Getting Our Garden On: Take 2

So our first go around at a vegetable garden didn’t work out as planned. Only a few of our seedlings survived the cold weather.

After a few weeks of rain and cold, our garden looked like this:

IMG_5875 (2)All of the seedlings except for our sweet corn and some of our herbs didn’t survive. We were also left with a lot of tiny weeds.

To replace our failed seedlings, I bought a selection of mature vegetables and some garden soil from the Home Depot. These vegetables (and technically “fruits”) came in really neat biodegradable pots that you can plant straight into the ground. To learn more about the biodegradable pots and how to plant them, check out the Bonnie Web site.

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In addition to the mature plants, I also planted new green bean and red pepper seeds. I planted the seeds in garden soil in hopes that the rich soil will produce better results.

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Our sweet corn stalks are doing really well despite a few cold days. The stalks are getting pretty tall compared to when we planted them.

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How are your summer gardens going?

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Before I wrap up this post, did you notice anything different about our photos? I’m working on some upgrades to Frame By Frame Style and this is the debut of our new photo tag. Hope you like it!

photo tag

Geraniums, Gerberas, Petunias and a Calla Lily, Oh My!

We hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. BJ and I enjoyed a few days with my parents and even did a little mowing and gardening on Monday.

To catch you up on our outdoor projects, a few Sundays ago we had an incredibly productive day. We went to Lowes in the morning to pick up a few gardening supplies and flowers, and then we went home and started planting our vegetable garden and potting plants.

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The same Sunday that I planted our vegetable garden (an update on that soon), I also planted the flower pots on our front porch.

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BJ and I chose brightly colored gerberas daisies for our flower pots. Gerberas daisies are one of my favorite flowers! BJ and I love the bright colors, which is why we also chose them as our wedding flowers.

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Earlier this Spring, my mom brought us two old ceramic pots that she stained in ceramic class when I was a little girl. We’ve had these pots in our family for a long time and my grandmother also has a set.

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When my mom offered the ceramic pots to us, I immediately thought to use them to dress up our back patio, however, after I potted them, I liked them better for our front porch. I chose geraniums for the pots in red in white.

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The Monday night following our productive Sunday, I planted petunias in the flowers beds out front.

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We had such great luck with our petunias last year that I decided to plant even more this year. Yesterday, I planted pink petunias to go along with the purple and fuchsia candy-striped petunias I planted two weeks ago.

While I was planting yesterday, I also added this beautiful calla lily to our garden.

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I think our front two gardens might be complete for a few months. 🙂 Now we just have to maintain them throughout the summer.

Here’s a view of our two front gardens. We’re building some pretty nice curb appeal!
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Patio Planning

We recently started planning out a patio design for our backyard. Currently, we have 10 x 10 concrete patio but we would like to add a more useful two-tiered patio made out of pavers.

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Before we started our design for the patio, we looked online at Houzz.com and Pinterest for inspiration and unique designs. We had some of our own ideas in mind but wanted to see how others designed their patios.

Here are some Pinterest pins of patios similar to our vision for the backyard:

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After we scoured the Web for inspiration and talked through our ideas, we came up with a plan of what we wanted to incorporate in our patio design (i.e. pergola, fire pit, gardens, etc). Next, we drew this quick rough design sketch using Adobe Ideas on the iPad (don’t judge our sweet finger drawing… we needed something quick… a more elaborate sketch is in the works).

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This sketch also helped us to decide where we are going to place our vegetable garden this year(more details to come). After the sketch was complete, we took a couple of rough measurements in the backyard so we could place the garden based on our sketch. That keeps us from having to move the garden or try to merge it in the design as an afterthought.

So what’s next? Our plan for the patio is to start building the two tiered section of the patio next year. In the meantime, we may add the fire pit this fall. With our design already planned out, we can add the sections as we want.

How do you tackle a large project like a patio? Do you hire a contractor? Do you do it yourself all at once? Or do you spread your project out and do it in smaller chunks over time?

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! We hope you have a great day barbecuing, spending time with family and friends, as well as celebrating our great country!

Not only is today the birth of our country, it is also a special day for us for another reason. Today is Zoey’s birthday! She is our independent girl. Happy Birthday to America and Zoey!


Dry Spell

It has been extremely dry in the Midwest and we’ve also been experiencing record high heat for this time of year. So you might be wondering how have we kept our grass green and our gardens bright and colorful. It’s required a lot of watering and a little but of TLC to keep our plants from drying out. We have an in-ground sprinkler system in the front yard and we’ve set out a sprinkler in the backyard. And every other day, I’ve been out watering our potted plants.

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Two years ago, I wasn’t as diligent with watering our potted plants and as a result, they dried up and I spent several weeks trying to revive them. This year, I’m trying to stay on top of watering them. I even set a reminder on my phone to go off everyday. Its also been scary dry out, so we are watering our grass to keep it from acting like kindling with the impending Fourth of July fireworks set off by our neighbors. Thanks to the watering, our grass feels nice and plush so I think we are good to go.

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I still haven’t mulched, but that’s okay. It’s been a little to hot outside and I’m going to wait for a cooler morning when I can get l and get the mulch down before it warms up.

I hope everyone stays cool for the next few days!

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!