Spring is finally here, although we had a mild winter it was still long! Today it is beautiful, and I am beginning to focus on the exterior of my home.
We are having our home painted this spring, the power washing has been done! My house looks very dilapidated at the moment. The peeling paint look, has been replaced with the exposed wood look. I love distressed and rustic design, but not on the exterior of my home. I hope that my painter will start with the priming soon!
Here is my mudroom entrance, you can not see the peeling in this picture, but you can see the current colors (barn red, tan and black). I am so ready for a change.
The new house colors are going to be…
Benjamin Moore-Revere Pewter for the body of the house (see below)
Benjamin Moore – Dove White for the trim and windows.
Benjamin Moore- In The Garden for the garage doors and mudroom door, The front door is wood and will be stained.
The lighting is from Restoration Hardware-they have a new great deal, if you get their credit card (for $100 a year), you get 25% off every purchase.
This style is for the Garage & Mudroom
These will flank the front door.
Once the house is finished, I can concentrate on my garden! I hope to make make it shine this year!
I love these gardens they are my inspiration! I might have to go hunting for some architectural pieces to add interest to my garden. Both of these images were found on http://www.thegardenglove.com.
What are plans for spring? I hope you are doing wonderful things that include getting time outside!
Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write tend to center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures. Learn more, and follow my adventures in creating a warm and cozy home at http://www.lolalina.com/.
Summertime calls for a distinctly unfussy approach to entertaining, and thankfully so — because who wants to sweat over planning a summer soiree? Make things easier on yourself by hosting outdoors instead of in, getting guests to pitch in and embracing low-key, budget-friendly decor. From DIY flowers and quick extra tables to a beachy outdoor bar, these 20 ideas will make your party planning easier.
1. Whip up an extra table with sawhorses. Short on outdoor dining space? Hunt down a few sawhorses and top them with a length of board as big as you want your table to be. You can paint the board, cover it with a cloth or butcher paper, or leave it as is.
2. Fashion a wooden crate into a drinks container. If you line it with plastic, any old crate can be a rustic-chic open-top cooler for keeping soda and beer on ice. It won’t keep it cold as long as a real cooler, but it should do the trick at a party.
3. No crate? Use whatever you’ve got. An old wheelbarrow, a garden cart, an enamel bucket or even a toy dump truck can be lined with trash bags and filled with ice to make an impromptu drinks cooler.
4. Give your outdoor bar a tiki makeover with a palapa roof. Search for “palm leaf thatch panels” to find a source and tack a few lengths of the grassy stuff to the roof of your outdoor bar or shed to give it some tiki bar style.
5. Dress up candles with woodsy details. Curl a wide green leaf and drop it into a glass jar — then fill the jar with water and float a tea light on top. Or use lengths of birch bark (available at craft stores) to wrap the outside of a jar or candleholder, and fasten them with twine. 6. Make beachy candles with mason jars and sand. Filled partway with sand, a mason jar of any size can easily become a chic candleholder. To make hanging lanterns, wrap the mouth of the jar with flexible wire and hang the jar from the branches of a tree. For safety, use battery-operated candles for hanging.
7. Use soda bottles as vases. A row of tall, slender soda bottles lined up in the middle of a table makes a pretty (and supereasy) centerpiece. Just plunk one bloom in each vase, and you’re done! Try gerbera daisies, cosmos or sunflowers.
8. Involve your guests. Have them help squeeze lemons for fresh lemonade, let them take a turn cranking an old-fashioned ice cream maker or send them into your garden with clippers to pick a bouquet for the table.
10. Use old crates as trays and servers. Vintage wooden soda crates make the perfect receptacle for toting glasses, vases, napkins and other essentials out to the garden. Or use one to dole out flatware, standing utensils upright in simple mason jars.
12. Greet visitors with a pretty porch for the Fourth. A great big galvanized tub of red geraniums and a waving flag make a cheerful entrance to this home. Keep the patriotic spirit going with Americana-style cushions on a classic porch swing.
13. Give guests a healthy option with fresh flavored waters. Fill a big drink dispenser with ice water, flavored with fresh ingredients for a healthy thirst quencher on hot days. Try lemon, lime or orange slices; fresh mint leaves; cucumber rounds; or berries.
14. Place your table in the shade. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a lovely meal al fresco when the sun is beating down on you! Keep your guests comfortable by pulling the tables under the shade of a tree or awning, or invest in some umbrellas.
15. Make a plan to keep bugs at bay. If you have a water feature, make sure you regularly treat it or skim it to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. If the bugs are bad in your area, plan your event for a less buggy time of day or hold it on a screened-in porch, where your guests can enjoy a fresh breeze withoutgetting bitten.
16. Create activity zones to keep large parties moving. Setting up several distinct areas can help a large gathering feel more manageable, as your guests will naturally be drawn into smaller groups. For instance, you could set up a dining table, a fire pit circle, a porch lounge and an outdoor bar.
