We had three stamped concrete patios installed last Summer. The color is integrated as well as applied atop the uncured cement. We chose three colors to mimic the patina of slate. The boxwood will eventually form a lovely hedge. Boson Ivy will soon flow over the wall and column like a green wave!
Close-up of one of the patios. I love the results! I really labored over the colors. The gentleman at the concrete company talked me out of going darker but I think I would have really liked it darker. I still love this, however!
Back patio off the sunroom.The pergola will be built this Summer. The armillary sphere is encircled by boxwood and three types of reblooming black-red daylilies. See the Wisteria in the lower right corner, waiting for something to climb?
View from sunroom door. I planted the arborvitae close together so they form a hedge to block the view. I have not mowed around the boxwood because there is a mama bunny under there! This area will be pea gravel. The grass does not like the clay soil.
I need to block the view of the neighbor's swingset. This is the beginning of the pea gravel path and Shakespeare Garden that lines the side of the house. There is another just like it on the other side. The front and back yards are formal and the sides have an English garden look. All garden ornaments found on Craigslist, including the limestone column capitals from a bank in Wisconsin, to the upper left in this photo.
Lion on the left side of the driveway. The 200 tulips I planted in November are about to bloom!
I need to block the view of the other neighbor's house and garbage cans on this side.
Newly planted Autumn Blaze Maple toward the back of the front parterre. Hopefully it will block the primary colors of the neighbor's swingset! You can also see the English flower garden path, closer to the house. There are hundreds and hundreds of perennials ready to burst into color!
Oh! How I love garden ornaments! I am in the process of thinning the herd! THAT is the hardest part!
Craigslist gates, installed at the front of the English pea gravel garden path on opposite side of house. You can see the roses in their packaging that I am going to plant today! The espaliered apple trees will go against this wall.
It has proven difficult to get a photo of the entire boxwood parterre! It is over 20 feet long! The boxwood circles are six feet in circumference to give you an idea...
The circles are filled with lavender, which has just begun to wake up after a long, cold Winter. I will be changing the design somewhat. Also, the larger boxwood will be replaced with lilac standards, which are lilacs grown into tree form.
This is the view from the parterre. :(
We will also be planting a Yew hedge from the sidewalk and around to where the new tree is, to block the neighbor's yard (see the swingset?) and view from the street. I am still trying to decide what type of Yew to use. Any advice?
We are also having a retaining wall built so we can plant our potager, which is a fancy French word for fancy French vegetable garden!
Our entire backyard is on a slope and it is not very large. That's why the large boxwood parterre was planted in the front.
Once the retaining wall is built we can plant the potager and build the reflecting pond.
This pavilion was free on Craigslist! It is difficult to tell but it is surrounded by boxwood. Soon the red rose garden that encircles the pavilion will be in bloom! This is the third year for the climbing roses, so I hope they begin to cover the iron facade! The grass will be replaced with pea gravel. What was I thinking when I put grass there?
The dog statues represent our beloved Max and Lola, our rescue pit bulls.
Lovely view of the empty lot next door, don't you agree? We are planting more arborvitae behind the structure to block the view.
This cherub fountain spitter from Craigslist has been patiently waiting for the reflecting pool. Most likely, next year. See how close my back neighbor is?
I just purchased this patio set from Craigslist! This is the Craigslist photo. I think I will paint it black. It sits near the pavilion.
This is where I have been spending my time! How have you been, friends?
Just a brief post to remind you that if you Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by the bombing in Boston, as well as disaster relief on a larger scale.
Please consider making a donation today.
Here is a list of local Boston organizations and ways they are helping.
A little assistance on how to pray when you want to scream instead.
Once upon a time there was a man, a good man. He was responsible for euthanizing cats and dogs at Animal Control in his small community. He cried each time he had to put a healthy cat or dog down. Each and every time. Ninety-eight percent of the animals at the kennel were euthanized. The man could not sleep at night. He knew there was a better way. There had to be.
The man lived in a trailer in an economically depressed area. He didn't have much money. He just knew he had to do more. But how?
The man decided to look to the internet for help.
He joined Facebook and apprehensively sent out a plea to fellow animal lovers. The town he lived in was remote and he was not sure if his plan would work.
A kind woman answered his post. If he could get the animals to her she could arrange for shelters in the northern part of the state to take the animals in and use their abundant resources to find them homes.
The woman issued an appeal to kindred spirits in the area. If the man could get the animals and she could arrange for them to get to safety would there be people willing to drive them hundreds of miles to shelters and rescues?
