Showing posts from March, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Eventually!Last week I mentioned my mom was coming to visit and bringing her truck.  Well, we got some good use out of that truck!We hauled away the old, rotten fence planks from where Nick fixed our fence.  (The neighbors only had to look at them piled in our driveway for a week!)We picked up a cubic yard of shredded cedar mulch (my mom says it’s called “gorilla hair” in her neck of the woods).  Since Nick was off on a guy’s weekend with his friends, we girls used tarps to unload the mulch into the garage and I’ll spread it outside sometime soon.  But for now, it’s protected from wind and rain.The country bench also arrived!  We came up with lots of ideas for what to do about those heart cut-outs, and I think the bench will ultimately be painted a deep yellow.Some big, fat Karl Foersters came too, and they’re hanging out in cardboard boxes on the front porch.  I should probably make a point of getting them in the ground this weekend.Meanwhile, my remaining mail-order plants (for one …

All Quiet on the Western Front

Hello blog buddies!I thought it was about time for a quick update post.  I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, it’s just been a slow couple of weeks for projects.  Namely, I’ve started quite a few….and finished none.  Sad, I know.Nick finished one though!  We’ve had three terrible windstorms, and one panel of our yucky old fence decided it had enough.  So Nick replaced the crossbeams and the rotten planks in that section.  At some point, the whole thing needs to be redone, but this will work for now.  (Nice contrast, right?)But this weekend will see some progress.  My mom is coming for a visit, and she’s bringing her truck, along with some goodies in the back of it. A country bench is coming to be refinished for our front porch!Some new plants (divided from ones in her yard) are also coming this way, which will give me some food for thought on where I’ll put them.  They are Karl Foerster grasses….but not just any…. they are MONSTER Karl Foersters!  Before division, they were as …

Make Your Own Trellis

Hiya peeps!  (Or should I say “Peeps”, since we’re getting closer to Easter?)I thought I’d show you how I put together very simple trellises for my climbing plants.  The benefits of these are:You can make them any size/height They virtually disappear with a green plant on them They’re freestanding, so you can access fence panels, decks etc without having to rip your vine off first.Ok, and now for the downside:They aren’t decorative, if you prefer a decorative trellis. Because they’re freestanding, they need to be pushed into the ground, which can be challenging, as you’ll see I went ahead and did these last weekend, because our huge clematis is getting ready to wake up.  I did major trimming on this guy over the winter, and I removed the original trellis bits still wrapped up in it.  So, when it wakes up, it needed somewhere to grow, and fast.  It was originally planted on a very flimsy, wooden “Y” trellis that had been literally torn apart by the plant as it grew.  The plant was l…

How to Make a Rain Barrel

One flower bed next to our deck gets zero-zilch-nada water from our sprinkler system.  It’s also a very hot area in the summer, where the sun bounces off the side of the house.

But luckily, there IS a downspout that drains right into this bed, so to put this downspout to better use, I decided I needed a rain barrel.

Like this one for $175:

Or this one for $150:
Yeeeeeeah….NO.  They’re too rich for my blood.  So I set out to make my own.

 Here’s how I did it:

I found a valve at Lowe’s that allowed for a nut to screw onto each side of the portion which will be installed into the barrel.  I won’t go into the details of all the ideas we tossed around before we settled on this, but suffice it to say that if we could’ve found rubber washers with a large enough center opening, it would’ve been a much faster trip to the store!

Little tip:  make sure the valve you get has a notch on each side for screws – otherwise the entire valve could turn when you turn the handle.

Next, I bought a plastic …

Weekday Rambles

It is SO NICE outside!  The sun feels glorious!  The wind is starting to pick up a little, but that’s ok.  Sunny and warm are all that’s required. It’s so nice out, I can do this:That’s right – nothing to look at outside FOR SURE, but a nice spring breeze feels great in the house.I also took another stroll through the front garden to peep at some of the sprouts.Mums (again):Daffodils (again):Crocuses: Also, I just investigated the price of mulch.  You can get it from the home stores for about $4 per 2 cubic feet.  A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, so you’d need about 14 bags.  That’s $56 for a cubic yard.  (And actually, most of the mulch advertised online was $5 per bag – which would be $70 for a cubic yard, though I’m sure there will be spring sales, so I used the $4 price point I saw on a couple of the brands.)ORYou could order it in bulk.  A local landscaping company around here sells shredded cedar mulch for $45 per cubic yard (not including delivery).  So if you have access to a tr…

Lamps and Couches and Rugs, Oh My!

Well, hello Lovely Readers!As I’ve mentioned a few times in the past, there’s an interesting, and rather unbelievable, story behind the furniture in our house.  It’s one of the luckiest things I’ve experienced, so to tell it in the lucky month o’ March (when project motivation is low anyway) seems fitting.So today, the tale is told.  Hold onto your seats…!  The summer after my sophomore year of college, the best deal (probably of my whole life) smacked me square in the forehead.  While working at an apartment complex, a resident came in one day to make a copy of a flier.  He was advertising his entire (studio) apartment for sale.  He wanted to get rid of everything except his clothes and personal items.  For $500.  And somehow, I was in the right place at the right time to be the first person to see the flier.I expected the furniture, etc, to be rather shabby and well-used (and how much can really fit in a studio anyway?).  I couldn’t have been more surprised, though.  The furniture w…