17. Collect thrifty party supplies. Avoid last-minute stress by keeping an entertaining cupboard well stocked with mason jars, florist’s buckets, table linens, candles and serving containers. Many times you don’t even need to buy these things — save pretty old jars to use as glasses, washed-out tin cans to use as flower containers and even old bedsheets to use as outdoor tablecloths.
18. Go wild with your arrangements. Plucking flowers and foliage from your own backyard is cheaper than buying them, and it can be more fun, too! Push yourself to look at your garden anew and clip a little something unexpected to tuck into your bouquet. Dandelions look charming in mason jars, flowering chives are utterly romantic, and an artichoke would make a dramatic centerpiece in a mixed floral bouquet.
19. Hang flowers from a tree. Use a drill to punch two holes in a washed-out tin can and thread wire through the holes to make a hanger. Fill your cans with cut flowers and hang them from a tree around your outdoor dining table. Leave the cans plain or dress them up by tying on strips of pretty fabric.
Step One: Choose your container, below are three of my favorites. Mason Jars, Glass Vase, Clay Pot, and Wood vessels.
Step Two: Add Potting Soil
Step Three: Split flowering bulbs and cat grass to fit the containers
Step Four: Fill in soil
Step Five: Brace/stake with curly willow
Step Six: Top with moss (sheet, Spanish or reindeer), Water and Enjoy
Step Seven: Add birch bark, mini birds, nests and or mini eggs
When I do this project, I go to Skillins Greenhouse (my local greenhouse) www.skillins.com and buy bulbs that are in bloom. If you are a true gardener you might want to plant and force your own bulbs.
Below I have the Step by Step directions from Better Homes & Gardens if you want to give it a try.
1. Plan ahead. In autumn, purchase bulbs from a garden center, nursery, or mail-order source. Plant bulbs of your choice in any type of pot with a drainage hole. Choose a pot that’s at least twice as deep as the bulbs to allow for proper root growth. Fill the pot half full of soilless potting mix.
Most bulbs will do well if grown in potting mix. Always start with clean pots and fresh mix.
2. Place as many bulbs as possible in the pot, without letting them touch. A 6-inch-wide pot holds up to six tulips, three narcissus (daffodils), or 15 minor bulbs, such as crocuses or grape hyacinths.
For a thick show, layer more than one kind of bulb in the same pot; place larger bulbs on the bottom and they’ll grow around the smaller ones. If the two bulbs you want to combine have different chilling and blooming schedules, plant them first in small plastic containers and combine them once they’re in bloom.
3. Cover the bulbs with potting mix, leaving their tips showing. Water the bulbs thoroughly. Label with name and date; loosely cover pot with a paper bag. Place in cool (35 to 45 degrees F), dark storage for chilling. See our bulb-forcing timetable for chilling time.
An unheated attic, basement, or attached garage makes a good chilling area, but monitor the temperature if the weather turns extremely cold. Another option is to set the pots outside in a 12-inch-deep trench, lined with pebbles to prevent the pots from freezing to the bottom. Cover the pots with 10 to 12 inches of soil, then 12 inches of dry leaves held in place with a plastic tarp.
4. Check moisture in pot periodically. Keep soil damp but not wet. When chilling is complete, you’ll see roots poking out of the bottom of the pot and green sprouts emerging at the bulb tips. It’s time to move the potted bulbs into a warm room.
5. When flower buds form, move potted bulbs into a sunny spot. Keep the soil damp. When flowers appear, move the pot out of direct sun to make the blooms last longer. After the blooms fade and wither, toss them (bulbs and all) into the compost. Most forced bulbs have used up their energy and won’t bloom again.
Growing in Water
Paperwhites and Soleil d’Or can be grown without soil. Plant them in pebble-filled containers with the base of the bulbs in contact with water at the bottom of the container. These bulbs don’t need chilling, but will benefit from a cool temperature (50 degrees F.) until the top shoot is a couple of inches long. At that point, you can move the plant into a warm, brightly lit area.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it inspires you to bring spring into your home.
As always thank you for reading my blog.
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I hired Carol Hiltebeitel of Coco Design Company www.cocodesigncompany.com to replant my deck planters. The woman is a miracle worker! She has a wonderful approach to design whether it is a pot or a large planter.
I wanted my planter to be chockfull of plants, maintenance free, and anchored by evergreens and perennials. Carol delivered! Liz Donnelly http://www.lizdonnellyphotography.net/ photo documented the entire process.
I hope you enjoy it!
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I love planting inside gardens, even in the summer. I like to find ways to reuse items in my home. Today I am using mason jars. As you know if you are a loyal reader (thank you if you are a loyal reader), I love mason jars. You can plant in almost anything so be creative and have fun!
Plants in Mason Jars
1 ½ cup Mason Jars
Small plants-herbs work very well
Step One: Add a layer of pea gravel to the bottom of the jar
It’s easy to see why the popularity of succulents has skyrocketed in recent years. The plants look modern and require little maintenance — just several hours of sun and not too much water. To showcase their beauty at home, go beyond the terra-cotta pot with this display idea.
