New Orleans Shop Envy

A few weeks ago on Facebook, I posted a heads up about this website:

shopkeeper logo

It’s like a dream come true for those of us who love independent retail shops!

Check it out + thank me later (you’re welcome.)

You’ll see that you can search for shops in different countries + cities + genres.

Today, let’s visit a stationery shop in New Orleans:

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The shopkeepers are cousins — Kate Wyman + Anna Boyer.

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And they have a shop dog — a labradoodle named Mildred Yvonne!

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 Nope.  It doesn’t get much cuter than this!

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Ha ha ha!  Cute, yes, but this wins as the CUTEST!

Because everybody knows that dogs sitting upright + reading = comedy gold!

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Anyway, their biz name, Grove Street Press, is quite literal,

as the women have a letterpress studio behind their shop:

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neworleanssweater

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new orleans car print

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Pay close attention to the tartan plaid envelope lining of this card:

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Apparently the girls make them!

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LOVE!

Now, then — let’s take a quick trip through their retail space, starting outside.

Doesn’t that charming storefront make you want to see what’s inside?

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(Side note: Have I mentioned my late, great retail store, Heart-In-Hand?)

Here ’tis, at Christmas time, 1987

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I only mention it because I still have a bit of “retail fever” (<– I made that up),

which probably explains why I love perusing wonderful shops like this one.

My store had a couple of large, old sorters for merch displays, like here:

new orleans postal sorter

One of them — my postal sorter — is currently in the dining room of our Dutch colonial,

+ before that, was in our brick bungalow’s living room:

postal sorter

We are using my other large sorter in our Dutch colonial’s living room:

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Oh, how fun it is, to go down memory lane!

Speaking of which, please note the U.S. flag that the women hung in their store:

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Turns out that I used to hang the huge funeral flag of my grandpa’s

(he was in France in WWI.)

Here we are, the flag + me, together at an outdoor market, last year:

booth wit flag

But back to Grove Street Press.

This FAN-tastic gallery wall has me yearning to have one of our own!

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Pass me the hammer + nails + stay tuned!

 

 

 

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Plus Sign Tiles In A Nashville Loft

It’s time for an inspirational bathroom post.

I just discovered Apartment Therapy’s Homes Across America,

in which there are several home tours from select major cities, + whoa.

They are all super swoon-worthy!

apartment therapy homes across america

There’s so much buzz about Nashville these days, so let’s start there

with a Remarkably Remodeled Industrial Modern Loft.

Every single room is wonderful:

loft in nashvillle

Granny’s going need a nap soon, so let’s focus on one room only.

I’ve chosen this one, with most wonderful black + white tiles, ever!

From floor to ceiling, there are classic subway tiles with dark grout.

Subway tiles + dark grout = classic vintage style!

floor -- black ith white pluses

Check out the black vanity with its window sash drawer pulls!

But seriously.

That black + white plus sign floor!

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Have you ever seen anything so cool?

Yes you have,

if you read my recent blog post

about a bungalow reno in an HGTV pilot show.

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Let’s look again.

Yes, there IS a black + white tile floor with plus signs!

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Oh, what the heck.

We might as well continue our journey down plus sign memory lane,

so here are a couple more plus sign tiles in my go-to color:

red cross shower wall with box

red cross shower wall

Well, that was fun, but I digress.

Let’s head back to the Nashville loft bathroom that I loved so much!

Please.  Did you see this?

The mirror looks built in, because it’s been framed with accent tiles!

floor black with white plusses

I’m so not worthy!

The plus sign floor + white subway walls flow into a walk-in shower,

+ with extra credit for its built-in niche:

floor black with hite plusses

And in conclusion, it looks like there’s a water close across the room.

I wish we had a water closet.

floor black with white plussi water closet

Stay tuned for more Homes Across America home tours!


Our Yard’s Blue + White Theme

It’s starting to look like Fall in our yard,

as some of our + our neighbors’ trees are dropping their leaves

Speaking of  leaves, check out these, on one of our Oak Leaf hydrangeas:

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 If only I’d taken this photo a couple days ago,

when those red leaves were so vivid + gorgeous!

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They already pop nicely against our neighbor’s light wood fence,

so imagine how stunning they will be when all the leaves turn scarlet!

They’ll eventually grow to 8′ – 10′ tall + will provide lots of privacy.

I blogged about them last August when we were planting them.

hydrangeas with chairs

They were only about a foot tall.

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They’re now almost 4′ tall.

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This first season, we had only about 6 or 7 total blooms,

but fingers crossed they will look more like this next summer:

hydrangea oak leaf

While I was outside this morning,

I decided to snap a few more photos of my groovies.

