Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Honey, I’m back……

 Yes, just like Desi announced to Lucy that he was home, I’m announcing that I’m finally back to blogging! It’s been a much needed hiatus- lots of things were on the back burner and I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off!  And in addition to being busy, busy, busy, I’ve had a week-long bout of vertigo- the side effect of that fall I took a few years ago where where I bonked my head and ended up with a head trauma. I’ve never had these intermittent episodes of dizziness and nausea last this long- usually the head spinning and loss of balance is gone within a couple of days.  I’m feeling much better as of today, thus prompting me to get out into the yard and get some work done. Next Monday, the landscape company that transformed our yard from an un-useable rolling hill into a beautiful oasis will have a video crew onsite to film the yard for an online version of Hometrends Magazine! 

The husband and I started the spring clean-up a few weeks ago in preparation for the shoot by putting down 15 cubic yards of new, black mulch. Now THAT was a lot of bags and a lot of back-breaking work in the hot sun! Rather than have a huge mountain of mulch taking up half of our driveway, we opted to purchase the mulch in 2 cubic foot bags.  Yes, it was a bit more expensive than bulk mulch, but since we could only put it down when we had free time, we felt it would be easier to transport bags than to shoveI the bulk mulch into a wheelbarrow, cart it around back, then scoop it out and spread it onto the terraced yard.  Not to mention that the black mulch would really have stained our driveway- that stuff is heavily dyed, let me tell ya. I had mulch stains on my fingers and under my nails for days!

It’s amazing how new mulch can make a yard look fresh and tidy. In addition to the mulch, I did some container gardening. I’m not an accomplished gardener, but I manage to keep potted flowers alive through the summer growing period.  I’ll show some photos of the entire backyard soon, but today I wanted to show you how I transformed a recent purchase of two plastic urns look more like aged concrete.


original urn

This is what I started out with- two black plastic urns that I bought from my friend Nicki for $25 at the Springfield Extravaganza and Vintage Marketplace a few weeks ago.




After one coat of ASCP in Paris Grey rubbed over the existing black finish, this is what the urns looked like.



coco wash 2

Knowing that the urns needed some depth, I added a wash of watered down Coco ASCP.  They started to look more like the look I was going for after that coat.



dark wash

Quite a difference next to the untouched finish of the second urn, don’t you think?



urn 2

But the look was just not complete; so to add more aging, I added some swipes of the taupe colored stain that is on the body of our house.  I like-y now!



2 urns on walkway

I placed the two urns along the pathway leading to the streambed . This shot was taken in the early morning light. The plantings came from one of my favorite nurseries, Meadowview Growers.  I made the trip up to New Carlisle on Saturday and ended up having my lunch there. Seems they were celebrating a customer appreciation day, offering 25% off of all perennials, as well as free hot dogs and lemonade.  Yum….   I enjoyed two dogs and three cups of lemonade since it was such a hot day!   When I got home, I divided a pot of multiple tropical elephant ears and and used two colorful Persian Shield plants to complement them. I also added a new-to-me variety of grass as a filler.  For both pots, I ended up spending only about $40.  Comparable potted containers at the nursery would have been much more expensive, and that wouldn’t even include the decorative urn, so I think I got a great look with just a few plants and a few bucks.


 Persian Shield






urn b



urn a

These are shots of the urns in the late afternoon sun. In the photos, the urns look a little washed out in the bright sunlight, but the gradiation of colors is clearly visible when seeing them in person.


new path lights

And the latest addition to the landscaping are these two tall, copper path lights - I installed them in the planting bed at the head of the stream yesterday afternoon. Who knew adding extra lights was so easy?  This bed was never lit before and the area seemed so dead at night. When we had people over, I often lit some lanterns that I hung on some shepherd’s crooks, but the candles never gave off enough light.  Now, the first waterfall and the pathway to the bridge over the stream are nicely illuminated.




Look how well the LED bulbs in these fixtures illuminate the areas surrounding them.






Once I have the yard completely ready for the Monday morning shoot, I’ll take more photos.  I’m anxious to show you how the plants have filled in since they were put in last October.  Til then, I’ll try to stay cool while working outside! It’s hot and humid here in SW Ohio, so that means drinking lots of water or Dr. Pepper! 




Linking to:


        inspiration friday button        open house thursday     charm of home       from my front porch to yours  Seasonal Sunday - the tablescaper     thrifty things friday        french country cottage      pink saturday



middle child said...

I like your optimism! Try to stay cool. Like that's going to happen. But, I wish you luck and drink lots of water. Can't wait to see the pictures of what already looks like a beautiful yard!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

You have accomplished a lot and It all looks so pretty! Be careful in the heat! I have equilibrium issues, so can relate. :(

farmlady said...

Love the urns. Did you put a clear coat of something on them to protect the finish? They really look great!
Gad you're back. Sorry about the Vertigo. I've only had it once or twice, for maybe a day. I can't imagine having it for more than that. Awful.
The garden is beautiful. Enjoy all the picture taking.
Take care.

Jemsmom said...

You made those urns look so expensive! Your garden is absolutely divine. It must be a bit of heaven to relax there. So many gorgeous things to see!

So sorry about your vertigo. I had it once for 2 days and was miserable. Bless your heart!

So glad to see you back!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your urns looks great, Sue! I can't believe you were doing that in this heat! Love the plants you filled them with. The mulch is looking good. : ) I'm sure your yard is looking gorgeous. You have such a great lay-out in place.

