A Beautiful Day In The Garden

A Beautiful Day In The Garden

May 23, 2016

The Garden

   Yesterday was a beautiful day in the garden!  Finally, we had a day perfect for catching up on all the work outside.  The entire day was dedicated to working on planting flowers.

 

   The first task at hand was lining the wall planters with burlap.  Complete instructions on how to do this are in this earlier blog post from last year.  As you can see, in the picture below, I am about ten days behind last year!  It is already the twenty-third of May!

A Beautiful Day In The Garden on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    My plan was to plant the salmon-pink colored petunias between two of the yellow calibrachoa.  Well, I changed my mind and chose to plant a ‘shock wave coconut’ white petunia between two of the yellow calibrachoa in each planter.

The color of the Creeping Jenny, ‘Goldilocks’, in the water garden is echoed by the yellow calibrachoa.

 

   There was a reason for this.  The terra cotta pots I painted with the DIY vintage decals on them were going to be planted with white petunias.  The deck is white, the white petunias in the pots and a splash of white in the wall planters successfully lead the eye all around the patio and also ties the white back to the deck. The wall of Annabelle hydrangea above the wall will soon have huge white blooms, too.

 

   The idea of using white flowers might not seem very creative, but don’t the white flowers show up more in the evening when other colors seem to disappear into the shadows?   Having them on the patio just makes sense, right?

 

   The pots flanking the front door were planted with red petunias, tiny white euphorbia, and red and white verbena.  The flowers in the pots will echo the red of the knockout roses in the front yard.   I love this variegated verbena!  It makes choosing flowers to go together so easy!

 

   The concrete planters flanking the walkway to the backyard were filled with the salmon-pink colored wave petunias.

 

   Dave helped me plant the two roses he gave me for Mother’s Day.  The climbing rose “Jacob’s Coat” was planted at the front of the deck.  I still need to make or buy a trellis for it.  A post is supporting it in the meanwhile.

 

   The beautiful ‘Peace Rose’ is now planted by the old mill stone in the garden.  It will be easy to see it from the back windows.  We removed a large hosta and transplanted it under the red maple.

 

   For some time, I have been trying to plant hostas in a large ‘S’ curving around the crabapple and back in the opposite direction around the red maple.  There wasn’t enough shade for several years.  Some of the hostas made it and some did not.  

 

   Finally, we have some serious shade and the hostas are doing well.  I won’t give up on this!  Maybe one day my vision will come to fruition!

 

    At the end of the day, I scattered moth balls in all of the pots to keep the squirrels and chipmunks out of them.  We surely have an abundance of those!

 

   After a shower and a change of clothes, Dave and I sat on the deck and looked over what we had accomplished during this beautiful day in the garden.

 

 

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In May, The Kentucky Garden Comes Alive!

In May, The Kentucky Garden Comes Alive!

May 19, 2016

Kentucky Garden

   Each year In May, The Kentucky Garden Comes Alive!  Last year, the garden in May was much further along, at least in respect to what I had accomplished!  This year we have had a lot of rain and this past week was cold!  Add those conditions to having Memphis visiting for several days and progress has been slow.  (Although she is delightful, I don’t know how anyone gets anything much done with an eleven-month-old baby!  Remember I raised four?)

 

   It has taken longer to paint the pots but I love the way they look.  They had to be scrubbed and dried before painting.  With all the rain, that took some time but finally, it was accomplished.  They were brought inside and painted.  (The large pots in the picture still need three coats of polyurethane.)

 

   Also, as you can see in the picture, the deck is painted white.  The white pots will pull the white color down onto the patio.  

 

   The vintage graphics were mostly found on The Graphics Fairy.com.

Since these were much bigger graphics than the original on the little pot, I painted three coats of Mod Podge on the designs and allowed them to dry overnight.   I think that helped keep the decal from tearing.   Complete, detailed instructions for making the pots are here.

 

   The next day, I soaked the design in water and removed the paper from the back.  After allowing that to dry, it seemed there was still some paper that needed to be removed.  Laying it on the counter and just wetting my finger tip, I continued to rub gently in circles and more paper came off the back.  Wanting the edges to be as thin as possible, I especially concentrated on removing any paper there.