Sprinkle an inch of cactus soil in a clean glass bottle. Divide the succulents into single-stem plantlets, each with roots. Using chopsticks, place the plantlets in the bottle one at a time. Use the chopsticks again to nestle each plantlet into the soil. Once the plants are situated, keep them indoors and out of direct sunlight. These desert plants require only a drop of water every two weeks or so.
Summer is a time to relax. My advice is to get back to nature even if it is in your own backyard. Buy a hammock, make some lemonade, and turn off all your electronics. Once you are unplugged, go outside and listen to the sounds (lawn mowing, birds, neighbors), smell the scents of summer (BBQ’s, flowers, fresh-cut grass), and feel the heat.
Life is short (it gets shorted as you get older) enjoy the simple pleasures of summer.
Here are some hammocks we like and lemonade recipes too, get started enjoying summer.
1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Different herbs demand different storage techniques.
By Renee Schettler & Gregor Halenda
Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro
A fresh bunch of basil can be treated like a bouquet of flowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch or so of water, and place on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black if refrigerated). The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to a week. You can also try this with similar long-stemmed herbs like parsley and cilantro.
Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary
Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, require a slightly different approach. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator; one of the compartments in the door works perfectly. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; many people like to add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Do not rinse the herbs until just before using.
How to Dry Fresh Herbs
If you have more fresh herbs than you can use, dry them. Place the leaves on a plate (chopped if using basil or parsley; whole if using thyme or rosemary) and set aside in a cool, dry place for several days. Then store them in a resealable container in the refrigerator.
When to Pitch Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are no longer fit to use and should be discarded when the leaves turn dark or brittle, or the stems begin to show traces of mold.
How to plant herb containers/planters
Buy beautiful containers, you do not need to spend a lot of money…Home Goods, Goodwill, yard sales and consignment stores are all good place to look for containers
Buy good soil with plant food in it, herbs and sheet moss
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
Add the lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, pita chips, and Feta and toss to coat. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper.
David Lebovitz’s Herb Rub
Herb Rub Makes 1 small jar
A very large bunch of fresh sage, two to three times as much as the rosemary A large bunch of rosemary 8 garlic cloves, peeled 1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt
1. Pick the leaves off the sage and rosemary stalks. In a small food processor, chop up the herbs with the garlic cloves and salt until the mixture is pretty fine. Discard any sticks or seeds.
2. Spread the herb mixture on a baking sheet and let it dry for about three days. Once dry, store your herb in a tightly-sealed in a jar for up to a year.
Herb Potato Salad
3 pounds small white boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons good dry white wine
2 tablespoons chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.
Budvases are an inexpensive way to dress you dining table and your home.
I love bud vases as do most gardeners because we do not want to cut all of our beautiful flowers. We want to enjoy them in the garden. Bud vases allow one to just pluck a few perfect flowers and get a big bang for our buck!
You have numerous choices these days for bud vases. We are not stuck with the old fashioned cut glass bud vase anymore. Check out the Celia Bedilia staff favorites below.
Have fun with flower arranging. Buy flowers that excite you and vases that inspire you. If you get interesting bud vases it makes what you put in them more interesting.
Wonderful 4 hole glass vase $18
I use these bird vases all the time and anything I put into them looks great.
This is a great vase to use at weddings. You can buy three of these vases and a few flowers and do your own wedding flowers with flare.
If you have little silver, china or glass pitchers use them with a few flowers . They will look fantastic!
If you want to splurge or buy a great wedding gift, buy a Simon Pearce bud vase they are so chic.
Tools you need
Flora (pick a few lovely flowers from the garden or flower shop)
Bud-vases (old bottles, pitchers, tea cups, or one of the options above)
Flower clippers or shears (I like Corona Clippers $17)
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them! Thank you for reading. If you like this post click the follow button and sign up, become the first of your friends to know what Celia Bedilia is doing next.
Tools and Materials:cast concrete wall stones cap stones sand shovel tape measure level tamper steel rake
Steps: Before building a fire pit, check the building codes in your area to get the proper specs and regulations. Choose a spot that is away from your house and away from any low-hanging trees or other structures. Take precautions when digging holes, so that you don’t hit utility lines.
1. Lay out your pavers in a circle in the approximate size and shape of your fire pit. Fire pits should be about 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Our surrounding patio is made from recycled rubber pavers. We laid the fire pit stones out to the correct dimension then pulled the pavers out of and away from the pit.
2. When you have your circle roughed out, dig a 12-inch-deep hole in that location.
3. Pour sand into the bottom of the hole and tamp the sand level.
4. Begin to lay your wall stones around the perimeter of the hole. Continue stacking the stones so that they are 12 inches above the surrounding ground.
5. Pour a layer of sand into the ring of stones so that it covers the first layer, approximately 4 inches deep.
Or you can buy one…like most people
Look at the amazing Fire pit areas from Houzz.com
Tiki Torches: There are loads of different options here, I was surprised at how expensive they can be. You can go to Walmart and buy tiki torches for under $10 or you can buy one of the options below.
Fire-pots make the outdoors cool! I love the idea of fire-pots, what a great addition to your outdoor space. Below are a couple of options you might like.