Jill Elaine said...

Can't wait to see more shots of the yard! and you are right, Ohio is getting hot and humid! lots of water and iced tea here:)

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Sue,

So good to hear your feeling better.
That is a lot of mulch! So worth it as your garden look fabulous! The urn look wonderful! Chalk paint is amazing.


Lori E said...

Glad you are back Ethel....Lucy would love to be there with you.
Good thinking with the black mulch. I almost find it depressing to see huge piles of things that I think will never disappear.
Love the lights. Any LED lights we have found do not illuminate anything at all. Completely useless. What brand are those?

Beverly said...

Glad you're back and that you are feeling better. I hate vertigo.

Your planters do looks fabulous, and it seems lots of exciting things are going on at your place. I'll be anxious to see more.

Anne said...

Sue, what you did with the urns are really nice. I didn't realize how big they were in the first photo as the one when you showed them on your patio. I think you did a really nice job.

Jo said...

Love the urns and glad you are back! Sorry to hear abt the vertigo, that does not sound like any fun at all. Hope you are staying cool in this heat

lilraggedyangie said...

Sue , FANTASTIC make over on the urns !!! Your beds are beautiful ...just recently mulched mine and it is amazing how much of a difference it makes ! Try and stay cool in the coming days cant wait to see the next post...Ill be down your way Sunday we are going to see the Reds play :0) Hugs lil raggedy angie

Debby said...

The urns really look nice. I noticed the darker color and thought it looked like rust. That's being really creative.
Love those copper lights. Very beautiful.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

How wonderful to see you back on the blogging scene! Glad to hear that you are feeling better! Your yard looks so wonderful! You must be excited to have it featured!

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Wow! They turned out so pretty! Visiting from FMFPTY. Would love it if you would share this post at my Make it Pretty Monday link party at The Dedicated House. Wishing you a grand day. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Miss Char said...

I think we've been traveling the same path this summer Sue, today is my first post in over a month. Love the new look on the urns, I'm such a sucker for them year around.

Babs said...

Hey, glad to see you again, but sorry to hear you're having vertigo. Hopefully,it'll be gone soon. You did an awesome job on the urns and they're such a nice large size. Love your plant choices. Have fun on Monday and tell us all about the photo shoot.
Have a great weekend and stay cool.

Kathleen said...

They look good , Sue!
Hope the shoot went well!

Marti McClure said...

Hi Sue, Welcome back. You've done an amazing job with that urn! Happy Pink Saturday. ~Marti

June said...

Hi, Sue, thanks for sharing your urn makeover! I found a couple in the shed the other day, so will be doing a pair of my own soon!

Jennelise said...

Your garden is beautiful and the urn looks lovely! I love the texture your paint job gave to it!

chubskulit said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Welcome back to blogging. I understand how you feel about the vertigo as my husband suffered from it too few years ago. Happy pink Saturday.

Come and see my PINK entry, when you get a chance, thanks!

PS.. I am now following your blog, it would be delightful if you can follow my family blog too, thank you!

cassandrasminicorner said...

Such a gorgeous yard you have")

Visiting for Pink Saturday- hope you can stop by..

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

Hi, Sue! Good to see you back; I'd missed you! :) I cannot wait to see the yard reveal--the little sampling tells me it's beautiful! And great job on those urns--they turned out great! And what beautiful plantings! Perfect! I'll be watching for the yard post!! ~Zuni
PS - I hope you continue to feel better. Vertigo is no fun.

Austine Etcheverry said...

Glad you have made it back. Your garden is very pretty.

Ivy and Elephants said...

The urns look fabulous now that you've worked your magic. The plants you chose look perfect. Glad you're back!

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

I've missed you; so glad you are back.

xinex said...

Love the aged looking urns, Sue. Your garden is truly an oasis. I can't wiat to see photos from the shoot....Christine

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

I love the urn transformation; it's hard to tell that it isn't really concrete. You sure have been busy, but still try to take it easy. I've had problems with vertigo for years, but not so much in the last 5 or 6. The first episode in the mid 80s left me unable to work for over a week. Hopefully you're starting to feel better now.

Diann said...

I'm so glad to see you back and I hope you are feeling much better! Congrats on the filming! that is so fun and exciting! Your transformations are wonderful. What a great look you created using these plastic urns. I will be featuring this post in this week's TTF. Thank you for sharing with us and I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Sherry said...

Great urn! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

Pamela said...

Great transformation! Thanx for joining THT!

A Proverbs 31 Wife said...

Your yard is looking so good! Dave tagged Jason in a pic on face book and I thought it was your place but with all the plants it just looks different :)

Unknown said...

You're job on the urns looks great. Good luck on the photo shoot.
Leo at Cottage at the Crossroads

Theresa said...

I'm glad you're feeling better and you're yard looks great! You're nails deserve a manicure for all that hard work :) Oh, DP at 10, 2, & 4, water in between. lol


Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Beautiful sue!! And those urns! They look fabulous! I know you are enjoying your gorgeous space this year...when its not too hot! 107 down here yesterday!! Seriously? This ain't the equator last time I checked!

Wishing you cool breezes!

Lou Cinda

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Sue,

Every inch of your yard is beautiful. Oh how I love your waterfall.


The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

Hi Sue, been a quiet follower for sometime now, glad to see you are back.

The urns look incredible and I love those persian sheilds.

Bon weekend.


The Vintage Farmhouse said...

They looks so much better now! And your yard looks fabulous!