Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Container Gardening

 Finally! I think it is safe to plant annuals and bring out the containers that spent the winter in the garage.
I use lots of begonias in my containers.
They tolerate the heat and humidity and require less watering than most annuals. They provide lots of color until frost.
 Pretty wave petunias.
Just look at the details and the color.
I've found "wave" petunias much easier to grow than the old fashioned ones. They do usually show signs of stress before the summer ends.
 Purple verbena.
A nice compliment to the petunias.

 I love container gardening.
One of these wash pots belonged to my mother.
The other one was a Mother's Day gift from my husband and our youngest son when he was just a toddler.  They planted it with red and white petunias for me. I still have photos.
I have several pots of succulents.
They are very drought tolerant.
The mums are from last fall. I think I'll pinch them back and see if they will bloom again. The green foliage looks good in the blue pot.
 My white oleander is putting on new growth.
This is the third summer for this clearance purchase.
I didn't even know what color it was.
The first summer it didn't bloom.
Last year it had beautiful white blooms.
Signs of life for my cigar plant.
This is the fourth summer for this shrub.
I've repotted it twice .
It has been a really good performer, full of pretty red "cigars".
The hummingbirds love this plant.

Another "old" plant from the garage - my faithful mandevilla.
In no time at all this vine will be out of control and full of huge pink flowers.
Container gardening does require frequent watering.
I use mostly drought resistant plants in my containers.
During the driest, hottest months a saucer helps extend time between watering.
Stay tuned for a progress update!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Painting the Front Door

My front door faces West and catches the afternoon sun.
The paint had become dull and faded.
I perused the colors in the paint departments at hardware stores.
I brought home color cards.
I asked friends and family for their opinions.
After two years of contemplation I finally made a decision.
The new color is Tyler Taupe by Benjamin Moore. 

Here is my freshly painted door in Tyler Taupe.
The color is very similar, however, it is a much darker color and the shine makes the door appear much cleaner.
I think it works with the traditional style of the house, the red brick and the white surround.

My mother suggested a dark green.
She has visited a couple of times since I painted the door and hasn't even noticed. My husband didn't notice either.

This is a photo I took last year after I made and hung the wreath.
(Before, close-up)
I guess I'll leave the reds, greens, browns and oranges to the other homeowners in the neighborhood.
I planted the annual begonias yesterday.
I also moved the second planter to the landing.
Previously it had been at the bottom of the steps.
I welcome color suggestions. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Makeovers with Duck Egg

I found this old birdhouse in the garage and decided to give it a makeover. It was made by a family member years ago. I believe the original color was green. At some point I painted it red.

If I were a bird I wouldn't want to live here.

Time for some serious curb appeal.

I love these little sample containers of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
For this project I chose Duck Egg.
I really like the rough condition of the wood.
The birdhouse is made of scrap lumber.

Nice details.

Much better!

For now the birdhouse is adding a little color to my (ugly) fence.

I bought this frame for less than $4 from a clearance end cap at Target.

While working on my birdhouse project I decided to use the Duck Egg on my "bargain" frame.

I printed and popped a recent daffodil photograph into the frame. Here it is with the tool boxes I painted for a previous blog post.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston - A Photographic Tribute

My husband and I have made several trips to the Boston area.
It is a beautiful and friendly city with so much to see, do and learn.

Following the events of April 15, 2013 I would like to share some positive images, several of which were taken in the area where the tragedy occurred.

John F Kennedy Library and Museum


Fenway Park


The Waterfront

Quincy Market
No trip to Boston is complete without a visit to the market.
I did go to the Edward Hopper exhibit at Museum of Fine Arts advertised on the banner above.

The Fairmont Copley Plaza
We enjoyed staying here.

I rode the Boston Ducks one afternoon.
Great views of the city.

Farmer's Market - Copley Square

View from Prudential Tower
Skywalk Observatory

Trinity Church - Copley Square

Boston Common
Boston Public Library
(above and below)
Blue Man Group - A fun evening
Dinner in the North End
Wonderful Italian dinner with son and daughter-in-law.
The Holocaust Memorial
These photos are from visits in 2006 and 2007.
Fond memories from a gracious city.
My thoughts and prayers for comfort and healing go out to all involved in the tragic event of 4-15-13.
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blue Plate Special - Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf

Here is Saturday's version of "the blue plate special" at my house.
Meat loaf, mustard greens, tomatoes, boiled red potatoes and crescent rolls.

Music: Stevie Nicks - "In Your Dreams"
I usually to listen to music while I cook.
Love the guitar run on "Everybody Loves You".

According to Wikipedia, "blue plate special" began as a low priced meal in diners and cafes and consisted of meat and three vegetables.

Ingredients ready to mix.
This is another recipe I pinned on Pinterest.
Some of the recipes are keepers and others are quickly deleted never to be consumed again.

All ingredients in the mixing bowl getting happy.
I had never seen a meat loaf recipe with canned tomatoes.

I had a little extra ground beef so I decided to make a couple of small loaves with my mixture.
I'll share one with my mother and keep one for left overs later in the week.

A quick side dish, "Potatoes in the Jacket" more commonly known as boiled red potatoes.
Just scrub the potatoes and boil until tender.
Add a little butter and salt and pepper.

Mom's plate is ready.
Pass the butter and tomatoes.
The dinner plates are Spode from The Blue Room Collection.

The tomatoes and rolls are served on Royal Stafford plates from TJ Maxx.
I have lots of blue and white and like to mix the patterns.
The green stemware is also from TJ Maxx.

We enjoyed the recipe. I will definitely make it again.

Here is the link for the recipe:

Thank you Paula Deen and Food Network.


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