One of my favorite things to do is "play" in the yard and garden. Creating a garden is like making living sculpture. When the weather is warm, I love to be outdoors and soak in all the goodness of this too-short season.  If you've got the itch to make your outdoor living area more beautiful, you're going to LOVE the features from this week's Project Inspire{d}!  Be sure to pin your favorites, too.     12 Great Yard and Garden Ideas to Inspire You   Curb Appeal Reveal ~ Mom Home Guide Fabulous Plants You Must Have ~ At Home with Jemma Simple Garden Flower Arrangements ~ On … [Read more...]

  Hello friends!  Thanks for coming by! We had an amazing weekend and lots of sunshine!  YAY! And I want to wish a Happy Belated Mother's Day to all you wonderful MOMS! Here's a brief glimpse of some of the awesomeness from last week's link party that caught my eye: Check out these extraordinary blogs and get some.... Outstanding Outdoor Living Ideas for Your Home   DIY Planter Box with Wheels by I Should Be Mopping the Floor Easy Homemade Arch Trellis by Get Busy Gardening French Courtyard on a Backyard Deck by Old Things New Beach Chair Redo by Crafts a la Mode How to Make an Upcycled … [Read more...]

  What a change!  The sun has been out three days in a row and we hit the high 60's today.  Yay!  I've even walked the beach twice.  Barefooted.  After a winter of WiFi and all things electronic... I so needed to "reground" myself again.  I even skipped lunch to sit in the sun on the sand... barefooted... wearing jeans, a turtleneck, a sweater, and my spring windbreaker.  It was breezy and chilly right by the water... but so glorious for my spirit and totally energizing. I am so excited... more sun is on the way and you can bet I'll manage to soak in its warmth for a few minutes each day... at … [Read more...]

I received the same Ball® Jars being given away.  All opinions are my own.   Did you know that I absolutely LOVE mason jars? Back before they were popular, my aunt, when downsizing gave me a few boxes filled with vintage Ball® jars.  I thought it was the best gift ever, and used them to decorate my sweet saltbox.  Several moves later, the jars were popping up all over the place and I found them among my boxes and started using them here and here. As much as I love those vintage Ball jars, my heart would pitter-patter whenever I spied an amethyst or purple mason jar.  However, I never saw one in … [Read more...]

Have you given much thought to outdoor decorating for Christmas? I'm sure you've seen the homes with all the colorful light displays and entryways beautifully festooned with greens and lights.     Today I'm sharing an idea for decorating those areas that are more personal.  The ones not seen from the street... such as the back porch.  The places where you'll enjoy your favorite things with a holiday or wintry flair.     As I was going through some old photos, I discovered I took several pictures of an outdoor wintry garden vignette on my back porch.  This was … [Read more...]

Have you ever wanted to bring someone a bouquet of flowers, or have a beautiful vase of fresh flowers in your home, but didn't have the extra money to pick up something from the grocery or florist?   Unless you live in a concrete jungle, I have a great tip for you.... Look along the roadways as you travel and start to notice all the wildflowers growing along the byways.  That is where I found the flowers to create this arrangement for my friend who just had knee surgery.   Over the years, I've noticed that when I gather these bouquets, the flowers just naturally complement each other. … [Read more...]

Growing Paperwhites for Christmas is one of my favorite holiday traditions. There is something about their tall stems and pristine pure white blossoms that dress up a room so perfectly.     Plus, with everything so bleak and barren outdoors, fresh new life and bright green stems just make me happy.   If you would like to add this lovely touch to your holiday decor, you need to purchase your bulbs now. I have had Paperwhite bulbs start blooming two weeks after planting them....but some years they have taken three weeks or more to bloom.  Bloom time is not an exact science. … [Read more...]

  Do you open up magazines, or scroll through Pinterest and dream of having beautiful window boxes or container gardens? Last week I teased you with some inspiring possibilities. My goal today is to show you how you too, can create a magazine-worthy window box. This is a full-blown tutorial filled with planting tips, hang on!!   How to Plant a Window Box Garden   To make it easy I'll be sharing lots of photos and easy instructions, and "how to" tips for creating a successful, gorgeous, window box.  We'll talk about plant selection, container preparation, potting mix, fertilizer, … [Read more...]

