Blog Archives

What four years can do for a garden

When we first moved into our KY home four years ago the landscape was in dire need of some love. The house had been rented for the last three years and there was a LOT of weed overgrowth in the very back borders, barren borders and weedy lawn… the homeowner did have a landscape company come in and trim, weed and mulch next to the house before listing it for sale though so that was something.

So this is what the backyard borders looked like then… they were all lined in ugly pink cement pavers… YUCK! In general I am not a fan of lined borders, there are exceptions to this though like for stacked stone or metal edging.

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One of the first things we did was remove the overgrown shrubs from the corner of the house, expand the border slightly and plant 6 (5 ft. tall) Arborvitae’s “Thuja” for privacy on our patio, you see the neighbors had 3 Great Dane’s that were prone to staring and drooling… (I think he wants to eat my little Chewy)

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We also built this planter box for vines etc. to add additional privacy while the shrubs were growing…

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This is what that area looks like today! Very private and lush and as a bonus I can plant plants in the planter that I can’t plant on the ground because of those rascally rabbits!

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This is the view from the neighbor’s side (taken in Feb.), the Arborvitae’s are about 15 ft tall today!

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By the way I listed the pavers on Craig’s List for free and a guy came and pulled them up and hauled away all of them… man am I so glad that he did the work for me!

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We got rid of the Euonymus, mainly because I hate them but also because the deer eat them which would bring them up to the patio to search out other plants as well. We relocated the Princess Spirea to the end of the border and planted lots of herbs, Lambs Ear, Bleeding Heart, Russian Sage and one of my favorite trees a River Birch.

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We also extended the border and removed the “sandbox” (that square thing with all of the weeds in it) and we relocated the rock from the “firepit” (the round thing with all of the weeds in it) to the backside and shaded area of the property.

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The border extension was just done 2 years ago so most of the plants in this area are only a year or two old, except for the Princess Spirea of course.

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They’re Butterfly bushes at the very tip along with Grey Owl Junipers in the background which helps disguise manhole cover.

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We are very proud of what we accomplished in our garden in four years! We love seeing the plants grow and thrive especially as a lot of our plants were started from seed… So now we have to start all over in a new home, with a lot of empty borders… Hubby installed 16 yards of mulch all by himself last Saturday!

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So glad I was not there to help, which sounds awful of me I know, but I also know what a job this was!

Our new borders will eventually be full of plants, the fuller they are the less mulch we will need because I’m sure I won’t be let off the hook next time we need to mulch!

Thanks so much as always for stopping by…

Until next time!

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Kitchen cabinets and a little R&R

So I have this project I’m working on and I am doing a pretty good job of not letting it stress me out or make it a priority in any way… the project is painting all of the kitchen cabinets, but I’m starting with the buffet / butler’s pantry area just off of the kitchen.

This is what I started with, not too bad, the cabinet color is pleasing, but what the pictures don’t show is quite a bit of damage (one door broken, prior owner’s dog chewed on corners etc.).

Kitchen Cabinets Before

Not only did I want to paint my cabinets white, but I wanted to beef them up a bit. My final color choice was White Dove by Benjamin Moore (in Advance Satin), I saw so many pretty examples of this color and since my countertops are staying the paint tone worked perfectly with them. I removed and labeled all of the door and drawer fronts, lightly sanded (repaired) and cleaned the cabinets and then hand painted the boxes and trim.

Painting and embellishing kitchen cabinets White Dove

I also added the same trim to the sides as I did on the island and my Hubby made a beautiful set of “feet” for the base which I think makes the piece feel more like a custom piece.

Painting and embellishing kitchen cabinets White Dove

The cabinet doors and drawers are getting all new handle placement so I filled and repaired the original holes and used my Critter sprayer to spray them in the garage so I could have a beautiful streak free finish. And this is where I’m at after 3 weeks of working on them off and on…

Painting and embellishing kitchen cabinets White Dove

As you can see I still have 3 door fronts to finish (and a glass decision to make), my Critter sprayer is being a total B-I-A-T-C-H and keeps spitting chunks of paint onto the cabinet surfaces so I’m waiting for some warmer weather to tryout a new sprayer to see if I can get things working properly again… this is hugely frustrating for me, but I have plenty of other things to work on in the meantime.

So last week I left the work behind and me, my Super Awesome Hubby and the last daughter packed up and went camping at Red River Gorge for her spring break. We had a fabulous 4 day/3 night stay with lots of campfires, Uno, stories told and many beautiful hikes.

We had an awesome camp site right next to the creek… and despite what this picture may indicate we hiked miles and miles of beautiful woodland trails!

Camping in the Red River Gorge

I happen to catch these two enjoying some much needed (no electronics) father daughter time… I just love the fact that at almost 14 she still wants to hold our hands from time to time.

Father and Daughter time

So we’re back home and I’ve got to get back to painting (eventually), I’ve already removed the door and drawer fronts off of the rest of the base cabinets in the kitchen and I will slowly be working my way through them. For me this is not a race to get them done, I have no deadlines so I’m taking my time and making sure that this paint job is done properly so I won’t have to do it again! And while I’m waiting for paint and filler to dry I can enjoy some gardening and planting my new plants! We had a great time at the Starview greenhouses yesterday, I’m sure that this place will be my go-to for all of my garden plants, it was fabulous… just look at all of my lovelies! I’m also growing quite a bit from seed as well…

Plants to plant in the garden

And this little absolutely stunning true black Petunia just stole my heart and it is going to find a prominent place in the garden where I can enjoy looking at it everyday!

