Being bored with this never-ending damp cold weather I decided to bring a little summer cheer into the house.
At Christmas I had muted that I would quite like a terrarium and my son in his own unique way decided that as a small additional gift he would create what must be the smallest terrarium ever. He took an old light bulb, removed the filament and turned a small wooden plug for the lid. he then turned a small stand for it to stand on. At first I thought I would plant it with an air plant but research implied that it would be hard to find an air-plant small enough so I decided to go for a non-living beach effect using a few of the hundred of shells I have collected over the years.
First of all I dried out some sand, leaving it in a dish on the boiler for a week. I added some to the bulb using a paper funnel and it turned out that this was the easiest bit of the operation. Having selected some interesting tiny shells I then tried to place them artistically in the bulb. It quickly turned out that my tweezers were not long enough to manoeuvre the shells so I ended up using chopsticks. Luckily having spent just under 3 weeks in Japan last year I’m not too bad with chop sticks but even they felt clumsy in moving tiny shells around.
Anyway, I don’t think it is too bad an effort for my first attempt. We are now pondering where we could obtain larger used bulbs from which might be a better size for air-plants and small ferns.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ornate” I am sharing with you the indulgence that is Helen Dillon’s downstairs WC as I think it fits well with the definition of ornate as “breathtakingly extravagant”. For the non-obsessive gardeners amongst my readers I should explain that Helen is a well-known garden writer who lives in the suburbs of Dublin. I blogged about a visit to her garden back in July which I visited as part of a garden tour to Ireland.
Being an older property, I am guessing Georgian, the downstairs WC is shoe-horned in under the stairs so is a tiny space with a sloping ceiling which means that I had to take close-ups rather than take a photo of the glorious whole. I should say that Helen was very keen for us all to visit and see this space, in fact we were almost ordered to do so and I know from friends who have visited with other groups that this was not peculiar to our group. If you can imagine a small downstairs WC with the basic facilities of toilet and small sink and then every bit of the wall and ceiling is covered in shells all in intricate designs then you are half way to imagine this extraordinary creation. I have to admit that I found it a little intimidating and a little frightening as some of those shells are quite large and sharp-looking!
The whole creation had been commissioned some years previously and what was even more extraordinary was that one of my fellow tourers recognised the artist who it turned out was a friend of hers – small world.