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the view from here is nice

18 Apr

Just here to show you some happy scenes from our house this weekend.

I’m going to try to post again today to show you my Easter tree… so go find some tree branches and get your glue gun hot and ready!  :)

This caterpillar was with us all week!

Made these streusel-topped muffins… and the ranunculus!!  I LOVE them.

*(If you try that recipe, I highly recommend reading some of the suggestions in the reviews.  I added cinnamon and vanilla to the batter and also tweaked the streusel a little bit with flour and some cinnamon and white sugar.  They were delicious!)*

Do I even need a caption?  The long-awaited birthday present has arrived…. my floors!  :)

WA-HOO!!!

Can you spot our new tree?  It’s an Autumn Blaze Maple and it’s supposed to grow 3-5 feet a year and the foliage turns fire-red in the fall.  We planted it in honor of Levi‘s 2nd Birthday. (Thanks Mom & Ro!)

Yes, the view from here is nice.  Lily thinks so too.

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End of Summer Garden

3 Aug

As the long days of summer come to their inevitable end, I took a couple of picts of the beauties that remain.

I’m really optimistic this zucchini plant will pull through… hopefully we’ll have a harvest here soon!!

I planted a pumpkin because I figured I could pick it before it got too big and squashed neighboring plants… truthfully, it was the boy’s idea.  I just rolled with it.

My basil finally sprouted!!  Check her out in all her tiny glory!

The thyme and sage are huge…

Thanks to all who commented on my Garden Progress posts (found herehere and here) and gave their valuable input!  Any and all advice is welcome over here, especially if you’re local and have a green thumb!  I’m not a gardener, and with the exception of a weird spinach vine I made climb to the roof of my house when I was 15, I have never been able to make things grow.  I’m giving it a go now, considering it is the home decor of the exterior!

Please feel free to link any helpful garden info or add any of your own gardening/landscaping advice!  What makes your garden grow?  Do you compost?  What’s your favorite plant to grow?

Cheers!

Quick Fix! Paint that ugly trellis already!

23 Jul

Do you ever have those things that stare you in the face and annoy the life out of you, and yet you still don’t do anything about it?  (Dead bug in your light fixture anyone?)  Well the million trellis’ around here have been that issue for me.  Such an annoyance that I went ahead and threw two of the four away!  (Not recommended if your rose bushes are still alive and well!  They are going nuts with nothing to hold on to – oh well!)

Finally, I convinced myself to take action even though I didn’t “have time.”  One evening, about 15 minutes before I had to put my boys down I fixed those eye-sores (front and back on both of them) and even took pictures to boot!  All that to say this really was a QUICK FIX!  No need to procrastinate any longer!

In case you were wondering… no, I did not scrape paint and sand it down… no time!  I also have reason to believe I’ll be pulling them down by the end of the year, so really no need to scrape and sand anyhow.

Here’s the rough before shot:

TA-DA!!

What quick fixes are lingering for you?  I know you all have them!  What are they?  Do you feel inspired to fix yours in the next fifteen minutes too? jk.  Have a fun weekend!

Cheers!

The (not so) Great Outdoors

22 Jul

Thanks to the nasty bushes being pulled out (as documented here), I have a pretty blank slate to work with on the landscaping front.  And yet, I have found myself at a loss of knowing what to do.  (Landscaping expert anyone?)

Because I’ve been a little discouraged by the bad grass growth in the front and the stupid earwigs which have been munching on a number of my plants, I haven’t planted anything in the place of the bushes we ripped out.  I am in need of a bit of inspiration!  Here’s what I discovered in my search for inspiration, and what I’m scheming to pull off for next spring…

I like the look of foundation planters packed full of Hostas, and the couple of Hostas that I have are doing just fine in my planters that frame my front door…

Maybe next year I can try to replicate this a bit instead of the sparse and symmetry-lacking look I have going on right now?

gorgeous, right?!!

