Happy 3rd Birthday!

happy birthday air plant

The Dorset Finca blog is 3 years old!

I can’t believe how much has happened during this time, it seems like only the other week when I was writing my first post.  Recently, life at the Finca has been evolving and we are busily creating stylish houseplant arrangements and terrariums to go into homes, shops and offices, providing hassle-free plant joy!

There is also a new website being developed, to showcase some of the things on offer.  The blog is such an important part of The Dorset Finca and will continue to be an outlet for all the musings that usually materialise on here!

A massive thank you for all the support and blog-love over the last 3 years… it means a lot…

…but I’ll stop gushing now and will just mention that there will be a giveaway to celebrate the new website, within the next few weeks and of course, I’ll post the link on here, so you can drop by and share your thoughts!

Quick Catch-Up

airplant terrarium in situ

{One of the Dorset Finca terrariums with architectural air plant, sitting in its new home}

I had the best of intentions to be prompt with my posts last week, but time ran away with me.

It’s been a bit terrarium-tastic at the Finca over the last few days (actually, Lithop and herb-tastic too)…

…but I have got something lovely to show you (and it will make you giggle). However, I’m waiting for the rain to stop before trying to take a good picture.

So I’m afraid, for today, I’m going to have to leave you with this cute little guy above.  I had fun taking pictures of him with Instagram (yes, I have just re-discovered it, and yes, I am obsessed – you know me so well)!

Find me here:  http://instagram.com/thedorsetfinca if you want to keep up-to-date with my other plant-based pics.

Have a lovely day!

Celebrate Easter With An Easy DIY Bee House

Bee House

Happy Easter!

To celebrate the warm springtime weather we’ve been having… I had a go at making some new bee houses.

These little hole-filled boxes provide safe sites for lots of insects, especially solitary bee species, who love to lay their eggs in the pre-drilled tunnels.

Using some spare wood, I drilled holes using a 7mm drill bit to about 6 cm in depth. I fixed a small bracket to the back, so that they could be securely hung outside.

In order that they looked extra smart, I painted the sides and a border in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon. I took care not to get paint anywhere near the holes, as although this paint is very low in fumes and nasty bits, I didn’t want to take any chances.

As soon as I start to see little leafy/muddy stoppers in the end of the holes, I’ll know that the bees have started laying their eggs.

If you want to know more about these bees and their habits, have a read here…

The Garden Smallholder – Mason Bees

Inspiration Green – Insect Hotels

Relaxation by the Water

floating forget-me-not

{forget-me-not flower floating amongst the Lemna}

I have been pondering a section of the garden that is in need of a bit of a re-design.

In order to create a plan, I had to consider what I really value in this part of the garden…

…and yes, I want clever seating, storage ideas, mixtures of flooring…

…but the most important thing is water.

I have to have water featured somewhere.

There is nothing more relaxing (for me) than seeing light that has bounced off the surface of the pond, being reflected on the leaves of the surrounding plants. I adore searching for new plants and animals that have seemingly come from nowhere and made this patch of water their home. I am mesmerised by the dangling roots of the duckweed that thrives, just from sitting on the surface.

water boatman

{graceful water boatman}

So, whether it be a rill, a large bird bath or a koi pond… I’m not yet sure, but I am certain that I will only be able to create that ‘happy place’ in the garden with water nearby.

Lithops – From Seedlings To Stones

Lithop seedlings

{baby lithops – 3 months old}

Lithops (or Living Stones) are the most mesmerising plants ever…

…and boy do they fly out of the Finca fast?!

Adapted to mimic stones in their native South Africa, these plants have very few requirements.  All they need is bright, indirect light, free-draining soil and the odd water now and again (by odd, I really mean not very often, at all).

There are many varieties and come in different colours, shapes and sizes. They produce at least one new leaf pair a year and usually a beautiful daisy-like flower in the Autumn.

lithops

{adult lithops}

One thing is for sure, these plants are certainly not boring…!

A Promise of Plums

promise of plums

The year before last, the plum tree got a severe haircut.

I mean… like a No.2 all over…

…which meant that it spent most of 2013 in a state of shock.

Just before you start clamouring at me, I must defend myself.  The poor plum was in an awful state and had long been growing in the wrong direction, leading to poor quality plums, which were all growing right at the top of the tree and nowhere else!

However, this year’s blossom is looking incredible…

…and we all know what blossom equals:

PLUMS!

So I am hoping that the tree has forgiven me and that we are in for a bountiful plum harvest later on in the year.

I promise I’ll save you some plum jam.

Hyacinth – The Natural Springtime Air Freshener!

Hyacinth

This beautiful Hyacinth was given to me by a lovely friend.

Incredibly, it hasn’t become all top-heavy, with long leggy stems which struggle to support the weight of the flowers.

(Unfortunately, this seems to happen with many indoor Hyacinths).

It is completely stunning and has scented the room, so that I get a waft of loveliness every time I come inside.

I thought you’d like to enjoy it with me.

Have a great weekend.

Limed Coat Rack From Oak Floorboards

Coat Rack From Floorboards

Mr D-F decided he fancied getting crafty last weekend.

I think it was a result of me saying things like…

‘I wish I didn’t have to live under a pile of coats.’

‘…can you see the cat? I think he might have been smothered by coats.’

(You get the picture)

So, after selecting two old floorboards that we had carefully stored away, he set about making the coat rack of my dreams! It has a shelf for storing hats, twine and other useful things and has heavy-duty galvanised hooks to withstand the many years of hanging that it will have to do.

After asking my opinion on the finish, I opted for a limed effect.  It was my hope that this would work against the Farrow and Ball – Cornforth White, painted wall behind it.

Doesn’t it look brill? Maximum Brownie Points to Mr D-F!