Spring Has Sprung . . . Finally!

It was a long, cold, and snowy winter here in the Midwest. We were beginning to think that Spring weather would never arrive.

We finally had a string of really nice Spring days and even though more colder weather is in the forecast, we have started working outdoors again. Last year, the last snowfall occurred on March 25. I remember it well since we had our old house on the market, and I had to shovel very wet and deep snow since DSH was out of town.

After moving from one house and into our new, old and much smaller home, I spent a good part of the next few months in Minnesota with my sister and brother-in-law. My plans for changes to our new home were put on hold until the end of July. We did manage to get a few things done in our outdoor space last year before the cold and long Winter set in.

Arbor Before and After 2014

The before and after included changing fixtures, adding shutters, painting,and cleaning up the landscape. We removed the wisteria from the arbor and spray painted it with a rust inhibiting primer. I finally added the final coat of spray paint in the oil rubbed bronze finish that matches the new fixtures. I have some solar lights to add to it, too.

More shutters and landscape work are in the plans for this year.

Porch planting bed before and after 2014

The before and after of the large planting bed surrounding the backyard patio. We removed the large overgrown yews that were home to several rabbit nests (or burrows or warrens). The biggest problem we have living in the city are the rabbits. We have an overpopulation of them, and they eat everything including woody plantings. I replaced the red-dyed mulch with dark mulch which I think looks much better.

The planting bed is now my herb garden. Last year, I grew my herbs in pots and although they have wintered over well in the past, this past Winter was so cold that nothing survived. Not the mint or the rosemary or the thyme which I have had for years. I have replaced all of these in the new space along with oregano and sage and lavender and parsley. I’ll add some basil and pepper plants and other things once it gets warmer.

Mosquito Pot

I planted a mosquito pot – this includes lemon thyme, lemon marigolds, catnip, and lemongrass all of which repels mosquitoes according to an article that I read about how to avoid using chemicals in your garden. We’ll see. At least it’s pretty!

Geranium Pot 2014

I did plant a few flowers, too. I have planted geraniums almost every year since I’ve owned a home. When my oldest daughter was a young girl, she asked me why I always planted those ugly flowers so I replaced them with petunias for a few years. But I love them and she is grown and flown so they are back.

Once the weather gets a little warmer, I will add impatiens to the beds that we added last Fall to the shady side of our home.

Garage Wall Before and After 2014

I’ve also been working on moving plants around. I prefer a more ordered structure so I’ve moved hostas and bulbs and torn down overgrown ivy. I love the flower boxes that were on the detached garage, but they needed some work so we’ve removed them so they can be repaired and painted and put back up along with some shutters on the windows. It looks a little bare at the moment, but in a few weeks it will look great with the cleanup and additions and new mulch and flowers (of course).

The other very big issue for us is the total lack of outdoor lighting in the backyard. The former homeowners ran the water fountain by plugging it into an extension cord that ran along the ground and into one of the basement windows. To start the pump, you had to go into the cellar and plug it in. For real.

We plan to add outdoor outlets and lighting. The electrician we hired to move the electrical box from the bathroom to a safer location suggested that we just add flood lights. I don’t want to sit outside in the summer under floodlights. I want more ambient lighting.

Dutch Boy and Girl Garden Statues

My sister and I went to a vintage market fair and found these cute little Dutch boy and girl statues.

I’m working on adding some whimsy to my outdoor space and these fit the bill for my first additions.

Grandma's Dutch Boy and Girl Salt and Pepper Shakers

They kind of match the set of salt and pepper shakers that I have sitting on my kitchen window sill and which originally belonged to my paternal grandmother.

Front Walk Spring 2014

I love how our new home is taking on more of our personalities and character. Petunias in the jazz frog bird bath and our new banner welcome visitors to our new, old home.

Welcome Spring!

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