Browsing Tag



For the Birds: Five Stylish Bird Houses and Feeders

modern bird houses

Squirrels should not be able to eat the material of these bird houses. I selected two glazed ceramic bird houses and three made of metal available in several colours. Except for the Piep Show XXL, which is designed to feed large group of birds, these bird houses should provide good protection for the birds that move to your backyard. The Piep Show XXL transforms into a bird bath if you place inside a big bowl of water.

I am not sure if Roost is still in production since I could not see it at Hepper’s Web site. If so, this would be sad since this is one of my favorite.

If you are a fan of Jonathan Alder’s Modernist Lantern bird house but you wish for one with a smaller price tag, the fluted birdhouse at Indigo can be your answer. The fluted birdhouse is definitely more rustic but it still looks good. Plus, I feel that the smaller hole would be safer for the bird family.

For more bird feeders, revisit this post from last summer that featured the bold J Schartz Egg Bird Houses and more.

+ Fluted Birdhouse $39.50 CAD at Indigo
+ Piepshow Home designed by Sebastian Herkner for Radius Design EUR 59,90
+ Roost designed by Jed Crystal $69 USD at Generate Design
Lantern bird house by Jonathan Alder $128 USD
+ Piep Show XXL designed by Ralph Kraeuter for Radius Design EUR 149


Etsy Finds: Mini Planters

etsy mini thimble planter diy

etsy mini thimble planter diy

Though they may just be removed for styling purposes, we’ve noticed that many homes featured in shelter magazines and on design blogs rarely include plant life, except for a bouquet or two of cut flowers. Not only do houseplants bring life to an indoors pace, they help detoxify the air in your home and they’ve even been shown to increase productivity in the workplace.

Thumbs not so green? Winter may not be the best time of year to dig in, but starting small – make that mini! – can be a fun way to test the soils.

etsy mini garden cork magnet terrarium

Last week Etsy’s weekly How-Tuesday blog column featured practical tips on creating wee gardens and low-maintenance terrariums using unexpected household containers, like thimbles, wine corks, teacups and shot glasses.

All it takes is a small cutting from a hardy houseplant (ask your gardening guru friend) and a creative container to get started. Once you’ve mastered the mini garden, you’ll be on to greener pastures in no time.

Still not so sure? Check out the Etsy Sellers below for adorable, affordable options.

+ How Houseplants Keep You Healthy from Canadian Gardening Magazine
+ Micro-Planter and Terrarium How-To on the Etsy Blog
+ Set of 3 Tiny Terrariums by TortoiseLovesDonkey
+ Succulent Cork Magnets by AlissaRose
+Vintage Thimble Planters by DoodleBirdie


Umbra Bird Cafe and Fish Condo

umbra bird house feeder design condo

umbra bird house feeder design condo

Leave it to Umbra to give “pet paradise” a whole new meaning. Made from durable white ABS plastic, these smart designs are modern and sophisticated with their simple square shape and graphic cutouts.

It’s easy to imagine the bird cafe in an urban backyard, and what fish wouldn’t want to live a long life inside the fish condo? Chances are humans will love them too – they’d make a great gift option for the pet or animal lover in your life.

umbra fish bowl aquarium condo design

+ Bird Cafe Feeder from Umbra, $30
+ Fish Condo from Umbra, $35


Windowfarms Let’s You Grow Food Inside Your Home


If you have a sunny window in your kitchen, this upcoming product might be for you. I like the idea to grow fresh vegetables and herbs all year round. For most of us, it means to do it inside. That’s where Windowfarms can help you. Brita Riley, a Brooklyn resident, founded Windowfarms in 2008. She wants to bring the system to a new level with this prototype. And to do it, she needs the help of potential customers. Continue Reading


Festival International des Jardins at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

jardins chaumont sur loire

jardins chaumont sur loire

This year is the 20th edition of Festival International des Jardins at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire in France. These special gardens are more vegetal art installation than a typical garden.

2010 Edition

I noticed a common denominator on some of the photos of last year edition. They all have details suitable for entertaining. I thought that you might enjoy seeing them.

bon thé bon genre

This teacup display could be something that you reproduce on a smaller scale for a tea party. It is pretty simple to build your own stand or to find a wall shelf unit at a store or at the flea market.

Birdy Place Card Holder Ideas


For a big outdoor event, you could transform basic wood bird houses into place card holders or to identify the tables.

jardin qui chante

+ Les Bulles Fertiles from the 2011 edition – photo from Maison Française (Juillet-Août 2011)
Festival International des Jardins – photos of 2010 edition by Eric Sander


For The Birds: Modern Feeders

birdfeeders J Schatz egg modern outdoor decor

modern birdfeeders wood etsy outdoor decor

Rustic wooden birdfeeders are perfectly charming in a country garden, but they can ruffle the feathers of urban outdoor spaces with contemporary design leanings. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of modern, quirky feeders that are sure to have friends – both of the human and feathered variety – all a twitter. These stylish options are on the pricey side, but would make a unique gift for new homeowners feathering their nest.

