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September 28, 2017

Autumn Woodland Wrapping

Autumn has arrived up north!  
We had a pump of hot air pushing us into the low 90's for several days and then we turned the corner and it dropped into the 60's!
Isn't he the cutest!

Yesterday morning I got my buns in gear and put together this idea for a wreath that I envisioned back in August.  I've had the supplies waiting but I just had to find the time to do it.

Early in August on a visit to JoAnn's I found this cute little fox that I couldn't resist!  He's meant to be hung by himself but my idea was to add him to a wreath.  I ran a flexible wire through the back of the foam frame both to the top and bottom and tied him in place.

I cut apart the floral sprays and inserted the stems one by one, then added little gourds, pumpkins, acorns and pine cones.  I intended to hang it on the outside of the door but it's too thick to go between the doors.  Then I decided I'd rather enjoy it from inside the house so that's where it is now.







Then I "falled up" the entryway chest.
Last January I was checking out the clearance section of MacKenzie Childs and found these pumpkins for half off!  I wrapped them with a garland of leaves flowers and pine cones on a tray.

I think everyone that likes those imagines themselves painting their own version but I for a fact lack that kind of talent so I'm thrilled to have gotten these on sale!

See the little accent colors they add to them?  That would be another difficult step to copy.

Morning's sunlight- love how it enhances things.

I found this at Cracker Barrel.  I was intrigued with the cutwork on it.  I quickly set it on the floor by the chair after I got it- and there it has stayed.  They have another one that is smaller but I haven't decided if I "need" it!

This is how I love to see fall displayed- wrapping my environment with woodland accents.

Now it's time to get busy with more fall decorating!

September 26, 2017

A Little Milestone and Fall Mums


It's hard to believe it's been a year already!  Our little Grandson Joseph Daniel "Joey" has 
turned "1"  😊
Plenty of gifts and cards for the little peanut!  He didn't know what to make of the gifts- tearing paper off?  What is that all about!  

He enjoyed all the new toys and was fun to watch.  He's such a sweet little boy- observant and loving!

His first sugary sweet treat!  After a little encouragement he figured out how to dig in a little bit and get some bites of cake!  Don't worry he only ate about a teaspoon's worth!  We stayed with the kids from Friday until Sunday and then headed back home on Monday.

Frankenmuth Michigan is conveniently located a few miles off of I75 and after many hours of driving we decided to stop in and have a chicken dinner.  There are two large restaurants that are well known for the large family style chicken dinners.  This time we ate a the Bavarian Inn.   It was round 5 pm when we arrived and the sun was just right for me to capture this shot.  Some trees have already turned color as you can see.

There is more than one carriage service which will take you on a tour through the little town of Frankenmuth.  Notice the grass and florals that I of course had to include in the picture!

A quick panoramic shot inside the Edelweiss room which has a definite Bavarian influence.  

Don't squeal but this is the food they bring!  I ordered the classic chicken dinner with a bit of sauerbraten on the side and Dan did the same except he ordered bratwurst on the side.  I was beginning to load my plate and decided to take a snap shot.  First they brought a basket of bread and chicken noodle soup (tiny noodles), then they brought pickled cucumbers, coleslaw, and a cranberry dish.  Following was the chicken, green beans, egg noodles with a grated breading on top, mashed potatoes dressing and gravy.  There were 8 pieces of chicken so we had planty of leftovers for our next meal at home.

This was the "mini" version of their apple strudel with caramel sauce.  Glad I got the mini!  Dan and I shared it and it didn't last long!


This is Zehnder's which across the street from the Bavarian Inn. We have eaten there the most.  Can you see the big chicken just below and to the right of the sign?

Here's a backside view.  Loaded with red and white wax begonias and a purple fountain grass for it's comb and tail!  They do this every year but I always love seeing it each time. 

Another view

Dan carrying my purchase and heading back towards the Bavarian Inn.  All up and down this street are cute little shops and further up the road is Bronner's Christmas Wonderland which is promoted as the world's largest Christmas Store.  By the time we got home it was about 10 pm.   We've been having a real hot spell (90's) so I was a little worried about my plants at home.

My Queen Elizabeth rose decided to bloom while I was gone but still had some flowers for me to see!

Notice the leaves?  Those came down since last Friday from the big ash tree.  What a mess!  Time for the leaf blower.

While I was setting up the new garden by the driveway turnaround I picked up various mums and asters.  I found some apple crates and plastic pumpkins from last year to help me get started with my seasonal display.

I was smitten with this color- sort of a soft coral/pink with a little bit of yellow in the centers.

I pulled out my topiary pieces Dan helped me make a few years ago.

I found this yummy yellow mums that I decided to put in the top.  In the past I've put a bunch of mini pumpkins and gourds in it but decided to add coco liners and plant them this year.  Here are link's to posts showing the topiary basket plantings in the past and present "2013"  "2014" "2017"  
2015 and 2016 I did the planters differently.


The mums in the lower level are a rich rust color that I found at Home Depot.  Little pots for  $2.98 each.  I found the ornamental kale at another store and decided to group them all together.  I am going to tuck in some mini pumpkins and gourds too (as soon as I get a chance to get to a farmer's stand).  

I just love the shape of the leaves and it's upward growth pattern.  I did plant them on a slight angle to show them off better.

So there you have it- a Little Milestone Birthday and my Fall Mums!


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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.  

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