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.
Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues. Don’t you just hate that?
We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.
Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.
Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”
A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Budding and blooming spring curb appeal goes a long way in making the right first impression. It announces style lives here.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
A late week project opportunity came about at the last minute, and to say I’ve been otherwise engaged is an understatement. No complaints, but I made a promise to myself and Dave the Builder I would stop and smell the roses, or in this case, magnolias this weekend. My fingers may have been crossed behind my back just a wee bit, but I’ll do my best to take the weekend off. After all, all’s well that weekends well.
Southern Magnolias make a beautiful “it’s the weekend” arrangement. Grab a crystal vase, silver bowl, mason jar or ironstone pitcher, fill it with warm water ( yes, warm water) and add whatever fresh flowers you wish. It’s guaranteed happiness at home. Fresh flowers and maybe a Margarita with Citrus Salt. All the delicious details of this tempting recipe from Jad Driggers the chef, husband and Mr. Mom behind New South Food Company are featured over at How to Decorate from Ballard Designs.
Still loving the Waterlogue app. I am seriously considering having personalized stationery made using this image.
My nephew wrote these words down on notebook paper when he was eight years old. His dad saved the scrap of paper in his wallet all these years. When my nephew recently married, his dad took the piece of precious paper to the printers and had refrigerator magnets made for each member of the wedding party and family members. A faded piece of paper with profound words from an eight year old boy made a priceless keepsake.