Category Archives: Gardening

WINDOW BOXES!!!

I fell in love with a particular window box right after we moved into our house.

Window Box Grandin Road

I saw them on the beautiful home at August Fields and knew that they would be a perfect addition to our home. They are the Nantucket Window Planter from Grandin Road and by golly, they aren’t cheap! So, I did what any bargain-loving lady does…I checked their website every week until they went on sale. I was beginning to give up hope that they even ran sales on them when in November (go figure?!) I checked on them and they were on sale. I literally ran upstairs and burst into the room my hubby was in, shrieking with excitement that after waiting 7 months, my beautiful window boxes were on sale! Yippee!! I ordered them that minute. 🙂

I can’t tell you how excited I was when the weather finally cooperated and we could get them hung and more importantly, I could get them planted!

Window Boxes and front windows

Front of House with Window Boxes

Window Box and Window

Aren’t they dreamy?? I just love the corbels and it seriously looks like they were made for our house the way they match the shutters. LOVE.THEM.

They are already filling out so nicely! I find myself just standing out front looking at them. 🙂

Window Box Grandin Road

They are filled with 3 fuchsia geraniums* (they look red in the photo, but they aren’t), 2 Diamond Frost – Euphorbia, 2 sweet potato vines, 3 white trailing verbena (one is between the vines and then on each side), and 2 Superbells – Tickled Pink. I am so pleased with how they are already filling out and I can’t wait to watch the verbena and vines trail down the front! 🙂

*I told you in my post about Lowes that I scored some gorgeous geranium planters for 4 bucks. Each planter had 3 plants full of buds and beautiful green leaves. SO, I pulled them out of the planter and split them all up and used them to fill my window boxes! $4 bucks for 3 plants vs $4 PER plant at the local greenhouse I picked up the rest of my annuals. Now THAT’S a good deal! 🙂

So what about you? Do you have window boxes or a new space this Spring you are loving?

Shopping at Lowes: Discount Perennials and Annuals

I should have posted this a couple weeks ago because this is one of my favorite things to do and it has been awesome again this year!

Do you know about the markdown section at your Lowes Garden Center? It’s one of my favorite places. Our location always has an amazing selection of marked down perennials, shrubs and bushes, usually at least 50% off, and even deeper discount on annuals!

The first time I stumbled upon it last year I was shocked to see how much was set aside and super marked down. I went and found an employee to get a little info, truly expecting for them to tell me that something was wrong with the plants. NOPE! They have such a constant stream of new inventory that comes in that if it has bloomed or needs to be deadheaded, it gets marked down. For reals. Cha-ching! A few weeks ago it was a perfect time to buy anything that blooms for Spring and that had already peaked. They want that stuff outta there! Don’t mind if I do!

Plants from Lowes

This is just part of what I picked up last year. I think I went 3 times and filled the back of our truck. The variety available was amazing: spirea, Knock Out roses, perennial salvia, lily, Russian Sage, etc. If I remember correctly, the majority of those perennials you see towards the front were 2-3 bucks a piece. See that Knock Out Rose in the upper right of the photo? I think I paid 6 bucks for it! And it wasn’t a lone plant – I bought 3 of the best looking from the bunch. All of them just needed their spent blossoms trimmed off and they were as good as new.  This year, my Mom and I hit the jackpot on amazing geranium planters. Gorgeous, full planters of geraniums that just needed to be deadhead – for $4.00! I’ll show you soon how I made that deal even sweeter. 🙂

Remember, because our house was new construction, we had NOTHING around our house. I had about 10 pieces of plants I brought from our last house, but otherwise, I was starting from scratch. Finding the discount section at Lowes was like hitting a gardening jackpot for this gardener. 🙂 If you need plants for your yard, I highly recommend stopping into your local Lowes and seeing what deals you can find!

I’ve been working on photos to share how all the landscaping is shaping up this year. Oh, and I can’t wait to introduce you to my super exciting addition – WINDOW BOXES!! 🙂

Backyard Landscaping – Part 3

Alright, let’s finish this up, shall we?

You saw where we started:

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And what things were like with the project in process:

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(I actually forgot to share this photo yesterday – ta-da!)

So let’s take a look at how things ended up when it was all said and done. We’ll start with the view from up on our deck so you can see the big picture.

Once all the boulders were placed, the entire area was finished with edging and then we spread yards upon yards of mulch. It’s a deep brown color and I love how it looks against the trees. Won’t it be fantastic when grass has filled the lower and side areas?

upperleftview

Looking a bit more to the right…

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In this last picture, you can see the three new trees we had planted as well as one that still needs to be moved to another part of the yard.

upperrightview

The two larger, leafy trees to the right are Serviceberry trees. They are really common for our zone and will flower with white flowers in the Spring. They have really pretty, small, oblong leaves in the summer and the trees themselves are full and lush. I’m thankful to have them against all the pines for a change in texture and color.

You can’t really see it in the photo very well, but centered between and in front of the Serviceberrys is a Crabapple tree that was given to us as a housewarming gift by my Mr’s brother and wife. SOOOO thoughtful and touching. It has gorgeous purple flowers in the Spring and I can’t wait to watch it grow along with the others. I’m excited to see how all three trees show this year for their first Spring in our yard!

That medium size pine over to the left needs a new home. He will probably be moving back into that open area to help fill it in a bit.

Ok, time for some closeups!

leftside

This is to the left of the stairs. In addition to the plants I split and transplanted from my old garden, I planted over 40 new perennials throughout the entire landscaping and I have literally said prayers about them being happy and ready to grow and bloom this Spring. I am SO EXCITED when I imagine all of these plants after a few seasons of growing and getting established.

