Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Front Entrance

Today I spent the afternoon cleaning up the front entrance. We had removed the garland hung for the winter already a couple months ago, but the urns still needed to be changed for Spring.

I contemplated planting them up with a few things, but in the end, kept feeling like I just wanted them simple. There's enough variety in the gardens and I'm always drawn to the simplicity of Boxwood in urns. And while they were fairly expensive, I opted for two larger Green Mountain round ones. 

Currently we are looking for contractors to do some work on this entrance. We would like to have a railing installed, and would prefer a wood railing all the way around in replacement of the iron one. As well, we would replace the current steps with more appealing wood ones to suit the railing. It wasn't really a project we were going to tackle right now, but it needs to be done.

I would also like to replace the existing screen door and add a transom window above it. The actual door goes all the way to the top of the blue, and the transom would add some extra light to the interior entrance when I have the door open - which is all day long if it's not too cool.

Our Blushing Bride Hydrangeas on either side of the steps have survived their first winter and are showing lots of new growth. They will be a lovely welcome when they are more mature and fill out the gardens on either side.

And these are the times when I wish I could capture and share smell with you! 

This entire entrance is filled with the smell of Lily of the Valley in bloom, another favourite part of our gardens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Side Gardens

We've had the most beautiful weather this past weekend - a long weekend - and we made the most of it by spending it almost entirely outside.

While the property at our new home is much smaller than our last, there are a great deal more gardens. Thankfully Ryan has developed more of a love for being outside in the dirt, and has started to enjoy it as more of a hobby than an obligation.

These are the gardens on the South side of our property. A large part of the beds are filled with herbs, something I love about them! There's an abundance of Mint, Thyme, Oregano, Sage and Chives. There is also a bed of Lavender in the middle of the brick walk.

These are before photos of the beds. As you can see, they are in need of some serious attention. While they look a little sparse now, a lot of this space fills out with Echinacea and other things later in the season. As well, up until this point, we hadn't touched them yet this Spring.

We went through the space, removed large rocks, picked out the plants which would remain, and then started removing the rest.

There weren't too many that stayed, but it gave us a clean slate to work with.

Here we've turned over all the soil, and are removing smaller debris. The one thing we were amazed at is the richness of the soil. It's due mostly to the care and attention of the previous owners I think, as it's unlike a lot of the sandy soil in other parts of this neighborhood.

It was quite the job!

At this point, the beds are ready to be planted, and we've started browsing our local nurseries. So far, we've selected and planted two Sarah Bernhardt Peony shrubs, a Little Lime and a Candlelight Hydrangea, and two varieties of Vibernum bushes in the corner of the property to eventually add some privacy to the yard.

Waiting to be planted is a large pot of a smaller variety of white Anemones, and some Woodruff for shaded ground cover under the tree. I also picked up two large, round Boxwoods for the urns at our front entrance.

Looking forward to showing more of it's evolution.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The First Lilacs and Lily of the Valley

We've been enjoying the warm Spring evenings in the garden, puttering about the yard. The sunlight is soft and dappled and the yard is peaceful.

It's also more fragrant now that our Lilacs have been blooming.

There are even a few early flowering bells of Lily of the Valley, which too add their fragrance.

And what's better than being able to bring some inside to enjoy?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Our New England Getaway

Ryan and I spent the past two days in New England, shopping the Brimfield Antique Show and touring around some of those gorgeous states.

It was a fantastic trip - though I have to say, Brimfield's wasn't the highlight. In fact, while it was an overwhelmingly huge show, with so many great things to see, I didn't come home with one single thing. I admired many, but in the end, didn't find anything I truly loved for the right price. And I'm okay with that.

Ryan got lost in many a pile of records, which kept him busy while I wondered about. He gets just as lost amongst the finds as I do.

This was one of my favourite booths. There were many interesting pieces of ironstone, but nothing that I wanted enough to justify buying. The prices were just a little high for me.

I also loved these silver little hotel tea pots.

I found many beautiful pieces of art.

And some gorgeous pieces for the garden.

Overall, it was an experience. You definitely can't see it all in one day, but personally, one day was enough for me. We did intend to return on Friday morning for the J and J Show (the most recommended to us), but we decided it would be too much to do before our long drive home. And, as it turned out, we were very thankful we changed our plans.

I had bookmarked a bakery close by, the Publik House, which is in the historic Sturbridge Village, to stop at on our way back from the show. It was gorgeous.

How perfect was this little courtyard area?

After much deliberation (there were just too many to choose from), we settled on an eclair, a pecan tart, and an apple strudel the was enormous. These lasted us our whole trip - the last bit of pecan tart was finally finished with coffee this morning.

We then took our time heading back to our hotel in Connecticut, were we headed out for dinner, which we enjoyed on the patio because it was so warm. Full and ehausted, we then returned to our room to plan our route home.

Ryan surprised me the next morning by announcing that we were going to be having breakfast by the ocean the next morning. Turns out, our hotel was an hour drive to Newport, Connecticut.

We drove all around Newport, but decided to keep driving to Southport before stopping. We had split the eclaire with our coffee and weren't quite ready to eat.

When we arrived, we walked around for a little while, taking in the most beautiful homes and gardens before eventually asking some locals were the best spot for breakfast was. We were directed downtown to a small little restaurant called the Driftwood Sandwich Shop. We were instructed to ask for breakfast to go, and take it down to the harbour. So we did exactly that.

We enjoyed our breakfast by the waterfront.

We walked about some more and then took the most scenic route home, stopping from town to town, driving up and down quaint streets. There was so much to see, and I was so inspired by all of the gardens, and how well-maintained these historic homes are.

As we slowly made our way back, we took the entire day and evening to drive. Another highlight was driving the winding roads through the hills of New York, along the beautiful Hudson river.

Halfway home we came across this gorgeous old inn. What a dream it was.

But, no matter how lovely our little getaway was, it wasn't as lovely as snuggling with my sweethearts in my own bed this morning. 

We're enjoying a quiet, rainy day at home.