Category Archives: GARDENING

Back Yard Blooms

This morning I woke to rain, the mornings are cooler, and it gets darker earlier at night.  These are all signs our 53 days straight of Northwest sunny weather are over and we’re headed to Fall.

I realized I never shared pics of our backyard, the place where friends and family have gathered all summer for laughs, cheers, barbeques and fires.  And since August is almost gone today is a good day for that.

table

outdoor tablecloth orange yellow

row of dahlias

second floor pic orange dahliafirepit

along the fence

red dahlia

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firepit

If you want to check out other parts of our outside space see front porch and summer pots, early summer blooms, and hanging on the side hill.

If I had lots of time and dollars I would love to have a wrap around deck from front to back, and a covered patio.  Maybe that will be next summer.  For now, it’s become a place people love to come to, where they can be comfortable.  Do you have a place like that?

One more day and it’s a 3 day weekend.  Yay!  Happy Thursday!

-renee

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A Lily Photo Op {Using Pic Monkey}

I’m the first to admit I have a lot to learn about photography.  That said,I like to take pictures, capture moments, then use the heck out of PicMonkey to edit them.  I’m sure most have heard of it, but if you haven’t, it is the best.  Pic Monkey is a free online photo editing site that you can spend hours playing with your pictures.  There is the option to pay for some upgraded features, but I’m still going the freebie route.

I took some pictures of the lilies on the side of my house the other day. I thought I’d share a few of the features I used in Pic Monkey with you.

Starting from the beginning, I took this picture of a yellow lily and what you see is totally unedited.

yellow lilty  no edit

I cropped it…and actually cropped it again, but I didn’t save it.

yello lilly cropped

I then chose the Frames feature, added an outer color, an inner color and rounded the corners.  And then added a light trails feature.  A little bit artsy and I like it.

yello light trails

yellow lily  Collage

Next, the pink lily.  I was still playing with frames and colors. Here’s a few different looks.

pink lilyCollage 1

Last and my most favorite is the white lily.  First, the blooms are big and beautiful this year.

white lilly side

I took several of the white lily and added different effects.

The original I was working with looked like this.

white lilly

Then I added a light trail effect…

white lilly light trails

and then a burst of light…

white lilly burst

and then a water effect…

white lilly water

white lilly light trails white lilly burst  white lilly water

I think I want to print and frame the blue water effect.
What do you think?  If you haven’t already, will you be trying Pic Monkey soon?

-renee

Plant Stakes {Name That Herb}

I was in Walgrens the other day and spotted some white plastic garden stakes; 10 for $1.49.  They were perfect for my herb pots.

Plant Stakes

I used a black sharpie for the herb name and assorted colors of painter pens to outline each stake.

My three-tier herb planter from last summer needed a few new plants.  I also did a pot on either side of it filled with herbs.  They all have such lovely smells.

Rosemary

sage

Parsley

mint

verbena and tarragon

rosemary 1

What have you been doing in your garden?  Happy Friday!

-renee

Front Porch & Summer Flower Pots

Happy Monday!  How many of you are heading back to work today after a long July 4th weekend?  Just remember, there’s only five days until another two days off.  {smile}

Within a ten minute drive of where I live is a nursery with the best shrubs and  flowers.  It’s called the Plant Shack and is only open in the Spring and Summer every year.  The prices seem reasonable and its run by two ladies and a gentleman.

I finally got my pots done for the front porch and thought I would share with you.

full side view

porch table small pot

This pot is one that I spray painted with Rustolem blue last year and it’s held up well.  I’m hoping the leaf white begonia, snowflake trailer and fuchsia fill in nicely.  I keep moving the blue pot from the walkway to the porch because when watering the lawn it was getting to much water.

coleus

I think this is one of my most favorite plant combinations I’ve done ever.  The Plant Shack had beautiful coleus in a variety of colors.  I decided to keep with the blue, orange, green theme and chose the Rustic Orange and Wasabi coleus.  I added some Margarita Sweet Potato Vine for trailer on each side of the pot and some fuchsia and white snowflake trailer in the middle section.  The container is one I found on the curb for free last year and I spray painted it just like the pot.  Don’t you just love all the shades of green?