Canopy Bird Feeder Series from StudioLicious

Though made-to-order in Canada, this series of feeders has more of a Scandinavian sensibility. Available in various shapes and stain colours.

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders

birdfeeders J Schatz egg modern outdoor decor

Want to add a little pop art pizzazz to your backyard? These candy-coloured bird feeders by NYC designer J Schatz will look like jewellery amongst backyard foliage. Bonus: they’re squirrel proof! Available in 8 colours.

Glass Birdhouses from Eva Solo and aHa! Modern Living

birdfeeders glass modern outdoor decor

There’s not a chance anyone will throw stones at these sculptural glass houses. Not only will they add sparkle to the backyard, it’s easy to see when these feeders need filling.

+ Canopy Bird Feeder Series from StudioLicious, from $52
J Schatz Egg Bird Feeder, from $135
Glass bird feeder from Eva Solo
+ Roost Utopia Birdhouses from aHa! Modern Living, $75


Eco Watering Can Bottle Adaptor

Eco Watering Can Bottle Adaptor

Eco Watering Can Bottle Adaptor

As much as I wish I could build a raised vegetable garden, apartment living means I’m limited to a windowsill herb garden this summer.

If, like me, your plot is limited to a balcony box, there’s no reason you can’t have colourful gardening tools to tend to your harvest.

With just a few twists, this refreshingly versatile attachment turns any glass or plastic bottle into a cool, colourful watering can. It’s also easy to imagine atop beverage bottles at a backyard barbeque. Your gardening friends will go green with envy for the ergonomic handle and perfect pouring spout. After all, who wants to lug around a hose?

+ Eco Watering Can Bottle Adaptor from The Balcony Gardener, £13.50


Vegetable Garden Tips

vegetable garden tips

vegetable garden tips

If you wish to grow your own vegetables this summer, remember that you increase your chances of success by planting your seeds in a raised garden bed. It is because raised beds provide better drainage. It is also easier on your back. A DIY tutorial from Sunset magazine even tells you how to drape the bird netting or row covers over your raised beds.

For a weekend project, you will have plenty of time to also build the perfect compost bin.

+ How to make the perfect raised bed – photo by Norm Plate for Sunset magazine
+ Build the perfect compost bin – photo by Andrew Drake for Sunset magazine


DIY Gutter Gardens

gutter garden outdoor gardening martha stewart copper

gutter garden outdoor gardening martha stewart copper

These DIYs are slightly more involved than just letting weeds and moss grow in the gutters on your home, but the pay off is worth it. These hanging gardens shake up standard hanging baskets by using horizontal space, and provide privacy should your neighbours be a little too close for comfort.

If you’re more of a minimalist, opt for the high gloss PVC and steel cable version on the left (we’re betting it will also be cheaper to DIY). Want something with a little more longevity? Martha’s version uses copper chains and gutters, which are sure to develop a pretty emerald patina after a season in the elements.

Check out the links below for full instructions. What are you planting this spring?

+ How to Make A Hanging Gutter Garden from aHa! Home & Garden
+ Copper Gutters DIY from Martha Stewart


Creative Container Gardening

container gardening muffin tins tackle box

container gardening muffin tins tackle box

Thumbs a little green? If you’re lacking experience in the garden, it’s best to start small. Containers are a great way to get your hands dirty as you experiment with gardening, and can offer a lot of bang for your blooming bucks, especially if your outdoor space isn’t sprawling.

Re-purposing unexpected containers adds personality without dinging the green in your wallet. Scour your home for unused vessels, check out garage sales or shop thrift stores for creative options. We’ve rounded up a few that  make an impact (just in case your garden doesn’t grow).

Above, vintage muffin tins are a beautiful contrast with fresh green moss, while a metal tackle box is a perfect home for low-maintenance succulents. Just remember to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

container gardening shoe holder tires

For apartment dwellers with a small-space balcony, maximize your space by planting up. Using walls ensures you have plenty of room for outdoor furniture and other summer essentials. Here a shoe organizer is put to use as a vegetable garden. Each pocket holds a different lettuce or herb – a smart way to grow a variety of edibles.

If you’re just looking for creative containers you won’t see elsewhere in your neighbourhood, don’t miss this DIY project which re-purposes old tires as planters. It’s green in more ways than one!

Vintage Muffin Tin Planter from Country Living
+ Tackle Box Planter by The Potted Store
+ DIY Recycled Tire Garden Planters from Studio G
+ DIY Vertical Vegetables from Instructables