Black Petunia

Also there is SO much going on in Louisville now, the Derby may only be a one day affair to some but for this town the celebration starts a month in advance of the races and we have plans to enjoy as much of the festivities as possible!

Thanks as always for stopping by…

Until next time!

K

A Cool Upcycled Iron Stove Base

Hi all! I’m hoping you are all enjoying some Spring weather, it’s just beautiful here in Kentucky, which is great for all of the outdoor events they have here in Louisville. My eldest will be home from college next week so I’m hoping to get out to more local events with her before it gets too hot! But until then I am trying to finish up some projects before our community yard sale next weekend…

So this was a fun project for me, but it took FOR-EV-EH for me to decide what I wanted to do with this vintage iron stove base! I bought it at auction well over a year ago and just couldn’t come up with THE idea to upcycle it that seemed just right to me. Finally it hit me that it would make a great outdoor planter… so I asked my SAH build me an insert for it from the leftover treated lumber we used on our trellis/planter project… and of course he did a perfect job!

Here is the base in it’s original state with the drop in wood insert.

BEFORE

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And here it is after! Isn’t she a beaut!

AFTER

upcycled antique iron stove base into planter

I painted the wood insert with 2 coats of the same white outdoor deck stain that we used on the trellis and I spray painted the base with Rustoleum’s Aged Copper. I think this piece can be used for lots of things: add glass to the top and it’s a coffee table, add wood and fabric to make it an ottoman, put it at the door for shoes or a place to throw pet toys!

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But I really like the idea of it as a planter, it’s just so pretty. Here it is with one of my coffee table planters sitting inside it…

upcycled antique iron stove base into planter

I had thought about painting the iron a fun, bright color, because I would have liked that too, but since I’m selling it I thought it was best to keep it pretty neutral. I think the color scheme seems more upscale…

upcycled antique iron stove base into planter

So if you ever run across one of these stove bases I say snatch it up! There are so many fun things you can do with it, so why not?!

Hope you’re digging this piece as much as I am!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

K

Party Links!

Elizabeth & Co.

A New Planter and Trellis to Help with Screening

Hey guys! I hope all of you are doing well and didn’t suffer much damage from the frost that hit us (totally out of the blue) last week! I covered my newly planted Vinca, but they still aren’t looking so good right now. This past weekend, when we had fabulous temperatures in the 80’s, my Super Awesome Hubby and I built a planter box and trellis. We had two main reasons for building this, one being our old pots were crumbling and we needed a trellis for the vines planted in them and 2 to help with screening from our next door neighbors dogs. They have 3 Great Danes and a Blood Hound (who come out through the BIGGEST doggie door I have ever seen) just about every time we come outside… they bark quite a bit and like to stare so a little privacy from them was desired.

(This is just one of the Danes and our Schnoodle giving him the what for… can you see that DROOL?!)

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I don’t really have any plans for this build, but I will give you the gist of how we made it, it’s very simple.

First we Super Awesome Hubby built a base out out of pressure treated wood screwing them together with deck screws and bottom support rails. He then built 3 “boxes” and placed them one on top of another (on top of the base) to create the planter sides. We added the upright support pieces, screwing those in place from the inside, these are what held the boxes together.

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We then used a spade drill bit and drilled holes in the trellis support poles, being sure not to drill all of the way through. We attached them to the planter box from the outside. We also added a lip to the top of the box, more of a decorative piece, we attached that with finish nails. If I had to do it again I would choose a larger lip, but I still like it as is.

how to build a planter trellis

We drilled holes in the upright wood pieces for the trellis and slid the metal conduit through the holes and into the end pieces. We attached support braces to the bottom and top back of the trellis, as well as the very top. This keeps everything all snug and the pipe in place. I drilled holes in the back of the upright trellis pieces and used a machine screw to hold the wood in place on the pipes.

privacy screening with a planter trellis

We stained the piece a solid white, applying two coats, we had this stain leftover from our last house so it worked out perfectly! I also added a hook at either end of the trellis to hang our wind chimes and eventually a lantern for nighttime “mood” lighting.

privacy screening with a planter trellis

After moving the planter into place we filled it with plastic bottles and jugs (from the recycling bin) in order to take up room so we didn’t need to use so much potting soil. If I had packing peanuts on hand I would have used those too.

privacy screening with a planter trellis

We replanted the vines and plants from the old planters. As of today 2 out of the 3 Clematis vines are coming back, but we are still waiting to see if the other one and the 3 Chocolate vines will make it, I hope they do! We also have some Creeping Jenny (one of my favorite outdoor plants) and some purple Viola’s. This will all fill out beautifully eventually but it does look a little sparse now.

privacy screening with a planter trellis

You can see how much privacy this trellis will eventually give to the patio once the vines are trained up it.

privacy screening with a planter trellis

We don’t have a large patio here at all, but it is plenty big enough for us and soon it will beautiful vines and flowers too!

privacy screening with a planter trellis

In case you’re curious we spent about $150 to build the planter, which is 1/2 the cost of the planters that we had to replace! I hope you like this little project, I know we love it!

Hope you guys all have a beautiful week!

Thanks for stopping by!

K

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