Giving the gladiolus a little lift

Do you remember the V8 commercials with the people walking around leaning to the side? Then everyone would drink a V8 and stand up straight again. Our gladiolus reminded me of that last night when I saw it leaning in our garden. It looked like it needed a V8. I also discovered that we had two gladiolus growing this year. However, after we came home from running errands this morning, one leaned over so much that it snapped and it is now in a vase in our kitchen.

But the other gladiolus got a little lift after we ran to Home Depot to get a stake to tie it to. We decided to get a shepherd’s crook and hang a plant basket to add something more to that area of the garden.

We couldn’t find any string, so we used a small piece of wire to tie the long stem to the shepherd’s crook.

Meanwhile, the other flower that snapped is hanging out in our kitchen. I love the way it looks in the bright green vase! BJ got me flowers for our two-year anniversary and they came in this vase. It looks perfect with the bright green we have in our kitchen.

While we were at Home Depot today, we also bought two new Adirondack chairs so we could move the teal chairs to the back patio. And we bought some fun contrasting pillows to make the chairs pop.

So no mulching yet, but I better get to it soon! I spotted some weeds trying to take over our garden. Not cool!

Dear weeds, I’m coming for you. Love, Jessica.

Have  a great weekend everyone! Stay cool!

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t always go the way you expect. The goal this week was to mulch the front gardens. But on Sunday, I came home with a pretty intense sunburn on the back of my legs and it’s a little painful to bend down… so mulching is out for at least a few days.

But the good news is, our gardens are doing really well despite the dry weather. We’ve been watering regularly and our efforts are paying off. We have one of the most colorful gardens in the neighborhood! The petunias are doing great. My brother gave me some really great advice when I first planted them. He told me that I will need to make sure I water them every day for the first two weeks and not to water them in full sun because it will burn the leaves. I followed his advice and now our petunias look like this:

Thanks, big brother! 🙂

And now that our tropical and stargazer lilies are finished blooming, our day lily is taking its turn.


And the bee balm is blooming as well.

And our gladiolus starting peeking out. Last year it was red and this year it is white. I planted several bulbs and only one has come up a year since I planted them. Maybe this year we will get two!

Once my sunburn heals, I will be out there mulching. It’s supposed to cool down as the week goes on so maybe by the weekend it will be cooler and I will have some pictures of our mulched gardens to post!

Have a great week!

Raising the Bar

The patio looks a little different now than it did a few weeks ago. We went from this:

To this:

So how did we get here? It took a bit of work to put up the gazebo, especially since we ran into an issue pretty early on. The side post weren’t tall enough ro raise the top bar above our sliding glass door. It didn’t seem like that big of an issue at first, but we thought about how it would look with the canvas top on, and how it would look inside. So after we deliberated on how we would raise the gazebo, we landed on the idea of paver and off to Menards we went.

The selection of pavers was daunting, but after we narrowed down a few choices, we decided on the red Belgium rock pavers.

Before we could mount the post, we had to glue the pavers to the patio. That required some glue and some elbow grease (provided by BJ).

Another snag we ran into is our patio, which is supposed to be a 10 x 10, is actually more like 9 1/2 x 11. The gazebo is 10 x 10. Eventually, we will build some brick pedestals around the pavers to finish the look and not have pavers hanging off the edge of our deck.

Once the pavers were glued down and had 24 hours to set up, BJ drilled holes in the top pavers to mount the gazebo posts.

Then he used these crazy screws to anchor everything down.

After the posts were anchored down, we attached the canvas roof and the next night, we added lights.

And now we are finished!

And here is our view from the kitchen. A shady deck, calling for us to come sit outside and enjoy the summer days.

Have a great weekend!

Backyard Bistro

We’ve lived in our house for two years now and ever since we moved in, I’ve longed to enjoy meals outside on our patio. This week, I decided to wander by the seasonal section while I was at Target to buy groceries, and I found a fun bistro set. And it was on sale! Score!

So after I managed to get the new (heavy) bistro set into my cart, then into my car, and home, I assembled it all by myself. Who says married girls can’t put together their own furniture? Bam. Done.

Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I finished assembling all the pieces on Wednesday.

And it rained on Thursday…

And  because it was too chilly and overcast Friday evening, I waited until today to sit outside and enjoy the new bistro set.

Remember what our backyard looked like before? After I added the bistro set, our backyard went from this:

To this:

Did you notice the new flower-pot? I think it adds a little something to our backyard bistro theme.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Lilies Galore!

I’ve posted a lot of flowers and our gardens lately, but with all of this beautiful weather, it’s been hard to stay inside! With that said, here are a few more beautiful flowers from our gardens! Our lilies are doing wonderful and the petunias I planted over a week ago, are still going strong!

Since I’ve taken a bunch of flower photos lately, I’ve been thinking about putting together another photo collage for our wall. This one will include some of our travel (last weekend we paid a visit to Philadelphia, but more on that later…) as well as some of the photos from our garden, or maybe I will put together two collages!

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! Ours was great! I will post more later this week on our fantastic Memorial Day weekend trip to Philly!

Pinterest Picks: Summer Living

In honor of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial kick off to summer, I thought it would be fun to check out Pinterest and search using the keywords “summer living.” Lately, I’ve been dreaming of a patio to relax and hang out during the warm summer months. My search gave me some ideas for our future patio.

