Fillin Out the Bump Out

The other morning when I snuck outside to grab a couple of shots of our new porch stairs, I realized I never shared our little border bump-out garden that we planted a couple of weeks back.
Shame, shame. How dare I leave you hanging like that. 
So without further ado, here you go…

This garden is directly across from our breakfast room double window - a decision we made pretty quickly when regrading the yard early this year - we love to throw open the shutters during breakfast and take in the view. 

Don't you just love when a quick decision works out!

Anywho, when we were planning this garden, I knew I wanted to stick to a white, green, and purple/blue overall color scheme to incorporate and playoff our gigantic transplanted hydrangea. 

One of my favorite plants we managed to incorporate is the white knock out rose. I scoured the city and managed to find 3 from two different nurseries. 

Of course, now they have truck loads of them at Home Depot!

I love using white blooming plants because they pop against the green and really shine at night.  That's why I snuck in an extra peony in white, too!

I also made sure to include a bunch of lavender. There are a lot of varieties out there, these are Provence lavender. To bump up the lavender look and feel, I also planted purple salvia. It has a very similar look, but blooms more consistently. Sneaky, sneaky.

When it comes to placing plants, I'm a firm believer in trial and error. But a couple of rules I attempt to follow are:
1. stay away from straight lines
2. plant in odd numbers, typically groupings of 3
3. stay within a cohesive color pallet

Our original plan didn't include arborvitae as a hedge but then I stumbled upon this image on Pinterest and I was sold. 

Here's a zoomed out image of the area we are talking about. That's a lot of arborvitae to make a hedge, so we're planning on tackling it a little at a time … like two arborvitae at a time. Needless to say, it's gonna be awhile. Fortunately, we have the neighbors' worlds worst hedge for privacy until we fill out our hedge … in approximately 5 years! 

Anyone else feel like I overused the word 'bump' in this post? Zoinks.

until next time,

Defining the Space

The backyard makeover madness project continues! 
(Read where we left off here.) Are you getting sick of it yet? We are the ones living through it and while it's exciting to see progress, we are eager to get the yard into usable shape for the summer months.  

Over the weekend our yard went from this…

to this.

I'd like to tell you that we slaved all weekend creating and edging new beds, laying pine straw and generally giving the yard the overall cleanup its been craving since we moved in, but it wasn't us. We had family visiting instead.

Side note: John made this recipe and it was Yum!

Truth is, sometimes you have to weigh the time and energy vs. the overall cost and decide where your priorities lie for each project. In this case, we decided to hire in to save ourselves, what would inevitably be, most weekends this summer trying to get the yard in shape. 

Anywho, now that we've established that, back to the project at hand - the planning and planting of the new backyard beds. As you can see, we went for an undulating shape to add some interest to the property line. In my opinion, there's not much worse than a straight bed running the length of your property line. Talk about boring! You've got to treat your outdoor spaces like your indoor rooms. You wouldn't just line the walls of a room with all your furniture, now would you!?! 

Unfortunately, one of our biggest issues at hand is this awful, dead hedge which is maintained by our neighbors. Initially, our thoughts were to rip the whole thing out and start afresh, but now that the beds are defined we can see that there is enough space to simply add our own privacy screen. Yeah for that. But what to plant?
Maybe Cameillas - wouldn't that just be a beautiful hedge?

A cameilla hedge, or any hedge for that matter, will be a pricey number so we'll probably just focus on this little area for now. This bump-out is directly across from the breakfast room windows, in other words, we really want it to be full and beautiful and dramatic. Thus far, we have transplanted a couple of hydrangea from other areas in the yard. More ideas are peonies, lilac, knock out roses, grasses, lavender, catmint.
Very Patina Farm, you know.
As always, we're open to all ideas and would love to hear what any experienced Southern gardeners have to say…
Meanwhile, I'll be thumbing thru this book for more inspiration.
So, how was your weekend? 

until next time, 

Get the Look: Statement Planter

There are times when you want your planters to all coordinate, creating one overall scheme. Then, there are times when you want one single planter to stand alone, creating a real statement. 

Of course, we want a big statement in the new urn situated front and center in our kitchen garden

Note: After a lot of research, we settled on a clean lined, 27" cement planter from Lowe's

Like with any new project, I spent time looking through magazines and online researching combinations for said statement urn. Unfortunately, I didn't come up with much. 
When all else fails, it's time to hit the shops. 
First, I checked out Home Depot for flowers, but ultimately left feeling uninspired. Time to pull out the big dogs and get some personalized attention at a local nursery.

