Monday, July 5

So we will remember the journey...

We long ago surrendered to the fact that it gets too hot, too fast down here.
Early spring we start our dream 'getter done' lists that we hope to finish by July 4th holiday.  Trying to do anything extensive outside after that date is just miserable.  From July 4th til after labor day weekend, we do the bare minimums like mowing and edging... and spend all other free time at the lake or INSIDE.

So since I create a blog book each year as a family journal... I want to document the items we accomplished this Spring and how some of our past projects are progressing.

This spring we finally got shutters for the house, Yay!  They really add to the exterior and I splurged and got the authentic hardware.
And shortly after getting the shutters, I decided that these two windows on the porch would look great with a set of shutters too.  So they should arrive in about 2 weeks and I am so excited.
Our porches are 10 feet deep and I always pictured a table here at the back of the front porch where I could display some fun items.  I found this perfect table at Restoration Hardware and had been saving for it for months and it has finally arrived and looks perfect. 
I had originally purchased some unique adirondack chairs for this porch.  But the truth is that I love to sit on this porch often and for long periods of time and they just weren't comfortable enough to really cozy in to.  So I relocated them and I have some classic wicker chairs with cushions ordered and can't wait for them to arrive.

Each Spring I love to fill up pots for the porches.  The ever present ferns and hostas, and I tossed in some tropicals for different texture and height this year.

I took a risk and planted lots of perennials in my window box last year, hoping they would survive the winter.  We had a very cold winter, lots of snow, and yet all the perennials in my boxes did indeed come back.  So easy that way.  Although I let the Japanese Beetles devour my sweet potato vine and so they are looking scraggly at the moment... I repented of my laziness and now will have to trim them often till they come back to their original beauty.

I talked Shawn into a second window box.  It was a doozy to hang.  I can fill and plant it by simply leaning out of Ty's windows.  Again, please ignore the sad state of the beetle eaten plants... in a few weeks they will improve, ugh!

We stoned this planter last year and this year Savannah and I added two more layers to the wall, it was just too short, now I am really pleased with the results!

The lone planting in this bed was the gorgeous Cherry Tree.  Now I have added a Japanese Maple, Quinces, Hawthorne bushes, and more.  So excited with this composition!

Here is where I moved the porch adirondacks.  I still plan on painting them black eventually.

The Ginko trees had a rough Spring.  Lots of thunderstorms.  I usually stake a tree (depending on its size) for the first year or two at the most.  Then I have found that they seem to develop a much stronger root system if the stakes are removed and they are allowed to weather the wind and storms.  But this is the exception to my own rule, ugh!  Because in a extra nasty thunderstorm, one of my ginkos was snapped right off, do you see the little stub?  Whimper.  So very sad.  I will be replanting another in its place in the fall because I have grand visions of this tri-pod of ginkos at this curve in the circular drive.

And our future Loblolly pine forest.  I grew up on an Army base that had tons of Loblolly pines around the park we played at.  We would build pine needle forts and throw the pinecones as grenades.  Loblollies are so Southern, love them.

Completing the chicken fence was a huge success, just need to stain it... which will happen this fall.

I have wanted my very own Dappled Willow tree ever since my sister bought one.  I found one at our local Lowes... I actually bought two but one of them looked so very sad... and it ended up not making it.  Good thing for Lowes' generous return policy on plants, snicker.

The jury is still OUT on my three White Redbud trees.  I bought these at a greenery with no return policy and I have been holding my breath about them since I planted them this Spring.  They have struggled since day ONE.  I am not convinced they have the hardiness that they need out here on the farm.  I can be a tad ruthless on that point... I just can't pamper plants on 15 acres... but I have been spoiling these 3... to which they are not showing much appreciation and still looking quite whimpy.  Oh I sure hope they hang in there though!!

Loving our new shed.  Still needs to be stained, a skirting of stone built, stairs, and a ramp made for the side doors.  But we are already using it a lot for needed storage.  Never mind the current clutter... we are just getting ready for 50+ people to arrive in a few hours for our 4th of July Barbeque.

I also got these white adirondacks this Spring for the large firering.  Normally they are closer together around the ring and look so quaint... but 14 year old son had to mow and didn't place them back around the ring just as I like them, snort... He don't much care for precise, cute, placement of chairs... oh well.

I did tons of pruning and pine needle mulching too.  SO NOT FUN... but it looks so nice when its done!

This little stone bed at the old barn is one of the first projects we ever did on the property.  It is still on my to do list to add at least one more layer of rocks to it.  I just slowly add hostas and groundcovers here, very natural arrangement.

This old logging wagon is slowly deteriorating... soon it will be wheels and axles only... but that is the natural process of things and I find beauty even in that!

Shawn spends an enormous amount of time on the entrance fence and drive.  The woods and vines are constantly trying to reclaim this space.  Every passing year the entrance looks more and more amazing to me!

Some day I hope to have two stoned columns on either side where the fence ends with a large white gate... it will be gorgeous... someday :)
There is a story behind that tallest tree on the left in the below photo.  It was completely consumed with vines when we originally bought this land.  I just thought it would have to be chopped down.  But Shawn worked so hard and wore his shoulders plumb out pulling vines off this tree.  I still thought it would have to come down but we decided to leave it and evaluate it.  I even planted a maple right next to it thinking it could replace it when it had to finally be removed.  But it came through... I have loved when we have been able to preserve original trees.

Below is yet another example of a tree that was being strangled by vines.  It leans slightly over the entrance drive and I love it there.  I sure hope now that Shawn has once again removed the majority of the vines that the strangulation was not irreversible and it will make it.

This little curved bench found a new home here in the shade.  It is amazing to sit here in the evenings... and when the entire curve of this stoned path is dripping with annabelle and nikko hydrangeas... this shady nook is breathtaking.

Slowly but surely things are getting completed... another Spring is done... now we shall play all summer and return to our outside 'to do' lists in the Fall.


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Valerie said...

Hi, there! I have been following your blog now for awhile ever since you visited my blog. I just have to tell you that--wow, just wow. Your home and property are absolutely perfect. In.every.way. I want to move in. I am so glad you post so many pictures so I can live vicariously through you!! Just wanted to tell you! :)

P.S. Nursery leader is HANDS DOWN the very best calling there is. My husband and I have been asking for years... :)

MrsMama said...

Wow, your place looks AMAZING. I love the green-on-green window planter. It's plant perfection.