  When the weather turns warm, I can't wait to hit the greenhouses and garden centers for the most beautiful plants I can find. I make it into a challenge to get the good stuff before anyone else.  I'm a competitor and my intent is to win. (But let's keep that secret between the two of us, okay?)     Have you always wanted to create an extraordinary container garden?   You see them at the garden centers and in magazines. Could you really create an extraordinary container garden? My resounding answer is, YES!!     Why not create one this … [Read more...]

There isn't anything prettier than streets lined with Bradford Pear Trees in early spring. One of my good friends in Western New York lived on one of those streets. I would drive out of my way just to see the glory of all those flowering pear branches sporting their stunning white blossoms. Ahhhh....the beauty. My small town is not lined with them, but the few along the tree line bring brilliance to Main Street.     We haven't lived in our current house very long. Last year was our first spring here and we were more about trimming the jungle in our yard than in reveling in the beauty. This … [Read more...]

  Spring... You've been teasing us with warm days and buds bursting from the soil with new life.  And then you turn around and shower us with sleet, and snow for days on end, and through clouds of steel give us only glimpses of sunshine.  Some days I think you are positively mean.  And then I realize...it is not Spring...it is still winter...for a few more days.  Winter officially departs and lovely dear Spring rides in March 20, at precisely 7:02 AM EDT.     It fascinates me that on this first day of Spring...day and night are each approximately 12 hours long. Did you know that the … [Read more...]

  Paperwhites!   What can be prettier in the dead of winter than live plants sending up beautiful white flowers? Today I'm sharing with you A Visual Tutorial for growing paperwhites for the holidays.     Are those just not the prettiest flowers ever? You can pretty up your home with paperwhites too!   Here's what to do....                           Paperwhites : Easy DIY Holiday Project   1. Gather the following supplies: Waterproof container (I used … [Read more...]

Day 12   A year ago today the movers pulled up to our house and loaded all our worldly possessions onto their long blue and white truck.  In the midst of a driving (make that...monsoon) rainstorm.  How everything did not arrive all wet and moldy is a mystery. After a good sleep, we pulled out-of-town with the cats and drove to our new home.  One of the first things I was excited to do at my new house was to fill the front window box.  With pumpkins.  But, there was no time, or extra money, for plumping with pumpkins.  Instead we were on a mission to clean, and paint several rooms, before the … [Read more...]

Fall garden.   For some, fall and garden do not go together in the same sentence. I remember back when I lived in Michigan I pretty much threw up my hands in exasperation by the end August.   It was a sad sight. Can you relate?     When I moved to New York I knew that my next garden needed to be an all-season garden.   Since I love the colors of fall and being outside, I made sure to select perennials that would bloom in September and into October.  My husband even says that he likes our fall garden best.  For me, that's success!  I wish I could show you photos of that … [Read more...]

This morning, after watering and fertilizing my porch pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets, I took a stroll around my "garden." Really all I have is a rolling, bumpy, rough-around-the-edges yard.  It isn't really a garden, yet.  Though I do have a small but lovely island of various Sedums, Euphorbia, Goat's Beard, Iris, and Geranium in the middle of my backyard. In the back corner, someone, long ago, had a garden.  I've pulled multitudes of weeds from that corner, leaving behind strawberry plants which I had hoped would bear lots of fat juice red berries.  Ha!  Unfortunately they are not that kind of … [Read more...]

  Earlier this summer, as the ferns were pushing up their lovely fiddleheads I was smitten.     When the trees filled out, I discovered that my yard was enveloped in shade.   Mostly.  Cool, peaceful shade.  As I came to realize that flowers were not to be major players in my gardens, my eye was continually drawn to ferns.  Especially the giant Ostrich Ferns. When you walk a woodland path, do you find a swath of ferns cool and restful?  Is there something about them that rejuvenates your spirit?   Don't you wish that you could have that feeling every day?   Here are some … [Read more...]

Not long ago I was walking in my neighborhood when I noticed a ground cover plant that has been a favorite of mine for using in container gardens.  I love its variegated leaf and that it fills out nicely, as well as growing long cascading vines, over the summer.  When I lived in Michigan I would over-winter it in my garden to have for my containers from year to year.  One year it grew like crazy over the winter and I discovered that my container vine was also a fabulous ground cover.    Lamiastrum g. 'Variegatum'  This spring I had been looking for it in all the local greenhouses and garden shops.  I … [Read more...]

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