Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's new in the garden

It is still fairly obvious that I'm an amateur gardener. Most gardeners would remember what plants they planted - or if they planted a lot - would hold onto the seed packets so they could say "Oh, yes, I planted *that* there." No suck luck for me. 

Anyway, the bearded iris are finished flowering for the season and are hopefully gearing up for a fall show. While I was worried that I'd end up with a garden bed full of shriveled up spring plants - the annuals Garry and I planted started flowering. 

For the life of me, I can't remember what these are. Garry picked them out because he LOVES blue flowers, almost as much as I do. 

Anyone else want to take a stab at it? It's silly, I should know what they are. But, they are really cute little flowers and I'm enjoying them as I walk in the door every day. 

There are still a few rogue hosta lurking in my garden bed. Luckily they're in a spot where I don't really mind them being - so they can live... for now. 

The light purple trumpeted flowers are pretty and so long as they don't get out of control (the bed was full of them and a host of other plants that we didn't care for when we bought the house) I'm okay with a few standing their ground. 

They almost are overpowered by the foliage from the bearded iris (seriously, those things are huge!) so they might get transplanted to somewhere else where they can be appreciated in the fall. 

I was really worried that the Alyssum I planted wasn't going to flower, or be incredibly spotty.

Doesn't look like I have to worry too much about that! :) 

I'm still learning a lot about planting annuals. This was our first go at it and we did.... okay. The annuals we planted in the planter bed (the ones pictured) grew and bloomed. The ones we planted in elsewhere didn't make it. :-/ I'm going to try starting seedlings inside over the winter and then planting them. The biggest problem is where to put them where they will get enough light. 

I am having a lot of success with my bulbs and shrubs this year. 

This is my white Rose of Sharon shrub and my gladioli planted around it. They are HUGE! I'm hoping the glads will be able to lean against the shrub for support, but I think I will eventually have to stake them as we get closer to their blooming season (which for both plants is not that far away!). 

Each year we add a little more to the garden. There's not so much to do this summer except tearing out the myrtle growing on the small side yard, tackle the dreaded back corner in the backyard, and *hopefully* plant my rose bushes next to my arbor. 

This fall I'm hoping to divide my bearded iris along with planting another variety in the planter bed. (The divided ones I'm going to move up near the arbor) Since I have to dig up the gladioli bulbs anyway - I'm going to apply a strategy for plants to bloom all spring/summer and dig up all of my bulbs and replant the hardy ones along with some new ones. There may or may not be charts involved.... where's my graph paper!

Shutters, tables, and quest for the master bath

Yes, it's been a while. Maybe I'm not so great at this blogging stuff. My little tablet at home for some reason can't handle what I need it to do and Garry is usually playing around on the desktop - so... that equals little time to write out all my thoughts and photos.

I finished the shutter project (finally!). It was probably one of the easier projects I've done in a while - just spray some clear coat, screw in a few hinges and Ta-Da!

Looks pretty nice! But, it does look a lot better in person. :)

I'm wondering what else needs to be in that corner. I'm thinking a white/tan floor vase. I have *tons* of filler that needs to find a home... soon.

I'm also considering buying this guy. I think he would look lovely behind my couch - and thankfully it's the right length/height. It would be nice to have a little more surface/storage space. I would love to have a basket under the sofa that had some craft stuff (like my embroidery and drawing) so when I'm having a not-so-great day when there's little else to do except something with my hands and watch tv, well, I have something right there. Most of those items are packed away somewhere in my craft room (which is still a pretty crazy, unorganized mess) and I honestly don't want to search through all my drawers and containers to find whatever little project I want to work on. Once one is finished, I can put a different project in there to work on. I'm hoping Garry will agree that this is a good idea.

Our flea market find table/hutch is coming along. I managed to get a coat of primer on the top part of the table/desk. I also scrubbed two of the legs down.

I read on the primer that the paint didn't need to be stripped in order for it to work, so since the current paint on the legs is in relatively good shape, I'm going to just clean it well and prime over it and see what happens. Once I get the first coat of primer finished on the whole piece, I'm going to sand it lightly and add another coat and then (you guessed it) sand lightly again. I don't want to take any chances that the bright yellow will bleed through.

BTW, the primer I'm using is Zinsser. It's oil-based and hopefully will be more durable than a water-based primer would be.

