Thursday, June 23, 2016

Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers

Picking up where I left off yesterday, I'm working my way around the house with sort of a virtual tour in still shots.  If you missed the post yesterday, click here.

Do you see the car in the carport?  It's in the center part of the house.  We are going to walk through there and will focus on the right side where the circle driveway goes through, and then we will take a path to the back patio.  

There is a long narrow bed of flowers beside the screened in back porch...It gets full sun almost all day long, so I planted sun-loving plants along this wall.  That white "border" is actually not permanent...see next paragraph.

Do you see the garden hose that I put on the ground to show where the borders will be?  I plan to fill it in with more flowers, all the way out to the edge, and the garden hose just helps me to visualize it.  I thought if I took a pic with it there, it would help you to see where the edge will be too.

I took these pics a couple of days ago.  Yesterday and today, I added more plants! I can't wait for it to be full and lush. It'll be fun to see how it looks in a month.  I'll have to post again for comparison.

I've planted mostly perennial flowers in this bed.  I did include a couple of annuals, just because I couldn't resist!  Some of the flowers planted:  dianthus, gaura, verbena, ruellia (Mexican petunia), tibochina enana (dwarf princess flower), rosemary, spirea, sweet potato vine, and canna lilies in a variety of colors.

From the driveway, a flagstone and brick path leads to the back patio. Once on the path, the fountain is to the left, on the other side of the boxwood hedge.  Around the fountain, I have bridal wreath spirea.

This next shot is from the other side of the fountain, looking back up toward the porch.

Here are a couple of good fountain pics from my old blog.  The only difference is that there are weeds around it now that need to be pulled!

The patio is raised.  I built it by using antique brick as the border/wall, then filled it in with sand which was topped with flagstone.  It created a level, terraced patio that you step onto when coming out from the porch through the screen door.  There is a step down when going to the fountain, as well.

Once you step up onto the patio, you are in another garden area.  This one is shaded. There are boxwoods on each side of the screen door.  They have been there four or five years, and I try to keep them trimmed to remain compact and round.

Shade loving or tolerating plants are hanging out in the back patio garden...ferns, azaleas, name a few. 

I have lots of little plants growing in the cracks of the flagstones.

So now we are in the back yard.  Another flower bed wraps around the corner of the house to the left from this view, and I'm working on that one now.  Stay tuned for developments there.

I try to post daily on Instagram, so if you follow me there, some of this probably seems like old news to you.  If you would like to get those first looks, jump on over and follow me at

Now, I need to go out and work some more....hope you all have a great day!  I'll be back with another post in a few days.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

House Facelift Update--Front Yard

Happy Summer everyone!  Yesterday (post written Tuesday) was the first day of the season, also the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year...I don't know about you, but my days are never long enough, so now I'm in a panic because from here on, the days will be shorter!!  Anyway, it is the most carefree of the seasons, when most kids are out of school and we are enjoying the great outdoors. Hope you're enjoying your summer.

I have been spending a lot of time outside, continuing my exterior facelift project and getting things ready for Down in the Delta-A Vintage & Antiques Market  that will take place October 21 & 22.  It'll be here before we know it, and I'm sure I won't get everything on my list finished--I never get to the end of my outside work list!  

I thought it was time to share some of the updates with you.  It's been a while since I last posted on it and if I wait until it's all completely finished, it will be months before I post. There is a lot to share, so I'll be posting once a day until I show you everything we've been doing.  

This is what the front of the house looked like before we started:

And, here's a picture from the same viewpoint, after:

Basically, we changed the color of the house, but just ever so slightly.  It looks like a dramatic change up close, but you can see when you stand back and look (the two pics above), there's not that much difference in the colors.  The old color was a little more gray. It's a little lighter now.

I also changed the front door for a lighter feel.  It went from black to turquoise.

I pulled up the brick sidewalk.  The old one went from two different directions, and no one ever used the one that went straight, so I decided to take it up and make just one flagstone path with a sitting area.  It's a lot wider and we actually have found ourselves using the bench frequently!  (Our cellphones don't work well inside, so if we are using our phones, it's turned out to be a nice place to sit and talk.)

Here is a shot of the bench all staged with pretty pillows...

We took out seven trees, had the stumps ground and then cut, split and stacked the wood to use in the wood stove this winter.  That took weeks!  Those were some big trees...Oh, and before we could do the firewood, hubby had to build a wood shed.  We were able to recycle the brick from the old sidewalk that I had pulled up by using them on the ground to make a floor.

We stacked, split and stacked more, and then some more.  Once it was finished, the shed was completely full, with the wood three stacks deep.  I think it measured to be a little more than four cords.

After the trees came out, we had planned to have landscapers come in and re-sod the lawn, but we were advised that the problem with our grass was that the trees were shading it too much.  Now that the trees are gone, and the sun can reach it, it should fill in.  So, apparently we don't need new sod, which is a good thing, because it saved us some cash!  Now, if it will just hurry up already and grow!!!

Now, I'll share some of the flower beds/gardens that I've installed, but there is still much more work to be done.  The footprint of our house is big, and I have beds planned for all around the house, so there should be seven when they're all finished. At this point, I have finished five, but of course, flower beds are never really finished...are they?  It's just another addiction!

Starting at the front of the house, to the right, I have a little garden that's enclosed in a white picket fence.  This one is just off the kitchen and it has a brick floor.  I have coleus up against the house, as this is the shady side.  There's a rose growing along the fence, another rose in the corner, and a couple of herbs along the fence on the inside.  I will share pics of this little garden in another post.  Notice another turquoise door...I'm loving the doors! I usually have a bistro table with chairs out in that area, but I just realized I haven't put them back out since the house-painting project was finished. That's a pleasant little spot for morning coffee.

Coming on around the front, you can see a tree stump in the foreground beside the other tree.  That was one that we had removed, as it was a certain type of tree with a weak root system, and we just didn't want to leave it so close to the house since we live in hurricane country.  It was too close to the other tree to grind the stump, so it serves as a pedestal for a potted plant at this point.

This shot shows a wider view of the entire front of the house.  Those two tall trees are called podocarpus, and they were supposed to grow to a maximum height of ten to twelve feet. Well, they are now about twenty feet tall and still growing!  I've trimmed them to keep the columnar shape, but I'm not sure I like the way that one is waving around in front of that window up top.  It's was not supposed to ever reach that window!  People always love those two plantings, and wonder what they are.  I hate to take them out because they do seem to be happy there.  I pulled up everything that was in between them and planted three Encore azaleas. They are small now, but they grow very fast.  I have some in the backyard, too, that have been there several years, and they have grown so fast that it's hard to keep them trimmed correctly.  I think they will fill in to put on a pretty show in the front yard a few times each year.

This is looking from the driveway toward the sidewalk.  Now, we'll walk on up...

My rusty dragonfly greets visitors as they step onto the flagstone sidewalk.

Oh, and I almost forgot-details, details, details.  I added little bits of glass into the cracks between the flagstones, just because I always add bling wherever I can.

That's the front yard....for now.  As you can see, I wasn't working with any particular color palette.  For the flowers I have reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, lime green, dark green and anything else I can find to add even more color.  The idea was just an informal cottage garden look with color overload and some flowers to cut eventually...and to have something that's always in bloom to greet my visitors.

Tomorrow, I'll share another view from the side of the house, where I've installed a long skinny bed that runs along the screened in porch.  I was actually out there this morning planting flowers in that area...