15 Minutes to Functionality: A Garden Space

September 20, 2012

Having absolutely zero time lately to do anything that merits an actual photo sequence of house progress, I decided to prep for this weekend by taking 15 minutes and organizing my gardening shelf. At least I’d feel like I got something done to aid in some upcoming gardening tasks planned for this weekend. (Why yes, the yard is slated to get some much needed TLC since the last go around.)

#Garden #Before & After #Organization

A Rocky Situation

July 20, 2012

I have been enjoying a sweet staycation this week. I have the week off but Matt is working, so instead of taking a trip without him, I decided to get some much needed yard work done. I’ve been meaning to tackle the front gardens for some time now. Back in early April when I fertilized the plants, the rock border around the mulched gardens was holding it’s own. I had been collecting rocks from various yards (all people I know - I’m not a klepto, people) and placing them around the mulched gardens because I liked the look of it.

#Before & After #Garden #Summer

A Second Attempt At Curb Appeal

July 12, 2013

If you’ve been following this blog since the fall, you may remember an enthusiastic post about curb appeal. You can read about it here, but I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes if you’re in a time crunch. Back in October, I planted over 150 (Yes, you read that right - I’m crazy.) bulbs around the yard in anticipation for beautiful spring flowers. Many came up, but many did not. Specifically, I planted a bunch of bulbs around the mailbox to give the curb some color.

#Garden #Curb Appeal #DIY #Planting #Annuals

Astilbe Mine

June 26, 2014

We have a spot at the very beginning of our driveway that’s a bit of an eyesore. The driveway is cracking, the lawn is weedy, the soil is sandy (thanks, plow trucks!) and the curve itself is edged in deteriorating blacktop. Lovely, right? I didn’t want to pour much cash into this spot. I figured until we know what we’re doing with the driveway and the lawn, I’d plant some flowers to bring in a bit of color.

#Garden #Flowers

Baby Bird Love

June 28, 2015

One of my very first posts way back in the day was about how I was a “casual bird glancer.” More on that here. Basically, I received a bird feeder and just like that, I became sort of obsessed. I loved watching them come and go and I loved seeing the variety of birds that passed through my yard. I have to find that feeder and get it back up because I think Harrison would like to watch them, too.

#Animals #Birds #Garden

Brightening my days

April 7, 2012

I came home on Thursday to find these beauts waiting for me on the front porch. I mentioned in the beginning of this post how our friends surprised me with an overnight stay last weekend, and this was the unnecessary “Thanks!” they sent. The tulips and irises arrived in an adorable, rustic-looking metal vase which looks so cool against our brick column in the kitchen. They are perfect. Thank you for your thank you, JMul!

#Spring #Garden #Friends

Curb Appeal...Literally!

October 3, 2012

If you ask me, curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of a home and should never be overlooked. If you don’t watch insane amounts of HGTV like we do, you may not know exactly what I mean by “curb appeal.” Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a home’s exterior. It can refer to landscaping, hardscaping, (stonework, driveways) porches, window boxes, shutters, seasonal decor, mailboxes, etc. Having this little ol’ school house look good from the street matters a lot to me, and we have taken great strides each season to make it a bit better.

#Curb Appeal #Before & After #Garden

Early August lull

August 5, 2012

My gardens are looking a little dreary lately, and I plan to fix that over the next year. I have mostly perennials dotting the yard, and for good reason. For starters, they don’t need to be watered every day. Perennials are pretty low-maintenance. They fill in and multiply each year…they’re easy! The only down-side to perennials is their lack of vibrancy. Boy, am I lacking some “oomph.” I have so much green and purple, but not much else.

#Summer #Garden

Friday Night Bush Slaying

October 7, 2014

Matt and I have been rocking our Friday nights of late. A few weeks ago, we spent our entire Friday evening organizing the garage and sweeping it out from corner to corner. It was pretty amazing. What? You don’t think that sounds “amazing?” We had our tunes and we had our beers and we had each other, so we were good. The following Friday evening, we got Harrison to sleep and set our sights on the side of the garage that is not visible from the street.

#Curb Appeal #Garden #Outdoor Projects

Grass Stories

October 17, 2013

A couple of years ago, Matt and I had a backyard bonfire at our house and our friend Stacey asked what plans we had for the space. I told her that along the stream, I envisioned tall grasses that would provide privacy for the backyard, as well as look pretty as they swayed with the wind. Something like this came to mind… Well. Stacey (yes, this is the same Stacey as Wine Stacey and Shakespeare Stacey) mentioned her parents were actually looking to split some of their tall grasses and that they’d (probably) be happy to give some up.

