Thursday, May 28, 2015

{Gardening} Veggies and Fruit


We finally got our garden in! Doug finished getting the soil ready and planted our 7 new plants. They include a few varieties of tomatoes, a tomatillo, a purple jalapeƱo, and a poblano. I'll write down everything soon. Luckily they all have tags. This little garden has seen quite a few transformations but we like it as a veggie garden (although I miss the rock garden). 


Our raspberry bushes are doing very well! So too are the weeds… you wouldn't be able to tell that I've spent hours picking them out of these beds, but oh well. 


My dad also gave us one cucumber plant and one cilantro. Below is the cucumber. It's hanging out with the raspberries for now. So is the cilantro. We've had cilantro before and it'll take over, but I love it! I could eat it all the time, especially with Mexican food or salads. Lily loves cucumbers and as of right now, it's about the only vegetable she'll eat. Crazy child! 

Here's to hoping they all survive as we get into the heat of the summer. We've had some 80 degree days but it's not even June! Luckily we've had a lot of rain, so we'll just have to make sure to keep the plants watered as the heat rises.

Linking up to: The Creative CircleOutdoor Extravaganza, DIY Challenge Party Outdoor Projects

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

{Back Porch} Mini Makeover


So I left you off with some horrible photos of my back porch area in this post. Last week, before Lily's party and small kids were over, I took advantage of my two days off and devoted a few hours to this area. It's amazing what you can do in just a few hours! 

The plan was to de-junk the room, find proper homes for things, paint, clean, and decorate. Well, I didn't have time to paint, but I did almost everything else!

The patio set (all three yellow pieces) came from Lowe's (I believe) a few years ago. The black and white rug came from World Market last year. Everything was sitting on our front porch but I wasn't thrilled with it and so I moved it all back here. It looks great on this porch! 

The black shelves in the background will be organized better and left mainly for outdoor items - toys, grilling items (maybe) and maybe even some pots and stuff for planting. Mainly toy items though for the kids. The green snail planter was found in the dresser I got rid of and will be planted soon. 

Not too shabby not spending money, right?! 

However… 

I do want to paint. Look at the photo below and you can see the ceiling needs it. It's original bead board ceiling, which is awesome, but it needs some caulking and paint. The brick walls need touched up, and the door needs some TLC too. I'd like a new light fixture instead of an exposed bulb, so we'll see what happens.


And because I couldn't resist a picture of this big guy as he posed. I like how he matches too. This is Krypto, our American Bulldog and Lab rescue mix. He's almost 6 and we've had him for almost 4 years. He's just now getting to the calm stage where I can take a picture of him without him bouncing over to me, which he did about two seconds after I took this photo. But isn't he cute?!? 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{Lily's Garden} May Tour


Welcome to another little mini garden tour! I wanted to take some recent photos of the garden to show the growth that has already taken place this year. I'll be back in a few weeks with another mini tour to show off some of the lilies once they bloom. 

The above photo shows the whole garden as viewed from our newish sidewalks. The fence looks great and the arbor is about to have the moon vine planted next to it. Last year it took over almost the entire arbor! Let's hope for a repeat!! 


On Sunday, we had Lily's 6th birthday party and we had a lot of people over. The garden was definitely talked about as many hadn't seen it in years. This has been a work in progress for 6 years now and after the rocks were installed last year, I finally feel that it's almost done. It'll never be completely done because it's a garden and I like to add plants here and there. 


Above is my collection of containers that I started adding to the spot between the first raised bed (made out of old foundation stones) and the arbor. The space bothered me until I realized it would make a great little area for annuals in all my random containers. The pink vintage container (with the vertical lines towards the back) was my aunt's mother-in-law's (hard to follow, right?) and my aunt gave it to my mom who gave it to me after I said I liked it. The pot with the painted butterfly came from one of my best friends when she moved. The short galvanized container came from my grandmother's house. The terra-cotta container behind the galvanized container was my husband's grandmother's. The rest were all bought. The fireplace insert was here when bought the house. 

