Monday, June 22, 2015

Whats Growing In My Garden-Yellow Loosestrife

Its amazing how a few snips of fresh flowers can brighten up an entire room!
My yellow Loosestrife is blooming now so I brought in a few snips and put the in a white pitcher to add a farmhouse touch to my decor.

Have you ever heard of yellow Loosestrife?

Their delicate flowers kind of hang loosely from the stem which is what I love about them. It gives them a country, or wild flower feel.


I decorate a lot with yellow so these make the perfect centerpiece in my front room!


Here is my yellow Loosestrife in all their glory.


These grow best in full sun and they are maintenance free. I have not watered them at all this Summer. Of course we had a ton of rain this year but even during the hot dry days they don't require much.
Yellow Loosestrife also has a really neat growth pattern.
You see, when Spring comes, they pop up out of the ground a burgundy color and as they grow taller  (to about four feet) into Summer they transition into green, and then once they are fully green they bloom flowers.
I grew all of this from a small clump my friend gave me about seven years ago.
I have thinned them out about three or four times since then and have given some away to neighbors but they keep coming back strong year after year and I love them!
Pin It 
 Linking Up To:
Tuesday Garden Party Co-Hosts

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Beachy Decor

Life around here has been super busy since I have a couple different projects going on simultaneously.
You may remember I started my staircase makeover earlier in the Spring. I got off on the right foot with a strong start but then fizzled out along the way and got burned out.
I was anxiously waiting for warmer weather to take a break from the staircase and start on my outside projects then we got day after day of rain and flooding, so then my outside projects fell behind too. (tis the story of my life)
Sssooooo, after a few sunny days I finally got outside project #1 underway and have been working on it ever since. You can read about it HERE.
I plan on picking back up on the staircase makeover soon too but until then I thought I would give you a sneak peek of some new Summer décor I bought.  
See my new Summer pillow? I found this at TJMaxx the last time I was in there and I had to have it.
As you walk in the front door of my home you see my white arm chair.  I always like to change my pillows out with the seasons so when I came across this pillow I knew it would make a great addition to my living room and I would use it on the white chair.

The cording around the edge looks like rope and the stripes are a pretty shade of aqua/turquoise that remind you of the blues you see in the ocean.

You may remember last year I updated the pillows on my couch. You can see pics and read them HERE.

I love pillows but have to watch how many I buy because they take up so much space. I have scaled back and when  I shop at thrift stores I remove the pillow and only bring the case home since I have so many pillow forms already. This helps save some space!

The heat is rising and its starting to finally feel like Summer around here.
Lets just hope this rain goes away soon!
Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

And the Bushes are GONE!

To bring you up to speed on my Summer house project go HERE to see what we started with.
These evergreen bushes are about 30 years old.
They are HUGE!
(about 4 ft x 4 ft)
and had seen better days.

They look ok from this angle, but you can see what they look like up close and its not pretty.

You go HERE to read more about them and why I decided to have them removed. 

They were so larger and overgrown that I could never fully
clean the leaves out of the landscaping so to me it always looked messy.
So they had to go.
I have never had bushes removed before so I didn't know what to expect when I decided to have SIX of them removed.
When the landscapers arrived they had a system down.
One guy used a chain saw to cut the bush down to a nub.


 Look at all that open space!
After the guy cut the bushes down he carried them to the "mulcher" where they got chopped up.
Now it was time for the next guy to do his "thing".
He was the operator of the stump grinder.
I have never seen one of these in action before and let me just tell you.....its a bad mamajamma!
It will DESTROY everything in its sight, so watch out!

Look at that HUGE blade! Watch out that sucker was pulverizing everything in sight!


So the guy basically walked that machine down through the area where the bushes were and grinded everything in side down to about a foot deep.
If you are having bushes removed I HIGHLY recommend this step, especially if you intend on replanting stuff in their place.
You will need the old stump and roots removed in order to plant new landscaping.
So after this, they put the soil back over the holes and you're good to go!
We now have a blank space to begin landscaping.

See the clumps that were left behind?
I am digging up these little guys. They are Euonymus shrubs. I don't really consider them a "bush" or shrub, but that's what they're called. I will simply dig them up and give them away or replant them somewhere else. I haven't quite decided yet.

Look at all the empty space! Yay!

No more overbearing bushes taking over everything and stealing sunlight!!!!

You may remember this space in front of the porch. I have tried several different things in this spot. It gets FULL SUN so there are lots of fun things that can go here. 

HERE are the bulbs I planted last Fall, but my favorite yet were the Zinnias. You can see them HERE.

Down by the driveway you will see my Iris on the left. I plan on digging them up and getting a different variety of Iris to put here.

And then of course I tried salvaging the Barberry and Holly bushes.

They were overgrown too but I kind of like them where they are. I trimmed the Barberry down pretty low this past Winter but it grew right back up to the size it was before, so I think I will give it one more year. This time I'm trimming WAY down to just a couple inches. Same with the Holly.

I will probably be taking it out but if I can get it down to a smaller size then she can stay.


So now I have all this space to clean up, fill with new landscaping, and mulch.
I have waited for this day for nine years and have spent many hours day dreaming about what I would do with the front of my house if I could just get those bushes removed.
Now here we are and I can't wait to show you the big reveal!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer House Project #1 Is Officially Underway

All the rain and flooding we have had in the Mid-West has put my outdoor home projects on hold.
All the local landscapers are backlogged and having to rearrange their jobs around the weather.
I had scheduled for TWO exterior home projects 
(hint hint) to be completed back around the end of MARCH but the rain just kept coming and coming so I had to wait until April, then it got worse in April and May so here we are the first week of June and I am happy as ever to tell you that the work has FINALLY been done!
So for starters here is a BEFORE picture of the front of the house.
Not too shabby, could use some updating but nothing to send you running for the hills........................................UNTIL you get a little closer.


Lets come a little closer..........


Ah ha! Right there. Now you see it? I have six bushes that are Yews that edge off the front of my house.
Have you ever tried trimming a Yew? A 30 year old Yew?
Its not fun. I love the evergreen color that they provide and their needles are soft and move with the wind, sounds great, right? Well, not only were they old and WAY overgrown, three of them also got burned by the sun back in 2012 when we had a drought.

This guy is RIGHT BY my FRONT DOOR so he is the MAIN thing you see as you approach my porch. Nice.........

So as you can see, the bushes had to go, and the reason they are a pain in the butt is that they are also hard to trim because once you trim past the tip of their needles the inside of the bush is nothing but sticks/limbs, so you can't trim them too far back or you will kill the bush.

Consequently, over the course of time you end up with a bush half the size of your HOUSE! LOL

So the landscapers FINALLY were able to get me in to pull out the bushes.

I am super excited about redoing the landscaping in the front because it severely needs an update. I had wanted to do this the first year after I bought the house and realized the bushes were a pain, but cost and fear were two of my big factors at the time. I was a new home owner and had NO IDEA about maintenance and care of trees and bushes.

But nine years into it and trying different things I am now ready for the change.

So bye-by half dead bushes and hello gorgeous!

I can't wait to show you what I have in store for the landscaping. I've been picking up plants here and there as I find them on sale and its been fun getting creative with the space!

and hint, project #2 was able to be completed too now that the rain has let up for a few days. I will reveal that project soon!

Remember my projects from last year? You can go HERE and HERE to get updated on last year's Summer projects.

Have a wonderful week!!!!