So far, I'd have to say I'm really liking this primer. It went on relatively smooth for a first coat and seems rather durable. The pictures above are with only one coat. Even though it *looks* completely white, the primer is uneven and you can still see some of the yellow through it.

Why yes, I *did* scrape a bunch of the old paint with a stripping solvent. Guess what? It stained the wood yellow because the person who painted this didn't prime it first. Oh well. I was going to have to prime it anyway...

As far as paint color for the final coats go - I'm thinking of painting the body grey with some white, gold, and soft aqua/turquoise accents. There are so many curves and details on this piece and I'd like to use some different colors to highlight them. The previous owner apparently felt that way too, only decided to use neon orange and bright green... on top of yellow. Luckily we have some tiny brushes and painter's tape I can use for this process.

That process will take quite some time and I'm more than likely going to do it after I bring it in the house.

As far as the seemingly never-ending project that is the master suite...

We're still working on getting the walls for the master bath ready.

I'm not sure yet what I want to do with this wall. I'd love something with texture and fun. I'm also thinking of making it a gallery wall.

The wall extends out a little further than I originally planned in order to have a regular door. We contemplated having bi-fold doors as the door to the bathroom from the bedroom area, but decided regular doors would be better. It also creates a little nook area (once we get the staircase walled in with a half-wall) where we can either do a built-in dresser, or do something else for storage.

I also want some long-ish pendant lighting to hang over the stairwell. I'd *love* to have Moroccan lanterns.

We do have a *slight* problem that we're running into. The heating element runs along the entire back wall of our attic. In order to build the wall separating the bedroom area from the bathroom, we need to cut the element and create two separate units. Easy enough to do - for someone who works in the industry that is.

So - in order to get the electric finished, we're going to build *most* of that wall - save for the last stud and anchor - so the electrician can finish his job. When the plumber comes in and does all of the rough-in, we'll have him cut the element so we can finish the last section of the wall.

And then.... there will be drywall.

I'm seriously thinking of hiring someone to take care of the drywall. Garry is working a lot this summer and I think it would be nice to just have someone come in and do it and have it done in a few days - rather than have the stress of doing it a little at a time and doing it right. Sure, it will probably cost more, but I think at the end of the day, we'll be happier than if we decided to do it ourselves.

Ideally, I'd like the master suite to feel like I'm staying in some bohemian hotel away from the world. There's not a whole lot of light (yet) and I'd like to keep the color palette light as I have a hard time relaxing with a lot of vibrant colors around me.

Also, there needs to be a place for Auron. I'd like a spot upstairs where he can have his den and it doesn't look just "thrown" in the room. I want him to feel comfortable too!

Friday, June 7, 2013

More garden pictures

We don't have much going on right now - still working on a bunch of my projects, Garry started his summer job, and - that's really about it. We're just plugging away.

I'm sure you're happy to know that my fuchsia hanging basket is still alive and it looks gorgeous. The little flowers on the end look like little candies and I just love them. I'm hoping it will bloom all summer long. 

My bearded iris finally started blooming as well. Both plants are HUGE and more than likely will need to be divided this year. I have two varieties:

"Mother Earth"

And honestly, I can't remember what variety this is, if anyone could enlighten me that would be great.

Here they are, peacefully coexisting together. They are gorgeous plants. I'd love to get another variety because we have a big space in the middle of the planter that just needs... something. 

My dwarf iris is chugging right along. These are the ones I rescued from my back yard. I don't know what variety these are, but I believe they are "Cinnamon Stick." That's my best guess.

I really do get the best photos of my Japanese maple. If you look through the leaves on a sunny day, it looks like the tree is on fire. It's just gorgeous. The seeds are really colorful as well. 

I have no idea what kind of flower this is, but it's growing in my back yard. Anyone? Bueller? 

Speaking of the back yard, Auron has had a good time running around like it's a doggy race-track. 

This is mid-loop

Okay, we can stop just for a second so mommy can take a picture. 

He's my sweet 85 lb. moose-baby. He thinks he's the same size as the cats and tries to crawl all over us just like them. He's 16 months old and is still very puppy-like, but he has moments of showing the "wisdom beyond years" - usually it's when I let him outside and he runs to the edge of the slope of our back yard and he sits and stares off into the distance. There's nothing there, no sounds, but he just "takes it in."