Cottage Life - Mon Petit Jardin

Hello Cottage Friends,

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. It seems like last week everything hit at once. Just one of those weird weeks that I'm sure all of us experience in one form or another from time to time. I helped out a disabled friend by planting some plants for her. Another friend went out of town for three days and asked me to water her gardens. It's been excessively hot here for days and days, so watering is a big deal if we want anything green to live, and it all has to be done in the morning before ten o'clock while the temperature is still tolerable. Then I got stung on my left leg by something I couldn't identify and I had an allergic reaction. It hurt and itched like crazy. My ankle swelled, even though the sting spot -- which turned out to look like a major bruise -- was just below my knee. It was just weird. I took Benadryl and it knocked me out. Yada, yada, yada. Sorry, to bore you with the details. It wasn't fun. But it's much better now. . .almost healed. 

"Give all your worries and cares to God, 
for He cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7

For those of you who would be comfortable doing so, I'd like to ask you to pray for a family in our church whose daughter was killed in a one-car accident a week ago Sunday. Her two year-old son was in the back seat. He's fine, no injuries. His mommy's death is so tragic, so sad. It is a reminder to me that each day is a precious gift from God and to remember not to take loved ones for granted. Hug them while you have them.

About a month ago I revealed my backyard garden project .

I told you I planned to do something with my enclosed garden to add more charm. This is how it looked then.

Little by little I've been working on it, and this is how it looks now.

I finally found a use for all the things I've been hoarding in my garden shed. I've had the hanging planters for several years.

This old mailbox -- picked up at a junk shop for $1 -- had been sitting on a shelf, waiting to be repurposed.

I had always planned to turn it into a flower box, but needed the right place for it. Mon Petit Jardin garden gate cried out for it.

But it still needed something to hang from the newspaper holder, so I painted a little 25 cent metal tray I found at the thrift store, punched holes in it and hung it with twine. The fleur-de-lis on the flower box set the tone for the signage.

A couple of years ago I picked up this chair at the thrift store for $2 thinking that I might actually try to restyle it with a new back, paint and upholstery. It has such great bones.

But after researching how to put on a new back I decided to scratch that idea. I mean, come on, I only have so many waking hours in a day and I've got better things to do with my time than take on a project of that magnitude. I knew, though, that I'd come up with something to help this discarded chair live up to its potential.

So I painted it, and stapled chicken wire (which I just happened to have on hand) to the back and seat. 

I molded the chicken wire in the seat opening to hold a coco liner.

VoilĂ ! My chair has new life as a planter.

It holds a geranium, and two vines that will, I hope, eventually cover the back.

Ten days ago our garden group toured two gardens. The first one was full of cottage charm. I took photos of the garden and the home which I'll share with you in an upcoming post, but for now I want to show you one photo I took of this adorable wagon.

I've been seeing plates used in gardens all over blogland and have thought about how to incorporate some in my cottage garden. It seemed like I needed a focused spot to do this, and my little garden seemed like the perfect place.

I found these little plates at my favorite thrift store, Soroptomist, yesterday. They were only 10 cents each.

I also discovered this little cottage candle holder, which I thought would look pretty cute repurposed as garden art in mon petit garden.

I painted a wooden tray I had and "planted" that, too.

I may do a little tweaking as the summer progresses, but overall I think my little garden is happy with its new look. It was easily accomplished and cost only a few dollars. That makes me smile.

I apologize for not visiting and keeping up with all of you. I will be making the rounds now that things have settled down a bit. Thanks for hanging in with me. Hugs.


  1. Nancy, the transformation is absolutely adorable and charming. I adore the chair. The chicken wire is a genius idea. I am pinning your post and putting that chair in my "I want to make one someday" folder. And so sad...sending prayers of course. Please take care of yourself, I hope that your leg is feeling better.

  2. Love all the whimsy in your garden. The chair and the mail box flower box is so cute. Love the wagon too.
    Sending prayers for the tragedy for your church family. How said to lose her so young and leaving a little baby here without a mom. So sad. Prayers for sure.

