My Front Porch

Happy summer everyone! The kids are out of school and we’re enjoying a slower pace to our days.  Yes, the kids get to go on errands with me (you can image the excitement when I announce “Today we’re going grocery shopping!!”).    But we’ve also had our fair share of lazy days…movies on the couch and playing with friends.

Flowers are starting to bloom and my pots are starting to fill out nicely.  So today I’ll show a few pictures of my front porch with you!

 I discovered I had tall grass that survived a long winter of neglect in some pots from last summer.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Plant it in the garden? Or add it to a giant pot with other flowers?  After I took on the sweaty job of digging the grass out of last years pots,  I set it in one of my galvanized buckets for a minute until I could decide where I would put it permanently.

PORCH SWING AND BEACH GRASS

But I happened to love how it looked in the old bucket!

porch swing and bear grass 2

Sometimes it pays off to think outside of the box!  You never know what creative look you may discover!

Years ago, a neighbor had tossed the chair below in the trash.  I immediately brought it home, tightened the screws and gave it a fresh coat of black paint.  Over the years, it’s weathered quite a bit, which makes me love it even more.

rustic chair and impatiens

RUSTIC CHAIR AND IMPATIENS 2

If you live in the greater Seattle area, you’re probably aware of the wonderful gardening store called Ravenna Gardens.  I went to University Village to Ravenna Gardens several weeks ago and had a great time putting together some arrangements for two big pots in front of our house.

POTTED FLOWERS

There are a few different shades of purple flowers and I paired them with a variety of greens.

potted flowers 2

I even used moss in the pots.  Have you ever done that?

POTTED FLOWERS 3

I think it adds a lot of interest.

That’s it for today!  I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at some of my front porch decor!

jen

Starting Sweet Pea Seeds

This sunny weather has me thinking about my garden!  It’s time to put my sweet peas in the ground.  So I wanted to share with you how to start your sweet pea seeds indoors!!

STARTING YOUR SWEET PEA SEEDS INDOORS 2 (AT HOME IN THE NORTHWEST)

First of all, do you know what sweet peas are?  It’s not a green pea that you eat.  It’s a blooming flower…..

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They smell wonderful.  And are a great cutting flower as well.

Do you want to plant your own?

It’s not difficult to do!  Just pick up a packet of seeds {or two} at Lowes, Home Depot or Target.    Next, lay the seeds inside a few wet paper towels.

Then … are you ready for this? Put them in an open ziploc baggie and lay them in the window sill.

STARTING SWEET PEAS INSIDE (AT HOME IN THE NORTHWEST)

It’s not pretty. But it’s effective!

Make sure the paper towel stays damp.  And after about a week or so, your seeds should look like this!

STARTING SWEET PEAS INDOORS (AT HOME IN THE NORTHWEST) 2

Once they’ve started to sprout like the above photo, just plant them in the dirt!

Make sure you give the sweet peas something to climb up!  I use a trellis that I built a few years ago

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{click HERE for a tutorial on building your own trellis for under $10}

If you do the hard work now, by summer you’ll have a crazy amount of fragrant, bright flowers just waiting to be cut into a bouquet!

I love that it’s time to get out in the garden! Are you going to start any seeds indoors this spring?

jen

Creative Storage for a Coiled Garden Hose

Spring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest.  Well, not officially.  But it’s sure starting to feel like it!

This weather is giving me the itch to garden!  So today I’ll share with you my favorite hose and how I store it.

First of all, I want to tell you how much I dislike winding up a regular hose. My hose always seems to get wet from watering the flowers.  Then it gets dragged through some dirt.  And while I’m winding it up, I seem to get dirt on my hands and quite likely on my clothes as well.  {I know – wha wha wha – cry my a river!}.  But it’s not fun.  So a few years ago, I invested in a coil garden hose….

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gardeners.com

I order one that is giant…80′ long to be exact.  We have a big yard and I want it to stretch everywhere I go.  Typically, a hose of this length is best found online.  Though I know you can get shorter ones local stores {such as Target} for less money than the bigger options.

Why do I love it so much??  When you are done watering the flowers, you just lay it down! Done! It coils up, neat and tidy.  Does it sometimes get tangled? Well, yes.  But if you take your time, it most often bounces back into its coiled form and sits nicely where you put it.

No kinked hoses. No headaches. No dirty hands or clothes.  Easy.

Unless you lay the coiled hose on the ground, you will need something to store it in.  And typical hose storage doesn’t tend to work.

I store my coil hose in an old radio flyer wagon….creative storage for your coil garden hose (at home in the northwest blog)

I paid $10 for it at a garage sale.  So when water gets in the wagon and makes it rust, I am not too stressed out about it.  It was a bargain.  It’s cute.  And it’s incredibly functional as well!

COIL HOSE STORED IN RADIO FLYWER WAGON (at home in the northwest blog)

If you order a shorter coil hose, you could use one of Target’s cute baskets.  And it’s only $20!

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target.com

Here is another creative way to store your coiled garden hose.  It’s functional, and looks incredibly inexpensive to make, if you’re up for a DIY project….

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finegardening.com

Lastly is an option that is decorative, yet quite pricey at $199….