There’s my very pretty blue gazing ball on an old hollow stump,

 a vintage Dachshund statue,

+ some velvety Pulmonaria (a.k.a. Lungwort) plants:

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That bit of a fern belongs to our large Boston fern (below),

+ those cobalt blue glass stars are from my favorite garden center,

Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, IL.

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Here’s a better look,

with some companion globe thistle plants, in our last house’s yard:

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So pretty!

And wouldn’t you know it — I got the globe thistle plants at Blumen Gardens, too!

Anyway, it’s easy to see that our yard has a bit of a blue + white theme.

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Some pretty blue Endless Summer hydrangeas

are growing just across the yard from our Oak Leaves.

hydrangea endless summer

We even painted our garden shed blue.

That’s our bee garden that we planted this summer.

The pretty white Coneflowers are the stars right now,

+ yes, we attracted bees!

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That bird bath on a stand is also from Blumen Gardens,

+ how much do I love that mosaic blue + white transferware plate!

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Oops.  I should have tidied it up before taking a photo!

Finally — in closing — next spring

we’ll have all sorts of pretty blue + white spring flowers.

We planted lots of bulbs, about which you can read more, here.

That’s really going to be a much-needed morale boost

when everything’s gloomy + muddy in March

+ I’m so cold I can’t feel my toes.


Our Porch Ceiling Change Of Plans

Here is our front porch, in progress:

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As you can see, G.O. is in the middle of stripping all the old paint

from our porch’s original bead board ceiling.

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Our plans were to paint the ceiling a pretty pale blue.

Exhibits A – B + C:

exterior pale blue ceiling with wicker

exterior pale blue ceiling with black rockers

exteriior pale blue ceiling

Pale blue porch ceilings are a thing in the south.

I grew up in southern Illinois (which is very southern, BTW),

so I’ve been on board the blue ceiling train since I was a wee lass.

Anyway, just as we were discussing what pale blue paint to use,

this happened:

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We were both surprised at how pretty the natural wood ceiling is!

And, speaking of something being a design thing,

natural wood exterior accents are wildly popular now.

Have you noticed?

I first saw this trend on HGTV’s FIXER UPPER.

bathroom of fixer upper shower

Okay, that mirror she’s touching is painted white,

but here are just a few natural wood accents from the show.

Exhibits D – E – F + G:

wood exterior columns

wood exterior fixer upper

wood exterior shutters

wood exterior window boxes

So.

While we had our hearts set on a pale blue porch ceiling,

I think we’ve changed our minds.

That wood ceiling of ours is way too pretty in its natural state,

+ it wouldn’t be right to cover it with paint.

Exhibits H – I – J – K + L:

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You can easily see the portion that’s not been fully stripped:

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So.  This just illustrates why one must be flexible when working on anything,

or as I like to call it: heading to Plan B.

The natural wood is so warm + lovely, isn’t it?

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G.O. is such a perfectionist;

this change in plans will no doubt have him going back

over the entire porch ceiling again, maybe multiple times.

That’s his thing, + really.

How many times can I say, “It doesn’t have to be perfect!”?


Looking Eastward From Our Couch

I recently blogged about a moody gray farmhouse,

+ broke down all the reasons why I loved this floor-to-ceiling vignette:

gray house table with books

Here’s why.

I am finally going to create my own floor-to-ceiling vignette,

looking eastward from our couch.

Here ’tis, in its during stage:

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Toward the west we have art ledges:

art ledges alphabet

I made the pillow + the alphabet artwork. The mug is from Ralph Lauren.

But back to the opposite side of our couch:

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My enamel top sawhorse table was formerly a sofa table.

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Its red + white colors form the scheme of my arrangement.

did say floor-to-ceiling, so let’s see what’s on the floor.

First, a large red+ white target artwork anchors the space:

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Large target artwork, glove mold, stack of books + basket

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Look — October 29th is my birthday

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Enter a caption

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Measuring artwork that I made, using chippy white salvaged wood

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That hardware means this board started out in a cabinet or window

Of course, this is all subject to change,

because it’s a project in progress.

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But for now, that’s it for the floor portion of my floor-to-ceiling vignette.

My plans include having a gallery wall above the sawhorse table.

I can’t decide which of my dozens of artworks to include

which is why the in progress stage of my project is taking so long.

In the meantime, I did lean this old red level against the wall:

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Please.  It had me at chippy red original paint.

This level will draw the eye upward

+ will eventually link the floor items to those higher up, on the wall.

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I shall blog about both the art gallery + the table top vignette, soon.

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Today I shall work on pillows for my etsy shop

+/or plant batch #2 of spring bulbs out front.

Here’s a post about our first batch of spring bulbs.

Here’s a recent pillow, with which I have a love/hate relationship:

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It seemed to take forever to make, so I was almost hating it.

