Friday, April 17, 2015

Wire Flower Baskets and a Winner!

I love window boxes and filling them full of 
my favorite annuals.   There is something so charming about window boxes, don't you agree?

I found several french wire baskets years ago and I decided to hang two of them the brick wall outside
 my kitchen window.
The wall is a dark brick fence that belongs to the 
house next door.   I've never liked the dark brick color so I 
 decided to soften the look of the wall a couple years ago.  I've tried a number of flowering vines with little success until three years ago I found that boston ivy would be the perfect solution.  It has no flowers but the wall of green foliage looks so pretty.    The ivy doesn't damage the brick or mortar and it turns beautiful shades of
 yellow and orange in the fall.

The added bonus is the vine produces little blue berries for the birds.  The vine is vigorous and has almost covered the wall entirely in three growing seasons. 
My neighbor didn't want me to trim the vine and it has grown over to her side of the wall and has had a cooling effect on her pool deck.  Her pool is surrounded by concrete and more dark brick walls.  It just gets so hot in the middle of July so the boston ivy has been a "green" way to 
cool things off. 

The wire flower baskets give a much needed pop of 
color to the wall. 
These type of "window boxes" are so wonderful because there is no wood bottoms to rot and they are easily changed with the seasons and are virtually maintenance free.  
I purchase new coconut hull liners each spring and fill them with a fresh premium potting soil before planting.

I have found that sun loving annuals like geraniums, lantana and verbena do very well and keep blooming throughout the season.

Last year I planted red geraniums but this year I decided I wanted to look at pink and yellow flowers all summer long. 

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my 
previous post.  Congratulations to

for winning the $30 gift card.
I will email you today to get your address.

I'm linking with 

Cindy's Romantic Home
Show and Tell Friday

Friday, April 10, 2015

Garden Walk and Giveaway

Spring is popping out all over!  
I love my garden walks this time of year because 
everyday there is something new blooming 
or emerging from the ground. 

My redbuds are leafing out and I've enjoyed
 their pink blossoms in the landscape for the past two weeks. Redbud trees are abundant in Oklahoma and signal spring is really here.    

The Japanese Maple leaves are the deepest crimson red and it's by far my favorite tree.  I planted a small one right off my patio so I could enjoy the color. 

Wisteria that I planted many years ago has reached maturity and is one of the delights in my garden.   When the wind blows (and it almost always does in Oklahoma) the scent carries throughout the garden.

Our last average frost date is April 1st and many gardeners in Oklahoma don't plant anything until April 15th.  I usually just start with potting up annuals in containers on my patio.  If we have a late frost I can easily move them and 
protect them from the cold.
I just have a hard time 
waiting until the 15th to purchase flowers!

This year I decided to purchase some larger pots and combine some of my favorite annuals for the patio.

This pot is planted with 'Lady in Red' salvia,  yellow million bells, crocosmia  'Lucifer' bulbs,  sweet potato vine and purple pansies.   This is a sure fire combo 
to attract hummingbirds.  

When the pansies die out there will be more room for the sweet potato vine.   My only problem is keeping the squirrels from eating the vine and digging up the bulbs.   
My dogs do a pretty good job of protecting my pots 
when they are outside.    

The farmer's market downtown had some beautiful lavender and I paired a Spanish variety with pink geraniums and marigolds.  All three are drought tolerant and make good companions. 

Since we are all trying to conserve water this year I am trying some new annuals that are more drought resistant.
These Gazinas are so pretty and come in a variety of colors.
They stay low and spread and look great in the front of the flower border or in pots.

The color combinations are so pretty all in one plant.   I love Gerbera daisies however I can't get them to rebloom very well in my garden so Gazinas 
will make a  great substitute. 

Lastly I would like to offer a giveaway for a
 gift card for $30 off a canvas print. 
I was asked to do a review for  
and was glad to accept the offer in exchange for a canvas and a gift card to be used for a giveaway to one of my followers.  

The canvas I received is 16 x 24 inches from a
 photo of my son while filming a documentary. 
The quality is excellent and exceeded my expectations. 
 I wasn't sure how a small photograph would 
look enlarged but it looks great! 

  He needed a poster to take to film festivals so the canvas was a great solution and the timing was perfect. 
The canvas arrived in a week and was delivered by Fed Ex.   The canvas was well packaged in bubble wrap and came complete with a wire hanger and ready to hang.  

This is a beautiful way to enjoy a special photograph 
and they offer many sizes with prices starting at $30. 
You can also create a  wonderful collage.  
What a perfect gift for Mother's Day or graduation a
canvas print would make. 
I'm already thinking of other photographs 
to have put on canvas.  

Please leave a comment to be entered for the
 $ 30 gift card
 and please follow if you haven't already. 

The folks at CanvasPop also offered a 35% discount
 to all my readers,  just use the 
code BLOOMERS35 
The discount expires April 30th, 2015.  

