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September 22, 2017

Driveway Garden Makeover

My new garden bed was inspired by this little Japanese Maple.  We had to quickly move it over here when we planted new shrubs by the house.  I had a vision of a Japanese garden and drew up a quick plan which I'll show you but don't laugh- I'm no artist!

Once it started to go together a few changes were made but generally I stuck to my plan.

Dan and I did some hunting and found these large rocks at a landscaper's rock stockpile that we brought home a week ago.  

They all had a yellowish dirty cast to them so I wasn't 100% sure what they'd look like but I knew they'd be a lighter color.  

We borrowed his sister's power washer and Dan cleaned them up.

The right side of the bed was widened about 12" to match the concrete turnaround width better and so the little maple wouldn't be too close to the edge.  We also removed about 10" of sod at the back so the bed goes all the way to the fence now and mowing won't be necessary.  A 12" wide piece of landscape fabric was installed along both edges to prevent the grass from taking over again.

We had to use the front end loader on the tractor to set the big rocks. Dan estimated one of them to be at least 450 lbs.  They are all granite.  This area measures 8 1/2 ft. deep x 20 ft. wide.  The big ash tree next to all of this has broken the driveway and the right side of the bed is slightly raised from the tree.

I dug out this very large hosta from out back.  I believe this is called "Great Expectations".  I've had it a long time and it's a favorite. 

I found another large hosta in my back area to fill in this area by the stone. 

These little hostas came from out back near the fountain area. They nearly disappeared because of some of the ground cover plants were choking them out.  There's a third clump on the right that is barely visible.  I also put Japanese Painted Ferns behind the rock that were also getting choked out from ground covers.  Next year this will look more naturalized.

I put a new Karl Foerster ornamental grass behind this rock which will be about 5 foot tall and they have nice feathery plumes that will show up next summer.

I also added two purple mums.  As you've noticed the ash tree above has started to let go of some leaves.  Most of the tree is still green but it's always the first to let go.

I wanted a little Pagoda but was getting discourage at the costs of the ones I found on-line and no-one around here had one.  I finally found a garden center about 40 miles north of us that had some nice Japanese garden art.  This is a composite stone piece and they called it a Japanese Lantern.  While creating this area I had to place these objects just far enough back so when people back into the turn around they won't be knocking things over.

The variegated grasses are new and I think they'll make a nice backdrop for the lantern.  Isn't it cute- I can stick a candle in there to light it up.

I also planted two purple phlox that I took from the front island.  You can see the larger dark green leaves of one of them in this picture near the stone.  In the forefront is a mum that came back from a couple of years back.  Next year I'm going to try to trim it back so it will stay a bit shorter and it helps them to be fuller.  The gals at the nursery center said the rule of thumb is to cut it 3 times before the 4th of July.  The sun starts hitting the left side and then its shady again early afternoon and it moves across to the right side and that gets the most sun so I had to plan accordingly.  

This was in the spring of 2016- these Summer Wine Ninebarks looked horrible.  I watered extra heavy and trimmed them back and they recovered but they really never did well here.  I had planted them about 4 years ago and finally got fed up.  They were also susceptible to powdery mildew.

Sorry I don't have a better picture but this is the most recent one I had of the area.

This is how it looks now! 
I can't wait to see it next year and how it fills out.  

September 20, 2017

Fall Blues

As my desire to decorate for fall cranks up I wanted to combine some blues with the traditional fall colors.

I went to Michael's and found this very light orange shaded pumpkin.  As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to do.  I had Dan cut a 3" wide hole (using a "hole saw" that attaches to a drill (he says you have to run it backwards- works best- see example picture at bottom of post).  This pumpkin is solid styrofoam but some are hollow.

I found a floral spray with blue hydrangeas, white roses and bluish green stems.  I also found a pick with the bluish ivy color and a white pumpkin that I shoved down in the center and then I surrounded it with the orange berries.

I fell in love with these dishes from Pier 1 because of the blue squash and pale cream colored pumpkins. 

The dinner plate is from Cracker Barrel- long ago.  I've used them a bunch for tablescapes.  The napkins were in my stash (from Park Designs) and the flower and leaf metal napkin holder is also an oldie from Pier 1.  

I paired my blue/green stemware (Bahia Bormioli Rocco ) since it was the best blue for this table mix.  The wicker chargers are from a few years back from One King's Lane.  I always liked the weathered look they offer. 

I stabilized the wicker chargers which can be a bit uneven with a cotton placemat.

San Remo Flatware from Horchow

I hope you enjoyed my Fall Blues!

I have completed my new garden transformation by the driveway.  I need to take pictures to share with you.  I had some fun with this one!


Milwaukee calls it a hole Dozer but it's commonly called a hole saw.
(I'm not compensated for this- just sharing the info)  Various other brands provide the same kind of saw.


September 17, 2017

Landscape Demolition and Update on First Demo

Well- we're at it again.  This is the south side of the house- very plain and heavily shaded.  This is the utility end with the electric meter, gas line and cable tv.  20 years ago when we the addition was added to the front of the house they dug my shrubs and laid them off to the side with a pile of dirt on them to cover the roots.  The next spring I re-planted and these two double file viburnum ended up over here.  With virtually no sunlight they did not fare well.  I have no idea why I've waited so long to do anything about it but we've finally put an idea in motion.

If you can spot it you can see a very large hosta on the back corner of the house.  There are various hostas in my landscape that I plan to dig, split and replant over on this side.  It's a good time to do this at this time of year since the days and nights are cooler and the plants will be less stressed out.  

On the other side of the house is the driveway.  We have a small turnaround spot and some Ninebark shrubs that haven't done well.  There is a garden mum that came back from last year and we transplanted a very small red Japanese maple that you can just see on the right side.  That got moved when we made the change by the side of the house and added new shrubs as shown "here".  Normally you would never transplant a tree or shrub in mid summer but we did and for some reason it never skipped a beat and is doing quite well.  (The best time to transplant trees and shrubs is in the fall when they are ready to go into dormancy or early spring before they are leafing out.)

Like before when we did our landscape renewal in late July out front as seen "here" Dan used our little John Deere tractor with it's front bucket to remove the shrubs.  It saves a lot of back breaking stress as well as for the legs and knees!  

Now I have a fairly blank slate.  I scratched some ideas on paper and am currently working on giving this area a new look.  It will be mostly plants that die back for the season.  I also plan on transplanting a few things from the yard over here during this process.

When we did the foundation landscape renewal (first demo) I planted two knock-out roses.  They had a couple of flowers at that time and seemed to stall out on flowering for a bit.  Suddenly they exploded with flowers and I am so delighted!

Now the real test will be next spring.  Hoping to see them come back with no problems!

The big Japanese Maple we put in is doing very well too as well as the two arborvitaes on the sides of the chimney.  Compared to what I had before this is so much better looking.  

I just had to share this.  The big limelight has started to turn to the pink color.  I opened the window from the living room and snapped a couple of shots.

Isn't it pretty- I wish it would stay this way!  Eventually they all turn brown, but that won't happen for a little while yet.

Between Naps on the Porch

September 14, 2017

Glowing Fall With Glass

I have finally decided to dive in with some fall decorating since it's arriving very soon!

On a hunt to incorporate my little vignette from a couple of days ago into a fall tablescape I found these forgotten chargers.  They have a metal colored leaf that I wanted to use to go with the pumpkin and cylinder with cotton bolls.  While nosing around I found my amber glass dishes and the clear fleur de lis glass salad plates.

This is the fun part about tablescaping- taking elements you have and mixing them to ether in ways you didn't anticipate or think of at first.  

These clear plates have a heavy texture on the bottom side of a feeder almost burlap design to them.

Parts of my vignette from Tuesday this week as seen "here"

For some reason I was drawn to these simple tin looking items this year.  Though I am quite fond of the usual fall colors I am going to incorporate a little blue this year!

We always have a lot of birds around!

The napkins came from Pier 1 this year.  

I like how the texture seemed similar in these glasses (Fitz and Floyd Trestle stemware) to the glass salad plates.  Another thing I had never imagined or planned for. 

I've had this Ralph Lauren paisley tablecloth for a good while.  I am pleased it worked out well for this fall tablescape.

I am very appreciative that the sun found it's way through the hazy morning skies and provided the glow for my tablescape!

It's still very green outdoors but we are seeing some trees turning.  As much as I love it I hate to see it come because it never lasts long enough and then the "w" word arrives! 

I hope you enjoyed my Glowing Fall With Glass tablescape!

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