I want to apologize for disappearing from the blog without any warning. It wasn’t my intention, but life just got so hectic there at the end. The end of this school year seemed especially busy for some reason. But it all turned out fantastically well, and I’m so happy to be enjoying Day 2 of summer vacation. I have so much to update that I almost don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll do a bit of a weekend update, and then take it from there.
Friday was my last teacher workday, which is always a nice, easy way to end the school year. I was out of there by noon, and then spent the next several hours vegging out on the couch. My sister and I went to go see The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed. I loved the book, and the movie did a great job with staying true to it. The actor playing Augustus Waters was phenomenal. It was a great way to kick off the summer.
Saturday was all about sprucing up my yards. My dad came over at 9am, and he and I worked until 3:30, stopping only briefly at 2pm to eat a quick lunch.
We started off transplanting groundcover from the backyard to the front. This plant grows prodigiously, so I thought it would be a great way to thin out the backyard groundcover and fill in some spaces in my front yard. It worked really well, and once it settles in and takes root, it will look great. I’m not sure if it shows up, but this plant has tiny hot pink flowers that bloom during the summer. (That bush in the middle of the photo was already there – I’d purchased those back in April to replace two diseased bushes that I’d had the gardeners remove. Even though I’m a renter, I don’t mind purchasing this kind of thing to make the house look good, because I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty yard. Plus, I can dig the bushes up if I ever move).
Next, my dad and I headed to OSH to buy hoses, sprayers, planters, spliters, potting soil, etc. You can see the soaker hose (black hose) in the photo above. $153 later, we had plenty of essentials. Once the groundcover grows a bit more it will hide the hose, which will look better. The soaker hose is cool because you can turn it on and leave it for 10 minutes and it slowly waters the groundcover. After OSH, we headed to Summerwinds, the best nursery in our area. I bought lots of full sun annuals and flowers for the hanging pots I’d bought on a whim at OSH ($77). Before we headed home we realized we had nothing to hang the pots I’d bought, so we made a quick pit stop in Ace to buy chain, light bulbs (a few bulbs had blown out that I needed my dad’s help to reach), and some hooks to hang the pots ($35). Whew! My summer garden was going to look beautiful, but it was expensive, at $265! Much of that expense was the planters and hoses/sprayers, all of which I can keep, so it doesn’t make me feel quite as bad. Plus, I consider this a gift to myself every summer, because I’ll spend my entire vacation (and beyond) enjoying the way my yards look.
When we got back, it was time to get to planting. Sofi absolutely loved that my dad and I were in the backyard, playing in the dirt. LOL. We started with the terra cotta planter, because that was going in the front yard, and I wanted it to look perfect. The inspiration for all of this planting were these pots that my parents surprised me with when I got back from Hawaii:
My mom had found the planters when she was out shopping, and from there it became a family affair. My dad found the cement tiles to anchor them to, my niece picked out the Martha Washington geraniums, and my dad planted them. When I got home and saw them, I was so happy! I knew I needed to fill in the dirt (with the groundcover from the backyard), and move my huge terra cotta planter from the back to the front.
I love the way the terra cotta planter turned out! I found this great ficus ivy for the front, which will eventually hang down. I knew I wanted big blooms, and when my dad found those large zinnias, I knew they would be perfect. I can’t wait for it to fill in.
I hated the hose I had in the front yard, because it was really inflexible and always kinked up. The hose holder was also falling off the wall, so it was time to replace all of that, especially since we were buying the soaker hose and splitter anyway.
Now the front looks really good:
The only thing I want to add are some small solar lights, because I think they’ll look really nice and add the perfect bit of twinkle.
Now it was time to tackle all the pots for the backyard. If money was no object, all of the my planters in the back would be terra cotta, too, but since I have other things I want to buy this summer, I’m using these plastic planters that mimic terra cotta. They look sort of cheap, but they’re okay for now. Eventually I’ll replace them. I think the backyard looks really happy now:
These sun-loving annuals are bright and happy, and I love the mix of colors. They go well with my roses and my hydrangeas, which are looking so pretty:
I’d had this New Guinea impatien in one of the other pots, but moved it to this great watering can planter in a shady spot of the garden. We had a couple flowers left over, so I planted them in with my mint plant.
The impulse purchase yesterday were these hanging pots. My sister has a couple of hanging pots in her back patio, and I really like the way they looked. And then when we were at OSH yesterday, I saw these planters, and fell in love. They were pricey, at $17.99 each, but I knew I was going to splurge on them, because they’d add so much to my patio. I absolutely love the way they turned out, and can’t wait for them to grow and start falling over the edges of the pots.
All in all, it was a long, tiring day, but very worth it for the end product. I definitely want to have lots of people over this summer, so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of this garden.
Sunday my plan is to go on a 2- or 3-mile walk with my mom this morning at 8:30, and then spend the rest of the day cleaning the house. It is in desperate need of a major cleaning. I’m talking top to bottom and every room in between. I let it go over the past month, and I want to start out the summer with a clean house. One thing I love about summertime is that once the house is clean, I can tackle cleaning it a bit at a time – bathrooms one day, floors another, dusting a different day. Once it’s spotless, keeping up with it isn’t a big deal, and insures that the house always looks immaculate. My reward for all the hard work in store today is going to be a bit of a binge watch of Orange is the New Black. I’ve watched the first episode of Season 2 already, but I love watching a bunch of them in a row, so that’s the plan for later this evening.
All in all, I’m starting summer in wonderful way – beautifying the house and gardens.
I have a bunch of blog posts swirling in my head, so get ready for an onslaught of writing from me over the next few days:
- getting back on track with my food & exercise routine
- PopSugar MustHave Box reveal/review
- 20-mile bike ride adventure
- Diamond Head hike adventure (yes, two months later!)
- Graduation NSV
- Bottle Rock music festival discoveries
- Bella in T.O.Y.land music mix
- weekly workout plan
- weigh-in update