• Do you know what Whimsies are?

    by  • January 24, 2013 • Garden Art ideas, Garden Tours! •  Comments

    Pin It

    Mary Mirabal’s marvelous whimsies

    What are whimsies? They are truly art pieces and, in a sense, jewelry  for your garden. A true Flea Market gardener, Mary searches the shops for cast off dishes, teapots and other attractive ceramics and combines them with her own bit of magic. Mary lives and gardens in Tampa, Florida in garden Zone 9.

    This is a whimsie!

    This is a whimsie!

    Mary’s Garden Whimsies developed out of her desire to be creative and do something fun as a way of earning extra income. Mary says, “I was down-sized from my corporate job in 2008 and worked part-time as a consultant while looking for a new job. After doing this for a couple years and setting my own hours I realized I didn’t want to work for someone else on a full time basis again. So, what could I do to supplement my part time job? Create garden whimsies of course!”

    A most charming collection of watering cans

    A most charming collection of watering cans

    Mary’s been an avid gardener for 15 years and has always been a “flea market” junker when it comes to decorating her garden. She says, “I believe you can decorate your gardens the same way you decorate your home. I have been re-purposing other peoples’ discarded treasures for use in my garden long before there was name for it. I love fun, whimsical gardens where you find unexpected treasures.

    Mary's 'soon to famous' potting shed

    Mary’s ‘soon to famous’ potting shed

    Her imaginative potting shed proves that Mary has loads of garden style. She’s says, “I hung this “found” window frame on my potting shed. The potting shed actually began it’s life as my children’s play and swing set.  We re-purposed it into my potting shed after the kids were grown.”

    Plate edgings

    Plate edgings

    Just look at this creative way to use thrift shop plates as an edging around flower beds.  Mary  tells us, “The plate edging is a work in progress.  I just dig a shallow trench behind the brick edging that’s already there. Then I line the plates up to slightly overlap each other and that’s what holds them in place. If you have a broken plate simply insert that end into the ground and no one is the wiser!! Most of the plates I’ve picked up from thrift stores for under a $1 each. Others were given to me by friends who know I collect dishes for my garden whimsies.”

    An old be frame fences in a 'whimsie garden'

    A decorative old bed frame fences in a ‘whimsie garden’

    Last summer I tried my hand making garden whimsies after seeing a photo online of a glass garden totem. I thought I’d make mine with a combination of ceramics and glass since I prefer lots of colors and patterns in my garden art. I made several different designs and asked my gardening friends to critique my work. Every one one of those first designs was purchased and I was encouraged to keep creating. ”

    Whimsie teapot stack

    Whimsie teapot stack

    How to do it
    It may take some looking, but Mary Mirabal tells us that you can find pieces like this and make your own Garden Whimsie. It’s sooo rewarding to display them in the garden! She arranges them to please herself and uses permanent exterior silicone caulking to glue them together.

    Dish Flower

    Dish Flower

    Mary also stacks plates for ‘flower’ garden stakes. Each is fitted with an ‘L’ fitting on the back so they can be set on a copper pipe stake and placed where ever you want in the garden. We say, “Put one right by the front door where they can be seen!”

    “It brings me great joy to transform “found” pieces into unique, one of a kind garden art. As the old advice goes – try to find a job that you love doing. Well, I truly love creating my garden whimsies and hope others will see the love that goes into each design,” Mary tells us.

    2013 issue Flea Market Gardens

    2013 issue Flea Market Gardens

    Recognize something?  Recently, Mary was chosen as ‘cover girl’ for the Flea Market Gardens 2013 issue out today at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Barnes & Noble.  She also has her own Facebook page called Garden Whimsies by Mary and an Etsy shop.

    Mary has such a talent for combining colors and textures. We love this look in a cottage juntique garden, so add colorful plates to your mental list when shopping Flea Markets and you may have one of these in your garden soon. ~~ Sue

     

    Share this!
    Pin It

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    Comments

    1. Susanne says:

      How can I subscribe to the magazine?

      1. Sue Langley says:

        Hi Susanne,
        Flea Market Gardens magazine is on sale once a year starting this February. Look for it at the market or big hardware stores,..or Bookstores.

        We’re not affiliated with the magazine, just like the same things…and have a similar name. You can subscribe to our page and receive weekly updates of any new articles by entering your email in the ‘subscribe’ box above. Stick with us,..we may be kindred spirits!

        Sue

        1. Jayne Coleman says:

          please send me articles or updates

          1. Sue Langley says:

            Jayne, I just saw your request and will sign you up.

    2. Amy says:

      How cool, it’s been neat to go to our local Salvation Army, ours gives us 30 percent with a coupon and the prices are so low it makes it even better to get neat items. I can’t wait until spring wakes up in our neck of the woods and bring out the fun trinkets, I hve collected over the last year. Thanks, for the fun inspiration.

      1. Sue Langley says:

        You are welcome, Amy,…happy shopping!

    3. Sherry says:

      I love this magazine!!! I keep reading it and gleaning from it….I wish it was available more often. I wanted a subscription! Thank you, Sherry

      1. Sue Langley says:

        Flea Market Gardens may only be available once a year, but hopefully our group can fill the gap the rest of the year! We love it, too, especially this years issue…