  3. Hi Nancy, I love it when you post about your place, you've done so much with it in the few years that you've had it. You've gone from an empty lot to a beautiful home and a cottage garden that is too lovely for words. Your hard work certain shows. I love what you did with that chair, using chicken wire is genius . . . a place for plants to climb and great drainage. You are so clever. Your friends are in my prayers as well as you . . . sorry to hear about your sting and the reaction.
    Happy Summer Sweet Friend.
    Connie :)

  4. You are so creative. Sorry about your bite. I wonder what it was to create such a reaction. I will definitely be praying for the family that lost their loved one, so tragic. Keep those creative juices flowing, sweet friend.

  5. What a very difficult week in so many ways that you've had! How sweet of you to water your friend's garden, although that must have been hard for you to get there early in the morning. And a sting, ouch! Do you have any lavender oil? It is my go-to oil for any stings or burns this summer, and now my kids are asking for it too. I've had my dad here with me for a month, and it has been wonderful, but I haven't had much time to blog. Just late at night visiting a few friends as I can before crawling into bed is about all I've had time for! Your garden is absolutely amazing! I have some plates in my garden too, I am so excited about using them. What a great way to display china that may not otherwise be good for anything - cracks, chips, etc. And your chair - clever, clever idea to use the chicken wire! I love it! Hmm... you've got me thinking now, lol!

    Thanks Nancy for a lovely visit, it is always a treat to stop by your creative space here in blogland :)

  6. PS! I am so sorry to hear about the terrible tragedy with the family who lost their daughter/mother, oh my goodness, just awful! I will be praying for them... a good reminder to be thankful every day for our loved ones!

  7. Your Garden of petite-ness! will flourish in abundance to love.
    I adore your sweet little treasures planted about, and the chair will be covered in beauty in no time.
    I love your garden shed and it's whimsy with it sled style roof line.... Those windows are amazing and all all the rightness to a shed that acts like a chaming studio.

    Hope your on the mend from you sting, nothing like something annoying like a sting to hold up your days.
    See you soon Nancy, and a bit more charm I can see you hanging your rug art on the shed for a little photo shoot and how rustic would that charm your rugs? And then down they go packed away for a future sale.


  8. Your garden really is petite and so perfect! I love the wagon with plates in it.

  9. Ouch . . . happy you are healing from that critter bite!

    Your garden tweaks are charming . . .
    I especially liked how you made the chair into a planter . . .
    Ingenious my friend . . .
    I liked the repurposed mailbox too . . .

    So tragic . . . the death of the young mother.
    I will keep her family, little two year old in my caring and prayers.

    I hope some cooler days settle in for you soon

  10. I LOVE your sweet garden and all the darling things you've added. Hope you are doing better after the bite on your leg. I will definitely pray for the young mother's family. My heart goes to them, especially her little one.

  11. I love your little garden and all the clever repurposed decorations.

  12. I second using Lavender oil on that bite!

    I love what you've done with your petite garden. It is really sweet, and your solution with the chair is great! I love dishes in the garden too, but haven't done any yet.

  13. Hi Nancy,
    I love how the garden looks. I love the name you chose for your garden.
    The chair is a great idea. I plan to pin your idea. Well done.
    And, I also had a bug bite. It was awful, my foot swelled so I could not wear my shoe. We have no idea what got me. I am thankful to say, I am better.
    I will be praying.

  14. I love your petit jardin!! You know I love the repurposed chair to a planter and the plates....I have them both all over my garden! Very sweet! Glad to hear you are recovering from whatever bit you.

  15. I'm sorry you've had a difficult week, Nancy, and send a big hug and some of the banana-mango sorbet I just made. But... that garden! I love it! It looks like a real labor of love. I should labor more myself, I've been way too lazy of late :-)

  16. Hope you are completely well Nancy! Of course we will pray for your friend and her family. That was terrible! votre petit jardin est si jolie, mon ami!!

