Garden Whimsies by Mary -               Every Garden Deserves a Touch of Whimsy
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There's a Jungle In My Garden
Do You Love Painted Furniture?
5000 Fan Giveaway
Playhouses For Big Girls
Potting Bench Essentials


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Doesn't Your Garden Deserve a Touch of Whimsy?

There's a Jungle In My Garden

Gardening in Florida in the middle of summer is a real challenge.  With daytime temps in the 90's and heat index at 100+ most days, who wants to go outside and "play" in the garden?  Even if you wait until the evening, between the mosquitoes and humidity you're fighting a losing battle.
Our daily summer rainy season is here and with that brings weeds on steroids~ they pop up over night and are already a foot tall!  "Volunteer" vines come to life and grow anywhere and everywhere. Even my lovely wedelia ground cover has gone crazy and shot up a couple feet since Spring. 
I don't know what other Florida gardeners do, but this gardener chooses NOT to garden during the month of August.  I'll admit it ~ I'm a wimp when it comes to the heat.  I don't mind getting sweaty and dirty, I just don't want to pass out in the heat!
My back yard is so overgrown I think there may be wild animals hiding out in the jungle like vegetation.  Try as I might to avoid looking at the problem, there are times when I actually have to outside and I just want to cringe. I'd be sooo embarrassed if someone were to come to see my garden now.  Any other time of the year you're more than welcome to visit ~ just not the summer.  I did take my pruners outside this weekend for a couple quick five minute trips to get some of the wild growth in the front beds under control.  The least I can do is try to keep the front beds somewhat controlled since those are the ones visible to the passing public. 
Since I love to share my garden with fellow garden lovers, here are a few pics of my garden BEFORE the jungle took over. It takes all my will power not to grab the pruners and hit the back yard right now.
Hope you've enjoyed your little stroll through my garden. I am so happy that you stopped by.  I love hearing from you and enjoy reading your comments, e-mails and those who follow my Facebook and blog.
Have a blessed week friends. Hugs ~ Mary
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good.
 His love endures forever." 
Psalm 136:1


Do You Love Painted Furniture?

Happy Wednesday friends!  Please meet my friend, The Purple Painted Lady. Tricia is a decorative painter of furniture and unique home decor. She is also a Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan and Milk Paint by Miss Mustard Seed retailer. Tricia is located in New York and has been painting her entire life. If you are ever in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region, stop by one of her 2 cute little shops. Tricia shares her knowledge of painting, products & hands on tutorials with you via both her Facebook page and website  
Would you like to be chosen to receive a fun home plaque customized to your colors - something SIMILAR to the oneshown below or totally customized to your home colors? (house numbers not included) Then, please do these 3 things: 1. show her some LOVE by visiting her Facebook page and LIKING it 2. Leave a note saying "Garden Whimsies by Mary sent me" 3. Leave a note as a comment on my Facebook page (see FB link below) stating, "You LOVE The Purple Painted Lady" Yep, that's it & enjoy The Purple Painted Lady! We will be selecting someone on Friday, July 27th at noon!
Simply click on the photo below to visit Tricia's Facebook page.
I know you'll love Tricia's amazing furniture and home decor as much as I do.  Thanks for taking time to visit her pages.
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew 22:39


5000 Fan Giveaway

We've Reached 5000 Facebook Fans! 
Time To Celebrate!!!
In honor of this milestone, one lucky winner will receive this beautiful upcycled plate stand, perfect for your pretty soaps, jewelry or candles. Made from a hand painted Pfaltzgraff 7" square salad plate in Napoli pattern and a cut glass candleholder with fluted edges.
Contest starts on July 21 and ends at midnight EST on July 28. One random winner will be chosen. Don't miss out on your opportunity to win this one of a kind plate stand by Garden Whimsies by Mary.
Easy entry ~ simply visit my Etsy shop by clicking the link below. Then tell me what your favorite item is in the comment section of my blog. Good luck friends!
Go to Etsy Shop
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35


Playhouses For Big Girls

Think Playhouses Are Just For Little Girls?  Well, Think Again.
As a little girl I always dreamed of having a cute little playhouse of my very own.  Now as a grown up girl I still have the same dream.  Funny how some dreams never change.  Maybe my dream resurfaced after all these years because I'm now a grandmother to a precious two year old grand-daughter.  I'd love nothing more than for her to have her very own playhouse where she can explore her imagination.
Oh what fun Bella and I would have playing house and having tea parties with her stuffed animals.  Of course her Gigi would also teach her all about gardening and plant lots and lots of beautiful flowers around her playhouse.
What would the inside of our charming dream playhouse look like?  Perhaps something like this. Everything pink, frilly, vintage and girly ~ shabby chic perfect.
Well, as long as I'm still dreaming . . . this would make such an adorable studio for creating my garden whimsies. It would not be difficult being creative just looking at this quaint little house in my garden. 
Thank you for stopping by friends. I sincerely appreciate your visits, e-mails and comments. Don't forgot to follow me on Facebook if you're not already a fan. Hope you have a lovely week filled with all you dream for.
Blessings, Mary
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35

