Peaceful Garden Spaces

05/04/2016

I’m thankful for a husband who loves gardening and landscape designing in his free time. His idea of rest is yard work, mowing, weeding, planting, watering, arranging plants. My idea of rest is sitting in these beautiful spaces and enjoying the fruit of his labor. My absolute favorite space is the courtyard in the front of our house. The trickling fountain echoing off the walls. The comfy cushions on the low bench. The beautiful plants. Jason built all of it and all of us love to sit out here. Even the frogs and skinks love it, at least I assume, since we have several living out here. Sometimes after I put Zay down for his morning nap, Ali and I sit out here to read books. And when both kids are napping, I love to sit here for some solitude.

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The courtyard is my favorite but the backyard is getting better every season. We had a huge leap year of bamboo, which is enveloping this space in a thick green screen (and giving us more privacy from our neighbors from inside the house, too, since we have big windows). We love to eat lunch and dinner on the back patio, under the pergola. We also love toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the fire pit. Jason recently planted a bunch of herbs for me and I’m looking forward to using them for cooking. My dad also blessed us with a potted tomato plant. We have several fruit trees and bushes (pear, cherry, blueberry and raspberry) on the other side of the fence and eventually I’d like to have a couple of vegetable garden beds. Maybe next year. (That’s what I said last year when I was pregnant with Zay.)

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Weekend Part 1

06/17/2013

After Buzz’s long nap on Friday afternoon, I took him and Ali for a swim at my parents’ house and then we ate pizza and my parents treated us an exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens called Night Lights by Bruce Munro. I got so many great photos of Buzz, but of course I can’t share them here.

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Saturday morning our original plan for a visit with his mom had to change last minute because the splash park we were going to meet at was closed. Like Ali’s post-pigtails bed head?

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I told her I needed to go to Target and we ended up meeting there and doing our shopping together. It felt like hanging out with a friend. She was so sweet and got Ali and Buzz matching outfits at Old Navy before we met.

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I am so thankful for her kindness and patience, for how much she loves her son and for how hard she is fighting to get him back. He’s one blessed little dude to have his mama working so hard to get him back.

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And then, of course, we went swimming again.


Mid-Century Modern Birdhouse

04/10/2013

Jason and I built this birdhouse a few years ago. It used to hang from a dogwood tree in the back garden at our last home. We didn’t realize at the time that it had a major design flaw: it couldn’t be opened to clean it out. Apparently birds like to move in, build an intricate nest, and then move out. Eventually the bottom boards started to get loose so I decided to give it a little TLC a couple weeks ago. I took the bottom two pieces of 1×4 off and reattached them with hinges and a brace that can be unscrewed when I’m ready to clean it out again. I also added a little perch under the front door. All of these were just bits and pieces we had in the tool box. I was planning to hang it up in a tree but I wasn’t happy with how much it moved when the wind blew. I ended up nestling it in this bush along our back chain link fence.

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It was important to me that it was located where I could watch it from the living room. One morning while I was having a cup of tea, I spotted some little birds hopping around near the house and then one went it! I was so thrilled. There were two of these little birds and they ended filling it with twigs and making a nest.

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I’m glad I made it openable because these cute little birds have already moved on. This ugly black bird decided to investigate but passed. Either he was too big or unhappy that the previous tenants moved out and left all their furniture inside. I guess I need to do a little more Spring cleaning.

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Cheekwood Autumn Beauty

11/19/2012

My parents and I took Ali to Cheekwood Botanical Garden on a lovely Sunday afternoon (while Jason was on his way home from an 11-day tour). It was absolutely gorgeous in the park. Combine that with my beautiful daughter and I couldn’t stop taking photos! Ali’s grandparents couldn’t stop breaking the rules and picking flowers for her. Here are a few of my favorites photos:


Phone Photo Friday

10/28/2011


Beautiful Fall

10/24/2011

I love this time of year in Nashville. Summer is hands-down my favorite but the start of fall with lower humidity and cooler nights is usually a welcome change. Most days it’s sunny with highs in the 70s and temps dipping down into the 40s overnight. I decided to snap a few pictures of some beauty in our garden before the overnight frosts start. Check out how tall our banana tree got this year! The leaves don’t survive the winter so it starts out as a stump each spring.

It’s been warm enough that some plants are flowering a second time this year, including our pink roses, orange zinnias and yellow canna lilies.

I love the furry fronds on the end of our pampas grass.

