It was a whirlwind weekend at our house, we picked up my MIL on Thursday night, SO glad she was able to come up to help us!! After a quick dinner out (we all need a night off cooking now and then!) we plotted and planned our weekend tasks.
Friday: First stop: DuBois Textiles in Baltimore. BEST fabric store EVER!! For those of you not lucky enough to have been introduced to it, I am truly sorry, it is a treasure trove of goodness. Meg, of Pigtown Design had a "Tour de Baltimore" last year that I trekked up for and have been back to three or four times since then, always finding great things, this was no exception! Funny enough, we actually ran into Meg while shopping-it really is a small world!
Second stop: Cafe Hon, a local Baltimore eatery, good food, good ambiance and GREAT flair!!
Who doesn't need a larger than life flamingo on the outside of their restaurant??
Third stop: I'm keeping a secret until next week, so come on back!
Fourth stop: Benjamin Moore back in VA, since we found such amazing fabric we needed paint!! I will show you the color soon, I promise!
Fifth stop: Also a secret, but it'll make sense next week!
Sixth stop: HOME! A nice salad, sweet potato and filet on the grill topped off a really busy, but very productive day.
The plant I'm showcasing this week is the Helleborus, also called Lenten Rose. I thought it was appropriate as we are in the season of Lent (for those who celebrate), and for those who don't, this is still a plant not to miss adding to your garden!! Helleborus, also called Hellebore is an evergreen perennial which is yes, unusual, as most perennials die back to the ground in winter and don't emerge until late spring (usually late March- early April). This beauty BLOOMS in winter! It keeps its foliage throughout the year and blooms starting in early late February or March depending on weather and will last at least 6 weeks. Helleborus x hybridus was named the 2005 'Perennial Plant of the Year' by the Perennial Plant Association.
Here are a few I photographed at work, but there are TONS more, I will put some links to other photos below mine of some of my faves (and there are a LOT!)
Helleborus 'Winter Sunshine'
Helleborus 'Winter Song"
Helleborus 'Pink Lady'
Helleborus 'Green Corsican'
These beauties can tolerate deep shade but also appreciate some sun, they like well-drained soil (if you amend with organic matter or compost even better) and they are deer tolerant! Their leaves (when cut or bruised) emit a toxic sap that can irritate skin so wash well after pruning off any dead foliage in late winter when these gorgeous flowers begin opening their eyes to the chilly spring sky, it'll showcase the blooms that much more and make you happy you added them to your garden!
Happy Monday bloggers!! I was inspired by the profusion of color at work while pulling plants last week, so I thought I'd whip up something springy for our front door.
I made a quick stop at Michael's on the way home to pick up a grapevine wreath, some artificial forsythia and viburnum, then home to craft I went!
Here's the grapevine wreath on our kitchen counter before I got started.
My trusty supplies, world's smallest gluegun-perfect for projects like this! Extra glue sticks, nothing worse than running out mid-way through a project, and my wire cutters to snip the branches into manageable sections.
The artificial flowers and wreath on my counter, notice my "helper" there on the floor, our little girl Pips likes to supervise my projects. It's probably a good thing, that hot glue gets HOT!!
I cut all my branches into smaller sections and laid them out on the counter first. Then I worked them in sections into the wreath, I started with the Forsythia as it's the smaller flower and used that as my "base." Once that was evenly placed throughout my wreath I added in the Viburnum.
Next, I added the rest of the Viburnum clusters and some extra leaves for a little added greenery around the edges, although it's artificial, I like the wreath to look a little wild and natural. I'm not usually a big artificial flower person, BUT the wreath is really mostly seen from the street, we rarely use our front door, so it's nice to see a burst of color when we pull up.
Amd here's the finished product hung up before I left for work this morning! Yes, I know a brown door, it was most certainly NOT our color choice. We live in an awesome neighborhood, but our HOA has certain colors you have to paint your door. So ours is pre-designated "Fairfax Brown", ugh. Hey, at least we have an HOA that enforces this rule, as much as I love hot pink, I can't say I'd be thrilled if my neighbors door was painted that color...
So that's my DIY spring wreath for you guys. Have you made something for your door? If so please let me know, I'd love to see what you're up to!
I thought I'd inject a dose of green on my blog on this festive day! Being 1/2 Irish I rarely pass up an opportunity to celebrate! And being a Landscape Designer, I NEVER pass up an opportunity to promote "GREEN." Here are few things on my list this St. Patties Day, what's on your list??