You can see how I planted at the very top of the wall, within the wall, and then at the base. I love the layers and am excited to play with different styles of plants to have it really fill in with a lot of different textures and colors.

largearea

This is the same area, looking straight on. Hello pretty flowers – come back soon, ok?

rightside

This is to the right of the stairs. I want to reach into the photo and pet those flowers. “Please oh please come back this Spring. You’re so PRETTY!!”

We did spread grass seed and have a small amount of grass there now. It will need to be done a few more times to get it looking nice. How I wish we could lay sod and have lush grass right away! THAT would be awesome – and expensive! 🙂

So there you have it! Our backyard landscaping as of last summer. Pretty fun to see it go from this:

Backyard Sketch

To this:

leftside

Remember, if you’re in our area and have a project in your yard where you need some professionals, we recommend Murray Landscaping.

We will be working out there a lot this Spring and Summer and I’ll be sharing our progress and projects along the way!

Backyard Landscaping – Part 2

When we last left off in our adventure, we had set aside our shovels, rakes and mini rototiller and called in the big guns. Using a (pitiful) sketch, the design torch was passed from the amateur to the professionals. Professionals are awesome. So efficient with their fancy Bobcats and lifts and power tools. We worked with Murray Landscaping and I highly recommend them. They do free consultations, their quote was the lowest of the 3 companies I had out, and their work is exceptional.

As a reminder, here is the sketch I did. I know I told the landscape architect and her foreman at least 3 times not to laugh at me before I handed it over.

Backyard Sketch

In a nutshell, we wanted a loose rockwall with plants in between and “built-in” flower beds. Over on the left, about the 1/3 mark of the sketch, are stairs (steps?) that you can use to go from the flatter, grassy area up to the wooded area. You with me?

Remember the area that my Hubby and I tried to tackle ourselves?

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Well, the pros are super smart and while they DID have shovels, they also had this:

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They might have cleared the entire area in about 16.34 minutes. Bam. Machines are cool.

So, after clearing out all the junk and getting the terraced area pushed back where I wanted it, it was time to start placing the boulders to create our “loose” wall.

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You can’t tell from the photos, but it was HOT outside. They work hard for their money. So hard for their money. We brought them ice water and big bowls of cut up watermelon during their breaks. And in return, we played on some heavy equipment.

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We were so fortunate to have Kelly, the landscape architect, on-site while they worked. She was amazing. She would watch as they placed each boulder and would suggest rotating or flipping them to get just the right angle and placement. It was priceless to have her out there with her designer’s eye ensuring everything was looking great.

After the majority of one side of the wall was in, it was time for the stairs!

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The crew and I walked up and down those bad boys about a dozen times each. We wanted to be sure they felt natural to use – don’t want anyone misstepping and taking a tumble! I love how they turned out.

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Part 3 is coming up and I will show you how we finished it all up!

Growing Green Onions – In My Kitchen!

I saw this pin on Pinterest last week and knew it was one I wanted to try.

Green Onions

 

I had some green onions in the fridge this morning that we were starting to look a little wilted, so I cleaned them up, chopped some up for a tupperware container and put the leftover bulbs standing in a glass of water. If all goes well, I’ll have a new bunch in about 12 days! It’s recommended to change the water every day.

I really love this idea, but I’m on the fence right now as to if I’ll keep up with it. All I can smell in my kitchen right now is green onion. Hoping that dies down a bit. Not really a scent you want to be greeted by each time you enter a room. 🙂 The kids haven’t complained, so maybe it’s not as bad as I think!

Have you ever tried to grow green onions or any other fruit/veggie from leftover pieces?

Gorgeous Annuals

Whew, Manic Monday. Agree?

I have flowers on the brain BIG time. I guess you could call it a case of Spring fever. I know I still have a couple months before I can plant at our house, but I just can’t help myself. It’s the sunshine – it’s making me a little crazy. In a good way.

I always like to browse online and see what new annuals will be making their debut for the year and I found a bunch on Better Homes and Gardens. It inspired me to make a new Pinterest board, which you can check out here. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites I hope to be able to find in my area.

I’m a huge fan of petunias! I always have a variety of them in my planters and am looking forward to using them in the window boxes we will be putting up this Spring. There are so many amazing colors to choose from and I love the new varieties that bloom all season and don’t require a lot of deadheading and pinching. (Although, I do think it’s fun to do that in a few places.) I love the double-petunias and their almost rose-like quality. I enjoyed them last year and will be using them again for sure.

Supertunia Picasso In Pink Petunia

Supertunia Picasso In Pink Petunia

Surfinia Summer Double Petunia Family

Surfinia Summer Double Petunia Family

'Blue A Fuse' Petunia

‘Blue A Fuse’ Petunia

I love all varieties of Alyssum, but I especially love the variegated leaves on this plant. I often tuck these into my planters, but it’s just as beautiful in the ground around the feet of taller, stalkier perennials.

Frosty Knight Sweet Alyssum

Frosty Knight Sweet Alyssum

These next few are another favorite of mine – Verbena. I love, love, love this flower and these new colors and multi-color petals knock my socks off.  They are so beautiful trailing out of a planter or hanging basket.

Lanai Vintage Rose Verbena

Lanai Vintage Rose Verbena

Lanai Lime Green Verbena

Lanai Lime Green Verbena

'Estrella Pink Star' Verbena

‘Estrella Pink Star’ Verbena

I have a bunch more on my Pinterest board and will be going back and adding more for sure. What are you looking forward to planting this year? Any of you lucky enough to already be putting in your annuals at your house?