Behind all the pots is this purple beauty below. The bees absolutely love it! 


Around the corner of the raised bed, towards the house, is the fairy garden I created last year. It needs some TLC thanks to a very active mole but the plants are all doing great. Below is just a few plants: a miniature hosta (on the left) and three sedums, one is just hiding behind the hosta. 

Below is another plant in the fairy garden that surprised me this year with the amount of growth it put on. It's a type of bleeding heart, but I can't remember exactly what.


The second raised bed is all full of lilies. It was actually the first raised bed we made all those years ago. Around it are more lilies, a hosta (split from our original plants that came with the house) and some more sedum. 


Below is the bed I made two years ago while pregnant with Nate. It's become one of my favorite areas in the garden because it's a great mix of plants. It has day lilies, Asiatic lilies, coneflowers, daisies, and lots of random plants too. I added a few annuals this year to add some color while the perennials grow. The blue bird bath on the left is new to its spot and the bird feeders were moved to hang over our driveway to limit how much actual germinates from the seeds this year. Last year it got a little crazy (scroll down until you see the sunflowers). 

The blue pot kind balances out the blue bird bath and is another spot for some annuals. It's also the home of our water gauge with the hummingbird bottom. 


At the back of the garden is this giant, super heavy fireplace insert my dad took from a house he was working on. The blue bird bath from above is behind it and I planted some annuals in the pots. It's surrounded my lilies, coneflowers, and other plants. The large rock in the pot is from a job my dad worked on and is one of many rocks throughout the garden.  


Below is the back of the garden with the privacy fence that divides our side garden (known as Lily's Garden) and our back yard. The trellis was added a couple years ago to help the climbing hydrangea. Another trellis was added on top to divide the area even more (and can be seen from the very first shot in this post) and will hopefully be covered soon with the climbing hydrangea. It also keeps my dog, Zoey, from jumping off our deck into Lily's Garden (she didn't seem to mind the 6 foot fall when she did it, even though she's not exactly a pup anymore). To the right of the climbing hydrangea is a giant oak leaf hydrangea. 

Looking back towards the front of the garden is this small trellis my parents had. It came from a house they used to own that my brother lived. They have one piece in their garden and now I have the other. I'll be adding a small climbing plant to it at some point. At the base of the trellis are the hostas that were split a few years ago. There's a piece of drift wood too and four old weights from Lily's room remodel that were in her old windows. They were laying on our front porch and I thought they'd be better off in our garden. 


Back to the front, this is the little garden I made with the butterfly bush. You can see from this post that it is growing. I added two Tiger Lilies and the rest were already a part. Some of the sedum didn't make it back, so the space between the butterfly bush and the bricks will probably be replaced with something. 


I had this old metal hummingbird art laying around and so it found its home in the front of Lily's Garden. 


I hoped you liked the little mini tour. Check back again later for more photos of the flowers as they begin to bloom!

Linking up to: The Creative CircleOutdoor Extravaganza, DIY Challenge Party Outdoor Projects

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

{At the Farm} Gardening Galore

My dad's beautiful garden full of concrete raised beds* (read below) and their house in the distance. 

Talk about delicious… my kids eat their weight in fruit! 

Below: tomatoes (with the red paper covering) and peas towards the bottom. I can't remember what's in from to the peas. 

And this is just ONE of the many blueberry bushes!!! Give these baby a month or so and they will be ready! 

As for those raised beds (there are a lot of 'em!)… my dad made the forms himself, had the concrete poured by a local company, and then we (my dad, my mom, brother, Doug, myself and some others) helped put the concrete from the wheelbarrow to the forms, smooth them out, then my dad took off the forms and he and my mom gave them a texture (as seen above) on the sides. Labor of love!!! There is enough distance between them to mow the grass. Not all of his plants are in raised beds, but many are.