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frontgate.com

I am sure there are plenty of fun ways to store a coil hose.  Which is your favorite?

jen

Recycling Pinecones and Faux Berries

Did you survive Christmas?! It’s hard to believe it’s already over with.  If you’re like me,  today is a day to deal with the clutter. Everything needs to find a home because I’m done looking at the piles.  Before you pick up all of your Christmas decor, I wanted to share one of my posts from last Christmas.  I hope you find it helpful….

So Christmas is over and you’re probably ready to clean up your holiday decor….or maybe you already have!

But before you throw out that Costco wreath….

…make sure you remove the faux berries and pine cones!

They are probably attached with some wire.  Simply untwist the wire from the back or grab some scissors and cut them off.

Then next year, when it’s time to decorate for Christmas, you’ll have a few extra pine cones and faux berries to help dress up your house! You’ll be amazed how many you will accumulate over the years!

jen

A day at the farm

My dad lives a few hours north of here.  They have several acres which translates into lots of open space for the kids to run and play.

farm 5

My step-mom has a beautiful garden full of both veggies and flowers. Today, we got to enjoy some of the fruits of her labor.

farm 1

farm 3

And their pumpkin patch is quite impressive too!

farm 2

Even though it was 80 degrees today, it’s starting to feel a bit like fall!

jen

Happy 4th of July!

After cutting some flowers from my yard tonight, I decided to play with a camera lens that Dan and the kids gave me for my birthday.

HYDRANGEA 3

 

HYDRANGEA 2

 

HYDRANGEA 1

I love this time of year when things start to bloom in my garden!! So capturing the flowers with the camera was fun.

I hope to be back soon with some design blog posts.  So stay tuned!!!

Wishing you a very fun {and safe!} 4th of July!!

jen

May Day Guest Post

Today I’m over at Lori May Interiors!

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I have a fun guest post on May Day flower arrangements!

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There are lots of ideas so come on over to check it out!

jen

Fix It Week

It’s been fix-it week around here.

A few years ago, we put a second story addition on our house. While we love the addition, we don’t love the extra shade that it’s giving our already shaded backyard.  Moss is a common thing here in the northwest. And in our shaded backyard, it thrives!

This is what our grass looks like in some places…

mossy grass

Yes, it’s mostly moss.

So we had the aerating guy came look at the grass.  And then the moss killer guy came to look at the grass.

Then that led us to call a sprinkler complany to move a few sprinkler heads to properly water our newly planted grass. And of course it turned out that a number our our sprinkler heads were leaking and needed to be replaced.

new sprinklers

Today they finished replacing the sprinklers.  Here they are in the {muddy} ground! And they’re properly marked for the lawn guys that are coming to start their work tomorrow.

We also had mulch delivered and spread in the garden this week…

fresh mulch

And while that work was being done, we were reminded of a huge crack in one of our fence posts.  How was I reminded?! I head a giant ‘THUD’ as the post hit the ground.

broken fence post

How in the world does something like that split in half!?  Seriously! We wonder if maybe a deer ran into it? Who knows. Regardless, it too needs to be fixed. So the fence guy comes tomorrow as well.

I’m ready to have my yard back to us again! Tomorrow marks the ten day mark of workers here at our house.

The highlight is that now our yard is all set for summer!  And the highlight for the kids….

extra flags

…the sprinkler guy left a ton of extra flags.  It turns out they make really cool spears when you throw them into the grass!
They are in hog heaven.

Here’s hoping for no more repairs.

jen

Fall Porch Update

I love our porch swing.  We sit on it every single day while we wait for the school bus.  But the pillows I bought this summer aren’t cutting it with the pumpkins and gourds that are also on the porch.

I recently bought these two striped outdoor pillows from etsy. They’ve been the prefect update for the fall and winter season.

 And then I added a fun pillow from Target.

I’m especially fond of it because Dan is a doctor.  {Though Dan is neither evil nor able to write prescriptions for poison!}

The star pillow is one I’ve had for years.  I found it tucked away in a closet and am happy to have found a fun place for it this fall!

I love the update that new pillows gave my porch!

jen

New Porch Swing

The kids catch the bus in front of our house. And let’s face it, it rains plenty here in the northwest. So a little swing under my covered front porch seemed ideal for us. Getting it hung up seemed overwhelming to me though.  Would it stick out too much onto the walk way?  Would it hit the house when someone was swinging?  And what if I can’t find studs in the ceiling in just the right place?

Finally this summer I decided to go for it. I bought a porch swing.

After much planning {and stalling}, I got to work.

The studs were indeed in the wrong place.  I located their exact location {with the help of my drill}.

I primed the 2 x 4 to match the ceiling color and used long bolts to secure it in place.

And once the 2 x 4 was secure, I hung up the porch swing!

Isn’t it perfect?

I love the colors of the flowers against the white swing.

I picked up the outdoor pillows at World Market earlier this summer.

They sure help brighten up our front porch!

I know where I’ll be sitting next week as my kids wait for the bus on the first day of school!!

jen

linking up to:

funky junk interiors, my uncommon slice of suburbia, home stories a to z, between naps on the porch, the southern institute, nifty thrifty things, todays creative blog, i should be mopping the floor, sew much ado, the shabby creek cottage, house of hepworths, miss mustard seed, aka design, shabby nest, at the picket fence, chic on a shoestring decorating, serenity now, six sisters stuff, serenity now

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