As often occurs, though, the following morning I super loved it.

Thanks for viewing; it means a lot!


Less Is More Fall Decor

Earlier this week, I shared both my current

+ my most-recent-past fall porch steps:

HA!  I must’ve had a lot more time on my hands back then.

Or maybe I’ve embraced the highly regarded

 LESS IS MORE school of seasonal décor.

Let’s have a look at some fall LESS IS MORE happiness inside our house.

Our huge sorter in the living room has had a wee bit of a makeover:

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I emptied all the cubbies + refilled them with small pumpkins + gourds.

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L O V E !

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I’m really fond of these next 2 photos; perhaps I will have one or both framed.

But back to the sorter.

The black books + the red books switched places.

I love black in the fall + wanted the black books to be more prominent.

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Speaking of good colors,

I’ve always displayed my yellow ware bowls in the fall.

This year, some of them are marching across the top of our sorter:

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I made that silhouette of my grandson

+ wanted its black + white + antique gold for my fall vignette.

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Don’t you love the crackled glaze on this vintage yellow ware crock?

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We also hung my vintage St. Louis map on the front of the sorter:

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Well, this concludes the fall décor portion of my blog,

unless I can whip up a little more enthusiasm.

Stay tuned!


Our Pretty, Simple Fall Porch

All the popular kids are posting tours of their Autumnal homes,

so that means I will, too

Here’s a little something from inside our house:

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I’ve had that old lattice for years,

+ this was the first time that we’ve displayed it indoors.

I love the way its colors complement the gray of our walls!

Now, then.  Let’s go outside + see what’s happening on that new porch of ours:

Gone are summer’s hot pink caladiums + vivid green sweet potato vines:

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In their place is this urn filled with ornamental grasses,

which are at their peak in Fall:

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These pretty blue flowers were near the back porch.

They were so pretty, I thought I’d share them out front.

Sadly, I misplaced their tags,

but I do remember that they are some sort of morning glory!

A terra cotta pot is temporarily our mail box,

as the one we chose from amazon is back-ordered:

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So much for the summer plants — the right side of our steps is devoted to Fall!

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G.O. brought home some pumpkins the other day,

+ I popped the 2 white ones into my vintage yellow ware bowls.

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Disclaimer: one of my friends said that I was being “brave”,

having the bowls out front, so I have since moved them indoors.

I’ll share soon!

For now, let’s get back to those steps of ours:

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Another pair of pumpkins are inside our 2 small black urns.

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The sweet mums in a basket

are the tiny ones that Home Depot has every September:

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Well, that’s about it for our Fall décor on the porch.

told you it was simple!

My display at our last house, the brick bungalow, was a bit more “busy”:

fall at the bungalow steps

fall at the bungalow steps with tin bucket

fall at the bungalow trellis box up close

Those pansies + that ornamental kale are so cute!

Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get some if I see them,

+ use them to augment our simple display!

Stay tuned!

 


Chippy Vintage Outdoor Dining

We gave away our old outdoor dining set the other day.

I have no photos of said same, which is just as well.

Meanwhile, one wonders at this point:

what are we to do when we want to dine al fresco?

Luckily, I had a light bulb moment when I spied this table,

languishing unused in our cellar hideaway.

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I thought — wouldn’t it make an unusual + charming outdoor table?

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People.  That very shade of green is crazy in style now.

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And who doesn’t  love the enamel table top?

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Within minutes, G.O. + I carried our table outside

+ set it in front of our garden shed.

Please allow me to point out a couple items.

That DOOR remains in its awful before state, which I hate.

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Fingers crossed we’ll re-do them yet this year.

 And please may I point out our shed’s roof finials?

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I was after a colonial Williamsburg vibe at the time.

But back to the table.

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Soon I started gathering a few things,

hoping that a quaint vignette would ensue.

Check this out.

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It’s one of those weed/cedar trees that are all over the yard!

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I thought it would look great in a pot,

 but shockingly, G.O. predicted it would never live.

So far, so good, but there is winter, looming.

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Next — these vintage folding chairs were languishing unused in our garden shed:

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I have to say that I love a good chair project

+ I’ve done plenty of them.

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For these chairs, I decided that I’d sew some simple cushions,

using my go-to fabric — the blue ticking stripe cotton.

 I had hand-stenciled them with my go-to motif,

the red circle + white plus sign.

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You can just see a peak of the pretty pale blue liner fabric:

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I decided to attach the chair pad with ties

that I’d sewn with the same blue + white ticking stripe.

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I’ll be sure + keep you posted re: our shed doors.

Stay tuned, later this wee, I hope!


Saga Of The Spring Bulbs

By this time, most years, I’m not as enthusiastic

too lazy to spend quality time working in our yard.