Some white Endless Summer Hydrangea with Hostas and Ferns in front, or it could be that the Hostas pack out the planters and I just place the Hydrangea on the corners of the porch.  Either way,  I think that could work!

Moving on to the tree planter, the grasses (Sedge Evergold) seemed to grow well in the part-sun side (the right side is part-sun and the left side is full shade) and the sweet woodruff did okay on the shaded side.  We planted a vine by the base of the tree in hopes that it would wrap around it… while it is not dead, it also appears to have not grown at all. We’ll see next year if that guy has just been getting nice and rooted and ready to take off.  If not, we’ll have to develop a new game plan with that too.  Basically everything else in the tree planter is getting the boot.  I’m thinking I’ll incorporate the Hostas in here too (for consistency/continuity) and then for flowers and color, daylilies might be my best bet.  The one I have seems to be doing well, so I will plan on using those in the tree planter as well.  Pop some annuals in the bare spots left between perennials and we might be in business!

Now we are at the large planters on the south side of my house that are sunny, and ugly as sin…

I want evergreens, and lots of them, as this is a very visible side of our house and winter really consumes our year.  However, I am not a fan of anything pine-tree-looking.

I’m definitely a broadleaf evergreen person!  Upon deep internet investigation, here’s what I found…

Viburnum plicatum tomentosumNewzam‘. What a mouthful!!  But, I think this *could* be my plant!

Here is an article all about this variety.  Basically, they should be an evergreen in my zone (Zone 6), this particular variety gets those beautiful flowers around May, and the foliage turns burgundy in fall.  They grow 4-5 feet tall (perfect for under our windows!) and look good as a hedge or used in mass plantings.  This website says they are hardy and resistant to serious pests.  And that could solve my dilemma of worrying about earwigs eating them!  I’ll do a serious happy dance if/when I find these plants, preferably within a 100 mile radius of here.

Here are a couple more picts of them doing their thing…

Foliage changes color in the fall…

And here is a (bad) picture of it used as a foundation hedge of sorts…

I’m pretty happy with this idea.  It will also enable me to just kinda enjoy their different seasons and we’ll be getting lots of tulips in the spring to enjoy too.  I’ll also have dahlias and the poppies I love along the edge too.  Possibly add some grassy variety of plants at the base of these shrubs for some texture, but really I don’t think I’ll need much else.

Anyone out there have any experience with these guys?  Please share your experience if you do!  Anyone have an evergreen they’ve been loving you’d like to recommend?

Cheers!

Out with the Old! “The Ugly Bush Saga”

8 Jul

Wish we had done this sooner, seeing how it took a whole 10 minutes to rip the two old, and mostly dead, bushes out (thanks to my husband’s beast of a truck!)

To recap, here’s the house before shot:

And, definitely not finished, but here’s the present shot:

It doesn’t seem like that big of a difference from that photo.  boo.  Here’s a closer up that maybe makes my new, still small plants look… well, visible!

That bare/dead looking grass patch actually has grass seed growing there, so it will hopefully be super-green and lush soon.

I also strategically planted evergreens in front of those meters and a lilac bush (which grow tall) in front of the meter that extends up the wall of our house.  I’m pretty sure we can paint those puppies, so I’ll probably be doing that soon too.  Those uglies need some serious camouflaging!!

Lots of work still to be done, but getting those bushes out had the hub and I giddy the whole weekend… seriously, they were so gross!!

Out with the Old!!

True Love

25 Jun

Dearest Iceland Poppy –

I’m sorry I have forgotten you.  Six years ago you were the only flower I wanted at my wedding.  This morning you reminded me why.  You are more fair than all the flowers in my beds.  You are still my first true love.

Kisses – Bethany

Tree Planter Progress…

21 Jun

Here’s our tree planter now with a raised rock border.  Now we just need those plants to grow!

Also –

We are now proud parents to a hilariously, bright blue door.

(Note: Please squint when looking at that gold door knob, and pretend it’s silver!)