I'm sure I've mentioned Banner nursery before. They are a small locally owned nursery with very competitive pricing, excellent personalized service and a selection that is second to none. Clearly, I am a big fan. If you are local, check them out. 

I worked with one of their planter designers ( I'm calling her that because she was actually working on a planter when I got there). We walked around the nursery looking at various combinations and she highlighted some of their more unusual selections. Ultimately, she left me with a great piece of advice: get a cart and start laying the plants/flowers out how you would imagine them in the planter, keeping the thriller, filler, spiller concept in mind, and go from there. 

Here's what I ended up with. 
I knew I wanted to keep the scheme fairly neutral overall because I have a lot of colors, textures, and varieties in the surrounding beds. The designer at Banner wasn't super thrilled with my "drama without color" concept, but I think we made it work. 

Get the look...
Thriller: Cordyline Red Sensation
Filler: Dusty Miller, Variegated Japanese Sedge 'Evergold' 
Spiller: Variegated Sweet Potato Vine, White Petunia

until next time, 

Progress Report: Kitchen Garden Plantings

Last I left you, I had laid out quite the plan for said kitchen garden. Would you be disappointed to know that I hadn't been entirely truthful? Yup, they weren't just plans. They were plans in action. 

We've been tree trimming (hello light!) and hedge planting. 

Neighbors recommended we check out Grower's Outlet in Pineville, NC for the 20+ shrubs we needed to create the border hedge. A family excursion on Easter Sunday did not disappoint. The selection and pricing were out of this world. It's like Big Lots for plants. If you are local, looking to buy in bulk, definitely check it out.

We opted to go with compacta hollies because we were told that sometimes boxwood have trouble with the heat of the South. The look is surprisingly similar, so here's hoping for the best!

Beyond the hedge, we also managed to add a couple of decorative elements to the garden. The girls and I planted our 3 tier planter with 3 colors of inpatients. It will add a nice pop of color in the shade beneath the fig tree. 
(Eloise declared herself the dirt girl, while Tessa handled the watering - anyone who knows these girls should not be surprised by this!) 

The wall planter is also ready to be hung. I may move fast, but I'm not a miracle worker. Drilling into brick will have to wait for John. 
 The rosemary plants have found a new home, now we are debating planting them instead of potting them. Thoughts? If we plant them, we won't carry the hedge along the brick wall. 

As in years past, we picked up our plants and seeds at Home Depot. If I was buying in bulk, growers outlet had a great selection. A couple of weeks ago, we planted some of our cooler weather seeds like lettuce, kale, spinach and peas, which are already starting to sprout up.

Tomato supports are assembled and ready to go. Remember these from my Lowe's post. So cute and reasonable. Thinking I might have to grab one more for our cucumbers.

Speaking of veggies, check out our little pea shoots. And Tessa's handwritten sign. My MIL gave me the zinc plant markers for my birthday and I love them. In fact, I just ordered more. 

We are loving how the garden is taking shape. Still want to move the table, find a suitable urn for the center circle of the garden, add more flowering plants and decide on the back hedge. Loads of work on the horizon. Exciting!

until next time, 

Spring Garden

Today, I thought I'd share snippets from our Spring garden - seeing as we spent the whole of the weekend outside working on it - that's really all I've got!

Together, Mr. DD and I, plus some very helpful help from Miss T spread over 3 yards of mulch in the yard. Getting up close and personal with our yard allowed me to snap some of these pics and really appreciate all the yard has to offer this time of year.
Like this little lenten rose that is a early bloomer and shade lover. 

Remember our little pebble patio from last year? She's all spruced up and ready for action again!

This year, I placed our 3 tier planter on the front patio - it's nice to have a shot of color here by the front door and so far they are loving the early morning light. 

My favorite double-blooming almond tree is about to break into full blooming color. Could quite possibly be my favorite tree in the yard - although the cherry trees come a close second. They're about to bloom and I'll be sure to capture it on film for you.

We've got a lot of interesting ground cover in the back garden and I just love when they bloom. The purple flowers on the creeping myrtle are some of my favorites.

And of course, we can't forget about our pachysandra which smells lovely when it's blooming.
If you have any questions about these flowers, I'll do my best to answer them, just shoot me an email or leave a comment.

until next time,