#Curb Appeal #Garden

Hola, Primavera!

March 21, 2012

Spring is FINALLY here. Hallelujah! I loooooove spring. I have always loved seeing the new growth and life that accompanies this season and although I had never identified with a favorite season before owning a home, I’m ready to declare it now that I do! My favorite season is SPRING! Glorious, resplendent, uplifting, exciting spring! I have been so in awe this year of the daffodils and crocuses poking up from the ground towards the end of this past winter.

#Spring #Places #Garden

Mexican Bamboo

August 23, 2013

You may be thinking the title of this post is creative slang for something we’ve done in the house recently. You’d be wrong. You may be thinking the title of this post is highlighting our recent trip to the Mexican Forest. You’d be wrong. That never happened, or will ever happen. Are there even forests in Mexico? I’ll research it. In fact, “Mexican Bamboo” refers to the 5th (Fifth!!!) most invasive plant species on Earth (Earth!

#Garden #Plant Life

Neurotic Nelly and Why I Need Kids

October 2, 2013

I have some landscaping quirks that really make my husband shake his head. He says the quirks border on neurotic. Well, call me Neurotic Nelly because I ain’t stoppin’. What kind of quirks, you may be asking? For starters, I prefer to trim the grasses that grow near the garden edges with garden shears. Yes, scissors. You know, instead of the gas powered trimmer that sits in the garage. It’s more time consuming, of course, but I think it does a nicer job of creating a neat look with no risk of hitting a part of the garden you might not want weed-whacked.

#Landscaping #Garden

Our first harvest!

July 18, 2012

Matt and I both have vegetable gardening in our blood. That is, to say, that folks on both sides of our families enjoy tending a garden and reaping the rewards of a harvest. My dad has been really into it over the last few years. Maybe it’s his less taxing schedule. (Hello summers off and shorter hours!) Maybe it’s his somewhat newfound solitude. (Hello all three daughters out of the house!

#Backyard Livin' #Garden #Cooking #Summer

Pumpkin picking (fingers crossed!)

August 20, 2012

It’s amazing when a bit of carelessness gives way to something awesome… I threw our rotten pumpkins from last fall into our neglected side yard, and now we have a healthy pumpkin plant! Or at least what I think is a healthy pumpkin plant – can anyone vouch for me? I can’t wait to see if we’ll be able to harvest anything this fall. If we get anything, I’m totally going with this idea my friend spotted on Pinterest last fall… the pumpkin mummy.

#Summer #Garden

School House Road Trip: Amanda's Garden

May 22, 2013

I’m at it again. Road-tripping to help out with some DIY debacles in a little series I like to call “School House Road Trip.” Super creative name, I know. I’ve posted about a couple of School House Road Trips before. First, Matt and I cut down 13 overgrown, dying pine trees in my Nana’s yard on Cape Cod. Then, Matt and his brother, Nick, tackled a fallen tree on my mother-in-law’s home thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

#Before & After #Garden #Travel

School House Road Trip: Cape Cod Edition

September 24, 2012

After my trip in February to make my sweet tablecloth, I’d been trying to get back up to the Cape to help my nana (you know - the one that sews me curtains and things) with some things around the house. We’ll call it a school house road trip - where we do school house rehab-esque things for others. She mentioned needing some help in the garden as well as some odds and ends.

#Backyard Livin' #Places #Travel #Garden

Spring Ahead

March 10, 2013

Like most other New Englanders I know, I’m sick of the snow. Yes, I want spring to come badly. No, I don’t like when the clocks “spring ahead.” At all. Losing an hour of sleep makes me want to do this… Alas, I guess you can’t have one without the other. Daylight savings coupled with a very late night partying with puppies* has me aching to lay on the couch watching Downton Abbey.

#Spring #Garden

State of the Garden (Early August 2013)

August 1, 2013

I can’t believe it’s August already. The summer is jetting by. It’s not “flying by” as it would if you were on a passenger plane, but “jetting by” like we’re on a Concord. Am I right? Matt and I just got back from a 4-night mini-vacation to Cape Cod, and as soon as I find my real camera, I’ll post some pictures here on the blog and show you what kept us busy in a place that I’ve been visiting my whole life.