Potting Bench Essentials

All Gardeners Need a 
Potting Bench
A potting bench is a practical thing, but it can also become an aesthetic focal point in your garden. A potting bench in a garden shed, protected from the weather, can become a gardener’s private retreat, but even if it’s just in the shade under a tree or in a corner of the patio, it’s still like a gardener’s studio.
Here are some ideas for potting bench essentials
  • Shelves for storing extra pots, a rack for hand tools, and drawers or bins for hose nozzles, twine, gloves, knee pads, and snippers.
  • A bin for potting soil: use a big nursery pot, or a trash can with a lid.
  • A plastic scoop is handy, or use a flower pot as a scoop.
  • Plastic flower pots: you’ll need them when you dig up perennials to share with friends.
  • Seed-starting supplies: fiber pots, plastic six-packs, and seed-starting potting soil.
  • Plant labels.
  • A watering can.
  • A trug or two - or bucket for small hand tools: trowel, pruners, a weeding fork, twist-ties, and a ball of twine and scissors.
  • Gardening gloves – preferably several pairs.
  • A bench brush or whisk broom to keep things neat.
And, just in case your curious what my potting bench looks like, here it is inside my potting shed. This was once our childrens' playset that we repurposed into my potting shed.  My little peace of heaven when I'm out
Garden Whimsies by Mary
Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. I love hearing from you and sincerely appreciate your visits, comments, e-mails and those of you who follow my Facebook page. 
Have a lovely week. Blessings, Mary
"Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too."
William Cowper

Fan Giveaway

I'm So Excited!!! 
Garden Whimsies by Mary
Has Reached 750 Fans on Facebook.  

A BIG THANK YOU to all the fans who support me in the creative process.  Please feel free to share my page with all your friends. In honor of reaching the 750 mark I am hosting a giveaway for this beautiful plate flower, Tuscan Sunflower.  This plate flower has been lovingly designed using thrift stores "treasures".  Included in these treasures are a vintage cut glass star plate, an Italian handpainted ceramic plate and a vintage 1978 Sears & Roebuck Co. sunflower salt/pepper shaker. 
An attachment will be added to the back of the plate so the plate flower will fit onto a copper pole (not included).
Would you like to be the lucky person to win this one-of-a-kind plate flower?
Enter to win by visiting my Etsy shop GardenWhimsiesbyMary.  Simply click on the link below. Find your favorite item, share it here on this blog and tell why you love it. Remember to add your email address so I can contact you if you are the Winner! The winner will be picked on 09/07/11. Simple and Easy!
garden whimsies by mary etsy shop
To Be in Harmony With All Things,
You Must First Be In Harmoy With Yourself.
---Lakota Proverb

Flea Market Gardening Magazine

I'm very proud to announce one of my garden whimsies is featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Flea Market 
Gardening Magazine.  

This garden totem was inspired by the beautiful Laura Ashley vase (turned upside down) found at a local thrift store.  I'd had this vase for several months just waiting for the right pieces to design a totem.   I was so happy when I found the sweet teapot shown here.  With the vase and teapot I knew I had my design and this is the finished piece.  Hard to believe this totem was created from other's "trash".  It really does bring me joy to transform unwanted objects into things of beauty.
If you'd like this totem to have a home in your garden, it is available for purchase through The Artful Giraffe Gallery in Saraota, Florida.  Click on the pic below to go to their Facebook page.
Flea Market Gardening is a fabulous magazine for gardeners.  If you're looking for decorating inspiration for your garden, this is to place to get it.  You'll be amazed at what you can do with flea market finds. You can view a free, online copy of the magazine by clicking the link below.  Go to page 44 to see my garden totem.
Flea Market Gardening Summer 2011
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." 
 --Mahatma Gandi

