Another Day In The Spring Garden – Flowers

Another Day In The Spring Garden – Flowers

April 30, 2016

    Another day in the spring garden and the purple bearded irises are beginning to bloom.  Three years ago, Dave brought a clump of these irises home from a ditch along the railroad track.  The clump was divided and planted in three different spots in the landscape.  Looking for the name of this particular iris, I came across a website for iris lovers, and they actually trade and sell rhizomes. ►

   This site catalogs irises. There are so many, it is overwhelming, but I never had a clue there were so many old varieties.   I think this particular variety is ‘Alcazar’, but I am not sure.  I have posted the question on my Facebook page if you know for sure what this variety is, share on my Facebook page

 Another Day In The Spring Garden - Iris Blooming on

      We had some of this same purple variety at home, where I grew up in southwestern Indiana, but I never knew the name of it then either.   The previous homeowner had planted them.

   There are three other varieties of iris in the garden.  One is a lovely periwinkle blue and another is a deep, almost black, purple.  Two of the periwinkle blue irises bloomed this morning!


   The giant dark purple irises have buds now.  Soon there will be huge blossom on those!


   The other is a dwarf peach colored iris, but I am not seeing buds on it and it is usually the first to bloom.  Thinking it is going to have to be moved because of crowding from other perennials, I have a spot in mind.


  It was a beautiful day yesterday, a perfect day for weeding the gardens. With watching grandkids, and neglecting the gardens, I felt like the weeds were getting away from me. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be clouded with rain and thunderstorms.  Knowing this, I worked as hard and quickly as possible yesterday. At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with the progress made.

   The columbines are really blooming profusely this year.  There is only one variety of columbine in the garden, Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Winky Red’.  


   When I was out this last week, I picked up a dahlia bulb, “Tahiti Sunrise.”  This dahlia is supposed to grow to about two feet tall and bloom profusely.  I can’t wait to see the flowers, which are supposed to be six inches wide!  The blooms are bi-colored in red and yellow.


   Some of the dahlias from last year are already popping up in the gardens.  I love the gorgeous blooms from these flowers.  


   Another day in the spring garden, I love the gorgeous spring flowers!


  Another Day In The Spring Garden - Iris Blooming on
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April In The Garden, Birds, and Flowers

April In The Garden, Birds, and Flowers
 April 27, 2016
    In northern Kentucky this year, the April garden, is very colorful!  The lavender azaleas are blooming in the front yard.  They mimic the lavender ribbon on the wreath at the front door.  The azalea bushes flank the water fountain and add a subtle pop of color for a short time.

    The columbine is blooming.  These were beginning to be overtaken by the daylilies and the transplant last summer seems to have been good for these plants.   Once again, they have never bloomed this early in the April garden.

    The old fashioned pink rose plant that Dave’s mom gave us is budded out and ready to bloom.  Not sure how old the plant we got the start from is, but it seems to be pretty prolific.  The blossoms have a beautiful rose scent, unlike any others in the gardens here.


    A pair of rock wrens has taken up residence in one of the wall planters on the patio, at least for awhile.  We could see the little eggs in the nest.  Dave said they wouldn’t hatch.  (You know what a pessimist he is.)


    He stood on the wall by the pond to peer into the nest and the little wren came flying out!  He almost fell in!  Of course, I laughed.


   The eggs hatched and now there are babies in the nest.  Momma and Papa are always coming and going.  I captured this shot, and yes, that is a big old spider!

    Soon, the planters will have to be lined and planted again.  In the meantime, I wait for their departure, enjoy their songs, and try to capture some more shots of their little family.


   Lemon balm is a great plant for repelling mosquitoes!  Knowing that I figured planting this in a pot for the deck would be a no-brainer.  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is a perennial herb.  It is very easy to grow, and it can also be pretty invasive.  Ask my husband.  We are removing it from the flower garden and restricting it to a pot.  The pot sounds like a good idea, right?  


   It resists drought and even grows quite well in shade.   Honeybees like this plant because of its strong lemon scent.  Most bugs don’t like the smell or taste of mint, so it has an added advantage of keeping them away!  If you are bitten by a bug, the leaves rubbed onto your skin are said to relieve itching.


   The dried leaves of the lemon balm can be used to make a delicious herbal tea!  The fresh leaves can be used as a green garnish for food and beverages.


 The April Garden, Birds and blooms on

  These plants bloom all summer long and grow 12 – 14-inches tall upright in a mound.  These come in so many different color variations.  To see more variations from last week’s post click here ►(more verbena)

    This week, Sophia wants to paint a pot and then we will plant the verbena for her.

