Well, I knew it’d probably be a while before I wrote another post, but I wasn’t planning on it being this long! We’ve had quite a bit going on, so the projects around the house have been mostly on hold. My sister got married on St. Patrick’s Day which was followed 2 weeks later by a reception 500 miles away in our hometown and another reception 2 weeks after that, 90 miles away in his hometown. Add to that spring break, passing around colds and viruses, severe allergies and life in general and there hasn’t been much time for big projects 🙂
Now that spring has finally arrived, we have been working outside quite a bit. I finally received the roses I ordered back in January. 6 of those were my favorite rose we had at the old house – Hot Cocoa. It’s a smokey orange color (mixed below with Burgandy Iceberg). It gets pretty tall, so I planted 5 along the front of the house to help fill in front of our high crawl space.
I planted the extra one in my rose bed along the side of the house. I now have 14 there, although several are from the rose bed at the old house and I’m not sure if they are still alive.
We also purchased 2 Coral Bark Japanese Maples at Costco (ours now has a garden center). They have red bark with bright green leaves. We replaced 2 of the many holly bushes with these. They should eventually get to be 10’x 10′ or so which will fill in some of our large landscaping area.
The other one is on the front corner of the house by the office, but we will probably end up moving it. A few days after we planted it, I came across this Burgundy Lace Japanese Maple at Lowe’s and had to have it. We replaced a big crepe myrtle with it. It’s in front of the Coral Bark and we don’t need both of them in the same area. We’ll move the Coral Bark as soon as I figure out where to. The Burgundy Lace should also get around 10′ x 10′ which will be a nice focal point and cover up some of the blank stone wall on the front corner of the house.
We also replaced a boxwood on the corner of the porch with a Crimson Queen Japanese Maple. We planted 3 of these at the old house and 1 of them did really well. It would have been worth a fortune and I desperately wanted to move it, but didn’t want to lose the curb appeal while trying to sell the house. Fingers crossed that this one does as well. I’d like to get at least 2 more, but they aren’t as cheap as they were a few years ago.
Last week, I bought 20 bags of dark brown mulch and put it around the 8 trees that are out in the yard. 20 bags is about my limit to do alone, so we’ll have to finish the rest of the mulch when David has some time off. I bought the Preen mulch that is supposed to keep it’s color. We put it down a few months before we sold the old house and it did stay dark a lot better than the bulk stuff we’ve bought in the past. It also tends to be heavier which is good because we have a big problem with mulch floating all over the place when it rains here.
I also finally found some plants for all my pots. I really liked these concrete square planters from Lowe’s and thought they would work well on the front porch steps.
Here’s my first attempt at mixing plants in a pot – using the “thriller, spiller and filler” tip I saw on Pinterest.
Purple Fountain Grass, Purslane and Dusty Miller.
We made a big trip to the Atlanta Ikea last week and I picked up these lanterns for the front porch. I kind of wish I had gotten 3 so we’d have an odd number for the steps.
The large ones only came in beige, so I spray painted them a metallic copper. More on the Ikea trip in a minute. . .
I also filled the pots which we have had at 3 houses now. I used Rose Moss and Potato Vine. I like the Rose Moss because it blooms continuously and it’s usually a surprise as to what color each bloom is.
Back to the Ikea trip, David and I ran there last Thursday. It’s a 3.5 hour drive each way, so it makes for a long day. My main objective was to buy patio furniture. As I mentioned in a previous post, the rocking chairs I found at Old Time Pottery were in the same packaging and come with identical instructions to Ikea furniture. A search online confirmed that Ikea had an entire collection of matching patio furniture. Until now, we’ve just had the 4 rocking chairs (plus 2 on the front porch) along with my parents’ black metal furniture they brought from their old house. The black metal furniture was enough to fill most of the space, but I wanted something newer and more substantial looking since we have such a large area out back.
We ended up getting a 55″ square table with 6 arm chairs. I had originally planned on getting the drop leaf table, but really liked the square table once I saw the display. I also hadn’t planned on getting the umbrella, but it looked really nice and was a great price for one that size. We also got the matching bench which I plan on putting on the mud room porch, but it is currently at the table since one of the armchairs came with 2 right arms ;p I can’t complain too much since that was the only packaging problem we had among all the boxes we brought home. Also seen in this first picture are 2 folding tables by the rocking chairs. The Ikea furniture came with a brown glaze on it which is why they are darker than the rocking chairs. Everything is made out of Acacia wood and the Ikea glaze should eventually fade so everything will match. We treated the rocking chairs with Teak Oil and will do the same to the rest of the furniture once the brown glaze wears off.
(Please disregard the photo-bombing Bulldogs in the following pictures).
The 3 lanterns on the table are also Ikea.
My parents’ black metal furniture is still in the background until their house is done. We are currently use it to keep the dogs from jumping over the walls to get out of the patio.
I also grabbed 2 $10 pots for my Laura Bush tree roses. They only had them in green, red, yellow and white, so I bought 2 white ones and painted them hammered silver.
We also picked up 2 chaise lounges and 9 sectional pieces for the back porch.
We have 3 corner sections, 5 armless sections and 1 ottoman/table. They can be configured in any way, but this is the layout I keep coming back to. We didn’t buy cushions, but I’m planning on making some with my favorite Crypton fabric and some contrasting throw pillows.
I finally put out the fountain Mom bought me on clearance last fall. We bought quite a bit last week, but we had just looked at a patio set locally that would have cost almost as much as all this Ikea stuff, but we would have only had a table and 6 chairs. As long as we maintain the acacia wood with teak oil, it should stay looking nice for a long time.
Finally, here’s the last new addition to our patio. I thought I noticed a bird making a nest in one of our holly trees a couple weeks ago. Sure enough, there was a nest with eggs when I looked a couple days later.
This weekend, I thought I saw movement over there and saw 5 little beaks when I looked.
My best guess via internet research is that they are Northern Mockingbirds. Fingers crossed that they survive the coming storms today.
I hope to get back to painting the interior of the house in the next week as I’d really like to get all the major painting finished before school gets out for the summer. Meanwhile, my parents’ new Southern Living Eastover Cottage should be completed within the next month. I plan to take pictures of the completed house before they move in and I’ll be sure to share the tour here.