Flower Delivery and a Work Day

So much work got done the last few days, and lucky you guys, you get pictures of all of it! Be warned, when I’m in the middle of a project, I usually only take pics with my iPhone. But still, it’s documented! We did stuff! (*People who don’t like flowers and gardening, a.k.a. monsters, you might want to skip about halfway down the post. House stuff happens there.)

First, my flower order came in last Thursday. I held off on getting the literally dozens of perennials I wanted this year and made myself only buy the annuals that go in pots around the house. I like to order from Romence Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There aren’t tons of local nurseries around here, and I really like to have a larger selection than Lowe’s provides. Romence always sends beautiful flowers, they have a wide variety to choose from, and they always stand behind their plants. Last year, a Russian sage arrived a little banged up, and when I called, they told me to plant it anyway, but if it looked like it had suffered, they’d send me a new one. The plant made it, but it was nice to know they’d stand behind it if it didn’t.

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The flowers always come in very healthy and ingeniously packaged.

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I decided to fill all three of my concrete planters with the same plants this year: a dark, almost black sweet potato vine for drape and fill, a verbena called “Peachy Keen” for pretty color and a trailing habit, and a white angelonia for height. They’ll look lovely when they fill in!

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One thing I started doing this year (because it’s brilliant) is putting empty water bottles in the bottom of my planters. They take up space that would be uselessly filled with potting soil and make the planters way lighter, a necessity when they’re made of concrete.

I also took some pictures of some other things that are really blooming right now:

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…coral bells (heuchera)…

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…KnockOut roses…

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…and multiple varieties of salvia.

I’m also really enamored of this combo of coreopsis and catmint (below)…

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…and this one of a bright red dianthus and the last blooms on a creeping phlox.

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I’m so proud of how this garden looks this year. It’s a joy to walk up to the back door of the house.DSC_0254

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A far cry from where we were a few years ago…

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…no?

And just because I can’t stop gushing, my hosta beds look amazing already. They’ll have to be trimmed back or they’ll start battling it our for supremacy. Peter already made me cut them back a bit since they were trying to eat the siding. I put the leaves in a jar on the table because flowers shouldn’t always get all the love.

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I love this one (below), in particular. It’s called the Abiqua Blue Drinking Gourd, and you can see why.

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And finally, I found some rogue Bells of Ireland trying to battle it out in the clay soil by the back door. I’m gonna let them do their thing and see if they make it!

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Now, for inside the house.

Every once in a while, Pete and I take a weekday off as a work day. The Boy goes to school, and we spend the day working on projects that are (ahem) difficult to get done with a toddler in the house (to say the least). Monday, I chose to paint the downstairs bathroom.

When we first moved in, there was no vent fan in this bathroom. This led to water dripping down the walls when we would take our showers. A couple years later, we installed a fan. There is no mold or real wall damage, but the paint that we applied when we first moved in did have drip lines on it. I decided it was time to give the bathroom a fresh, new, permanent paint job, while also covering the drip lines. I chose to go lighter with the color, and used the same one I’ve used in the dining room and guest bedroom, Bay Sands by Valspar.

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At this moment, it’s my favorite neutral. It’s a nice subtle greige with green undertones. It replaced Woodlawn Colonial Grey, also by Valspar.

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So, Monday at 8:30 a.m., I started painting the (pain in my ass) bathroom. This is a big bathroom and there are lots of things on the walls to paint around. I have, however, gotten so good with a brush that I don’t need to tape anymore, so that’s nice.

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Before.

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During.

You can see how much lighter the new paint is. And I had never noticed before, but WCG definitely has some violet undertones to it, something I only realized when I saw it against the Bay Sands color. Four hours later, I had myself a nice, fresh, pared down bathroom with new paint on the walls, cleaned and ironed curtains, and a new shower curtain to boot.

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After.

It may not look like that big of a difference, but it’s a lot lighter and there are no water streaks on the walls. Win!

Pete’s project of choice was replacing treads on the front steps of the house. I didn’t take photos, so I’ll have to get on that. The porch project has been an ongoing saga since last fall, when he had to start rebuilding much of it. All winter, it looked rough. I’ll tell the story in an upcoming post.

We also had company on our work day. Fred the Plumber came out and started roughing in the new tiny bathroom upstairs. We now have a pipe running through our living room.

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Just the look everyone wants, I’m sure. Pete will build a chase for it, and it’ll be hardly noticeable, especially when the door is mounted back on its frame. This is definitely the least intrusive way to add a very important addition to the home, both for ease of living for us and resale value when we put the house on the market. Fred will finish today, and then it’ll be Pete’s turn to put in a subfloor, drywall, tape, mud, real flooring, and add some architectural detail to make it look less like a bathroom carved out of a bedroom (which it is). Then I’ll paint, we’ll install the sink I’ve already ordered and a toilet I have yet to chose, a mirror, a couple sconces, and paint the backside of the wall which is now in The Boy’s room. We’ll be done!

I leave you with something exciting (if you are a nerd). On Sunday, I worked on my sewing for about 3 hours. It took me 3 tries, two separate tutorials, and enough fabric that I now have to return to the fabric store, but I figured out how to do continuous bias tape!

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I’ll be using the bias tape to create piping for a pillow project I have coming up! This post is long enough, so I guess I’ll talk about that next week!

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