Here are a few of my favorite “summer living” finds:

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For more of my “summer living” search click here or visit my Pinterest board, Backyards to see some of my favorite outdoor decors.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! And a special thank you to our troops for all you do for our country!

Have a a great weekend!

The lawn boy

BJ got a new yard toy.

And I must admit, it’s pretty sweet. It really cleans up the yard well. it is a trimmer, blower and weed whip all in one. So in just a matter of a week, our yard went from this:

You can see the grass is coming over the edge of the concrete.

And now the yard looks like this. Notice how nice the edges by the sidewalk look. Not to mention that there isn’t grass all over the place.

I could actually walk outside and grab a few pictures without coming back in with gobs of grass everywhere!! Success!

This will also make edging the garden a lot easier too. I had a heck of a time pulling all the grass out of the garden bed just to get it to look like this.

We’re slowly building our lawn tool box. We have a nice mower and our blower, whip, edger combo to go along with your more common, yard rake, trowel, shovel, etc.

Every now and then I consider hiring landscapers, but I do enjoy working in the yard when I can.

So what’s next for us? Well, it’s been a busy spring so far, but I’m looking into finding some hearty houseplants, getting some organizing projects completed (closets, pantries, the laundry room) and of course, the little decorating projects that spring up here and there. Stay tuned!

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow…

Do you know the song?

“Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless the seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below, ’til the rain comes tumbling down.”

I remember hearing the Garden Song as a kid. There are versions by Peter, Paul and Mary and John Denver so you can take your pick on which you prefer. I’m a little partial to John Denver, mostly because he wrote a song that is very near and dear to my heart.

You know the words…

“Country roads
take me home
to the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
take me home country roads”

Okay, I digress. Back to the garden. The weather was beautiful on Sunday, so I took advantage of it and started working on reviving our flower beds out front.

If you remember my post on Saturday, the flower beds were fighting back. The grass was moving in and the weeds were taking over. It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but I wasn’t going to let it get any worse.

It took a few hours but after I tamed the grass and got rid of the weeds, the garden looked like this:

And while I was at it, I trimmed the bushes…

Removed some of the bee balm… (This plant unfortunately is a member of the mint family. I wish I would’ve known that when I bought it. It is pretty when it blooms, but it grows like crazy and that was not my intention for this location. Each year I’m going to have to pull a lot of it out in the spring to keep it from taking over the entire right side of the garden. Its root bed is intense. It’s going to be interesting to keep this plant at bay… a good lesson learned.)

Cleaned up the pots on the front porch so that I can plant new plants in them…

And after I cleaned up the mess I made on the porch, I stood back and admired my hard work.

And today, my thighs are still burning! But it was worth it. I can cross a few things off my garden to do list sooner than I planned!

  1. Remove the weeds and grass.
  2. Add a stone wall around the perimeter of the garden to keep the grass out
  3. Mulch
  4. Replant our potted porch plants  (this is halfway complete. I still need to plant new plants)
  5. Add some flowers to the flower bed on the right side of our garage door

I’m making progress!

Taking over

With the projects going on inside this spring, our garden has lacked a little TLC. And now it’s fighting back.


The grass is moving in and the weeds are taking over.

There is good news though, one of the tulips I planted last year survived and it starting blooming last week.

And our lilies are coming back! Hooray!

So what is on the garden to do list? Here are a few items I would like to do this spring/summer:

1. Remove the weeds and grass.
2. Add a stone wall around the perimeter of the garden to keep the grass out
3. Mulch
4. Replant our potted porch plants
5. Add some flowers to the flower bed on the right side of our garage door

It’s been chilly this week and we had a couple of freeze warnings overnight. Due to the unpredictable temperatures and freeze warnings, I’ve held off on any garden projects until we have more consistent days of warm weather and sunshine.

What are you planting in your garden this year? Any plans to spruce up existing gardens and flower beds?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Today is the day when everyone wears green, drinks green beer and speaks in an Irish accent, so let’s talk about something else that is green: gardens!

In my last two posts, you’ve seen the stages of our hyacinths in bloom and today they were fully blooming and beautiful!

Our front gardens are looking really great, with the exception of the garden off to the side of our garage. It leaves something to be desired.

I’ve neglected this garden in past years, but this year I will try to focus on getting some nice plants added and spruce it up a bit.

For the gardens out front, we would like to add a stone wall and edge off the gardens from the grass. This will help keep the weeds around the grass area down as well.

When it’s finished it should look something like this:

As it continues to warm up outside, we will be spending time sprucing up our yard and building our curb appeal.

We are also planning to do some work on the back yard in the near future. We want to add a patio or deck and eventually put some landscaping and a vegetable garden back there. Right now it’s very plain.

I started collecting ideas for our backyard plans on my Backyards Pinterest board.

I’m looking forward to having a backyard that is usable and we can entertain and cook out with friends. Right now there is nothing in our backyard but a tree and our grill. It’s very boring.

So in other news, we are getting closer to finding a new couch for our living room (hooray!). We’ve narrowed it down to this couch at Ikea:

KARLSTAD Corner sofa 2+3/3+2 IKEA A range of coordinated covers makes it easy for you to give your furniture a new look.

The couch comes as separate pieces so you can come up with multiple configurations. Now we just need to figure out what configuration we want. It will be awesome to finally have a couch that sits more than three people. We only have seating for three in our living now and it makes movie night with friends a little difficult.

Look for future updates on our gardens and couch!

Enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day festivities!