Summer Garden Whimsy Happenings

Things are breezin right along and summer is here in Florida . . . actually it's been here for some time now.  But we actually get to call it summer time with the heat, humidty and bugs.  It makes gardening a challenge as you have to get outside early in the morning prepared with bug spray.  Evening is now still too hot to garden.
When I'm not out in the garden I'm inside creating new garden whimsies.  These are just a couple of my newest designs.  I'm finding great "treasures" at the thrift stores and I'm excited to incorporate them into new garden whimsies. 
Be sure to check out my Etsy shop to see my full inventory of available garden whimsies.
Cabbage Patch Garden TotemMorning Call Garden Stake
Another thing I'm excited about is that Garden Whimsies by Mary is now represented by The Artful Giraffe Gallery in Sarasota, Florida.  This is an amazing art gallery so if you're in the Tampa/Sarasota area be sure to stop in and tell Michele that Mary sent you. 
The Artful Giraffe
313 John Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236
Anyone else besides me who likes to shop flea markets for garden accents?  If this is you you'll want to check out this magazine - Flea Market Gardening Magazine.  I'm happy to say the garden totem shown above right is featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Flea Market Gardening.  
You can check out their Facebook page for fabulous flea market and thrift store ideas for all that junk . . . I mean "treasures" you collect.
Until next time, have a super fun summer whatever your plans are.  I'll be here creating and hope you'll stop back and visit me again soon.  Happy gardening to all!! 
Each day that we live, He provides for our needs and
gives us the strength of a young eagle. 
Psalm 103:5  Cev

Garden Whimsy Happenings

Forgive my tardiness in getting this blog out friends.  This spring has been quite hectic in the Mirabal household.  Between getting my garden in shape, designing my garden whimsies, working outside the home part-time and watching my beautiful grand-daughter (who turns 1 year old next month) I don't understand where all my times goes. 
I do have some good news to announce.  My garden
whimsies were recently featured in the online issue of
Flea Market Gardening.  This is a fabulous website for flea market and thrift store " junkers" like me.  
It's full of great tips on repurposing items for use
in your home or garden.  I'm so excited to be included in this fantastic site.  Please be sure to check it out.
Garden Whimsies by Mary is proud to be a new consignee at et...Cetera Home & Gardenlocated at 109 Mason Street in Brandon. et...Cetera is a new and exciting home & garden shop brimming with an eclectic mix of new & vintage French-inspired, cottage style, American and mid-century furnishings, antiques, home & garden decor, women's accessories, jewelry and quality handbags. You won't be disappointed!!!
And last, but not least, Garden Whimsies by Mary exhibited at the Seminole Heights Sunday Marketthis month for the first time!!!  I'm so excited to be part of the fantastic neighborhood market.  The market is on vacation now till the fall, but look for me again when it starts up again in September.
"The best way to get real enjoyment out of the garden is to put on
a wide straw hat, hold a little trowel in one hand and a cool drink
in the other, and tell the man where to dig."  ---Charles Bart

Spring Is The Time For Arts & Crafts Shows

You meet the most amazing people at art and craft shows.  Last Saturday I set up my booth of garden whimsies at the Tampa Garden Club's Plant Fest.  I spent the day with some very talented artists who so graciously took time to share their success tips with me.  I'll introduce you to them below.  
The beginning of spring has been a busy time for me with three craft shows over the past six weeks.  For the first time I actually find myself out of inventory.  This is a good problem to have I am told.  Whether that's true or not it did give me an excuse to shop!!!  Not that I ever actually need an excuse for that activity.  I spent several hours this week visiting my favorite thrift stores to find just the right "treasures" for my new designs.  What fun I had!!  I came  home with so many unique and fun pieces that my mind is going in a million directions coming up with designs.  I must stay focused . . . ha ha.
Here are just a few of the new friends I met at the show on Saturday. The first isJennifer Manning of Jen's Rag Bags.  You've got to check out this very talented artist who creates the most gorgeous bags of all shapes and sizes.  Rags they are most certainly not!!!
Where you can find Jen:
I had the pleasure of having a booth next to this wonderful artist, Mel Robinson.  Mel's paintings grab you and bring you in for a closer view.  Since this was a plant fest, Mel brought a collection of floral paintings that were simply breathtaking. 
I wish my photography was better because believe me this photo does not do justice to Mel's work. 
Mel doesn't have a website, but you can contact her at 813-855-0615 if you'd like more information on her work.
I'm fascinated at "one stroke" painting.  The artists always make it look so easy.  I don't think I could turn out anything worth looking at even with 100 strokes!!! 
These two ladies can do this and more with their handpainted glass, art and crafts for the home and garden.
If you'd like to know where you can get your very own handpainted items, contact Christina at 954-290-2284 and Becky Hawkes at 813-598-2650.  Becky's email is
And last, but certainly not least, is my new friend Leah King with Orange Blossom Eggs from King Farm.  In her spare time Leah raises chickens, along with other animals, on their family farm. 
Leah sells her fresh organic eggs and they are delicious!!!  I had to sample a few for myself of course. 
If you'd like to get the freshest organic eggs contact Leah at 
Thanks for sharing time with me friends.  Until next time do the things that make you happy.
"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. 
 It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us."  
---Ashley Montagu, anthropologist