 Of course, this problem can be a tad troublesome

if one wishes to greet the following spring with a yard full of flowers.

Flowers like my favorites — Musari or Grape Hyacinths:

muscari

One of the few flowers that are a true (not purple) blue!

My color scheme in spring bulbs is blue (of course), white + soft pinks.

I ordered $80-ish worth of bulbs online,

+ they’re scheduled to ship right about now.  Yay!

Since then, we found some here in town + planted them yesterday.

This first batch is in the stone pathway side of our porch steps,

about which I recently posted.

The bulbs are underneath the mulch in this photo:

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Here’s what we planted:

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I love white Daffodils + had lots of them in our old yard!

Yes, the yellow ones are as cheerful as all get out,

but I like the white ones for being unusual + cheerful, all at once!

Win win!

Next, some Chionodoxa for my blue + white flower obsession:

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I am pretty sure we had some of those cuties at our old house.

And in conclusion, another favorite:

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These are the only iris flowers that I like, + I really, really like them!

Now, then.

My gardening friend told me that we mustn’t forget to add Blood Meal to the soil.

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We found this at Menards.

She said to sprinkle a little on top of each bulb before they’re covered up.

It adds all sorts of nutrients that the bulbs + their roots need,

to get a good jump start.

For the planting, we used this tool that we already owned:

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I’m pretty sure that it was another purchase

from the late, great Martha at K-Mart ‘experiment’.

I MISS HER K-MART MERCH!!

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Meanwhile, I would love to share what bulbs I have coming in the mail,

IF I COULD REMEMBER WHAT THE WHAT I ORDERED!!??

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Looks like we’ll all be surprised when they finally land in our mailbox.

The mailbox which isn’t here yet because it is sadly out of stock.

mailbox of red

Stay tuned — to view our new mailbox

+ to be surprised (along with me) to see what bulbs I ordered!


Our Pretty Stone Pathway

Since I last blogged about the Dutch colonial,

there’s been unbelievable progress, out front!

Let’s remember the sad before, a few weeks after we bought the house:

dutch colonial -- front 'before

Here’s a look at the midway:

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And as it looks today, the ‘almost’ after:

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WOW.

I think I’ll just share bits of it at a time, in small doses.

Let’s start with our new stone pathway

which transitions between the new brick sidewalk + our side yard.

Here’s a glimpse of it, as one approaches the house:

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We went shopping at a nearby landscaping place + looked at stone,

+ we bought 3 large slabs of limestone.

G.O. brought out his trusty 4″ angle grinder with a masonry blade, as one does,

+ cut the slabs into smaller, stepping stone friendly pieces:

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We had scooped out a shallow trough for the stones.

Once we decided we liked their arrangement,

we put a layer of ordinary play sand underneath each stone:

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Funny story.

He grabbed some bags of said play sand at the garden center,

not realizing until he got home that one of the bags contained purple sand!

Who knew?  Crayola makes colored play sand!

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In his defense, he said he thought the bag was purple!  HA!

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Look!  It’s Chloe the Dachshund!

 

I’m love the gentle curve of the stones,

because I think curves in the landscaping are beautiful + visually pleasing.

Now it’s time to discuss all those beautiful plants!

After weeks + weeks of indecision,

I knew this side of the porch needed a topiary

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I remembered seeing some blue spruce topiaries at Home Depot,

+ since I am a huge fan of the blue spruce any-thing, off we went.

Over G.O.’s very strong objections.  Of course.

cats fighting

But people.  COME ON.

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Nailed it!!!

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Those spiky, grassy plants underneath are ‘Lucerne’ Blue-Eyed Grass,

which have small, bright purple-blue flowers in Spring through early Summer.

plant blue eyed grass

Nearby, we planted some silvery-white Artemisia,

as I wanted to repeat the silvery blue needles of our topiary.

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Those are going to look great, once they fill in.

Since white flowers also complement silvery foliage,

we planted these cuties along the curve of the stone pathway.

Rapido White Bellflowers:

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We repeated these sweet small rose plants on both sides of the pathway,

as I wanted to visually tie that area together.

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The green + burgundy Purple Palace Coral Bells

are repeated from the opposite side of the porch,

to once again, tie the whole front foundation plantings together,

from 1 side of the house to the other.

The Coral Bells were planted to accent the 2 curves in this bed —

both the stone pathway . . .

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. . . + the curve where this bed meets the lawn (+ the new grass!), out front:

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Disclaimer:  everything is going to look so much better with dark brown mulch!

I ordered nearly $80 worth of Spring-flowering bulbs

a couple weeks ago, + I want to plant them before the mulch goes in.

muscari

Stay tuned!

 

 


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