Pretty Spring Pictures All In A Scroll

Pretty spring pictures all in a scroll exemplify the beauty and wonder of Easter week.

Pretty Spring PicturesDuring this time I like to step back from the keyboard to stop and smell the roses.

spring-flowers-House & Garden

House & Garden

Garden roses in a simple vase placed atop a crochet doily, a stemmed compote dish waiting to be filled with the pear preserves, and family recipes handwritten on timeworn index cards and scratch pieces of paper spring to mind memories of Easter week travels over to Texas to visit my great-grandparents.

blue-white-table-flower-magazine-house-garden-lifestyle

Flower Magazine – House / Garden / Lifestyle

My mother came across a handwritten letter from my great-grandmother while spring cleaning.   I’ve asked my mother many times if she remembered the address of their house, but she couldn’t recall what it was.

calm-collected-kitchen

Country Living

When she found the letter, there it was in the top left hand corner of the envelope.

One Google search later and we were home again on 8th Avenue.

Texas-bluebonnets

They say you can’t go back, but for a minute it was Easter in Texas at Mama and Papas.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island – Midwest Living

Beautiful-Waterfall-Gif

blooming-bedsPinterest

rooster-spring

Pinterest

painting-roses

Scottsdale Fine Art

Spring’s arrival boasts a reawakening of colors on Easter parade and inspires a renewal of spirit.

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”

-Harriet Ann Jacobs

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Get Your Garden Growing Ready: Spring Gardening Tips

It’s time once again to ready, plan and plant spring flower, vegetable, and herb gardens.  Warmer weather and longer days naturally entice us to spend more time outdoors, and gardening is the outdoor activity many enjoy come spring.  Now is the time to get your garden growing ready with these spring gardening tips.

rooted garden letterboard

Rooted Garden

Spring Gardening  Tips

Not all planting zones are created equal.  Some planting zones, climates, and soils ready for spring gardening quicker than others.  Find your zone by clicking on the link: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

grow zone map

grow zone map key 1

For the gardenistas who live in a zone not ready for planting, now is the time to get your garden growing plan together.

Remember, too, indoor container, planter, and windowsill gardens grow indoors year-round.

Spring gardening tips help you to decide your flower, vegetable and herb garden of preference and get your deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill garden growing ready.

Best Choice Products 3-Tier 4x4ft Elevated Wooden Garden Bed Planter Kit

Best Choice Products 3-Tier 4x4ft Elevated Wooden Garden Bed Planter Kit

Good soil is the foundation of a good grow, and a good spring cleaning of sorts prepares the soil for proper growth.  With a garden fork, gently work the soil with a soft dig to loosen the soil.  You’ll only need to loosen the soil in a vegetable or flower garden one time in the spring.

Consult a weather app, Farmers Almanac, or give your local extension service a call to find out when the threat of Jack Frost is past before planting your vegetable or flower garden.

Most vegetables and flowers require approximately six hours of full sun each day.  Choose the area of your yard, deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill that gets the most sun during the day and plant accordingly.

No sun?  No problem.

Sam Stokes Nursery offers expert tips and options for flowers that grow in full and partial shade.

What and when to plant?

Tone on Tone

Old Farmers Almanac

For vegetables:

Top 10 Easiest to Grow Vegetables (according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac)

Tomatoes

Zucchini squash

Peppers

Cabbage

Bush beans

Lettuce

Beets

Carrots

Chard

Radishes

herbs-blue-walls-kitchen-house-home

House & Home

Mid to late March through May is a good time to get your spring vegetable and herb garden going and growing with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash, eggplant, okra, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, dill, chives, rosemary, and mint.

mountain-valley-seed-company-vegetable-herb-seeds

Grow Cooking Herbs, Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sage and Assortment of 12 Culinary Herb Seeds

clay pots garden

garden twine

 

4 Terracotta Pots In Wire Basket 4 Terracotta Pots In Wire Basket 

garden-markers-blue-white

If you’re wondering what vegetables to plant, think of food pairings.

Tomato and basil.

Spinach and lettuce.

Carrots and rosemary.

Corn and squash.

Good decorating pairings bring about a fresh look.   Good gardening pairings bring delicious flavor and delightful fragrance to the table.

