Hydrangeas

… are my favorite flower.

Photos taken in front of my neighborhood swimming pool.

 

Ugh

The landscapers at my town house complex laid down mulch over my pretty pine straw.  UGH.

Before:

Well, not really before because 1) the above picture is from two springs ago (I apply a fresh batch of it every spring), and 2) before they put down the mulch, my front yard was badly in need of a new layer of fresh pine straw.  After a long, cold, snowy winter it was not looking too pretty.

I’m not quite sure what to do now… the mulch look is kinda growing on me, and I’m not sure how a layer of pine straw would look on top of the mulch.  I was only planning on buying one bale this spring to lay down fresh, but now I think it would take two or three to cover the mulch.

Gardening = Fail

RIP

My plants have died, it hasn’t even been in month since I ‘planted them.’  The probable reasons are:

1.  I never could remember to water them, even with a full watering can sitting right by the dying plants.

2.  I never planted them, they are still in the plastic containers they came in, just shoved into the white pot.  Because I was lazy, and because I thought they might stand a better chance of living if I did not take them out of their current home.

3.  I bought them way to early… I think I got way too excited on one of the first nice days in March and joined the masses at Merrifield Garden Center to pick up some plants.  I was just going to pick up a new batch of pine straw and couldn’t help myself… they were so pretty.  It was too early to have plants out… we still had some cold (and then some very hot) days still which did not agree with my pretty plants.

Speaking of pine straw, here are a few shots of my new pine straw in action:

I love pine straw… it’s so… not mulch… so classic southern.  And it’s cheap ($10 a bushel) and easy to lay down!

Putting It All Together: Front Porch

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Sources:

Mission House Numbers from Rejuventation

Pineapple Door Knocker- Cape Cod Weathervane Company (I am going to get this, but I love the bear door knocker)

Bear Door Knocker- Restoration Hardware

American Flag- Williams- Sonoma

Retrouve Turquoise Chair- The Conran Shop

Ceramic Garden Stool- Pottery Barn

Mynta Plant Pot- Ikea

Zinnias

Window Boxes

Mika Espresso Folding Table- World Market (I actually bought the much cheaper version from IKEA.  Read about it here.)

Outdoor Living

Spring is almost here and that makes me SO SO happy! With the coming of warmer weather I will be able to use my front yard more- so exciting!  I live in a townhouse with no backyard and a small- maybe 5 x 10 fenced in front yard.  Since I only moved in this past December I hadn’t done a ton to make it more warm weather friendly.  I did almost immediately upon moving in lay down pine straw since there was no grass and the yard was basically a dirt pit.  I LOVE pine straw {here is an old post about my love of it}, now that the weather is getting warmer I am going to go buy another bale or two to freshen the yard.  I had two simple white plastic lawn chairs and a cute matching white side table with some cute candles on it in the front yard set up in the yard and that was fine to get me through the winter.

The past few weeks I have been scoping out what new outdoor furniture I wanted to buy to upgrade the white plastic chairs.  I had settled on this number from World Market:

Mika Espresso Folding Table

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It is $79.99 for the table alone and caught my interest as it is the perfect size for my little yard.  I fully intended to get- that is until my most recent shopping trip at IKEA where I saw this:

TARNO Folding Table:

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And I picked up two of the matching chairs:

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I am so happy to have seen these as they are much more in my price range {$20 for the table and $15 each for the chairs}.  I just love IKEA-  it never ceases to amaze me!

Here is my lovely little front yard now:

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I love it- I can’t wait to eat out here on hot summer nights.  It seems so Parisian to me.

I also had been looking for some sort of flooring to go under the old plastic chairs I had, I had settled on getting pavers or flagstone until I saw this decking at IKEA and I knew it was the perfect solution!  It is IDBYN from IKEA which apparently is very new as it is not on their website yet, otherwise I would link it.  It came in a pack of 9 squares which you snap together- I wasn’t sure how much ground it would cover.  I am going to go buy one more set so that the chairs and table will all be covered when pulled out.

The lantern and candle are from IKEA as well.  The navy blue metal star is one of my favorite things in my front yard.  I got it at the farmer’s market in Harrisonburg, Virginia where I went to college.  The star is a symbol of prosperity and a lot of people in the South and in the country (like Harrisonburg) have these stars on their barns or houses.  I fell in love so I picked one up before I moved away.

The ‘Christmas’ lights are from Target, I bought them a while back so you will probably need to get them online here.

Bronze Dragonfly String Lights from Target:

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Ideas for you:  Here are some of my fave outdoor spaces from online:

Pottery Barn:

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Oooooo this looks like heaven.  I love lanterns:

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From Williams- Sonoma Home:

I love Adirondack chairs, although I find them a it uncomfy to sit in:

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From Restoration Hardware:

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These pics are making me drool.  I just love the water- I am so thankful to live on the East Coast.  The Chesapeake Bay and beaches aplenty are just a stones throw away.  Sorry for my readers living in the middle states, but I can’t imagine not living near a coast.

Stay tuned for more outdoor living spaces- I will be keeping my eyes open for some lovely spaces!

Pine Straw!

I just put down pine straw in my front yard (picture coming soon) to cover up the massive dirt pit that was there.  It is much cheaper and easier than putting down sod, and I just love the look of it.

Pine Straw is very common in the south and I think it has so much more character than mulch.  The color is also a very rich reddish brown.

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Check it out:

http://www.pinestrawdirect.com/

http://www.atlantapinestraw.net/