Thursday, May 29, 2014

a collection...around these parts

 School is winding down and summer break is upon us.  Kinda nice to have a loose schedule to look forward to.  Here is what has been making me smile as of late...

~My youngest getting the hang of the creek~

~The front garden is a work in progress but it is coming along a little further this year~

~An awesome scene at the arboretum~

~Found this bench to be perfectly magical tucked into a woodland garden on a stroll with the beans~

~My bean boy independent and free searching for tadpoles~

~My oldest touching the tadpoles~

~The children's garden where we spend many good days~

~Our go to dish that looks pretty with basil from the garden~

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
A recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa...

Simply prepare the dressing and pour over warm pasta.  I add chunks of fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes from the garden, basil, and you can even cube chicken and add it if you like.

The dressing (which I always double)

~5 sun dried tomatoes in oil drained
~2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
~6 tablespoons good olive oil
~1 garlic clove, diced
~2 teaspoons kosher salt
~3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

blend it in a food processor and pour over warm pasta
sprinkle with parmesan cheese before you dig in if you want to tone down the flavor

~Peonies are opening~

~A new tablecloth for spring~

~Along the dry creek bed is my new favorite woodland plant...Bowman's Root (part shade) paired with Lamium, Autumn Joy sedum, and geranium~

~A new throw for summer~

~Chocolates in town with the hubs on our date night~

Here is to the little things that make us smile!  
Happy making, baking, and growing!

Monday, May 26, 2014

green trends and hope

I have been noticing a bit of a trend in my borders as things are starting to grow and bloom.  Lime green.  It seems to wake up the darkest areas of my garden.  Similar to how the garden lightens our spirits and brings us hope.

As I was driving down our street this Memorial Day weekend, I paused and sent silent prayers when passing several of my neighbors' homes.  Fallen Soldier Flags hanging from front porches to honor their loved ones who lost their lives serving our country.  
And wouldn't you know it....most of these homes have spectacular gardens.  

A song I have been enjoying that brings me a bit of hope and happiness... 

The Head and The Heart...Lost In My Mind

foliage....Jack Frost and Solomon's Seal

I was worried about my Weigela {Fine Wine} shrubs as they were looking a bit tattered from the winter so when they started blooming it was extra sweet!

Climbing hydrangea, Carolyn's Gold hosta, Japanese Forest Grass, Snow on the Mountain, Epimedium Sulphureum {Barrenwort}, 

any day these peonies should be bursting

Adding some color to our little front porch.  Pillows, table and stool were all bought at Home Goods for under 100 bucks.  I potted up a fern and brought out my orange chair and lantern to finish it up.  It's a nice change.

One of my favorite miniature hostas is Carolyn's Gold.  Here with sedum {Lemon Coral}

Joe Pye Weed looking strong after being stepped on by a bean!

Baptisia {false indigo}

experimenting with views 

A new plant for me this year...Delphinium {Belladonna} paired with phlox {Red Riding Hood}

Snowball Viburnum 

geraniums with Bee Balm

Lilacs are blooming

growing some peas up front in my sunny flower bed

Did I mention that the boxwoods that I planted in my containers by the front door did not make it through our winter...done..fried.......containers are now filled with begonias!

Brookside Geranium and behind my new Anise-Hyssop {Blue Fortune}

some more lime...Creeping Jenny and sedum

Strawberries from my sis and Mexican Petunia with sweet potato vine

Blue Star 

So as I move plants....apply compost.....plant seeds....water...weed...split...add more.....I look onto my garden with hope.  And when hope is answered with the smallest of victories it is replaced with happiness!

THANK YOU to all who have served our country.   

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Monday, May 19, 2014

MAKING Mondays {Fairy Herb Garden Teacher Gift}

Ok, I know I've done this all before but it just so happens that this came in very handy this weekend!  This project was inspired by a Fairy and Gnome House I made last year and one made by a very special friend.

 Miss Sue is my next door neighbor.  She is more than that really.  A friend who has not only taught me about the garden but about life from our over the fence chats.  My beans love looking on to her garden from their bedroom window.  Everyday they knock frantically in hopes that she will turn around and do a happy dance!  She is old school Greek which I relate to quite well as my Pop is old school Italian!    It is just a blessing to have someone like her right next-door.

Miss Sue's herb garden

Now with the oldest of our 3 beans finishing up her first year of preschool, I thought that a fairy herb garden would be the perfect gift for her teacher.  A thank you to a wonderful teacher who created a loving learning environment for this fairy!

{Fairy Herb Garden Teacher Gift}


~herbs (we used basil and oregano)
~small house (we picked ours up at a hobby store)
~a fairy or a gnome for a little boy 
(we picked this up at our local nursery)
~natural twine
~sign and paint pen (both from the craft store) 

Thank you for helping this fairy fly!

made sure to leave some space for them to fill in as the season goes

A simple end of the year gift for all of those incredible teachers out there!

And to all of my blogging buddies...thank you for inspiring me!
Chasing after my beans keeps me on my toes and about knocks me out at the end of the day!  Being able to visit your blogs reminds me of the many treasures that life offers everyday and refuels my creativity!  It has been a cool adventure for sure!

Wishing you a week full of good things!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

bits of happy...the start of the 2014 garden

This time of year my art is no longer created on canvas with paints, it's created in the garden.  Looking for color combinations, textures, and forms.  

foam flowers and goat's beard
{white spots are organic smelly critter repellent}

the start of our new patio with my corky red chairs

This kitchen garden makes me happy!  Stepping out our kitchen door to get some herbs and greens for meals makes everything good.

a fun place at our local nursery...thought this was a great place to get lost!

and the beans....playing away!

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing everyone!
Here is to a great weekend!

Partying at....