Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hydrangeas in the Garden

My mostly green gardens have erupted into a sea of splendid white blooms.

Tonight, they are heavy and bent low from the summer rains.

My Pee Gee hydrangeas are fully in bloom in the front gardens. It's their first year and I'm please with how well they've come along. These were the ones that I picked up from our local garden center for $10 on Earth Day.

My Annabelle hydrangeas are fully open, and nearly finished with the heat. They are my earliest bloomers.

Our sod has filled in nicely, and we are so happy to have the landscaping done in the front. However, I can't wait to see everything established and fill in over the next few years.

My Limelight hydrangeas are enormous! They have entirely filled out my from garden and stand more than 8 feet tall. 

My Bombshell hydrangeas, one of my earlier bloomers, have started showing the slightest hints of pink.

This variety, Bridal Veil, is new to my back gardens. It's similar to a Mophead hydrangea, or Lacecap.

I even got a few large blooms from my newly planted Oakleaf hydrangeas. They've been planted all along the garage, and I can't wait to see them established. They're so majestic looking with their large, shapely foliage and handsome blooms.

Our hedgerow isn't a variety of Hydrangea, but it does flower and is quite fragrant.

And my beautiful flagstone walkway that Ryan spent days working on. 
I couldn't be happier with it, dear!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Week in Washington

Summer is in full swing here, and with all of our holidays quite close together, it seems to be passing unusually quickly.

It felt like we had barely unpacked and caught up on laundry, and we were packing for another week away.
Not that I'm complaining...

Ryan and I spent this past week in Washington, DC. He works extremely hard, and for the second year in a row, he's earned a spot in the President's Circle for Mercedes Benz.

It's always a wonderful week of pampering and delicious food. This year we stayed at the Four Seasons in historic Georgetown. It was the most luxurious hotel we've stayed in. Everything was lovely, but our favourite part was the bed. It was the most comfortable bed in the world! Seriously. You melted into it. A close second was breakfast the next morning. We've never ordered room service. To be honest, we're just too cheap. But last week, we ordered room service every single morning; Eggs benedict with crab, Belgian waffles and, my favourite, a cappuccino... It was divine. Mostly because we simply had to roll over to enjoy it!

Despite having an itinerary for the week, we had lots of time to explore and enjoy ourselves. We spent an afternoon walking the National Mall, though we didn't have near enough time to explore all of the museums.

There were so many great shops just a short walk from the hotel. One of the mornings Ryan had a meeting, so I did just that. There were a few that I had wanted to browse: Paul Cafe, Olivia Macarons, Paper Source, Dean and Deluca and Anthropology. They didn't disappoint.

Another afternoon was spent at a wonderful new winery in Virginia, Stone Tower Winery.

We sipped some delicious wines and enjoyed cheese and fresh salads outside in the vineyard. It was stunning.

We then had the rest of the afternoon off, and a convertible at our disposal, so we headed for the Blue Ridge Mountains and did the Skyline Drive. 

We even came across a bear.

Our last morning was spent walking around town. The homes were so quaint and full of charm.

Anyway, it was wonderful. The highlight was having Ryan all to myself for a week. Though I missed our beautiful boys terribly.

Only one more week and then we're back up at the cottage.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Hudson

This weekend our baby boy turned two.

He opened his gift on Friday and we had a small family party tonight to celebrate.

He was ecstatic when he saw all the balloons and streamers!

He's turning into such a little boy. He's started potty-training, loves his boats and animals, and can't get enough of his big brother. He has no idea the joy he brings to our house and the beautiful blessing he is.

Happy Birthday Hudson.

Roses in Bloom

My garden roses have just dropped the last of their delicate petals.

I was worried that I would miss them while we were away, but I didn't. It's their second year, and after a very long, harsh winter, I was afraid they wouldn't make it. I've been warned by a few neighbors that roses do not do well in our gardens. So when they started budding, the last thing I wanted to do was miss them in bloom.

These are the only roses I have in my garden. They're called Winchester Cathedral, a David Austen variety.

As roses are something that are new to me, I've been looking for some helpful reading on how to care for them.

Any recommendations on helpful resources would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

At The Lake

We've just returned from a week up at the lake - the first of our holidays up there this summer.

Our time up at the cottage is always one we look forward to with great anticipation. It's our home away from home, and this week we were even able to spend a little bit of time with Ryan's parents.

There's something magical about this place. The breeze blows through the muslin curtains and carries with it the scent of damp pine and lingering campfire. It's the sound of the loons on the lake, and the waves lapping against the dock. It's where we sway in the hammock, and sun on the dock, and paddle through the bay.

But most importantly, it's where we slow down and enjoy some rest as a family.  

This is our beautiful bay. The cottage is tucked in a hill, just beyond those overhanging pines to the left.

This is in the bay to the right of our cottage. It's our favourite little place to paddle. It has a giant floating bog, and is the best place to spot wildlife.

The wild blueberries all around the cottage were just starting to ripen.

The boys went out one morning and picked me as many as they could find.

They were enjoyed on top of our pancakes with real maple syrup and were delicious!

Throughout the week, I read through years worth of Martha Stewart Living and Country Living. It's something I draw so much inspiration from. I also read through all of Jane Austen's work throughout the summer.

It's also Oliver's favourite place in the world.

In the hammock, Hudson and I enjoy the gentle sway as we read by the water. 

I love how much these two love being up here.

Luckily, there's only a couple more weeks and we'll be returning.