Thursday, May 30, 2013

A focal point for the fence...

 Last fall we replaced our ancient 25 year-old, damaged rustic stockade fence with new panels. The old window box that was mounted on the old fence also needed to be replaced...

So a few weeks ago we got busy... The above is an "after" photo showing the old window, new window box, and my hanging cherub birdbath once again attached to the fence.

The fence panel next to the back yard gate is where the 'grouping' hangs, and it looked so naked before everything was hung!

I painted the flower boxes (three of them - one for the front fence, one for the tree house in the background, and one for the deck).

Then the window....

... and flower box were attached to the fence panel.

And then it was time to plant. I can't believe I forgot the vinca vine!

Now that's better!

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago, right after we hung everything...

...and at that time, the bleeding heart was in full bloom.

As with all perennials, its bloom time has passed, but it was sure pretty while it was flowering!


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Donna

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A cherry blossom snowfall...

The bulk of our cherry blossoms fell softly to the ground last weekend...

... resulting in a beautiful carpet of pale pink spread across the yard.
Days before, there was just a smattering of blossoms on the ground.

I love this rustic old bench that sits below the branches of the cherry tree. 
It was built by hubby many years ago.

There used to be an arbor over the bench, but our New England winters ravaged that years ago. The bench is still flanked, however, by the gnarly trunks & branches of the trumpet vine that once weaved their way through the lattice sides of the arbor.

(Here's a photo of our handsome Mr. O'Malley sitting on the bench back in March of 2000. 
What a wonderful dog he was.)

Many of the blossoms landed in the 'secret garden' birdbath during their descent.

I'm so happy I took photos while the tree was still in full bloom since the blossoms are now but a memory.

The following little videos were taken on May 11th, when it looked like it was raining cherry blossoms:

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My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Oklahoma tonight. I've put a link to The American Red Cross at the top of my sidebar, and have also earmarked certain prints in my Etsy art shop as fundraiser prints for Oklahoma if anyone is interested (100% of the purchase price will be donated to the Red Cross).

This week I'm joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.

Donna

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother Mary and Mother's Day...

 Happy Mother's Day, everyone.

Mother's Day seemed like a fitting time to share the Blessed Mother Mary garden statue that graces our little backyard. I've shared her many times before, so I hope you will bear with me.

This vintage concrete statuary is probably my all-time favorite thrift store find, 
found five years ago in a New Hampshire antique store.

Her quiet presence adds a sense of serenity, grace, protection, and peace to our little garden.

When I look at her, I'm often reminded of a quote from a favorite movie of mine,
Under the Tuscan Sun.

"Signor Martini wants me to have faith. Something I've never been good at, and now I'm even worse at. Not that I don't want faith. I'm jealous of the believers. But as a fallen-away Methodist, I do not expect to emerge from all of this a Catholic, although I admit some interior juggling is going on. To my surprise, I have become friendly with Mary. It started the night she stood by me through the storm, knowing full well I'm not a Catholic. Yet, somehow, she seems more like Mary, my favorite aunt, than Santa Maria. Aunt Mary is everywhere here, her calm presence assuring us that all things will go on as they have before."
Frances (Diane Lane)

Unlike Diane Lane's character from that movie, I did grow up Catholic so Mary has always been a part of my life. And I do find such comfort in her, so you can understand why this piece is such a treasure to me, and such a welcome addition to our little yard.

These photos were taken last weekend when the cherry tree was in full bloom.

The pale pink of the ruffled cherry blossoms were breathtaking.

The simplest of settings look exquisite when framed by the blossomed branches.

The newly repainted and repaired birdhouse is holding up well and vinca vines have been placed in the birdhouse windows. By summer's end they will cascade to the ground below.

The hoppa crab trees in the front yard, which were in full bloom last week when this photo was taken, are now but a memory. But, oh, what a show they put on this year!

And last, but certainly not least, a Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful mom, who would have turned 87 a couple of days ago. You are missed every day, Mom, and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Have a beautiful week, everyone,

Donna

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hello, old friend....

There are certain relationships that, no matter how much time has passed since you've seen each other, you pick up right where you left off...

And so it is for Chip and I.


 After all, when you work from home you tend to take your breaks and lunches with the backyard critters
(at least during the spring and summer months!)...


... so Chip and I go way back.


But today was the first time this season that we've actually had the time to sit down and chat.

As we do every year, Chip and I looked out over the back yard and I shared some of my upcoming "garden-in-the-making" plans with him. 

And as always, Chip is very supportive of my vision and plans...

(So long as peanuts regularly appear on the lunch menu!)

Our lunch break flew by and then it was time for me to get back to work. Chip took one last peanut for the road and we made plans to get together again in a few days.

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Wishing all of you warm spring breezes and good times with old friends....


Donna

Monday, May 6, 2013

Our pink flowering hoppa crab trees are in full bloom!

Glorious spring has arrived in New England!

 I look forward to this view outside our living room window each May...



 ... because that's when our gorgeous pink flowering hoppa crab trees start blooming.

It's hard to believe that when we planted these back in the early 80's, we brought both of them home from the garden center in the back seat of my VW bug convertible with the top down... That's how SMALL they were!



 Here's the second hoppa crab, on the other side of the driveway. (And it won't be long before the clematis on the light post will be in bloom as well! Another thing to look forward to!)


The Adirondack chairs are in place...

The birdbaths have been filled...

...and placed in a variety of spots around the yard...

... and the birdhouses are move-in ready.

The view from the family room sliders in the back yard is equally beautiful right now as our flowering cherry tree is also in bloom! As you can see from the pots in the foreground, we made a quick trip to the garden center today to pick up a few Major Wheeler Honeysuckle vines to plant at the front posts of the swingset deck. Oh, gosh, I'm so looking forward to a spring and summer full of blooms in our little yard this year!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Donna

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Whitewashing the birdhouse...

 Our poor old birdhouse really needed some freshening up.

 It was inexpensive to start with, and has fallen apart over the years, but I love the shape of it and am willing to glue, screw, and repaint to keep it going for many more years!

This is what it looked like last spring after a very rough winter where high winds had blown it off its post. Hubby spent a lot of time putting the pieces back together again.

Hubby built a new, strong base for it so it wouldn't blow off anymore. But, boy oh boy, did it need a new paint job.

To be honest, I actually like the rustic, weathered look.

But I also want the wood to last a l-o-n-g time...

... so I got out my white paint and gave it a fresh coat of paint..

Hopefully that will keep the wood from rotting any more than it already has. Don't you just love all our landscape fabric? We desperately need more plants and more bark mulch back here. Hopefully soon.

These photos were taken just last Thursday.

Look at the difference in our flowering cherry tree, just 7 days later!

It won't be long before the salvia at the base of the birdhouse is blooming and the vinca vines are once again cascading out the birdhouse windows. I can't wait!

And take look at the difference in our honeysuckle vine. Again, the photo on the left was taken one week ago, and the photo on the right was taken today. It is getting soooo green and there are buds galore. I've decided to plant two more honeysuckle vines to climb the front posts of the swingset.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We're looking forward to more beautiful weather. We're on a roll here in New England!

Donna