Happy Happy Joy Joy! It’s Time for Spring

Happy happy joy joy!  It’s time for spring.


time for spring

Home Depot

I almost feel guilty in my time for spring celebration when I get an email from the Canadian snowbird with the following image attached.



A jaunt to the Home Depot garden center tops the time for spring planting to-do list.  Curb appeal begins with spring cleaning, planting, updating and exterior decorating.


In order to achieve optimum spring curb appeal you gotta have the proper tools to get the job done.


A recent time for spring inventory of the tools and toys needed for the upcoming lawn and garden season resulted in the Places In The Home gang becoming proud owners of a new riding mower.  This bad boy is 15.5HP of get the job done in no time power.  In all the new lawn and garden toy excitement, Dave the Builder set the cutting height a tad too low.  Let’s just say our front yard has that freshly scalped mowed look.


That’s one way to eliminate the need to mow for a week or two.


Purple Diamond Loropetalum is good for an early blast of bloom and color.  I won’t go so far as to say it basically grows itself, but once established it is  low maintenance.

Loropetalum-Purple-DiamondSouthern Living Plant Collection Purple Diamond Loropetalum

Every time I say Loropetalum I think of sayings you only hear in the South and one I consider a classic- going by Laura’s house.   Going by Laura’s house is the term my mother’s best friend’s mother coined years ago for when she would have to go out of her way to get to her intended destination.  Miss Melba called that going by Laura’s house.  It wasn’t until recently that my mother discovered the truth about going by Laura’s house, and now we say it all the time.  How I love the sayings you only hear in the South.

HGTV inspiration strikes again.  Add a dollar store drop in to the time for spring lawn and garden list.


Sightings of buds and blooms in spring fling color usher in spring and Easter parade palettes.


You know it’s time for spring by the scents and sights of spring in full bloom.  I would love to be able to bottle the the fragrance of freshly picked wisteria to use as a linen spray on crisp cotton sheets.


Fresh flowers, delightful fragrances, visually stunning table settings, and the scent and sight of it’s time for spring in the late afternoon or evening gorgeously set the scene, mood and table for spring entertaining.

The “I Love a Charade” episode of Sex and the City is my garden party touchstone.

Good friends.

Well-appointed buffet.

Smooth tunes.

Beautifully accessorized tables.



The essentials of spring entertaining.


Southern Living Plant Collection Dear Dolores Hydrangea Deciduous Shrub, Pink or Blue Mophead Blooms


Hydrangeas paired with a blue and white porcelain Chinoiserie planter makes a gorgeous garden party presentation.


What’s a garden party without a garden salad?


Benjamin Moore Tomato Red Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise
Behr Asparagus  ~  Benjamin Moore Cucumber 

Godinger Wheelbarrow Salad Bowl with Servers

Godinger Wheelbarrow Salad Bowl with Servers

Time, nature and the calendar tells us it’s time for spring.  Our senses alert us to spring’s arrival.  Color rich gardens show us the beauty of spring.

I do love a season that shows out.

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Deliveries. Issues. Solutions. That’s the Way It Goes With Major Home Improvement Projects

My posting plan to bring you the companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District didn’t quite make it to deadline.  Deliveries, issues and solutions have taken priority over my normal posting schedule, but that’s the way it goes with major home improvement projects.

roofing shingles delivery

Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues.  Don’t you just hate that?

roofing supplies

We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.

home improvement projects

Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.

And loud.

Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”

tree debris removal

A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.

bose headphones

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Budding and Blooming Spring Curb Appeal

Budding and blooming spring curb appeal lawn and garden enthusiasts know the beauty and the value of curb appeal.  First impressions make lasting impressions.  Curb appeal traditionally is the topic of buying or selling a home conversation, but what about the value of curb appeal between the bookends?  I want the ooh and aah effect of gorgeous curb appeal to impress me, the homeowner, first and foremost.

blooming spring curb appeal

Spring motivates home improvement.  The first day of spring rollout makes it official, and by the look and buzz of things around the neighborhood everything’s coming up roses, azaleas, marigolds, verbena, zinnias, impatiens, begonias, sago palms and hanging baskets of fern. We’ve got this budding and blooming spring curb appeal covered.


Heydt Designs

d0114c52-5118-4cea-934c-682d3bf3b070_1000Proven Winners Petunias

threshold-doormatSeasons & Cycles


This post contains affiliate links.  When a reader clicks on the affiliate link (like the one above) and makes a purchase on the advertiser’s site, I receive a commission for the sale. 

Consulting the buds and blooms bible aka the LSU Ag Center Bedding Plants for Louisiana Landscapes for plant this, grow that advice confirms we are a go for grow.


Succulents make a lovely showing, and the decorative box Dave the Builder made for me a couple of years ago is the inspiration for a container garden.


