Espalier, Take 2

Remember our inspiration post a couple of weeks ago about the espalier? Well, we finally made good on our promise and found the perfect spot to incorporate just that into our own yard. 

Behold the garage wall, a thing of beauty. 

A.K.A John's pet project. He planned, purchased and planted this whole bed which consists of four gardenia and three confederate jasmine. As well as the new home of our espalier. 

The process was pretty simple (for him) and was completed in an afternoon. Eye closures connect the copper wire to the base of the wall and the roof trim of the house, creating a giant rectangle. Within the rectangle the wires are strung and crossed to create several diamond shapes. We opted to connect to the wall as infrequently as possible in the event we ever need to take the entire grid down to repaint the house. Fingers crossed that works out for us :)

Once the wire guides were in place, we simply strung the longer jasmine strands around the wires. Not much to see right now, but we're hoping for some quick growth. Not to worry, I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Looking good, hubs, looking good. 

until next time,

Inspiration to Reality {Backyard Updates}

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that Monday's inspiration post was the lead up to an easy and reasonable backyard update. Take a peek at our newest garden ornament addition. 

There are so many things to love about these concrete orbs… to name but a few: a little pop of interest in a green space and a great filler while waiting for plants to grown in.

Lucky me, I received both as birthday presents this year. Initially I had them placed side by side, but eventually flanked the boarding bed with them - even I'm a sucker for symmetry.

Remember when I said this was a reasonable addition to the garden - yeah, they're from Target. I could barely believe it myself. #TargetDoesItAgain
Go on and get yourself some. 

until next time, 

Fairies in the Garden

Last summer our girls fell head over heels for fairy gardens. We promised we'd recreate one in our own yard, but the summer got away from us and before we knew it, it was almost a year later and no garden of our own. With a 7th birthday in the house, it became the perfect time to address the lack of fairies in our garden. So, we coupled a fairy house and accessories with one of her favorite books from the Rainbow Fairies Book Series to give as one big gift for her birthday. Even we were surprised by how excited she was to receive them. 

We added some pint size plants and pea gravel, 30 minutes later our very own fairy garden was born. The girls are loving it (and who doesn't love another excuse to get them outside!?) and we even made sure to leave space for any additional houses should the need arise. Like for someone else's 4th birthday...

Items used:
mini gardenia
mini lemon cypress
ajuga ground cover
creeping jenny ground cover

until next time, 

Sign of the Times

I already told you that we've made great progress in the backyard over the last year, now I'll show you. Remember when the little bump out looked like this, then we planted and it looked like this? Yeah, it's grown.

If you look really closely you can see the wall of arborvitae we finally finished planting. In about 20 years we won't need to worry about shade - at least that's what the guy at Home Depot said to me after I finished packing my 3rd car load.
We're also in the midst of bordering the entire bed with lambs ear.

Being in the South now we wouldn't be a respectable yard without the addition of a magnolia tree. We picked up this little guy at the end of the season last year. He didn't do much over the winter but just now started sprouting - go baby, go. We also transplanted an existing boxwood and crepe myrtle to the corner and added new knock-out roses and lavender. We still need to mulch…but you know, baby steps.

The kitchen garden is all planted and fenced in for the season. We downsized to three beds, from four last year. In truth, last year just about did us in with all the work and no glory. We rejuvenated the soil and added bagged garden soil with each planting this time around. The largest bed is growing entirely from seed while the two smaller beds are planted with pre-established plants. Wish us luck, we'll probably need it.

I stuck with my white accent color theme again this year. What can I say, I like it. The main planter is filled with a snake plant, white geranium and sedum. Geraniums get such a bad rap, but they're pretty full proof. I like them so much I added them to the wall hanging planter and the basket on the back table, too.

Last year, this back garden was planted with lettuces, kale and spinach but this year we added catmint and ajuga and I couldn't be happier with the low maintenance combination. My three tier planter is full of new guinea impatiens in white (shocker) and hot pink.

Sadly our first round of seeds didn't fare too well due to cold and extreme wet, so I don't have much to share in the way of progress. But, we do have a lot of strawberries!

Because the front of our house is in flux, awaiting it's potential remodel, I decided to fill the pots simply. Ferns for the shade and pre-established hanging baskets just plopped into the planters. Neither of which are actually planted, which will make it easy to change out should our front plans change. Kind of cheeky, but good bang for the buck!

until next time, 

Holiday Back Porch 2014

One of the many benefits of living in the South is the mild weather this time of year. In fact, on the weekends we've been know to enjoy a cocktail or two on the porch after the kids go to bed - especially after we purchased a patio heater from Home Depot a couple of months ago. Just the other night we were chatting away about decorating the back porch for Christmas this year and even threw out the idea of putting up a tree.

Remember when I said I bought a shed-load of deeply discounted arborvitae? Some made their way to the front porch and even more landed on the back porch. Instead of one big tree, we added 5 smaller trees! 3 replaced the potted hollies on the steps and 2 flank the french doors - and they are all wrapped in lights. Not surprisingly!
Welcome to Christmas on the porch.

Our temperatures may be mild, but it's not warm at night. We like to keep the chill at bay with a warm beverage, in Christmas mugs naturally, and a snuggly blanket.

The poinsettias like to visit outside when the temperatures are up, but I bring them in at night. It's definitely an extra step that some may not want to bother with, but nothing beats that pop of red when you're looking to really highlight the season.

When the containers at the front of the house went from fall to winter, we moved the ornamental cabbages to the back porch.  I love that they can transition from one season to the next.  More bang for my buck!
Speaking of containers, we replaced the ferns in the hanging baskets with white pansies, fresh cut greenery and pinecones. We've been living in Charlotte for a year and a half now and it still seems strange to see flowers blooming in December. Fortunately, it's a change I think I can get used to.

The reindeer container found a new home outside on the coffee table. This guy has definitely made the rounds throughout our homes over the years - it's nice to see him outside this time. As per usual, he's stuffed full of fresh cut greens and pinecones.

Christmas lights on the back porch and the front porch - I am one lucky girl! 

Happy Holidays indeed.

until next time,