Robertas-6-Piece-Sumo-Series-PetuniasRoberta’s 6-Piece Sumo Series Petunias

For flowers:

Mid March to early May is the rule of green thumb for planting perennials.  Annuals fare better when planted in late spring.

Clean out your flower beds by removing last year’s leftovers. Cut back last year’s perennials and ornamental grasses to encourage healthy new growth. Remove exhausted bulbs and divide perennials.

Consult your seed packet(s) for directions on when to plant, depth of planting, and spacing.

spring-scent-flowersColor comes to call in the spring garden.

Peonies, wisteria, hyacinth, lilacs, and lilies fill your garden with gorgeous color and fragrance.

lilacs kitchen

Pinterest

Round Galvanized Metal Planter With Handles

Round Galvanized Metal Planter With Handles

Lilacs grow best when planted in fertile soil and placed in full sun.  Lilacs will not fully bloom if overwatered.  A layer of compost followed by a layer of mulch helps to retain moisture and combat weeds.

hummingbird

Hummingbirds and butterflies are fascinating little creatures to watch.  Southern Living offers spring gardening tips for almost everything gardening under the sun and shade.  Ragin’ Cajun Ruellia gives a shout out to my Louisiana roots.

Bells of Fire™ Tecoma is another perennials tubular flower that attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies.  Click here to learn more plants to spring plant that will attract hummingbirds.

ruellia_ragin_cajun_bloom_power

Ragin’ Cajun® Ruellia

I love the Cameo Japanese flowering quince in my brother’s courtyard.

flowering-quince

A day trip to Forest Hill, Louisiana, better known as the nursery capital, to purchase a Cameo Japanese flowering quince is on the spring gardening agenda.

azaleas-pink

Azaleas in full color and full bloom means beauty and the beast I call pollen is all around as evidenced by this hot pink azalea bouquet and the pollen streams in the driveway.

pollen

Weeds are a thorn in the side, front, and back of any vegetable or flower garden.  Mulch cuts down on weeds, adds a layer of insulation, and keeps plant roots moist.

mulch-colorsDave the Builder used his new Craftsman Handheld Gas Leaf Blower to blow the pine needles off the roof and into the flower bed where it will be used as mulch.

Craftsman handheld blower

Excuse our work in progress mess.

pine needles

Fresh from the produce department tomatoes will do for now, but there is no substitute for fresh home garden tomatoes.

garden-tomatoes

To give your tomato plants a good grow, feed the soil with a small amount of fertilizer and compost at planting time.

Jobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food FertilizerJobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato Plant Food Fertilizer

Plant the roots as deep as possible.

Freshly planted tomato plants will require a daily healthy watering for a couple of weeks after planting to properly seep into the soil and moisten the area.   Garden tomatoes require at least 1-2 inches of water a week.

Low and slow applies to watering tomatoes.  Water the plants low at the stem and water slowly.

Tomato plants are slow drinkers. Flooding the area is not what we’re going for here.

miracle-gro-garden-hose-1

Miracle-Gro Drip and Soaker Kit

Water your tomato crop once every two or three days at the height of summer.  Early morning is the best time to water.

As summer temps soar, you may want to water the plants both in the early morning and early evening on the days you water.

spring gardening tips

Bacon sandwiches, homemade hamburgers, fresh from the garden salads, and spring to summer dishes deliciously begin and end with the homegrown tomato.

As I typed fresh from the garden salads, it reminded me of the story a friend shared with me about a dinner menu conversation she had with her husband.  The friend asked her husband what he wanted for dinner.  The husband answered in perfect course order beginning with, his words not hers nor mine, a little house salad.

Curious about what exactly the husband thought a little house salad was, the friend asked the husband to expound.

“Well, you know, it’s a little salad you make at the house.”

All I know is the husband’s vegetable garden produced the best tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, squash, and radishes that went into many a fresh spring to summer salad mixed and enjoyed at their house.

seed-packet

Leafy greens and vegetables star in the latest entertaining trend, the edible table runner.

different-kinds-of-fresh-herbs

bibb-lettuce

gurney-vegetable-herb-seeds

I’m learning more and more the best way to go in spring and summer entertaining is to set a casual and inviting table, keep the menu, ingredients, music, and conversation fresh and simple, and have plenty of homemade buttermilk dressing on hand.

homemade-buttermilk-dressing-1

garden-boots-spring

House & Home

Spring Gardening Tips, Tools, & Accessories

firm-grip-gardening-gloves

Firm Grip Garden Gloves

Protecting your hands, skin, and feet is a must.

