Friday, April 21, 2017

A SPECIAL MOMENT

Welcome to Foodie Friday TLB friends!

In today's blog I am sharing a very special moment with my youngest daughter who knows
how crazy I am about Ina Garten! She hosted one of my favorite Food Network cooking shows, and I have every cookbook she has ever written!

My daughter surprised me with tickets to "An Evening with Ina Garten-The Barefoot Contessa," at the Rosemont Theatre in Illinois. It was a very special mother/daughter evening that I will never forget! 



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LANDSCAPING TEXAS STYLE


Hello TLB friends!

I hope you have all been well and are ready to enjoy the beautiful Springtime weather!
I was able to spend some time at our Florida home for a while, but now I'm back in Texas 
with SPRING landscaping on the brain!

The builder's landscaping package is usually less than stellar, and ours was no different. 
The photo below reflects some of the plants that were spread throughout our front landscape beds. In the foreground is Indian Hawthorne, which is heat tolerant, requires little maintenance, and will have pink flowers on it. The shrubs closest to the house foundation are called Nellie Stevens Holley, and they will make a beautiful hedge under the garage windows and are great for privacy in areas as well. They also have Nellie Stevens Holley trees that are quite beautiful and hardy.

After determining what shrubs to keep, I dug up the Holly and the Hawthorne and strategically spaced them so that similar items were next to each other in a pattern giving them the space that would allow the growth they required as they matured.

(Front right side)

Below, in the back row starting at the left, is my husband's choice, a Teddy Bear Magnolia Tree. We have "3" that will anchor each side of the front beds, and one that will be planted in the center. These trees will grow approximately 20 feet high and 12 feet wide and will flower from May-November. There is nothing like the fragrance of a Magnolia!

Along the foundation are Needlepoint Holly's. We will eventually trim these into a hedge
under the study window.

In the center of the bed is a shrub that our landscaper recommended as being quite hardy,
Cherry Blast Loropetalum. It is a compact burgundy shrub that will have bright red fringe like flowers in the Spring and stands up against the heat of the Texas summers. 

In the front row is another shrub I salvaged from the builders selections. It is called
Dwarf Yaupon Holly. It is a dwarf compact holly with tiny shiny leaves. We will keep these trimmed into small mounds at the front of the beds. 

(Left side front of house) 

In the photo below right, is a Crepe Myrtle tree that I salvaged from the builder collection. Just a little trimming keeps the shape compact. It will blossom with white flowers in May.


Below is a drip line that is buried in all of our landscaping beds controlled at our Irrigation box.  I call it my God send." Who knew a perforated copper pipe could make life so much easier? My Mom and sister would LOVE this!


We chose black mulch to compliment the black wrought iron accents on the house, columns, fence and front door design.
 



The two red rose bushes in the background below are Knock Out roses that bloom profusely through the heat. They will grow into about a 4 foot diameter of color. In the background, are "2" urns on each side of the single car garage. In each urn is a red Hibiscus topiary adding a pop of color to the otherwise dull concrete driveway.


The columns were a vision I had....have you ever had one of those? One Sunday after mass I had hubby driving around subdivisions looking for ideas......he was such a good sport about it.  What we found was that the columns we saw had stone that matched the front of the homes. So we added the wrought iron pattern to tie in the Juliet balcony's on our second level and a very traditional wrought iron lantern light. 


It dressed up the front of our home, creating an elegant inviting appearance.  Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.....and it is so rewarding! You don't have to have a large double door entry or porch to create a beautiful entrance....just get creative!



I chose simple white petunias to line the walk way to the front door and added a touches of Lobelia (Riviera) as a low ground cover of accent color. The petunias will grow together and present a sea of white color as the season progresses and the added touch of the deep purple Lobelia will be stunning.

The porch urn has a tiny red Petunia vine and a white lacey plant that is new to me, called Diamond Delight. It resembles the softness of Alyssum, but in a mound form that spills over the urn edge. Also a new plant to me is the center plant in the urn. I usually plant a green spike plant of some kind, but the gentlemen at the Flower Barn recommended this new red and green.....that will grow taller and give the urn the height I need in the corner. I'm excited to see it unfold. Trying something new can be so fun!



I found myself using black and white throughout the whole front of the house scheme this year quite by accident,  I even brought out the black and white stripe pillows from the New Jersey house to add a little warmth to the bench on the porch.


  The bench is from Grandin Road and the lantern from Pottery Barn.


This project was a labor of love and so rewarding! I actually need to replace my planting kneeling pad!  I hope you enjoyed following along today. 

Don't forget TLB will be back every Tuesday and Friday. This week I've got an awesome salad recipe that you won't want to miss!

Thanks for joining me today..........
                         
                             Fondly,
                            Kathleen