………….a perennial gift from Heaven
These are three of my all-time favorite spring flowering perennials. I always feel like they are a free gift from heaven every spring!
- Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatili) is one of those plants that loves to grow in the least likely of place — cracks between paving stones, the edge of gravel paths and patios, rocky outcroppings, between the stacked stones of a retaining wall, and more. It’s a real showstopper. That does well in the hot dry sun. Not so much in more humid climates. It will reseed prolifically in little cracks, filling an area each spring with dazzling neon yellows. However, it is easy to maintain and doesn’t take over the world, which I appreciate. After it finishes blooming just trim off the flowering stems and the grayish-green foliage is a beautiful mat throughout the remainder of the year. It is also wonderful for erosion control on a slope or in a rock garden.
- Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) Is a wonderful, creeping ground cover that displays a thick blanket of blooms in vibrant shades of pink, lavender, red, white or bluish-purple every spring. Creeping phlox is a sturdy, and a little bit prickly plant that is low maintenance and does well at camouflaging an unsightly slope or other difficult areas in the landscape as it rambles between rocks and cascades over walls. It can also be planted along a walkway or bordering a flowerbed. You should plant it in the spring although it won’t have the mass of flowers until the following spring. But believe me! It is worth the wait.
- Soapwort What an ugly name for a beautiful flowering plant/ground cover. I love it! Perennial, Saponaria or Rock Soapwort is an easy to grow perennial that forms a blanket of spreading color. It produces a profusion of five petaled, lavendar flowers in varying shades. I planted one little plant 3 summers ago and it now cascades down and tumbles over our rock wall and onto some stone steps. It is beautiful. And after it finishes blooming in the spring it is a mass of beautiful dark green leaves. This lovely little plant is all by maintenance free. It lives beautifully on the water that splashes onto if from the sprinklers. Although I haven’t tried it in a hanging basket or pot, I bet it would be fabulous!!
Perennials………I love them! More to come on some other favorites.
Color, Color, Color…..
…..Look what can be done with color on a patio!
So I’m really into patios this year. I guess it’s just the excitement of a new-life-because-of-new-weather mindset. I’m just really ready for warm days and cool nights. At least that’s my dream this year; last year was so darn hot we barely went outdoors, day or night!
I’ve been looking to add some more color to our patio. We have green, mustard, orange so far, but I’m ready to perk it up a bit with some blues and purples. I have found the easiest way and one of the cheapest ways is to look for pillows to add the spark. Now we all know pillows can be expensive but you really don’t want to expose an expensive pillow to the elements. Remember you can do the pillow case cover with wonderful bright fabric over an old or thread bare pillow you’ve tossed aside.
Another way to add that much wanted ooomph of color is to find an old nightstand or two (thrift shops, garage sales) and paint them those bright colors you are wanting to enliven your space.
The fun thing about this type of area is that you can make almost anything work. You don’t have to stick to a defined style. Just have fun with it. A few ideas to throw out there:
- Flowers (of course)
- Painted furniture
- Ceramic Pots
- Paint a wall
- Painted clay pots
Mix & Match………
It’s a wonderful thing!
In not too long ago memory, furniture simply had to match. Thank goodness that old decorating wive’s tale has been debunked! I am so glad!
I love the deco-philosophy that if you have it, use it! Add to it, tweek it, move it, paint it, stick something else on it, or whatever. But there’s a lot of fantastic re-purposing stuff just hanging around your house. Trust me!
Whether you have to or want to mix and match keep a few tips (and these are just a few) in mind from House Beautiful. I love a beautiful house and I love House Beautiful.
- All matching wood can look too perfect. Mixing woods can make a room more interesting and personal, like it took shape over time.
- Tiny rooms are great for dramatic decorating. “Put a large-scale printed fabric or wallpaper on the walls and even the ceiling. It’s easier, safer, and less expensive to be dramatic in a small space. You might get tired of a bold print in the main living area, but it can make a smaller, less-used room an exciting space to spend time,” says designer Victoria Neale.
- It’s true that rugs anchor a space, but that doesn’t mean they’re required. Removing them can really open up a room. “Bare wood and stone floors can be just as beautiful,” says designer Eric Cohler. It also makes sweeping up easy, particularly helpful in a kitchen that doesn’t have a rug in front of the sink.
- “If you layer a space with color, texture, and array of styles, your decor choices will have a much longer life,” says designer Vicente Wolf. Accessories are an affordable way to make sure a space doesn’t get locked into one period or thematic look.
- The most versatile coffee table you’ll ever own is an ottoman topped with a tray. Not only do you get extra seating, the tray also helps corral drinks, remote controls, and other accessories.
- Don’t be afraid to paint a vintage piece. GASP!! Every piece of furniture can’t be brown or golden oak!
- Small-scale furniture only makes a small bedroom look smaller. What?! Try a high bed and a tall headboard.
- Kids’ paintings and drawings ARE NOT JUST FOR THE REFRIGERATOR DOOR! They can bring color and whimsy to an otherwise unimaginative space. Display drawings in a colorful frame, or in a white frame with a colored mat. Hang them in an otherwise unimaginative space.
So, whether it’s done because you have to or to create an eclectic flair just have fun and mix it up!
Patio, piazza…..Tomato, Tom-ah-to
…..what’s in a name?
………to paint or not to paint (that is up to you!)
Would you have ever thought that someone would dare suggest painting a vintage piece of furniture??!! I remember sanding, stripping, scraping, stripping again, buffing, and more buffing pieces of furniture to get all the paint OFF to restore the originality, and now it’s okay and even chic to paint some of these old classics. But wow, what a way to incorporate memorable color to a dining room, a girl’s bedroom, or a corner in the kitchen. What’s more it seems that the sloppier you are the chic-er it is. The jury’s still out on that for me. But I have noticed on some of these great re-done pieces that the “restorer” hasn’t even taken off or taped around hinges or hardware. I guess I need to embrace it and be grateful! J
Just yesterday my hubby picked up an old school desk from a thrift store which we will paint a cool color and not feel a bit guilty. Are we going to put it in an office? Nope. Are we going to put it in a kid’s room? Nope. We’re going to put it in a little out of the way hallway that needs some brightening up. This little place has no natural light so I’m thinking a shiny silver or a lemony yellow. But you know what’s great? If I paint it silver and don’t like it then paint it yellow, all it takes is a piece of sandpaper and 3 minutes and I can have a fabulous distressed piece of yellow with silver slivers.
Don’t you love trying new stuff?