Browsing Archives for Farmhouse & Garden

May is a month of insanity. Between graduations, gardening, Mother’s day, end of the school year band concerts, plays, ceremonies, and in our house we have kids in soccer, baseball and track and a few of them are in all of these sports AT THE SAME TIME! Fortunately, the month of May is about over and it looks like we are going to survive it. In addition to all the other goings on around here, I decided to fix up an area of foundation plantings in front of the house. I was never satisfied with what used to be in this spot and have long wanted to tear everything out and start over. This Spring, I finally tackled this project. I built a stone pathway to the hose, tore out some old shrubs that looked terrible, planted a few new ones, added three Hostas as “filler” and jabbed some flowering Vinca in the remaining bare spots. Check out the photo!

I know!
It’s not much to look at when you consider all the work involved, but I think by the end of the summer it will start to fill in a bit and look pretty good and then in a few years… well you just wait. I think it is going to look great and certainly better than what was here.

The shrubs I planted around the stone walk are two oak leaf hydrangeas, one pink diamond hydrangea, and a red wing viburnum.

Ridiculously excited about the Red Wing Viburnum.  It’s got all sorts of bells and whistles.  Spring flowers, red tipped leaves and in the fall a nice bright red color.  How can one possibly ask a shrub to do more?  Oh!  How about flower all season in large conical blooms that slowly urn from creamy white to pink to red?  Why that would be your Oak Leaf Hydrangea!  A shrub that I may or may not have had a hot steamy affair with during my first season as a Garden Center employee.  Trust me, you don’t want to know.  But what about a massive shrub that will form an excellent backdrop to all the other plants in this area, cover the two unattractive gaping holes underneath the porch and be covered in blooms all summer long?  Oh!  Why that would be the Pink Diamond Hydrangea!  So yes!  I am kind of a genius when it comes to choosing a shrubbery!  This can’t possibly be bragging when it is simply the truth!

In other news…

I picked my first batch of beets today.

Just call me Dwight Schrute!

Beets are very pretty plants, but I am struggling with finding a way to prepare them that doesn’t involve sugar and vinegar.  Not really interested in borscht either.  I don’t mind a few cold beets in a salad, and I can eat a few roasted beets, but surely there are other interesting ways to prepare this veggie.  If anyone has any recipes, please help!  I’ve got tons of these things in my garden!


I went antiquing with my mom this past winter and purchased the above flower vase.

I have been very excited to put this vase to use and today was the day!

I tramped around the yard cutting cone flowers, Victoria blue salvia, Helenium, Russian sage, and yarrow.

And here’s the first bouquet of the year!

Isn’t that vase great!

I am so glad I bought it.

I’ve said this many times before, but I really do love growing flowers so much more than veggies.

Sometimes I think about chucking over the vegetable garden and just going all flowers all the time.

Because this whole beet thing…

It’s just not turning my crank.

May 9th, 2012

This is what the “new” garden looks like right now.

Would you seriously look at that picture?  Look how tidy those rows are!  Just call me Mr. McGregor!

The black urn in the center bed came from my house.  It has been sitting on the upper landing of the stairs for years, but I decided to haul it down to the garden and fill it with flowers this Spring.  It looks so much prettier in this setting.

In this bed is a variety of lettuces, carrots, spinach, beets and Brussels sprouts.

More Brussels sprouts than I can ever imagine eating.

I don’t even particularly like Brussels sprouts, but my husband loves them.

I’ve also got tomatoes and peppers growing in the new garden as well as lemon and lime basil, cilantro and some stevia seeds that have not sprouted yet.

Here’s the urn in the old garden beds.

I’ve got potatoes, beans, herbs, tomatoes, onions, black berries, and more Brussels sprouts growing in this garden.

Everything is planted.  Now I just have to keep it alive.

I bought some new urns for the front of the house.  I sold the old ones at my mom’s garage sale,  as they were just too small to handle much plant material.

The new urns are filled with ice plant, Lantana, Dahlberg Daisys, wave petunias and a few other things I can’t remember the names of right now.

See why I have to have big urns!  They are forced to accommodate many, many flowers.

The roses and the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are currently losing their minds in a riotous display of blooms.

They don’t seem to understand that it is only May 9th!  Slow down guys!  It’s going to be a long, long summer!

And now let’s look at that tidy little garden again.

Holy Crap!  It looks like it belongs on an English estate!

No worries friends…

My over-inflated gardening ego will soon shrink back down to the size of a withered pea.  As soon as the bugs, weeds, and blight start moving in.

This house…

I insisted on pausing to admire the urns.

My mom and I both loved the curtains in the dining room.

The plates and bowls were from TJ Maxx.

This living room…

I loved this living room…

Everything about it.

‘Tis perfection to me.

And once again, we both loved the curtains.

I tried to take a photo of the bathroom without getting my reflection.

However, I seemed to be unable to accomplish this simple task.
So then I remembered that I had just gotten my hair cut, colored and highlighted…

And I embraced the reflection photo.

A K-State student designed one of the guest bedrooms.

I thought she did a spectacular job.

And once again…

The curtains.  Loved them.

Fun dragonfly chair.

The master bed and bath was a mite funky…

But the master bath had the best accessories in the entire house.

This painting.

My fingers longed to rip it from the wall and take it home with me.

Yet another picture of the painting I left behind.

Same artist – different painting.

Great vintage glass containers on the marble counter-tops.

The kid’s room.

The designer in this room re-purposed the old kitchen cabinets for the kid’s bathroom.

Poor quality photo of the designer kitchen…

Upon leaving the house, we ventured around the neighborhood.

Most of the homes were built in the 1920′s.  A great era for American architecture.

And then I drove home.