Color leads the way when orchestrating palette and planting.  The Barn Nursery’s Fool Proof Color Guide to Container Gardening gives color combination advice for creating beautiful color combos, height and size suggestions and recommendations for low-maintenance blooms.  You can download your free copy of the guide here.


Speaking of budding and blooming spring curb appeal gorgeous DIY projects, here’s an idea for an address number wall planter from HGTV.

house numbers

Difficulty is the word that springs to mind when it comes to our efforts to plant and successfully grow hydrangeas.  A planting debate ensued over the recently purchased pink hydrangea.


I suspected failure would follow if we prematurely planted the hydrangea under the assumption of the “we had no winter” temperatures of late. Last week the overnight temperatures dipped into the mid 30s.  I had a feeling.

hydrangea pattern outdoor fabric

This Violet Hydrangea Oilcloth Fabric from Online Fabric Store is marked oh. my. gorgeous! for outdoor pillows.



gold garden tools

Gardening Tool Set in Copper Brass Finish.  So Chic!


Parisian Entrance Urn in Aged Charcoal. Ooh la la factor at the front door! 


Regardless if you are sprucing up your already in place exterior features or adding new, the budding and blooming spring curb appeal is rooted in the lawn and garden details.

curb appeal stepping stones BHGBetter Homes & Gardens

Painting the front door instantly adds a zip of spring spectacular color. Decorative stepping stones walk the garden path walk of function and curb appeal style.  Outdoor planters have come into their own, stylishly speaking.  The round copper patina cast stone pot and tan wash round rim clay planters from Home Depot deliver on all curb appeal fronts.

curb appeal ideas

Making the spring curb appeal gorgeous gotta have it list is the alligator door knocker by Michael Healy Designs.  Regional designs and decor accessories reflecting regional attributes impress a touch of home.


Wind-and-Weather-Fish-Downspout-Statue (1)

Wind & Weather Fish Downspout Statue

Dress up gutter bottoms while steering rain water from the downspout to the lawn with a lawn and garden decorative downspout statue.


Dave snapped a shot of the new recessed LED retrofit downlight with his cell phone.  The yard and beds show winter wear and are no where near spring ready,  but you get the idea. Looking at the house from the street/curb/sidewalk, the light is not as bright as it appears in the photo. It is a very pleasing choice of exterior accent lighting.

lamps-on-porchDresser Homes

Lamp(s) on a front porch create such an inviting ambiance.  Isn’t that the idea?


From season to season, garden statues benefit from a quick cleaning, paint touch up or even a color change.

spring curb appeal

Our side yard factors into the curb appeal equation. In fact, it gets more lawn and garden attention than the front yard.  It has quickly become a bird bathing-bird feeding-bird watching neighborhood attraction.  The DIY chandelier bird feeder sees plenty of visitors, and the fourth generation bird bath (that bird bath is older than I am) is quite the gathering place.  Mama Places In The Home tends to the bird bath water (from the looks of the above photo, somebody needs to get to get to filling it up).  The antics of our winged friends supplies us with hours of bird-watching entertainment.

red -bird-spring

Budding and blooming spring curb appeal goes a long way in making the right first impression.  It announces style lives here.

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Spring Gardening Days Are Here! Can You Dig It?

Spring gardening days are here, my friends!  Can you dig it?  Recent snow (or as they say in Louisiana, sneaux) events, frost dusted mornings and the band of 32° and below temps has got to go.  My visual and vocal denial of last week’s light frost on the ground mornings brought forth the words of Sergeant Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes fame.  I see nothing, nothing!  I only have eyes for spring.

gallery-cl-fb-lilypulitzerCountry Living Magazine

If things rock on like this I may have to order this hoodie and whip up a hot toddy to garden by.

gildan-50-50-hoodie-FF6FADGardening Weekend Forecast Hoodie

The calendar says spring, my mind says spring, my heart says spring and the blooms and buds throughout the neighborhood say spring.



A kitchen vegetable garden flush with vegetables, herbs and color rich flowers is on my fresh from home farmers market radar.  Better Homes and Gardens has a free kitchen garden plan to download which includes planting instructions and plants list for the kitchen veggie garden shown in the illustration below.  Click on this link:  An Eye-Catching Kitchen Garden Plan.


A local radio personality gives a daily update on the produce progress of her vegetable and flower garden, and I must admit I look forward to and am inspired by her down on the farm reports.  In regards to the spring and summer salad season my question to you is this: Is there anything better than a fresh garden salad made with home grown tomatoes?  Pass the fine black pepper and the buttermilk dressing.


Don’t forget the fresh herbs, too!


Speaking of fresh, colorful and tasty edible accouterments.  Edible flowers add a burst of seasonal color to any garden and the dishes and drinks they adorn.