Countless people responded, "Yes, we will!"
A transport was born.
Now the man spends his time and his own money driving his horse trailer, filled with crates of cats and dogs, to the center of the state where transporters have arranged to disperse them to assorted, waiting shelters. No longer must he spend his nights lamenting the lost.
But his work is not done.
Nearby, there is a city run kennel with an extremely high kill rate and the commissioner will not allow the animals to be transported. "Too dangerous", he says.
He's the boss.
The individual who runs the kennel contacts our hero and together they hatch a plan. They will lie. Yes, they will lie. They will say the animals were euthanized. That is the official story. That's where the volunteers come in. They transport those animals to various shelters around the state and the commissioner is none the wiser.
Without divulging too much information, someone you may know may have helped in the underground rescue of two pups whose faces bear a striking resemblance to the angels shown above. That someone is filled with so much joy right now!
They are safe. They will eventually find homes and be loved as they were meant to be.
Thank you, God, for people who know when bad rules should be broken!
This man is my hero.
Some day I will tell you the story of how I rescued two baby skunks from a trap in the dark of night with a veryNOT helpful, yet handsome, husband by my side!
(Names have been withheld to protect the guilty).
It'sSpring and with the change in seasons comes Spring cleaning rituals! Animal shelters are always in need of what you may be throwing out!
Here are 10 common items that are welcome at many shelters:
• Blankets. Fleece blankets are especially good for pet bedding. They keep animals warm and comfortable, and hopefully make them feel at home in the shelter until they find a cozier permanent home. Bolts of fleece fabric are also welcome! Remnants too!
• Plastic bags (with no holes!). Because doggy doo happens. Plastic bags are always welcome donation items.
• Heating pads (good condition, only). They’re used to comfort and keep newborn kittens, puppies, and wildlife infants warm.
• Cleaning supplies. Keeping shelters clean and sterile is a huge job. They are never at a loss for paper towels, large trash bags, bleach, dish and laundry detergent, buckets, mops, brooms, etc.
• Batteries. Some shelters need AA and AAA batteries to run their microchip scanners.
• Baby food. The strained meat variety is used to feed kittens.
• Latex and rubber gloves. For animal handling and cleaning purposes.
• Office supplies. Pens, pencils, staplers, etc, to be used for administrative purposes in the shelter offices or front desk.
• Other bathroom linens. Some shelters also take bath mats and fluffy toilet seat covers to line animal crates.
• Cell phones. Donate them in the name of your favorite participating animal shelter (or other good cause) at WirelessFundraiser.com. Participating shelters earn commission from cell phones that are donated in the name of their cause. The Web site allows donors to print a postage paid shipping label to send in their old phones.
It’s always a good idea to call your local shelter before dropping off donations to see what they need most.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this informative video on espaliered trees! Then try to guess who is getting new trees this Spring?
If you're unfamiliar with espalier, it's a way of training tiny, branchless saplings (called whips) into beautiful two-dimensional shapes. It's generally done with apple or pear trees, but other types of trees such as willow can be used, too. It can take up to four years to accomplish the desired shape, but the result is so stunning, it's worth the wait. Here are some different types of espalier:
This man is a font of knowledge on the topic of espaliered trees...
I could listen to Peter Thevenot's voice all day! (Especially when he pronounces French words!) When I called the orchards, located in Tennessee, I had to listen really hard to understand what they were saying!
Eight thousand projects and only two hands! If I were a patient woman I could espalier my own trees. It doesn't look too difficult! I'm not getting any younger, though! I could die before I see the results!
Click here for more information on River Road Farms.
Usually, when I find a piece of furniture, I know exactly what colors I will paint it, which hardware will be used, etc. Not with this secretary! After much ado, I have made a decision! I thought the day would never come!
I have decided on the color...finally! With the help of pixlr I am able to better envision my goal. The secretary is currently painted in Annie Sloan Coco. I will repaint the entire piece in Annie Sloan French Linen, including the finials. (It's the best I can do, Betsy! I cannot figure out how to cut them down!)
The grisaille panels will be antiqued so they lose the glare.
This is the third set of posters I bought online! More on that later.
The inside will be painted Annie Sloan Louis Blue and Dark Wax!
I had better get to work!
Once it arrives, (from ebay) this mirror frame will have antique mirror added and then secured under the arch above the doors.
Deciding on which direction to take this piece, including color, was the most difficult part. Now I can have some fun!