  17. What a terrible tragedy, that poor sweet baby without a mama! Your petite jardin looks lovely! Great touches, you are so creative!

  18. I will pray for the family who lost their daughter. It is so sad. My best friend from grade school lost her daughter at age 26 in a freak car accident. She died instantly.. her husband and son were hurt quite bad but did survive. It made me realize how fast things can change.. how fast a loved one can be taken from us. Sometimes I feel like we are taking our life in our own hands when we drive on the roads today. Too much craziness out there.

    I love your little petite garden and all of the charm you've added to it.. every little thing will bring you much joy I'm sure!

    Hot here too and watering every day to keep plants alive. I missed one day on a little planter and they all died in that one extra day of heat. Darn! We must be diligent!
    Take care and hope your sting and leg are better. Hugs.. Marilyn

  19. I love the chair makeover, how cleaver. Said a prayer for the young family, how said. Hope your leg heals quickly. Debbie

  20. Good morning Nancy! For a minute there, I thought this was Sunday! I'm so used to and excited to find your posts in my email on Sunday mornings.

    First of all, do you think you got a spider bite? I was lucky so far this year to not get one but in the past, whenever I've ended up with a pus-filled, itchy and sometimes painful bite, it's a spider bite. Last year I applied Benadryl cream to a spider bite on my ear but WOW, did I have a reaction to the cream!

    I LOVE what you did to your Petit Jardin. That chair, what a brilliant idea to use chicken wire and turn it into a garden piece. I love finding $1 -$5 treasures for either photo shooting purposes or garden goodies.

    Well my friend, enjoy the height of the summer; I am grateful that this summer, though it definitely is flying by, is actually slow and easy for me. More prayerful and quiet, summer mornings are a great time to be still and know that God is with us. May the family of this young woman who was killed be at peace as they move on. Bless you all.

  21. Wow, I love your Petit Jardin and what you have done with it. I was stung by two different things in the past couple of weeks. One was better pretty quickly after I put an essential oil on it. The second one was worse, and took a day or two to go away. Both were little tiny things that stung, and I don't know what either one was. The hazards of gardening. :-) Glad your bite has healed for you.

    Your painted wood carved floral tray is too pretty to be in the dirt, and will deteriorate in time. Maybe you can hang it on the back wall under the windows?

    I am so sorry for this young family and pray that God will be their strength in this awful time.

    Have a lovely weekend dear Nancy ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  22. Your little garden could not be more perfect. All of the touches you've added really make it so unique and special. BUT.....the chair is to die for. I love what you did with it. Never would I have thought of such a clever idea to use chicken wire, and a coco liner for flowers. You are AMAZING!!!!!

    1. Oh my, I'm blushing. Thank you for these very kind words.

  23. So fun to see your garden transformation! Truly a work of JOY! I love what you did with your mailbox. I have an old mailbox that was here in the garage when we moved in. I've been trying to come up with a project for it. Maybe I should make a planter, too!

    1. I'm sure yours would be much more artistic than mine, Anne. =)

  24. Praying for the young family in your church, Nancy. I'm sure your lovely Petit Jardin will be the perfect spot for you to find a quiet place worthy of praying for them as well. Bless you as you minister to them.

  25. This is all just to darling! Love, love it!
    Have an enjoyable weekend! xoxo Jo

  26. I'm so sorry you've had a rough week, and especially sorry for that young girls family and baby. So tragic.

    Your garden is so pretty, and your creative touches are just darling!


  27. Definitely prayers for your church member family who suffered such a great loss, so very sorry to hear the news. :-( Your garden is absolutely lovely! I love how you transformed the mailbox and the chair! I have several old chairs I use to put my flowers in, but I really like the chicken wire idea, especially for the bottom! I may have to give this a try! Have a wonderful week!


  28. You've created such a wonderful spot in your yard with this "Petit Jardin".


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