 

   Although scissors were used as needed to cut around the first project, I think tearing helps the edges blend into the pot more seamlessly.  I also found that using the wooden handle of the paint brush to burnish the edges helped with that.

 

   The promise of a nice day today gives me hope of completing this project and planting these petunias that have been sitting here on the deck for over a week!

 

   The pink peonies are blooming.  The cloudy, rainy, cold days did not seem to affect their blooming!  I brought a few in the house to brighten up the inside!

 

  The red roses are blooming now, too!  Aren’t these gorgeous?  I love spring!

    Each spring when the irises begin to bloom, the anticipation of this beautiful, huge, purple iris blooming is almost too much!  It makes the little periwinkle blue irises look like dwarfs!  It is surely majestic standing so tall and so brilliant right off the patio.

    If you are as crazy about flowers as I am and would like to see more of the pictures from the garden, more are posted on My Humble Home and Garden’s Facebook page.  

 In May, The Kentucky Garden Comes Alive!   Although my work in the garden is behind, nature has moved forward and there are so many more beautiful flowers to see each day!  I love this time of year!

 

 

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Using Ordinary Things In An Uncommon Way For An Extraordinary Look

Using Ordinary Things In An Uncommon Way For An Extraordinary Look

May 16, 2016

     Using ordinary things in an uncommon way for an extraordinary look can be a good idea.   “What else could I use for that?”, is a common brainstorming question in my world.  That is how I came up with the hangers for the curtains for the palladian windows in the family room.  

 

   The windows are such a focal point and I love the open feeling.  Not wanting to obstruct the view with curtains, I decided to create columns of fabric that fell and just graced the edges of the window frame.   The long falls of fabric would be dramatic and look luxurious.  Skimp on the fabric and it doesn’t look so rich.

 

    Looking for ideas for how to hang these curtains, I came across a picture of a curtain hung from ordinary decorative hooks.  The curtains were stationary and that is exactly what was needed for the palladian windows.  The hooks could be arched along the wall to mimic the arches of the windows.

 

   I started looking for decorative hooks, but they were all too small.  The size of those would look out of proportion for this wall.  Then, I happened to find these metal tiebacks and imagined that they would be a perfect size.  I bought twelve to make four sets of three.

 

   Up on the ladder and holding the hooks on the wall, I decided on placement. A mark to indicate each of the three positions was made on the wall.  Next, a large piece of paper was used to make a template.  The curve of the window and the original marks, indicating the position of the hooks, were transferred to the paper.  

 

   Back at the table, a ruler was used to re-position the hooks on the template so that they were equidistant and uniform.

 

    Then, using the template, the positions for the “hooks” was marked on the wall and the tiebacks were screwed into the wall vertically instead of horizontally.

The template was just flipped over to mark the arches on the left side. 

 

   On a trip to the fabric store, I found this gold striped, sheer, tone on tone fabric.  The stripe is very subtle but reinforces the idea of length.  A print or floral would have been more distracting.  I bought twenty yards of fabric, allowing for the excess to pool on the floor.

 

   After the “hooks” were positioned on the walls, I cut the fabric into four equal lengths.  I wanted the fabric to fall nicely between the hooks, so I pinned the fabric on the left edge, the middle, and the right edge, to three of the hooks.  In order for it to fall like I wanted, I cut a slant from the top edge to the edge that would be lower on the wall.  It wasn’t a severe slant, just a slight slant, and it draped perfectly.

 

   That slant was transferred to the top edge of each of the panels, keeping in mind that two of these would face the opposite direction.

 

     Then, I created loops from some of the excess fabric, hemmed the top of the ‘curtain’, and attached the loops to the top on the left edge, the middle, and the right edge.  Because of the length of the fabric panels and the weight of them, I created a little pleat to attach to the middle loop, thinking that the doubled fabric would give more support and tearing would be less likely.  The side edges of the panels were turned back but intentionally left with the original selvage edge, no hem.  I didn’t want puckering or that line that the hem would produce. The edges were less conspicuous just left as they were.

   After all the panels were up, I trimmed and finished the bottoms, leaving excess fabric to puddle gracefully on the floor.  These were definitely some of the easiest curtains I have ever made, but they certainly do make a grand display.

 

   Sometimes, using ordinary things in an uncommon way for an extraordinary look can make things more interesting, right?