State of the Garden (Early June 2013)

June 5, 2013

Don’t try fighting it. We’re a few days into June, and Summer is nearly upon us. I have no idea where most of Spring went. Seriously, does anyone else feel like Spring had just sprung? We had such a beautiful April and such a rainy May that it seems the title of this post is the slogan for this year. Once June 21 hits, the days get shorter, and that thought gets me down, even though we’ll still have three full months of summer to enjoy.

#Garden #Spring #Flowers

State of the Garden (Early October 2014)

October 2, 2014

Some of my favorite blog posts to revisit time and time again are the ones where I featured (cell) pictures of my gardens at any given time during the year. I do it mostly in the Spring and Summer (Late Spring 2013 here, Early Summer 2013 here, August 2013 here, April 2014 here, May 2014 here). I had a few minutes during a recent perimeter walk to snap a few Fall bloomers.

#Garden #Flowers

State of the Garden (Late June 2013)

June 25, 2013

Nearly three weeks ago, I posted a series of (very amateur) photographic shots of some plants around the yard. We had so much rain in May that I titled the post, “May Showers Bring June Flowers,” because “April Showers Bring May Flowers” didn’t really fit. That was three weeks ago, so here we are now, with some new blooms that have popped up around the ol’ school house. Three weeks ago, I had one calla lily bloom.

#Garden #Curb Appeal #Backyard Livin'

State of the Garden (Late May 2014)

May 30, 2014

Right about now, some of my favorite plants in the yard are quickly approaching their prime. My hydrangea bushes are slowly becoming covered in greenery - in typical bottom-to-top fashion. The peony garden that I jump started last year has 15+ buds and my Astilbe plants are gaining a ton of ground. While I wait for those, here are a few shots of what else is popping up around here as of late May.


State of the Garden (Mid-May 2015)

May 13, 2015

I am way past due for sharing my buds and blooms this year but here are a few things I’m enjoying in the garden of late. Matt gifted me a couple of gorgeous hanging planters for the front porch…I got to pick them out. The “mini petunias” are gorgeous when illuminated by the early morning sunshine. I’m not sure what I did to the group of Irises that flank our well, but they look like they’re on steroids.

#Garden #State of the Garden

Sunday sprucing

April 1, 2012

Since Saturday was a dreary day around here with showers and cold winds, I didn’t get outside to do any of the garden spruce-ups that were on the agenda. We opted to run some errands and stay in to catch up with the DVR a bit. I caught up on a little laundry and cleaning and we had no plans for the evening. Then I had a great surprise when our friends drove over from New York to dine and stay the night for an unplanned visit!

#Garden #Spring

The Cheapest Flower Arrangements Ever

August 13, 2014

Harrison was baptized last Sunday and because it was a crazy week, I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have time to run out to grab flowers to arrange for the table tops. I was bummed because I looooove fresh flowers at a party. No matter how casual the affair, (the brunch following worship was very casual) I think a vase or group of small vases elevates any table scape.

#Flowers #Garden

There once was a garden...

August 14, 2012

…that was an absolute nightmare and the bane of my existence. For nearly 3 (3!!!!) years. It drove me nuts, wild & crazy with dreams of making it simpler and neater looking. I would weed it out in hopes of planting something new, only to have it become overgrown again in days. There never seemed to be enough time in the day to get it done. Then spring rolled around and Matt and I had one of our beloved “do nothing weekends.

#Before & After #Garden #Spring

This Is How I Stroll (State of the Garden, Late April 2014)

April 22, 2014

In the Spring, one of my favorite things to do is stroll around my yard. I stroll in the early morning and I stroll at dusk. I stroll with the baby in tow and I stroll by myself. I stroll in quiet peace and I stroll while on the phone, catching up with family and friends. No matter how I stroll, the simple act of wandering my yard brings me a lot of joy and contentment.

#Garden #Landscaping #Curb Appeal

We Planted A Wonky

May 13, 2013

One of the birthday presents I received from Matt was a tree. Yes, a tree. I asked for it because I wanted one, and really, what better gift is there for a nature lover (minus the bugs) than a living thing that enriches the soil and cleans the air? I’ll tell you. There isn’t a better gift out there. Period. We went to a local nursery that was having a sale on weeping cherries because I find them whimsical and charming, and a lovely complement to the enormous weeping willows scattered throughout our property.

#Garden #Before & After