I will choose a winner April 17th!  

I'm linking with 

Cindy's Romantic Home
Show and Tell Friday 
Brenda's Cozy Little House
Tweak it Tuesday

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Hope your day is full of blessings, 
family and friends! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tulip Time

I am fortunate to live in a city that values gardens and parks!  The Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City is one of my favorite places to visit.  I've shared it's conservatory at Christmas and Pumpkinville on previous posts.  Each season the gardens are more
 beautiful as the landscape matures.      

In recent years the gardens have received a major overhaul and the results have been stunning.
I love this bench under a red bud tree surrounded by coordinating colors of tulips.  

The tulips are in full bloom and before they disappear for another year I just had to make a trip downtown and share some photographs.  

The bicolors are my favorites!
I wish tulips lasted longer but with different varieties you can prolong the time you have them in the landscape.

This inspires me to plant more tulips in the fall! 

Such a lovely place to sit or take a stroll!
Hope you are enjoying some spring flowers
 in your neighborhood!

I'm linking with Susan's
 Outdoor Wednesday

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bunnies and Garden Journals

It's spring and I'm so excited to be in my garden again.  We aren't  past the last average frost date so I haven't started planting anything in the ground yet.   I did buy a few plants and potted them up in containers which can be easily moved inside if the temperature drops.   

March is the perfect time to start a garden journal.  
I purchased a small (girly) journal at Michaels in the half price bin.  It's the perfect way to keep track of my plants, purchases and future plans.

Here is a picture of one I 've had since 1995!!  It has withstood 20 garden seasons.  It's where I have kept plant labels and valuable information about the plants in my garden.  It's nice to go back and look at what variety of rose or clematis I planted.    The horticulture department at OSU sold these and it includes growing information specific to Oklahoma for each month.   OSU also produces a weekly show on gardening that can be viewed on You tube.

I would be lost without my trusty old garden journal and it's bursting at the seams and that's what prompted me to buy a new and "girlier" one for garden season.   

These are the plant tags from last year that I need to
 file in my new journal.   Most of these plants were purchased late in the summer when nurseries and garden centers  discount their stock significantly.  I have landscaped my yard with many "fixer-upper" plants and after one season they look great and the savings is at least 50-75%.      

I also write down when butterflies, cardinals and hummingbirds arrive each year so I know when to start looking for them so I can put up feeders. 

I jot down garden plans and chores for each month.  When I purchase plants I staple the plant tags on the pages so I can remember how to care for any new plant varieties I try. 

 I also write down where I purchased the plant as well.  I've even kept a envelope with receipts for new plants I've not grown before because most nurseries have a one year guarantee on their plants.  

If I go to the effort of taking care of something all year and it is labeled for my zone then I don't feel bad when I take it back for a refund or store credit if it dies. 
I think it also allows the nurserymen to know what not to order next year so we don't waste our time growing something that isn't appropriate for our zone.     

You can get really fancy with your journals with pretty stickers on the pages too.  I think Susan Branch's garden journals are the most beautiful! I had received the Susan Branch garden journal as a gift several years ago and it came with extra garden stickers.   Since I've purchased a new journal I thought this would be the 
perfect place to use them. 

 Susan Branch's journal is more of a scrapbook and photo album of my garden than a day to day journal.   I think it's out of print now and if she ever reprints them they are the perfect gift for any gardener! 

 I just love all her works.  The quote on the cover says
 "God has given us our memories that we might
 have roses in December", 
isn't that lovely?  

In addition to planning my garden I have been getting out my Easter decorations.  Before I placed them throughout the house I thought I'd  gather them together and share some of my favorite spring pieces. 

Some are at least 20 years old 
but if you love a piece so what if it's not in "style". 
This large bunny has hopped on many of my tablescapes and vignettes for 20 years.   He hasn't aged a bit.

This 'Carrots for Sale' sign is from a very long time ago when my home was decorated in a very country theme.  I just loved it and couldn't get rid of it when I redecorated
 so I bring it out every spring.  

 A few moss covered pots and an antique frog are some of my favs too. Birdhouses and nests are also some of my favorite things to decorate the house with for Easter. 

  I collect garden and nature themed accessories mostly from our travels and they bring back lovely memories
 of the places we've been.    

These are sweet love birds given to me by a 
special garden friend.  I think they are cast concrete
 and then aged. 

I love this garden mug.  I purchased a set at an antique mall in Austin years ago and love that they are English  bone china.  They are labeled  'The Royal Horticultural Society' on the inside rim of each mug and are perfect for a spring tea.    

Pansy faces are the cutest... a closeup of the mug.

April is almost here so I'll finally be able to start planting in the garden but until then I'll be planning and preparing my garden journal for this growing season.  

Happy Spring! 

I'm linking with 
Romantic Home
 Show and Tell Friday