Friday, June 19, 2015

The beauty of a cottage garden...

After more than a year of work, our front yard renovation is nearly complete! I have finally finished planning and planting my cottage garden, which took forever. Because I want a cottage look, with flowers climbing all over one another and the fence in a bit of messy, gorgeous color, I stuck to a few basic plants. There are climbing roses and yellow Carolina jasmine planted in front of the fence to climb all over it, along with a hydrangea and a couple of gardenias. Filling the beds are things like dahlias, peonies, salvia, lavender, more roses and hydrangeas, gladiolas, daffodils and hostas. I kept the annuals to a minimum ~ some zinnias and a couple of impatiens ~ and planted things that will bloom spring, summer and fall, along with some items that are evergreen. All in all, I am thrilled with how it turned out.
Here’s the before shot of our front yard:

And here’s the after:

We planted climbing roses along the side of the fence, by the driveway. In a few years they will be climbing all over the fence, peeking through on both sides.

My husband was able to finish his extensive walkway project. He replaced the old brick paths and sidewalk and built a new walkway that leads into the side yard. I’m now working on a little garden in that part of the yard, which I’ll show you later.

We are still working on creating a screen to line my neighbor’s chain link fence. A retaining wall and a couple of other issues make it nearly impossible for us to the continue the picket fence on that side of the yard. I have an idea to turn some old french doors into trellises ~ build them into long flower boxes and plant climbing roses in them. We’ll see how it all works out.

The hundred year old oak tree on the other side of the yard (you can see in the before photo) had to be taken down because it was dying and dropping large limbs. Once it was gone, it really opened up that side of the yard to more sun.

Love these zinnias lining the walkway. I planted a few around the tree as well. They were an experiment ~ I planted them from seed and they have done wonderfully.

All in all, I think it looks wonderful, in large part to all the work my husband did building the fence and walkways. What do you think?

I am linking to:
A Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life
Before and After Wednesday at The Dedicated House
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A kitchen update...

I had been thinking for awhile about adding a bit more color to the kitchen when a couple of things happened. First, we had the electric in our house upgraded. That meant the old circuit breakers in the kitchen wall came out and everything was moved where it should be. The second was that I happened to spot a gallon of red paint in the mis-tint section of Lowe’s for $5 and decided it might be just the color I was looking for.
Once the electricians were all finished and the wall in the kitchen repaired, I got out my leftover yellow paint and painted the wall to match. Below is where the circuit breakers used to be, now replaced with plain old drywall and some pretty pictures.

Since I had my paint brush out, I decided to go ahead and paint those bottom cabinets red. After all, the paint only cost $5 and if I hated it, I could just paint them back.
But it turns out I didn’t hate it. In fact, I liked it quite a bit more. So did my husband. The kitchen feels warmer and those red cabinets look better against our new stove. The lighting in this room is awful for taking photographs, but I think you get the idea.

I still can’t wait until we renovate this room completely, but at least it’s warm and cheerful in the meantime. Here’s what it looked like before:

And again, the after:

Better, don’t you think?

I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Homemaking at Hope in Every Season
Before and After Wednesday at The Dedicated House

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The beauty of gardenias...

How I love the scent of gardenias. The large gardenia by my front door is in bloom right now, which means you always get a whiff of lovely scent as you come in and out of the house.
I was a little worried about the bush earlier this year. We had a late snow/frost and the bush really seemed to take it on the nose, turning brown and generally looking unhealthy for a couple weeks afterward. But it seems to have recovered and is now putting out beautiful blooms.

I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherines Corner
A Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully