Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time for playing in the dirt!

One of the most expensive projects after purchasing a new house is the landscaping.  Sometimes you get lucky and the previous owners had decent green thumbs and everything was to your liking....but in our case there was ZERO landscaping here....And as in everything else I have champagne tastes, and a Rolling Rock Beer budget.

With the outdoor cat population in our neighborhood, we decided to do a rock border, and some plants that would help keep them from using our fresh turned soil as a litter box.  As we are only part way through our project we have not totally agreed on the topic of mulch vs. rock.  I'm pro rock, he's pro mulch.

We found a place nearby that mines the local limestone, and cuts it into big chunks for commercial use,  of course we need the smaller stuff and at our first house we ended up purchasing three pallets of the stone at $115 a pop....and we would need about the same for this house...fortunately we were told of several large chunks at our church, that needed to be disposed of, so for the small price of labor and fuel for going back and forth we (We, as in DH and my dad) were able to bust up several chunks, enough for us to do the borders for the side garden, and the two front gardens.  There will be enough left over for us to use the same stone in the backyard for the raised vegetable garden beds!  Woo hoo!

On the East side of the house I have planted the irises my dad dug up for me at the last house.  Some of these irises I helped my mom dig up at Longview Farms before Longview Lake was a lake...some came from other places, but I do know several of the rhizomes are from my childhood.  And those memories make me smile.

We were fortunate to get help from my dad breaking up the huge rocks, and then our neighbor came up and helped us rip up sod, and get some of these stones in place, I wasn't much help!

Now for the real expense associated with our landscape project.  The plants.

And that isn't all of them!  I was able to get some in the ground already thanks to a neighbor who had some great black dirt and had too much for their garden!
Lilac and Lavender

I decided this year to concentrate on a few solid and permanent plants for the garden.  Perennials are more expensive, like 3x the price of the one season annual.  But, worth it, because if I do my job watering when mother nature isn't making it rain then I shouldn't have to replace these plants, ever.  Doing the research on the different types of gardens in the small area of my front yard has been interesting to say the least,  I actually have a true shade garden, two full sun gardens, and a morning sun only garden.

We have one spot in the front yard to finish, fill and then plant, but that should be done this week!

My advice to you, research the area you want to plant, choose a color scheme for your gardens, mine is purple and green, and then take your time selecting plants.  Water as much as the plants need, so read the tags, and prepare to enjoy all your hard work and planting!  Whether you selected plants that are fragrant, edible, just pretty, or a combination of all three, having a garden can bring a smile to your face!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sometimes a deal is too good to pass up

I love shopping, for home decor, and I LOVE finding a good deal!  I went to Old Time Pottery in Independence, and found an awesome circle wood and metal art piece.  But it's broken, and instead of the original price of $60, it was discounted to $12!  Score for me!

It took some time to get the pieces apart.  But it was worth it.

Then it was time to fix the broken part, and get to painting!  I chose the blue from our bathroom as a base.

Once the base color is dry it's time to apply the crackle medium, then that needs to dry for 2-4 hours.

We went when we got home it was time to put the top color on!

It was so pretty, but still looked too new, so I grabbed the antiquing medium and mixed up some weathering magic!

Unfortunately at that point it was too late to spray-paint the metal piece...but the next day I sprayed it to match the fixtures in my house, oil rubbed bronze.

I also had to purchase new screws, the original piece was missing one screw, and the two screws that secured the medallion were completely destroyed.  Because the screws were new brass, and they would show when I screwed the metal to the wood, they got a quick spray of matching paint.

And I sprayed a coat of polyurethane to seal the weathered wood.

Once it was all dry I was able to put it back together, and hung in my entrance!

Here is the before and after pic, for comparison!