Sunburn, dry and weathered hands, and wet feet do not a happy gardener make.

Tirrinia Ladies Wide Brim Sun Flap Cover Cap Adjustable Beach Gardening Hat

Tirrinia Ladies Wide Brim Sun Flap Cover Cap Adjustable Beach Gardening Hat

gardening boots

Rain Boot Wellies Waterproof for Gardening

gardeners-soapCrabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Exfoliating Soap

dove-intensive-cream

I bought two Dove Nourishing Care Intensive-Creams on at Dollar Tree, and am so glad I did.  The formula is rich, smells divine, and has good staying power without being greasy.  I like it so much I bought five more last week.

It gets my perfect for gardening hands seal of approval.

gardening goodies

Tools

Fiskars® 3pc DuraFrame Garden Tools Set
Ames Poly Scoop 
Barebones Living Small Garden Scissors
3pc Garden Tool Set – Smith & Hawken™

Planters

White Washed Brown Faux Woven Planter 
Wakefield Handmade Anduze Manchette Planter
Aged Charcoal Cast Stone Flower Rectangular Planter
Square Charcoal Cast Stone Column Planter

Watering Cans

Metal Watering Can – Smith & Hawken™
Achla Designs Haystack Pitcher Watering Jug
Herb Print Watering Can
Perfect Pour Copper Watering Can

Garden Goodies

Kalani Large Sea Grass Utility Basket with Wood Handle
Esschert Design USA Ceramic Plant Markers
Sontax Rolling Garden Cart with Tool Tray
Deluxe Metal Pulsating Sprinkler with Tripod

 

A lovely garden statue accentuates the design and the beauty of your garden.

Children First Love Statue

Children First Love Statue

Cast stone and terracotta planters in neutral tones instill a touch of European elegance.

elegant-planters

Winter is in the rearview mirror, and our sights and tastes are set on the spring flowers and vegetables planted and produced in the spring yard, deck, patio, porch, terrace, or windowsill garden.

spring signature

Happy Happy Joy Joy! It’s Time for Spring

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

Officially.

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.

Almost.

snow-Winnipeg

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.

front-yard

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

Poulon-Pro-riding-lawn-mower

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.




mowed-too-short

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

Loropetalum

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.

tulips-in-bloom

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

wisteria

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.

an-invitation-to-the-garden

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.

Lilacs.

Butterflies.

The essentials of spring entertaining.

southern-living-hydrangeas

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

asian-indoor-pots-and-planters

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

garden-fresh-vegetables-1

What’s a garden party without a garden salad?

salad-paint-colors

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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Creating A Spring Scene

Picture perfect moments, colors, subjects and samplings worthy of creating a spring scene catch the eye, stir interest and offer seasonal inspiration.

blue-jay-bird-bath

Being in the right place at the right time had its advantages for a I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph blogger and a spirited blue jay with a bird bath all to itself.

blue-jay-bathing

This creating a spring scene scenario went on for a good fifteen minutes. Nature provided a magnificent matinee, and the star of this one bird show appeared ready for his or her close-up.

spring scene

While we are on the subject of blue, I am quite impressed with the pale blue green color palette selections of The Naturals by Barry Dixon from C2 Paint.

Barry-Dixon-paintThe Naturals by Barry Dixon from C2 Paint

Snow Sky  ||   Well Water ||  Fauquier Spring

That crazy blue jay has the right idea about spring activities.  A refreshing dip in the pool was just the ticket to recharge his battery, and a spring road trip will be just the ticket to recharge mine.

travel-pillow

“Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink”

– Lilly Pulitzer

hydrangea centerpiece

Hydrangea Centerpiece

I was referencing violets and pansies in a yet to be published blog post. Walking past the kitchen table on the way to afternoon coffee, I glanced down to see the April issue of Better Homes & Gardens opened to the feature In Praise of Violas.  How’s that for happenstance?

in-praise-violas

I’m not a practicing member of the ladies that lunch club, but I love the idea of it and the Southern Living feature The New Ladies Lunch. Planning the Mother’s Day menu is soon to be the task at hand, and the Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits look to be a Southern scrumptious must make.

ladies-luncheon

Southern Living

Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
Parchment paper

Directions

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly; stir in cheese.  Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times.  Place dough in a bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Unbaked biscuits may be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen biscuits as directed for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.