Our black bamboo has really filled in this year. If you’re not familiar with growing bamboo, the saying is “first year sleep, second year creep, third year leap.” This has definitely been a leap year for it.

Jason is considering moving this agave to a pot through the winter. Juuuust to be sure it doesn’t die if we have several cold days in a row.

What is your favorite season?


Front Garden Expansion: Phase 3

08/01/2011

Plants! After chopping down the grass and covering the area with landscaping fabric, it was time to start adding plants.

Besides less front yard to mow (hooray!), we don’t have a specific plan for the landscaping of this area. Jason will have lots of space to play and plant and tinker and propagate and all those fun things. I’m sure in a few years it’ll be as full and lush as our back garden. We’re using gravel as mulch. More on that in the next post.

Artichoke agave:

Blue Elf Aloe x2:

Some kind of cactus… if you want to know the name, I can ask Jason

Variegated yucca transplanted from my parents house:

Orange Sedge:

And lots more space for future plants:


Lawn Flamingo

07/13/2011

I like nostalgia and a good joke so I’m not beyond putting a plastic pink flamingo in my yard. However, when I saw this painted metal art sculpture breed at a local garden store, I may have taken a picture and sent it to Jason with the caption, “For my birthday?” He got me Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, which I savored (yes, savored… I actually tried to pace myself so I could enjoy it for longer.) But, being the sweet husband and son-in-law that he is, Jason went with my mom to the garden store to help her pick out a flamingo for me. I was quite bewildered by the big, odd-shaped gift wrapped in a sheet. Ah, a flamingo garden sculpture!

I haven’t decided on a fitting name for him/her yet but we found a good spot in our back garden and buried his feet so he stays put. So far so good. The cardinals and hummingbirds that frequent our garden don’t seem to mind him a bit.


Modern Wood Fence — Finished

06/13/2011

I was going to do a little photo tutorial on building wooden fence gates but Jason had to go and build these while I was at work. I’m really not upset but you’ll have to go somewhere else if you’re looking for a step by step.

Let’s just celebrate together that the gates are done!

Our weedy yard is on the other side of the fence along with our fruit trees, ugly black compost bin and our vegetable garden (behind the compost).

The gate pictured above is so tall that from the inside we couldn’t reach over to unlatch it. The solution was to add a pulley chain to the gate latch. I got all handyman on it and went to hardware store myself to buy chain and eye hooks. See what I did here?

But then I got all woman on it and used a paperclip to attach the chain to the latch because… it worked. And it was easy.

I realize the paperclips are not really a great long term solution. Did I mention this is not a step by step tutorial? I’m pretty proud of myself, though. Just pull to open. I think Jason will be pleasantly surprised when he gets home. I hope the paperclips last that long…

This section of fence separates our patio from our driveway. (Once, a long, long time ago this was all just one big concrete parking slab.)

 

This path leads through the gate into the yard (where the compost bin, fruits and veggies live).

 


Modern Wood Fence – Step 6: Almost Done…

04/11/2011

When Jason and I had a rare Saturday together with nothing scheduled, we took advantage of the time to work like crazy trying to finish the fence. We got up early (a feat in itself) and worked up until evening when we had friends coming over for a dinner party. We were working so quickly and efficiently that I couldn’t stop and take pictures along the way. But I can tell you what we did. A lot more nailing planks, cutting planks, nailing planks and cutting planks. We just have one area left, near the deck:

When I came home from work one day last week I found Jason staining the fence with deck sealer. He was able to finish the inside but hasn’t had a chance to stain the outside yet.

This section (the one on the right) is especially dear to me. Why? Because I nailed it all by myself. After absorbing the shock of 5,000ish shots from the nail gun, Jason’s shoulder needed a break. While we waited for the ibuprofen to kick in so we could keep up our pace, I took over nailing a section. Clearly, I’m quite proud of myself.

Jason is definitely faster at though, and it’s hard work, especially above elbow height so I was happy to hand the gun back over to the boss. Here are some pictures of the rest of the fence which is mostly finished from the inside.

The last post against the house is a 2×4 that is not sunk into the ground. Eventually we’ll get around to anchoring it into the mortar of our brick house. For now, it’s wedged tightly enough that it’s holding the fence up straight.

Side note: this dogwood tree looks amazing this spring!

Side note: the bottom of the birdhouse is falling off. Thankfully no birds live there. Actually, that’s probably why no bird live there.

We’re really please with how it turned out. We still have some areas along the bottom that need closed up, in addition to more staining, finishing the area around the deck and adding 2 gates.

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