   She also has strawberry plants, which we are planting in a strawberry pot. This girl is developing a love of flowers and plants, too.

   She and I, apparently, had the same idea.  Seeing a post on painted terracotta pots on “Oh My Heartsie Girl”, the idea to work on some of the clay pots in the backyard has been uppermost in my mind.  In the April garden, birds, and flowers, I love this time of year!

  The April Garden, Birds, and Flowers on

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Chocolate Lover? You’ll Love This Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake!

Chocolate Lover? You’ll Love This Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake!

April 25, 2016

Chocolate Cheesecake

    If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe!  The crust is a chocolate crumb made from chocolate Teddy Grahams and butter.   This is not the average recipe for chocolate cheesecake.  There are six eggs and a cup of heavy cream included in the rich chocolate batter.  It makes for a not so dense lighter version of cheesecake, but it is loaded with a total of 3-ounces of unsweetened and 9-ounces of semi-sweet chocolate squares.

 Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake - If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake! on

   It’s not overly sweet.  The focus here is on chocolate.  To take it over the top, I’ve added an easy hot fudge sauce.  What chocolate lover could resist this combination? The leftover fudge sauce can also be used for ice cream or another dessert. You can find the easy recipe here ► Hot Fudge sauce.

  Once you make this easy recipe, you’ll never want to buy that sauce in a jar again.


   Being a chocolate lover, this has been one of my favorite recipes.  This weekend I made the chocolate cheesecake for Jon-Michael’s girlfriend Emily’s birthday.  I had asked him what her favorite dessert was and he replied, “Chocolate cheesecake.”

     Okay, this cheesecake came to mind immediately.

    I made sure I had all the ingredients and began making the cheesecake Saturday afternoon for our Sunday get together.  As I was getting ready to pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan on top of the chocolate crust, I received a text from my son, “When are you planning on making the cake for Emily?”

   I replied, “In the process.”

   He texts, “What kind was it again?”

   Thinking, great, he was wrong, I respond, “Chocolate.”

    He texts, “Okay.”

    My response, “I thought I’d make fudge sauce for good measure.  Why?”

   Cleverly, he responds, “I couldn’t remember what kind you were making.”

    Good save, but I knew.  My response, “You did say chocolate.”

    He texts, “I know, I thought that’s what you said today, I just couldn’t remember.”


   Well, Sunday I found out her favorite dessert is ‘Chocolate Chip Cheesecake’, which I have not made yet.  I told her I’ve made a polka dot cheesecake that came out great, but that did not seem to pique her interest.

Polka Dot Cheesecake - If you are a chocolate lover, you will love this Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake! on


   So, a search for a recipe for chocolate chip cheesecake will begin!  Emily, I won’t forget, and I believe Jon-Michael will remember now, too!


   Know any good recipes for chocolate chip cheesecake?  Leave a comment below if you do!   I would sincerely appreciate it since I will be searching for the best.


   In the meantime, I’ll have another piece of this rich Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake…


    This post has been shared on linky parties at “MustLoveHome” and “OhMyHeartsieGirl



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Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden

Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden

April 22, 2016

    Yesterday, as Memphis and I rounded the corner of the house, I gasped!  The ‘Pink Champagne’ clematis was blooming, not just one blossom, but several!  The bright deep pink color caught her eye, too!  She pointed and made a joyful little noise.  Not wanting to rush it, but we have Garden Fever!  We need some flower inspirations for the summer garden!

    We got a call from Danielle at  Showplace Garden Center.  Some of the annuals had arrived.  We took a short trip and picked up a couple of big pots filled with those dark purple, almost black, petunias, pink verbena, and little pink Calibrachoa with a yellow center.


   Then we strolled through the garden center looking at trees.  We saw lots of Japanese maples, one stunning specimen had a red trunk and branches and pale yellow-green leaves.  I believe it is the ‘Coral Bark Japanese Maple.’

Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden on


   Aren’t these Kwanzan cherry blossoms gorgeous against the blue sky?   This is a beautiful tree with those big double blossoms en masse on every branch.  They remind me of paper tissue flowers!

Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden on

    These bright pink azaleas were blooming and I wish I had room for some of these in the back yard!  

    The lavender azaleas in the front yard are budding and are just beginning to open.

   Looking for inspiration for the pots, which are usually planted with annuals, we walked through some of the greenhouses and along the path to the door of the garden center.  The plants they offer are planted and grown here in Kentucky. That is why it is reassuring to buy from a local nursery.


   These impatiens were in the greenhouse and looked so pretty against the plastic that covered the greenhouse frame.  It created a white background and the flowers really popped against it.

Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden on

    Then there was this soft pink clematis.  The blossoms are much larger than the ‘Pink Champagne’ variety that I have, and it is also a paler pink.

     There were several different colors of verbena.  Aren’t these so pretty?  I love the fact that these have so many colors in one blossom.  It would be easy to create a pot, which would look gorgeous and totally color coordinated, by just echoing the colors in the blossom of one of these verbenas!


  There were pots of different colors.  This one held bright pink petunias, white verbena with pink centers and blue flowers, which I am not sure what kind they are. I really like this color combination though.  

   Although their greenhouses are beginning to fill up, there are still shipments coming in each week.  We’ll be back for more inspiration.  Can’t wait to see more of their color combinations.


  There are so many different varieties of petunias now, it is mind boggling!  This pretty red with the white border around the outside of the petals and the dark centers really caught my attention.  Some white flowers, or dusty miller, around them, would surely set them off and look spectacular.   I should check that Pantone flower guide for some other options if I choose this gorgeous petunia!                                                                                       

   Or, how about this yellow petunia with the purple striping?  Some coordinating yellow and purple or lavender flowers would look great.


  The hardest part of this is deciding on just one color combination!  A flow of repetitive colors throughout the gardens and the pots is appealing to my eye.  It would be easy to just pick one of everything, but I use restraint!


   Don’t you love this pink African Daisy?  The African Daisy is a perennial and it seems to be calling, “Buy me!”

Surely, there is a spot for this little guy in the summer garden.


  This cheery bright yellow flower is another variety of daisy.

   Using the Spring Flower Pantone Color Guide and those beautiful color boards, which Caroline helped create, it will be easy to select different flowers to coordinate with any flower you choose.


   This post is linked with Must Love Home Friday favorites week 317.


   Hoping this has given you some ideas and some flower inspirations for the summer garden.

 Flower Inspirations For The Summer Garden on

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Decorative Acrylic Monogram DIY

Decorative Acrylic Monogram DIY

April 20, 2016

    Decorative acrylic monogram?  This one was inspired by a post from Michele at The Scrap Shoppe Blog.   If you have been to Michael’s lately, you have seen all the different decorative letters.  These clear acrylic letters were in the midst of all the colorful letters made from wood, metal, and everything else.  I walked down the aisle searching for them and completely missed them the first time.  After looking through the entire store, I returned to the first aisle and there they were on a shelf just below my eye level.


 Although they look bigger in the pictures, these letters are only 7-inches tall.  Michele used hers on a fireplace mantel display.  Since it was on the small side, I wanted to use the decorative acrylic monogram for an element in a table display.


   This project was so easy, it is unreal!  Supplies are simple and you probably already have them if you are crafty!

    You’ll need a cutting mat, scissors, Mod Podge, a pencil, X-ACTO knife, a foam brush, (or paint brush), and your choice of paper.


   The first thing you do is lay the clear letter on your decorative paper and decide which part of the design you want to be displayed. 


   Then with your pencil, draw around the letter.  A mechanical pencil works well here to get close to any indentations on the letter.


   Make sure the line is easily visible and then, with scissors, cut out your letter following your lines.  Line the acrylic letter up with your paper letter and make sure everything is perfect.  There may be a little overhang of the paper, and that is where you will need the X-ACTO knife later.

   Next, clean your letter to remove any debris or fingerprints.  Removing that price tag left dirt, which I could not see until I started cleaning the letter!  


    That done, apply Mod Podge to the decorative side of the paper and place on the back of the acrylic letter, smoothing out, and pressing as you go.  Turn the letter over and allow to dry.  


   After it dries, trim off any excess overhang.   It is pretty much that simple!


 Certain letters stand up easily, not so with the ‘J’!   That created a problem for me.  It looked far less impressive on its side.  

    Brainstorming, I came up with using one of those Command brand clear hooks. It was clear, right?  Less visible. Using E-6000 glue, I glued the tip of the hook onto the ‘J’ strategically, so it would support the letter and keep it upright.  It needs to dry for several hours to get the best bond.  It worked perfectly!


   While Michele’s decorative paper for the monogram was a bright spring floral, I chose paper which was a little more understated, which would fit into the decor throughout the house.  Just thinking about the multitude of different colors and designs, which would work equally well, it makes you want to buy a few of these letters!  


   This post is linked with MustLoveHome Friday Favorites Week 317.


   This Decorative Acrylic Monogram turned out so cute, and it is so incredibly simple, maybe it would be a good idea for a gift for someone special!

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