Fancy Plants: Moles and Wheelbarrows

We received several charming thank you gifts from a friend who knows me well. In addition to delicious Scottish shortbread infused with lavender and a chocolate bar laden with strawberries was a Diorama Kit for Houseplants.

Be still my heart.

The packaging describes the small, water-resistant spikes as “Yard art for your houseplant.” It goes on to say, “Arrange whimsically for maximum fancying.”

I’ve been reworking my birdhouse gourd, once home to a tiny tea house. Unfortunately, the neighborhood squirrels “rearranged” it last fall, so I brought it indoors for the winter.

Empty birdhouse gourd

I bought an old-fashioned plant hanger two weeks ago and asked Mike to install a hook near our back door. I nestled the hollow gourd in the hanger, and I’ve been playing around with decorating ideas.

The Fancy Plants spikes are just the inspiration I needed.

After fussing with different materials, I settled on a piece of florists foam, rescued from another gift earlier this year. I cut the foam into two sections, one tall enough to hold the spikes and a thinner section to create the back “wall” of the mole’s nest. I applied a thin layer of glue to the back, then wandered the garden looking for natural debris. Finally, I tossed a few micro-pebbles at the surface and spritzed the wall with dark ink.

I filled a piece of bark with micro pebbles to emulate a pathway and poked some debris up the neck of the gourd to emulate roots.

Small brook

I added dried roots from an unearthed plant

I’m not sure why creating in miniature is so appealing. There is something about the limitations of size and the challenge of scale that invites a creative focus. It’s fun.

I started researching a mole’s natural habitat in the category of one thing leading to another. Moles live underground in a burrow and travel through tunnels they create in a small territory Moles dine on earthworms that fall into these tunnels and rarely surface unless food is scarce.

While it’s unlikely moles will ever need a wheelbarrow or a watering can, the notion of this scenario reminds me of the treasured hours spent reading to my boys.

Dark and cozy, just the way moles like it

Reading, writing, creating, and gardening are all gifts for the soul. It’s been an energizing day.

18 thoughts on “Fancy Plants: Moles and Wheelbarrows

  1. Wonderful post! I’m a huge fan of Whimsy (and her sister Folderol). Like Derrick, I so enjoyed watching the development of the this sweet dark and cozy place for the mole and wheelbarrow. Also, always enjoy reading how you reuse items that many of us would toss in the trash.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Only you could take such an ordinary little thing and turn it into something so adorable. You think of the minutest detail and run with it. Just delightful. I’m sure the fairies are pleased as punch with you after seeing this.


  3. How adorable and gosh, free! Now that’s a good deal of fun for no cost at all. You’re so creative with found materials. I think Mr Mole (or perhaps he has a posh name?) will spend his days happily moving about the debris in his Gordjous (wink) little home 💗💗K


  4. I just love the way your creativity flows, Alys! Adding the tree roots to the outside was brilliant. It highlights Mole’s cozy, underground home so nicely. I’m wondering if there is any interesting object that you have not been able to creatively repurpose? You never cease to amaze me!💗


    • Thanks once again, Dawn. I really like expressing my creativity in this way. It brings out the playful side of my personality. I pruned some dead twigs off a plant today, and new at once they would feature in a future Halloween-themed mini-garden. It’s fun thinking of ways to use things from the earth. xo

      Liked by 1 person

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