Fancy Plants: Moles and Wheelbarrows

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.