I have had a few requests to share more about some plants here on this blog 'o mine so I thought this would be a great opportunity to start a new series called "Plant of the Week." This way, I am able to share with you some of my plant knowledge AND perhaps introduce you to some plants or cultivars you may never have come across otherwise. I would also love this to be a way for you guys to chime in and let me know if it's something you would plant, have planted, have killed, etc...The only way for me to know if you guys like this or not is for you to comment! So please don't be shy! I'm pretty laid-back, especially with some peppermint tea and cadbury eggs in me :)
So, for my inagural plant I've chosen one of my favorites...Ranunculus, it's name means "Little Frog" in Late Latin. How cute is that!! And aptly named-frogs like to live near water, so do Ranuculus.
Average size of foliage is 6-12" across, average height of blooms is anywhere from 8-18" tall.
The Tecolote strain I would say is the most common and has large, 3-6" double flowers.
The Bloomingdale strain can also be found, usually in higher-end garden centers (not Home Depot or Lowes), and tends to be a little shorter, typically 10" also with double flowers.
Ranunculus, for the most part, are frost-hardy cool-season perennials. They perform best where winters are relatively mild and springs are long and cool. Sorry deep South!!
I have also found they do best when planted in their container in your larger container. That enables you to pull them out when they're done blooming. When you're ready for your May/June seasonal color, remove the pot, lay the container on its side to make sure no water rots the bulb and then store in a cool, dry place and save for next year! You can also treat them as an annual and just toss them if you're not into upkeep.
One of their charms is the multiple layers of delicate, crepe paper--thin petals, looking like an origami masterwork. Greg bought me some gorgeous white/yellow ones (similar to the photo below) from Israel for Valentines Day and they lasted over a month!
They are a bulb (really a tuber-like potatoes!), can be planted in the fall and will bloom in late winter/early spring for most of the country.
Bulb size predicts the number of flowers, so bigger is better! Each jumbo bulb will produce some 35 cuttable flowers, compared to a fifth as many from a number three bulb. Number ones will make about 20 flowers, number twos a dozen or more. Stick to jumbos for containers and most smaller plantings. Smaller number twos or even threes serve well for mass plantings. If you are purchasing pre-potted from a nursery they are typically jumbo or #1's, more bang for your buck!
They come in an array of colors, sizes and blooms, I always select them with at least one flower in bloom so I know the "true color" I'm getting in my containers. Although some people like a surprise, I'm too much of a color-combo planner!
I purchased some of my own (third photo-purple and white tinged ones) to put in our containers by our front door. My mother-in-law is coming to visit tomorrow and I wanted to spruce it up! So I'll show you the planting combo once they're happily in the soil.
So there you have it! Please let me know if you like this and want to see more! Who doesn't love a little beauty (and learning)!
I thought I'd share a few quick faves of mine on this bright and sunny Tuesday morning. Please do share your faves, it's always nice to see what others can't live without!
Recently Numi's Moroccan Mint Tea (We lived in Morocco when I was a baby and I am mildly obsessed with good tea, mint in particular and have spent many years testing teas, this one is amazing, I promise they are not bribing me to say so, although I would accecpt bribes-in the form of tea of course...)
Cadbury Mini Eggs, again, I may or may not be rationing them out...don't judge, they are SO good! And they're only around once a year, so I have to enjoy them right? This is why I teach Pilates and train for triathlons-so I can have my "treats" when I want them :)
As I've mentioned in the winter I'm lucky to be able to do "inside work." Helping set up and break down Christmas, get the store ready for Spring, bring out and set up new products and even do some crafty projects.
I recently was tasked with finding some fabric to recover 4 chairs at a table we'll use for display in the store. Jo Ann fabric's is just up the street so I took at little field trip on over to see what I could scout.
There were a TON of great colors, patterns, etc. I was instructed to look for something bright, happy and with a pattern so it wouldn't show wear and tear easily.
This is the original chair:
And here were a few of the fabric options:
Loved this bohemian/florentine print, such happy colors! I did buy some for another project :)
Very MOD waves
Ovalicious but a little too much orange for what the area it was going in
Loved this print, but wrong colors
The one on the left was also purchased for another area of the store
But here is the finished product:
A bright, happy vine print, appropriate since we are a garden center! And it coordinates nicely with our green walls and white table that goes with these chairs.
I'll give you the tutorial tomorrow, so stick around!