Salad (1)Victoria Magazine

Common edible flowers to consider planting in your spring garden areas and containers: marigolds, chrysanthemums, nasturtiums, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, sunflowers, begonias, daylilies, dandelions, tulips,


violets, hibiscus, lilacs, honeysuckles and roses.


Spring plants a sweet treat seed.  Doesn’t this orange chiffon cake with buttermilk ice cream look fabulous?  Fabulous and fattening, but gardening is an excellent source of exercise so take that calories.  Dig in.


Orange Chiffon Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream

7 large eggs

1 egg white

½ cup canola oil

zest of 2 medium oranges (about 1 ½ tablespoons)

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. cream of tartar

1⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tbsp. melted butter


Buttermilk Ice Cream:

3 cups low-fat buttermilk

1½ cup heavy cream

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Meanwhile, fit the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, mix orange-juice concentrate with ½ cup water and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, half the orange zest, vanilla, and ¾ cup reserved orange-juice mixture. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the reserved egg-yolk mixture until batter is very smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks.  Add about 1/3 of the egg whites to batter and whisk gently to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake on center rack of oven (do not open oven until end of baking time) until top is golden brown and springs back when touched, 50 to 60 minutes. Invert pan over neck of a bottle or heatproof funnel to cool completely. Remove when cool. Run a knife between the pan and outer edges of cooled cake, all the way around, and invert cake to remove from pan.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, and remaining orange-juice mixture and orange zest. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of glaze and set aside until ready to use. Place cake on a serving plate and drizzle with glaze. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with Buttermilk Ice Cream.

To make Buttermilk Ice Cream:

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour. Pour mixture into an ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pack ice cream into a 1 ½-quart lidded container and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface before sealing. Freeze until completely set, from 2 ½ to 4 ½ hours, depending on freezer. (Ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead.)

~Country Living Magazine


garden shedBetter Homes and Gardens

An early Easter gets the spring gardening ball rolling.  I’ve got my “she shed” area on the back patio mapped out and a spring gardening supplies list primed with items to aid in the task at hand.

spring gardening

It’s all nursery festivals, spring forward garden centers and merry, merry, how does your garden grow everywhere you look.  Here’s a spring gardening video from Garden Answer blooming with inspiration and how-to steps for longer lasting spring blooms.

Spring gardening days are here.  Can you dig it?


Home and Garden: How Does Your Summer Vegetable Garden Grow?

When it comes to vegetables, fresh from the vegetable garden ring the ripe for the grilling, roasting, stir-frying, sauteing or steaming dinner bell.  Have dirt, will garden has taken root (couldn’t resist) with many of us who love to home and garden.  How does your summer vegetable garden grow?  Do you plant your own summer salad fresh greens and grill master vegetables?

garden-veggiesTraditional Home

Benjamin Moore supplies the green thumb fresh from the garden inspiration.

benjamin-moore-green-thumbBenjamin Moore ~ Green Thumb

Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner for best looking and gotta have it potting bench.


I would switch out the galvanized tub, pop in the Legacy Signature Miners Pan Vessel Sink from VanDyke’s, plumb it all up and say hello to my little anything but garden-variety potting bench friend.


From farm to garden to potting table gardening accessories ~


Vegetable Garden Wheel


Fiskars Garden Tool Set – 4 Piece


Artichoke Cotton Flour Sack Dish Towel

garden-faucetsTorre & Tagus Multi Tap Wall Hook

garden-caswell-masseyCaswell Massey Pair of Garden Boot Soaps

I sliced into a fresh tomato this afternoon and the freshness jumped off the cutting board.  My “good garden growing, this tomato smells so good” comment brought the tomato lovers running.  In our house the only ingredients needed for the perfect sandwich are two pieces of your bread of choice, Duke’s mayonnaise, fresh home grown tomatoes, a dash of salt and a sprinkle of fine black pepper. Just add summer.

How Does Your Summer Vegetable Garden Grow

Cucumbers anyone?

how to grow cucumbers

This Vegetable Growing Cheat Sheet from POPSUGAR is a vegetable gardener’s handy dandy where to plant what vegetable garden guide.


Container, plot, patio or fresh from the farmer’s market, how does your summer vegetable garden grow?


Celebrate Earth Day!  #earthday

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Spring Curb Appeal Enthusiasm

Rainy April afternoons create spring curb appeal enthusiasm.

spring curb appeal enthusiasm

Into every April garden and flower bed a little or a lot of rain will fall, but it’s those April showers and Spring Black Friday sales that bring us one stepping stone closer to May flowers.


Updates, changes, additions and refreshes to the exterior of your home don’t have to break the bank.  That’s what summer vacations are for! Gallon shrubs, flower bed mulch and another honking big blooming hydrangea is at the top of my spring curb appeal enthusiasm gotta have it list.  Thank you, Home Depot!


