Monday, April 25, 2011

The Return of the Green Thumb

We had beautiful weather here in Western PA today. Sunny and in the mid-70's. My kind of spring day!

Ian and I went to town to purchase Brad's b-day gift today, and we swung by WalMart to look at their spring flowers. They had their pints of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths for $1.00 a piece. We picked out enough tulips and hyacinths to plant around the bases of our trees in the front yard. Tulips around the white birch trees and the hyacinths around the cherry tree. I bought ones that were still tight in their buds. I'm not sure how well they'll do this year since I'm just planting them, but at least now they'll be in for next spring!

Our trees are blooming. I love when my plants and trees begin to bloom. My mini rhododendron are also blooming, and my hostas and daylilies are showing their sweet little green tops. Do you all know how much I love this time of year?! I find so much enjoyment in all the green, flowery goodness outside around our house. I LOVE sitting on my porches in the spring and summer!

So, this week I've got a lot on my outdoor to-do list. I want to stain our front porch railing (if I can find a day that is going to be completely dry.) I also want to scrub and clean out a cute little playhouse we were given by my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. It was on their property when they bought their house, and since they didn't want it, we took it. It will be perfect for Lily, but it's going to require a lot of work to get it cleaned up and looking good. We're going for white with pink trim. It's a girl's hang-out you know!

I also purchased a couple of Boston ferns at WalMart for $10 a piece! You'll know that that's a great price if you're a fern-buyer! Ian also picked out a little palm tree for our side porch. It was a great deal as well, and I've been wanting one for several years.

So when we got home, we put all of our plants out, and I was so excited to see it looking summerish. I still need to make a few cushions and pillows for my porch furniture. It would be so much easier to buy those, but, my goodness, are they expensive! And that's not in the budget, so I'm going to use what I have and make some myself. I just need to find a chunk of time to do that!

And tonight, well I'm going to bed with dirt-stained fingernails. Oh, I'm sorry, is that unlady-like? Well, as much of a lady as I usually try to be, I love that I can finally have dirt-stained nails!

Oh, and just a little advice... I LOVE landscaping. It's one of my passions. We did the bulk of our front landscaping several years back (like four years ago). Then we did the bulk of our backyard landscaping two years ago. And the years in between and now each subsequent year, I just tweak things. The tweaking is the funnest part! Sometimes I'll move a plant (although I try not to do that unless it's necessary), but most of the time I'll spend a few dollars to add some more color and variety in to the existing landscaping.

If you're wanting to landscape, break it into affordable and doable sections. Don't try to do it all at once or you'll become overwhelmed. Start by choosing your permanent, background shrubs first. Then add some plants in the front of those the next year. Then maybe some spring and summer perennials. I wanted more of a natural, rustic landscaping scene rather than the formal, boxed shrub look, so it's been easy for me to add things that I like. Something here, something there. If I like it, that's all that matters.

One of my best landscaping investments? Hostas. I've had mine for four years, and I've already been able to split them and put them in other places in our landscaping. The next time I split them, I'll probably have to find someone to give them to because I'm running out of room to put them!

Well, my cool sheets are calling my name.

p.s. - We are not in full-blown green mode yet. All the pics in this post are from summers past!


Wendi said...

Beautiful! Seeing all the beautiful spring and summer flowers bring me happiness. I really like the red and white impatients in the basket. I'll have to be on the look out for a thrifted basket.

The McEacherns said...

I so do not have a green thumb, but I love the lilacs pic!