Coleus Collage

I also rescued this gold pot from death before the garbage truck picked it up.  I wanted to keep the old look.  I spray painted it using a combination of bronze and copper color.  I added Safari Scarlet marigolds {French Dwarf} and a couple of petunia plants.  I had never seen the Orange Flash color before and fell in love with it.  It was nice to get away from the standard color.

gold pot Collage

gold pot 1 porch table sideview bench

bench

I gave the bench a much needed coat of stain earlier this Spring.  More on that at a later date.  Oh, and did you notice the cute orange watering can?  I scored that at Ace. I decided to use the pillows and seat cushion from last summer because I’m simply still really liking them.

pillows

The front porch is one of the coolest spots to sit in the evening and I enjoy sitting out there with a magazine and other amenities.

Tray 3

Instructions for the orange striped tray can be found here.   For other ideas for your outside decorating check out my project gallery.

So what have you been doing outside?  Have you updated / decorated your porch for the warm weather?
-renee

Peony – Seasons First Bloom

The Peony is one of my most favorite flowers.  I always pray for sunshine when I see the first blooms start to open.  This is one of the first blooms I cut on Sunday.  My house smells incredible.  I snapped a few pictures.  Please enjoy!

Peony Collage

Pic 1

Pink and Yellow Collage

Pic 10

What’s your favorite flower?  Are they in bloom yet?

-renee

Rain On My Rhody

The weather here over the last couple of days has been windy and on and off rainy.  And since this is the time of year plants bloom its always a crapshoot whether or not the blooms will survive the weather patterns.  Imagine my surprise when I got home yesterday and saw my bright pink blooming rhody holding its own.  A few of the large flowers had fallen but many were still in tact.

Full

The bees were there to greet me when I snapped a few pictures.

close up 3

close up 5

close up 2

My peonies will soon start blooming.  I sure hope they survive the  weather.  What about you?  Do you have any favorite flowers blooming in your yard right now?
-renee

Adirondak On The Hill

Some folks go to Cape Cod in the summer.  Others head to the Jersey Shore.  Me?  Where do I go on a warm evening to escape the heat and find a cool breeze?

pic 6 title

This is the side hill next to our house.  When we first moved into our house 14 years ago the alder trees in the greenbelt were creeping  to our property line.  Slowly over the years hubby has cut the trees and brambles back and now we have a beautiful rolling side hill filled of green grass and a gulley filled with ferns, huckleberries, wild flowers and alders.  It’s peaceful and when the weather is unbearable in the house the side hill is the place to be for both humans and dogs.

I picked up these Adirondak chairs at Home Depot.  They had so many fun colors I finally narrowed it down to theses three.  The “hill” is catching on with the neighbors too.  Looks like it’s going to be a fun summer!

Pic 1

pic 2

pic 4

pic 5

Where’s your hangout in the summer?

-renee

Flowers Everywhere

I mentioned yesterday that last week was my birthday.  My son is still in Florida attending college so he wasn’t able to be here.  That said, it was a wonderful surprise to find a dozen roses on our doorstep when we returned from our Portland shopping trip.  I love all the colors and there just so darn pretty.

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2238 2239

Having these in the house got be excited about the flowers that will soon be blooming in my yard.  I went back in the archives to look at some pictures and thought I would share them with you.

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076

078 083

095 096

087

098

044 040

These are some of my favorites. Peonies, dahlias, and gladiolas are 3 of my favorites.  I can’t wait for them to start showing there color.

What are you planting in your garden this year?

Beautiful Peonies

We came home from vacation to a bit of rain and I felt so bad for my peony bushes. My two bushes on the North of the house had already started blooming.  I love peonies so much!

Peony5

Peony4

The rain waited the blooms down so I made a beautiful fragrant bouquet for the house.

Peony Vase Collage

The bushes on the south side are just on the verge of blooming.  I’m so glad I I had the foresight to stake all the bushes 3 weeks ago.

Peony1

Peony2

Peony3

Peony6

Can you smell them?  There absolutely divine!

-renee

Flower Pots Pizazz

I jazzed up some of my old terracotta colored plastic pots with spray paint. I figured I might as well get one year out of them versus spending money on new pots.  So today I’m sharing those and a few from last year.  I also have been playing around with the collage feature in Pic Monkey so guess what you’re going to see?  Yep, flower pot collages! In fact, I’m apologizing right now because I know I repeated a few pics.

Flower  Collage

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Flower Collage 1

Flower Collage 3

Flower Collage 4

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Tomato plant

What have you planted lately?

-renee