starting with a fixed focus point. Children will focus on the birdfeeder (with the help of an adult if needed) and wait for the birds to come. They will see the birds like never before. Using a bird feeder will bring around many varieties of birds for their enjoyment.
Try buying different seeds to attract different varieties of birds. Provide a notebook where kids can record birds that they see. Show them how they can start their own life list. Buy a bird field guide or research sightings on-line.
Here is a picture of our henhouse which was built almost entirely of salvaged materials.
In the fall before it gets really cold, I like to start winterizing my chicken houses. I cover screen windows with “storm windows”. I get out of storage the pieces of Plexiglas that I made a few years ago for that purpose.
Each window is custom fitted with a “storm window”. Therefore, to make it easier to install, I used a permanent marker to write the location of the window that it fit over.
How to tips: Measure and cut out pieces of scrap Plexiglas. I used a box cutter and a metal ruler to score the lines. Then I snapped it over the edge of a work bench. This primitive technique works well enough for chicken house window covers.
To attach the Plexiglas, pre-drill holes making sure that your exterior grade screws can freely fit through. Plexiglas will start to crack if the drill hole isn’t big enough. (See crack at the top of the window in picture.)Use the kind of washers that are rubbery. That way you can get a snug fit without stressing the fiberglass.
In the spring, I remove these window coverings.
More on winterizing our henhouse in another post.
Don’t you just love these charming can Jack O’ Lanterns? They are great. You don’t have to spend money for these fabulous fall decorations. You keep the cans from beign put in a landfill. You would not be buying something plastic which would also most likely end up in a landfill. You can reuse them year after year. And… You would have a perfect way to greet guests during your next autumn/Halloween party.
Collect used gallon sized metal paint cans. I saved these cans from when I painted my house. First you have to design the face. Next draw it on your can; I used a crayon. Then you need to make a starter hole in each section you are cutting out. Make a starter hole with a nail and a hammer. The can will have a tendency to cave in at this point so be careful. Once you get a starter hole, you can use utility snips to cut the rest. The smaller metal snips work best for me. You will want to use gloves because the metal edges will be sharp. Keep in mind that simple shapes are easier. If you keep them inside, the cans will stay silver. Over time they will rust, however, if you leave them out in the rain. I like the way they look when they get rusty. At night you can display them with a tea light inside.
Here I have them lined up along my driveway.
Pyracanthas (also known as Firethorns) have beautiful orange fruit that are perfect for fall décor. I love to bring in large bouquets of these berry laden branches. I also love the way they add color to my garden in the fall. The berries persist into the winter as well and provide food for birds. Cardinals especially love them. Harvesting from your garden for home décor is a way to make your house gorgeous without spending any money! Plus the seasons provide variety and change is good.
I recommend planting a pyracantha bush. This one in my yard is a Mohave Pyracantha (Pyracantha x ‘Mohave’).