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:


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