Tag Archives: foundation

Welcome To Hydrangea World!

Our relatively small yard is now home to a whopping 18 hydrangeas!

What I am now calling “Hydrangea World” began last fall,

with this informal hedge of oak leaf hydrangeas planted on our lot line:


We bought 7 plants, 8′-10’T, @ $11 apiece, from Menards,

+ 4 of them are happily blooming already:


Next up — the western foundation of our Dutch colonial:


Once again, we planted a row of hydrangeas —

this time in mixed varieties.


You guys.

Look at the gorgeous blue of that Twist ‘N Shout, 3’-5’T!


Once I spied it (at Menards), there was no going home without it! —

which means that there are now 2 of them in our foundation bed:


There are also 3 Pistachio hydrangeas, with beautiful pink blossoms, 3′-5’T:


Aren’t the petals beautiful?


At the window bay, we planted 3 Endless Summer hydrangeas, 3′-5’T:



Wow oh wow — that blue!

In my last post, I spoke of this fertilizer for acid-loving plants.

hydrangea food

Turns out that hydrangeas love acid soil, + adding acid to said-same soil

results in blue Endless Summer hydrangea flowers.


That means I will be regularly fertilizing my hydrangeas with it,

as nobody loves the blue flower more than I do!


I would have happily added even more hydrangeas to our foundation,

but G.O. was insistent that we have a mixed-plant section.

Here ’tis


Upper left: Stirfry hosta 20″T x 36″W — Upper right: Ostrich fern 3′-5’T — Lower left: Younique Pink astilbe 16″-20″ — Lower right: Firefly coral bells 30″T-12″W


Coral bells

That’s going to look great, once the plants fill out, don’t you think?

And finally, in closing, here’s our climbing hydrangea (who knew?),

which was originally planted to grow up this trellis

on our garden shed . . .


. . . but which has since been transplanted to here,

underneath our pretty maple tree:


Wait.  What?

There’s an interesting story here; I’ll share soon.

As always, stay tuned!


Beautiful Stone

Another morning, another walk with Chloe the Dachshund:


Here she is, admiring the tile sidewalk

at the entrance of a former movie theater-turned-church in our downtown.


What a neat feature, don’t you think?

I wish I knew more about it, like what material it is

+ how it stays so good-looking through our area’s long, cold winters!

Next, here’s a church message board that caught my attention.

JAZZ?  Yes, please!


Actually, I’ve seen this post before — several times, in fact.

Each time, I make a mental note to attend said jazz service,

but I’ve not yet made it.  Stay tuned.

But back to the church.  Here is a photo of its front facade:


Here’s a close up of one of its windows.

Notice the wedge-shaped stone in the middle, on top:


Architectural fun factoid:

that feature is called a keystone.

Geography fun factoid:

Pennsylvania is known as “The Keystone State”,

+ the distinctive shape is often seen in various logos, like these:

keystone penn

keystone penn 2

Now we’re all set, just in case the Final Jeopardy category is State Mottoes.

You’re welcome.

Perhaps, if you’re really paying close attention,

you recall that our house’s beautiful stone foundation

is nearly identical to that of the church.



Interesting, no?

Once again, my curiosity is piqued.

What kind of stone is that, + was it locally sourced?

Is one person or company responsible for its installation?


I also need to find out the year in which our house was built.

Stay tuned!

Windows, Siding + Foundation Musings

After we waited for weeks-on-end,

our replacement windows finally arrived at Home Depot last week!

We chose American Craftsman windows from Andersen.

We considered this grill configuration:

window grill -- farmhouse with 2 stripes

But we decided upon this simpler ‘Farmhouse’ grill, instead:

window grill -- farmhouse

We sprung for grills which rest outside the glass,

hoping it would make the windows look more original.


Here’s our kitchen window,

which was switched from its original single self

to a pair, side-by-side:


That item on the roof is a solar tube

for adding light to the kitchen below.

Next up, one of 2 large bays in our house.

This one is in the dining room,

which is next to the kitchen.


The front bay which is in our living room:


I know this is premature,

but for both bays, I would love to have old-school shutters

on the lower sashes, like here:

kitchen window #4

You don’t see these all that much, but I still love them!

I think they look good from both inside + out.

$ $ $ $  Stay tuned, though.  $ $ $ $

* * * *

Meanwhile, while the windows are fab,

the rest of the house is still looking pretty hiddy.

After foam, bats + blown-in insulation,

they’ll wrap the house before winter.

I can’t wait until spring, so we can add siding!


I’m still undecided on what color, although gray is my fave.

And seriously, wouldn’t gray siding complement

the colors of that groovy stone foundation of ours?


What's prettier than a Dutch colonial done right?

I’m a fan of shingle siding on a Dutch colonial:

certainteed -- granite gray shakes


It’s more spendy than clapboard,

but  maybe we could do just the second story gables, like here:



dutch colonial darker upper story

Hurry, spring — am I right?

Shady + Sunny White Flowers

Tabula rasa is a term I learned in college Psychology 101.

Tabula rasa:

the mind before outside impressions or experiences have affected it;

a clean or empty slate.


That’s what I call our Dutch colonial’s front yard,

now that we’ve yanked out the errant, overgrown evergreens . . .

. . .  a tabula rasa!


7 years ago, when we bought this brick bungalow,

we inherited another blank slate.

Our very first plants were the 6 boxwoods you see here,

 planted at the foundation of our north-facing, shady front porch.

* * * * *

Looks nice, if I do say so,

but don’t you think it ‘needs’ some white flowers to add brightness + contrast?

Well, here are my go-to white flowers for any + all shady spots in our yard:

impatiens #1

White impatiens!  They really do ‘pop’ in the shade.

At dusk, they turn into little white stars — so beautiful!

Don’t they look great as companions to pretty, green boxwoods?

boxwood path #3         boxwood path #2


Even more stunning — in my world — are THESE white impatiens:


They’re called ‘doubles’ impatiens,

+ I think they look like small, white roses,

which, coincidentally, are my favorite SUN-loving flowers!

box + roses #5

Iceberg roses

+ this brings us back to our Dutch colonial’s south-facing + quite sunny front foundation:

Here 'tis again.

What shall I plant here? — I’ve been asking myself, pretty much from Day One.

  Well, since I love the combination of boxwoods + white flowers so much . . .

. . . I want to do that again.

No shade-tolerant impatiens this time, though . . .

. . . here I’ll spring for sun-loving white roses, instead!

See some of my inspiration photos for yourself:

box + roses #7     box + roses #4

Very beautiful, no?

Perhaps the most beautiful of all is this photo:

boxwood path #8

These are ‘standards’,

which the dictionary describes as

a tree, shrub, or other plant having a tall, erect stem.

Here’s what I envisioned for our front bay:

box + roses

I know.  Perfect!

I saw some Knock-Out (brand) rose standards at Wal-Mart

for a mere $25 apiece.


And how fast could I get 5 of them inside my Volvo wagon?

Not very, as it turns out.

Saner heads prevailed, + I’m going to WAIT to landscape out front.

I blogged about it here:


Yes, that’s right — I’ve been forbidden to plant anything

until AFTER our house’s siding is up + at ’em.

Otherwise, we may end up with a trampled mess, like this:

Oh, dear.

Oh, dear.

Fingers crossed, though, that the siding will be up + at ’em very soon . . .

. . . + that, this fall, I can still find standard white rose trees + boxwoods!

Stay tuned!



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