Monday, May 18, 2015

{At the Farm} Wildlife

On Saturday, I took the kids out to my parents' house, aka "the farm". It was the 4th anniversary of my brother's passing so we got together. We originally planned to go to the zoo with my cousin and her son to get out of the house, kill some time on a horrible day, and enjoy each other's company. However, the weather in Missouri has been crazy so that did not happen. Luckily though the rain stopped to have a pretty enjoyable day… or as much as one can have as we mourn the loss of my brother. 

Anyway, he would not have wanted us to be sad, so let's focus on some positives… 

My mom has the best luck with hummingbirds. She's now up to 4 cups of sugar water a day for these feisty little flyers. 

In their "backyard" (as in it's behind their house but not really a true yard), my mom made a Japenese inspired garden. It's absolutely beautiful. In it, she has two small ponds. One being below, the other being an oval shaped. She always has bullfrogs and other creatures.

And due to having so many frogs and toads… tadpoles!!! (all those little black dots for those who have trouble seeing them)

And a baby toad (or possibly a bullfrog, hard to tell!). Ignore all the dirt on my hand, I was holding him until Lily could come check it out and my mom could get a photo. 

More randoms are on my Instagram account, thebrickbungalow or #atthefarm (but lots use that… I need a personalized hashtag I guess!) 

Come back for a few shots of my dad's garden. It's insanely awesome and produces some amazing, organic food!!! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

{Wildlife} Turtle

On Mother's Day morning, Lily was helping me plant flowers. As I left the house to start working, Lily was still in the house, and I heard a scrapping sound. At first I thought nothing of it because of the neighbor's cats, birds, and so on that always frequent the front yard. But then I realized none of them were really around. As I turned the corner from leaving our front porch, I saw the below picture. A cute little box turtle hanging out on our sidewalk. 

I, of course, love animals. Lily isn't huge on them but gets excited for new things. Nate was asleep or else I'm sure he'd love to see his first turtle. Unfortunately, this little guy has had some bad meetings with either a large dog or, most likely, a lawn mower blade. The tannish white crack in his shell starts a line that goes to the edge of his shell and there's a crack almost all the way through. It's mostly healed, minus the red spot, and he can walk around just fine. 

And speaking of walking, he found himself at home in my sedum and front little garden. 

He eventually settled in underneath the sedum that he dug completely out of the ground (seen below behind the hosta) and has made home there. He was still there this morning, almost 24 hours since first arriving in our yard. 

We have enough plants and bug life that I'm sure a turtle could survive but we are letting him (or her) live a wild and free life. As much fun as it is to see it and know we have garden visitors, I'm not one to keep wild animals as pets (mainly due to trying over the years while living in the country with no success). 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

{Back Yard} Galvanized Container Inspiration

I posted on my Instagram (@thebrickbungalow) account that I am now the proud owner of three very large, very vintage-y galvanized buckets from local farms. My parents found all three of them for me and let me tell you, they are big and pretty!! I can't wait until I have some time to work on some magic in my back yard. Until then, check out these inspiration photos. I've tried to link them to their original sites, but it's so hard to find them some days! 

via the nervous horse on flickr

Flower Patch Farm House

via Planet Natural
Aren't those great??? I have one large, oval like the ones above and then two smaller ones. 

Our backyard is in some serious need of TLC. It has the playground (that'll receive some work this summer too, hopefully), our shed that needs painted, our raspberry garden, and the veggie garden (that used to be a rock garden that I really miss!). It also has a very large, concrete patio that is home to our dining set, an outdoor couch and lounge area, plus a giant trampoline that may just be the death of me. We had a large tree but it had to be removed. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

{Garden} Back Yard Randoms


A few weeks ago, my dad brought over three raspberry bushes for our yard. We had a few in years past, but they never seem to make it. So far these babies are doing well and growing, so no complaints so far. Wish us luck!!!


And then there's the beauty above... back when we focused on the backyard instead of Lily's Garden or even the front yard, I planted him next to our shed. It's been growing ever since and continues to surprise me. It's one of those flowers I honestly forget we have because it's an ugly bush but with beautiful flowers. Plus, our backyard is begging for help so this guy gets looked over as I plan on future makeovers. 

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