Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Perfect Saturday Stroll Through Hydrangeas

Hi everyone!  Grab yourself a glass of tea (or whatever you drink) and sit down for a minute...I've got a treat for you.

I was able to escape the sidewalk installation job for a little while earlier today to visit my friend, Ramona, who invited me to her annual Hydrangea Stroll.  This was my first visit to her heavenly backyard garden, and it was such an inspiration, especially, since I'm right smack in the middle of trying to turn mine into something pretty.  Come along with me as I take a walk through her garden-see if you get inspired like I did!

These first two are the front yard, and that's not even what we were there to see....I knew I was in for a treat!


There are paths around the garden...let's take this one.

Now, let's take a closer look...

Did you see the bee in the one up above? 

See what I'm talking about?  I've never seen so many hydrangeas in one place before!

There are other perennial plants mixed in among the hydrangeas that provide bright pops of color that contrast with the mostly blue hydrangeas.

The bench--I'm slightly obsessed with this concrete bench!  Just look at all of the pretty little flowered bits of broken china that have been embedded into the top...It's hiding out in a shady little spot underneath a tree in the back corner of the garden.

And, hanging from trees, on the fence, and tucked into corners, you will see garden art and other things that have become garden's very whimsical and colorful.

Many people came through while we were there, and everywhere I went, I could hear people asking "hydrangea" questions of our hostess...

"How long did this all take to establish?" 
"What do you feed them?"
"Where do you buy them?" 

Her answers...She's been working on the garden for about ten years, she feeds them cottonseed meal twice a year (just "throws" it out) and she's been known to bring a variety home in a suitcase.  

Ramona goes "up North" frequently, and she brings home varieties that have not been known to grow well in Alabama just to see...sometimes they work.  

She happily shared her knowledge with everyone who had questions, and there were many.

Clearly, hydrangeas are her passion (or one of them!) and she has a green thumb for sure. I have a feeling I will be calling her for help as I attempt to establish something half as pretty at my place.

Now, it's back to the real world and all of that flagstone that's outside waiting for me....

Friday, May 27, 2016

Where Did May Go?

Hi friends!  I can not believe May is almost gone!  We've been so busy around Pimperl Place getting things all spruced up, that the entire month has just about completely slipped away.  

I have been trying to get my outdoor work done early in the morning while it's cool... it's too hot for this old girl to work much after around 10:00, as this Deep South heat and humidity is already bad. I'm usually ready for a break by then anyway, so I come inside, put on the crown and recline on the chaise...I WISH...I actually do inside non-glamorous work, and then go back out in the evening to work some more if the mosquitoes aren't too bad.  

I've planted lots and lots of pretty flowers, some perennials and some annuals.  I just went with what looked pretty and what seemed like it would do well in certain spots around the house.  I avoided those varieties that I've already killed in the past...hubby is wondering why I'm even trying anything at this point.  I'm sort of known for my brown thumb.  I think the problem is that I just get busy running around doing other things (yard sales, estate sales, etc.) and forget that the poor green things in the yard need water and food, and before I know it, they're beyond being helped by anything.  I have good intentions.  I buy the Miracle Grow, hoping that it really will provide miracles, and then I don't use it. Well, maybe I use it when I first bring it home, but then it goes on a shelf and, well, the pages of the calendar have turned....and my poor flowers are hungry.  I'm just a bad plant mother. Maybe knowing that I am having the market here in October (and probably next spring) will make me do better in that department.  I mean, a crisp brown garden full of naked stems will not be pretty, now will it?  Yes, I promise, this time will be different...

We are still working on the firewood.  Hubby finished the new firewood shed, so this long holiday weekend will be spent splitting and stacking the wood.  It will be so nice to sit on the porch with my cup of coffee and look out across the yard at a supply of firewood all neatly stacked and ready for the cold weather, something we haven't had for a couple of years. Hubby and I used to do all of our firewood every spring, but somewhere along the way the last few years, that didn't happen, so we just paid Alabama Power a lot more $$$ during the winters.  We did fine, but it's just so nice to have that warm, cozy fire going.  So, that's one project that we should complete this weekend...

Here's a pic of the shed when he started it.  I don't yet have a pic of the finished project...stay tuned.  I'd rather show it full of firewood anyway!

Our son helped me (Or maybe it was me helping him!) move the wood from all around the house to one spot over by the wood shed project.