~Recipe from Southern Living – My Recipes

fern

Spring is all about the new, the fresh, the green.  There is something so classic, Southern chic, and spring front porch perfect about a Boston fern hanging basket.  My brand new, full to the spring green Boston fern basket is the curb appeal accent piece hanging around the front porch creating a spring scene.

signature-pink

Feathered Friends On A Cloudy Afternoon

Storm clouds are hanging heavy over our part of the world this week. What’s up with this weather pattern?  Houston, we have a problem took on a whole new meaning and a whole lot of water Monday morning. Everything is bigger in Texas, including this most recent flooding event. My mother, channeling her inner Jim Cantore, kept me informed of the worsening weather conditions and rescue situations in the Greater Houston area throughout the day.

sunshine-in-my-soul-todayPinterest

Funky weather conditions can dampen even the sunniest of dispositions. We’ve had just about all the sadness we can take around here lately, making the distract and deflect act I have become abnormally good at a necessary part of a cloudy day.  Lighting plays such a significant role in our moods and energy levels.  The right amount of the right kind of lighting can promote a calming, serene and pleasing atmosphere.  Sunny days and the pristine natural lighting are favored, but not a 365 day reality.

What to do, what to do with the cloudy one at hand?

I know.  Let’s take a gander at what’s going on with our feathered friends on a cloudy afternoon.

bread-for-birds

Dave the Builder put out bread and filled the chandelier bird feeder pots with seed late Sunday afternoon.  We kept watch to see how well the birds would respond to this first feeding of the spring season.

Robins, blue jays, doves, cardinals, mockingbirds, sparrows –

Feathered Friends On A Cloudy Afternoon

nature is well represented right outside our kitchen window.

mockingbird

You would think a rainy, cloudy day would keep them away, but it seems the weather was just right to entice these creatures to turn out to feed and frolic.

bird-on-feeder

See the tilted and empty clay pots?

bird-feeder-chandelier

Meet the culprit.

squirrel

Never underestimate the will of an alpha squirrel and the king of the yard swagger that goes along with it. This greedy gut and his partner in squirrel crime worked in tandem to tip each of the full clay pot feed holders over.  This was one seedy ground game.  A determined blue jay with expert aim dive-bombed the spotter squirrel and it was game on from there.  Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal and the sparrows circled the wagons, and the doves noshed in couldn’t care less fashion.  Victory was declared by the feathered finishers, and a pair of crestfallen squirrels cried “fowl” and retreated to the neighbors yard.

Just a view from my window on the world.

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A Beautiful Good Friday

Beauty is a gift to be appreciated, admired, marveled at, and shared with friends and family.

pink-hydrangeas-gardenCountry Living Magazine ~ Kathryn Kleinman/Jupiter Images

With spring’s arrival, colors on Easter parade, and a holiday weekend of reflection to enjoy, I wish you a beautiful and Good Friday.

Dr. SuessGood Housekeeping

carolyne-flowers-craving-casualStyle at Home

pink-roses-hydrangeaSave On Crafts

lemon-layer-cake-blueberry-lavender-buttercreamLemon Layer Cake with Blueberry Lavender Buttercream

 good Friday

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…

gloomy

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?

Waking-Up-In-Reno1Miramax

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.

MacKenzie-Childs-Flower-Chair1

Horchow

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.

bee-tea-potZulily

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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Sharing Spring In Full Bloom Splendor

The wonder of nature is all around us sharing spring in full bloom splendor.

Gorgeous is as gorgeous grows.

Lavender_fieldCommons Wikimedia

I love the Alice Walker quote from The Color Purple that states, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.  People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

Dallas-Arboretum-Botanical-GardenDallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

spring-bouquetBetter Homes and Gardens

Classic blue and white by nature’s design carries through to our beautiful indoors.

blue-and-white-porcelainTraditional Home

8 Biggest Mistakes You Make With Fresh Cut Flowers from Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

Pink dogwood trees in full bloom splendor are a fixture here in the South, the calling card of spring and a beloved symbol of Easter.

HGTV_pink-dogwood-trees-flowersHGTV

Lovely lantana.

Just add spring.

LantanaBetter Homes and Gardens

Happy Easter week!

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