 

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Gorgeous Flowers – Happy Mother’s Day!

Gorgeous Flowers – Happy Mother’s Day!

May 8, 2016

        Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  In the garden, there are two new roses.   This first beauty is ‘Peace’, a hybrid tea rose.   The large warm yellow blooms are edged with pink and the foliage is dark green.  These blossoms are gorgeous!

 

   These two roses were Dave’s Mother’s Day gifts for me this year.  

    The columbines are blooming like crazy this year!  The peonies are budding.  Last weekend, I worked a full day in the gardens and felt I had made some progress.  There is still work to do.

 

    In the garden, the purple ‘Alcazar’ irises continue to bloom and the periwinkle blue iris is blooming.  This little iris looks lavender until it blooms near the purple irises.  Then, it looks blue.  I am not sure what its name is.

 Gorgeous Flowers - Happy Mother's Day! on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   There are pockets of both of these irises scattered across the landscape in the backyard.  It gives a continuity to the view as your eye follows the purple and lavender from one flower bed to another.   The eye follows color, so use that to your advantage in your landscape.

 

     The huge dark purple irises are budding but have not opened up yet.  Last year there were about forty blossoms on the plants, but not as many this year. This year, I will be dividing that bunch and adding them to another area.  Those irises are breathtaking!

    I wish you could smell this old fashioned pink rose!  The start for this plant came from Dave’s mother.  She had the original plant for many years.

 

   The butterfly weed continues to grow and seems to be thriving.  Last summer was my first time planting this flower. Last fall, as soon as we had a freeze, it was gone!  My worries about it not making it were for nothing.

   I’m anxious to see the gorgeous flowers on this plant and also hoping the butterflies take advantage of it.

 

    This tiny flower is a blue-eyed grass flower.  The bulbs for these came as a free gift in a spring bulb order many years ago.  I have to admit, when they first came up, I had no clue what they were.  I had completely forgotten about planting them!  They have spread a little in the bed where they were originally planted.  The plants look like a little clump of grass and at the end of the blades, these little six-petaled blue flowers emerge.  They take absolutely no care and the tiny flowers are so cute!

 

   Hoping you have some new gorgeous flowers added to your flower gardens, too, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Homemade Burger Buns – Made with a Bread Machine

Homemade Burger Buns –Made with a Bread Machine

3/4 cup water

2 Tblsp. butter, cut into eight pieces*

1 large egg, beat slightly

3-1/2 cups  flour

1/4 cup sugar

1-1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tblsp. yeast

 

Pour the water, the pieces of butter, the egg, the sugar and salt into the bucket of the bread maker.  Add the flour and top with the yeast.

 

Turn the bread machine on and program for the dough setting.  

 

When the dough is finished, place dough on cutting board and cut in half.  Cut each half into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on whether you want 12 medium size or 8 larger buns.  

 

Shape each piece into a ball and flatten.  Place on lightly oiled baking sheet, parchment-lined, or Non-Stick Reynold’s Wrap-lined baking sheet.

 

Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.  The buns should look puffy.

 

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  Brush the tops of the buns with half of the butter.

 

Bake in a pre-heated 375° oven.   

Bake the 12 medium sized buns 12 – 15 minutes.

Bake the 8 larger size buns 15 – 18 minutes.

 

Remove the buns from the oven and brush the tops with the remainder of the butter.

 

 

* If the butter is cold, cutting it into pieces makes it easier for it to combine.

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Homemade Burger Buns - Made with a Bread Machine
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour the water, the pieces of butter, the egg, the sugar and salt into the bucket of the bread maker. Add the flour and top with the yeast.
  2. Turn the bread machine on and program for the dough setting.
  3. When the dough is finished, place dough on cutting board and cut in half. Cut each half into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on whether you want 12 medium size or 8 larger buns.
  4. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet, parchment-lined, or Non-Stick Reynold's Wrap-lined baking sheet.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour. The buns should look puffy.
  6. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Brush the tops of the buns with half of the butter.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated 375° oven. Bake the 12 medium sized buns 12 - 15 minutes. Bake the 8 larger size buns 15 - 18 minutes.
  8. * If the butter is cold, cutting it into pieces makes it easier for it to combine.
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