Better Homes and Gardens offers their readers an informative how to mulch guide here.


From the curb to the front door, color on parade is both a preached and practiced way to instantly pump up the spring curb appeal enthusiasm.

sudbury-design-group-landscapeSudbury Design Group Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers

Bright and bold, coastal cool, summer primary color combinations or classic château chic with the emphasis on elegance ~  color makes a most effective statement.


Mary, Mary, quite contrary, in what direction will your curb appeal garden path go?


A simple change such as the addition of new house numbers, exterior lighting, bedding shrubs or decorative fencing can produce big results and compliments.


 copper-lanternsBetter Homes & Gardens

A gallon of pure black hi-gloss enamel exterior/interior paint never met an exterior door, set of shutters, window mullions, front porch rocker or garage door it didn’t love to cover in dramatic hi-gloss beauty.


black-front-door1House Beautiful

Here’s to the soaking showers of April, blooming flowers of May and the decorative and affordable curb appeal ideas that create spring curb appeal enthusiasm.

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Paging Friday, March 20th: First Day of Spring 2015

Paging Friday, March 20th.  I don’t believe I’m going out on a limb here when I say most of us are more than ready for the first day of spring 2015 to make an appearance in weather reports, gardens, flower beds and home decor accessories. Gloomy days and frozen nights of late make a very good argument for the hurried anticipation of spring’s arrival.  North, south, east and west- it’s time for spring to get to springing. I’m for less of this…


and much, much more of this.  Blooming trees, color on parade flowers and budding plants, warm temps, sunny afternoons and swing time works for me!

First Day of Spring

Have you ever seen the movie Waking Up in Reno?


This silly rednecks on a road trip resonates with our crowd in a we know people exactly like that kind of way.  One particular dialogue exchange between Billy Bob Thornton (as Lonnie Earl Dodd) and Patrick Swayze (as Roy Kirkendall) in regards to the customized Chevrolet Suburban they would be traveling in hilariously hit home.

Lonnie Earl: Nothing’s too good for my friends.  We’re gonna be ridin’ and stylin’ and profilin’.

Roy: It smells loud.

Lonnie Earl: That’s probably that Corinthian  leather, is what that is.”

My uncle, a Southern gentleman of few words and good taste, was in the carpet and flooring business for years before embarking on his career as the cinnamon bun king of central Florida.  Loud was his word of choice when describing busy colors, bold fabrics and pungent foods.



The MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market Outdoor Butterfly Chair is exactly that, loud. Subdued in its statement it’s not, but then again, neither is the beauty of spring. This chair captures the iconic look of the brand with the perfect amount of funky fun, live out loud color flair, and unique interpretation.


Speaking of loud, the buzz of the bee is the sound of nature at work. The bee makes spring things happen in the great outdoors as well as indoors with a gorgeous result.

bee-finialQueen Bee Finials

wallace-Napoleon-Bee-FlatwareWallace Napoleon Bee Flatware

Thibaut and Sunbrella bring classic style and outdoor durability to spring 2015 with the Portico collection.

Thibaut-Sunbrella-fabricsPortico ~ Thibaut

The Portico collection offers fabric selections in a gallery of vibrant colors and patterns synonymous with patio, deck, porch, courtyard and sunroom fun in the sun and shade style.

spring-flowers-purple1            Midwest Living ~ Architectural Digest

LilacLilacs ~ courtesy of Better Homes and Garden

We’ve got less than a month to go.  Hold on, the loud and lovely spring band will soon be Marching in.

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A Most Fetching Friday




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming,prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible


Week two of  A Most Fetching Friday features color, texture and pattern- the decorating trinity.

picklingExpert Pickling Tips – Williams-Sonoma Taste

kitchen-brass-hardwareFarmhouse Brass via Martha Stewart – Photo: Eric Piasecki

lipstick-GHColor palette inspiration – Good Housekeeping

pink-dining-roomCountry Living’s editor, Sarah Gray Miller’s Upstate New York Home

bird-girl-statueIn the Garden of…  Bird Girl Statues

I am a complete sucker for vintage animal prints, and have the perfect frames ready for this and the vintage cow printable. These are perfect- not too kitchy, not too busy.

Vintage-sheep-Drawing-wVintage Sheep Drawing Printable – House of Hawthorns

blue-brown-black The Hotel St. James,  Paris – Apartment Therapy

Pink Lemonade Cake makes everyday A Most Fetching Friday.  It’s a little pink piece of summer sweetness, and a lovely image to end on.

pink-lemonade-cakePink Lemonade Cake – Better Homes and Gardens

I hope yours is a most fetching Friday.

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