Sunday, April 29, 2012

Backyard Bling #2 - Adorning Arbors

There is nothing like being on a garden tour to motivate you into action!

Since I was not adding any new garden beds this year, I decided to add a little "bling" to my backyard in other ways.  I have been wanting to add arbors to my side iron gates for a few years now.

Here's the "before" picture of the east side entrance.    
I have an identical gate on the west side of my house.

Every year I grow annual hyacinth bean vine on the fence beside the gates, and it ends up completely covering the gates to the point that it is almost difficult to get through them.

I love using hyacinth bean vine, though, because it grows so quickly; and after the fragrant blooms fade, it produces beautiful maroon bean pods.

And as an added bonus, you can use those bean pods to make a smiling 
garden scan of fall blooms :-)

But I digress.   Back to the bling at hand.

I got online to look at arbor designs and ended up merging a couple ideas together to come up with the design that was created for my arbors.  Although my husband and I have manged to construct a few wooden projects this year without either (a) divorcing and/or (b) losing any limbs, I figured trying our hand at constructing iron arbors might be pushing our luck just a bit.  So I contracted Surles Ornamental Iron to build the custom arbors over the gates.

Here are the finished arbors.   I just love how they turned out.

East side entrance

West side entrance

Here is a close-up of the scroll detail on the sides of the arbors.

The hyacinth bean vines have been planted.  

They seem to be taking their sweet time now, but I have no doubt that they will grow up and over the arbors by summer.    I am looking forward to being able to get through my gates this summer without having to untangle a jungle of vines first.

Stay tuned for more backyard bling...

Toni :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Backyard Bling #1 - We've Been Building Again

A few months ago we built the potting bench of my dreams.

It turned out to be such an easy project, that we decided to try building a table for our back patio.   As I did with the potting bench, I drew out the plans and determined all of the measurements.  Then I paid another visit to my local Lowe's, and one of the nice guys in the lumber department cut all of the lumber to my specifications.

One willing accommodating husband, an electric drill, and a box of screws later, here is the table right after we finished building it.  I used plain pine lumber for the table top and bottom shelf and treated turned posts for the legs, cut to the desired height.

Hanging above the table I have a decorative iron and wood piece.  I love the paint finish on this piece, so decided to try to paint the table with a similar finish.    Here's a close-up of the inspiration for the paint finish.

Here is the table after painting it.   I just used several colors of old leftover paints and stains that we had in the garage, and added the paint in layers until I achieved a finish that was fairly close to my inspiration piece.

Scrolled iron brackets and clavos nail heads were added to bring a little more bling to this backyard thing.

A few more garden accents were added, and this project was complete...just in time for the garden tour!

Stay tuned for more backyard bling -- believe it or not, we are not done building just yet!

Toni :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Little Field of Poppies

Every spring I await the bright red blooms of the somniferum poppies in my garden.  Usually they start blooming in early to mid April.  This year they started on March 26.   Here are a few pictures of the poppies at peak bloom over the last couple weeks.

The poppies mingle with the salvias, larkspur, California poppies, and ox-eye daisies.

 I am always in awe of the amazing detail of God's creation.

The poppies are going to seed all too quickly, 
but even the large seed pods add interesting texture to the spring perennial bed.

Did you know that poppies are a symbol of remembrance?   
Click here to learn more about this beautiful flower's special significance.

Every year when the poppies bloom, I remember my sweet friend Mary Nell who gave me my first poppy seeds.   They are a gift that keeps on giving.

Sadly there won't be many poppies blooming for the garden tour in a couple weeks, but as they fade away, the summer perennials will be picking up the slack.

I've been busy getting my garden ready for the tour.   Stay tuned....I'll be posting about a little backyard "bling" I've added to my garden this spring.

I hope you enjoyed the poppies as much as I do every year!

Toni :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Countdown to Showtime

I have some exciting news....

My garden will be featured on a public tour on Sunday, May 6.   
Just 4 weeks from today.

For more information, click here

Now I better get busy.   There's weeds to be pulled, beds to be mulched, container gardens to plant, and... and... and...

It will be the most fun day!   It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to share my little plot of God's creation with so many wonderful people who share my passion for gardening.

You're all invited!

Toni :-)