We are picking up a pallet of flagstone today, too.  I've decided on a flagstone path to the front door.  I pulled up the old sidewalk, so now it's pretty awful looking, but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted this time.  After much consideration, I decided that I love my back flagstone patio so much that I should just carry that look to the front yard too.  We are also enlarging the backyard patio space.  That's a project that will be ongoing over the weekend as well.  

Here's our flagstone...

Once all of the flower beds and "hard-scaping" projects are finished, I will let a landscaper come in and do the sod.  Then, I will be able to share wide angle pics of the entire place!  

Oh, we did have one casualty during the tree removal project.  My pretty little white picket fence at the side of the house, outside my kitchen door....A small, springy tree, popped back onto the fence when hubby was moving it with the tractor and it wiped out a section of the fence.  And it had just been painted!!  I tried not to get too upset with him, but,'s not pretty anymore.  He was just as upset as I was.  He said his first thought was, "just another thing to add to the list of what I have to do"......Anyway, once it's fixed, nobody will even know it happened, except that I just told you, so now you'll know.  And, I'm not going to post a pic of that, because it's just really not pretty...

For first looks at everything as it happens, follow me on Instagram at downinthedeltavintage market.

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend! While you're enjoying the sunshine, don't forget to be thankful for those who gave all so that we could be free.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Facelift Update

I told you about the venue for the Fall Market on the last post, and about some "facelift" projects that we would be working on soon to get it in tip-top shape for the event.  

The exterior painting is almost finished (I wrote this a week of today it IS finished!) and this week, some trees started coming down. After that, there will be stump grinding and then landscaping. That's when I will show pics of the entire place.

For now, let me show you some trees that came down yesterday, Thursday (the5th).  I should explain why we took trees out...We built the house sixteen years ago, and because we LOVE trees and the wooded feel of our property, we kept probably too many trees too close to the house.  As they've grown, it became evident that they would soon present problems with the foundation and also some of them were leaning toward the house, thanks to Hurricane Ivan.  We decided to go ahead and take them out rather than dealing with the damage that would occur later.  So that's the why, now let me show you where we were in the process at the end of the day yesterday.

Honestly, it was such a mess when they were finished...I wondered if we would ever get it cleaned up!

In all, six large oak trees came down, and probably five smaller ones.  We had them cut it up into pieces that would fit into our wood burning stove, and that's a good thing since we never got around to cutting firewood earlier this spring.

For a day or two, it looked like that...

Then, hubby got to work with his red tractor toy...

...grabbing and hauling off the limbs...then he needed to move some of the larger rounds of tree trunk so that the stump grinder could get into place to do that work. Hubby LOVES that grabber, jaw-looking thing-it comes in handy for lots of different jobs.

That stump grinder was a wicked piece of equipment!  And it was remote controlled!  I thought about asking him if I could try it...but only for a minute.  I figured his insurance agent probably wouldn't like that...

And, here is what it looked like after the grinding was finished.  There are many piles like this all around the house...I'm told we need to wait for it to rain hard a few times before we remove any of the extra dirt and wood chip mix.  That way, it should be nice and flat when the new sod goes down.

I can't wait to show pics of the finished house and yard!!  The painting is finished, trees are finished, and the stumps are gone.  Now, hubby will build a woodshed for all that firewood-on the schedule for this weekend-and then we'll split and stack the wood.  After that, we have a door to install...

...and caulk and paint.  The concrete needs to be pressure washed...then the landscaping will happen...I'm estimating another three or so weeks, and then I can finally take pictures of the entire place and share them!  

You're probably wondering why we are installing a door after the paint job was finished...Yes, we should have installed it before the painting.  We always forget that we built our house with 2 x 6 exterior walls, instead of the more commonly used 2 x 4s.  So, you can't just walk into Lowe's and purchase a pre-hung door for our house.  We had to special order it and it just came in yesterday (5/11).  Not a huge deal, but it would have been easier if it had arrived before the house painting.  

Now, I want to shout out to the fabulous people who have been working with us to get this all done...

The painters are a husband-wife team and they are so particular about doing a good job...if you are in Baldwin County, Alabama, and need some painters, contact them: Eddie's Painting at (251)504-0646.

Byrd's Tree Service took the trees down, cut it into firewood for us and trimmed some additional trees.  Another husband and wife team, they did an outstanding job and I'm recommending them, too. They service Escambia and Baldwin Counties in Alabama. Phone:  (251) 655-0514

And, for stump-grinding, call Bryan McGhee.  It only took him a little over two hours to grind all those stumps!  He can be reached at (251) 368-8850 or (251) 253-7299.

For first looks at everything that's going on, follow me on Instagram/downinthedeltavintagemarket.