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My sweet, Halle, has been sick for the last couple of days so we’ve been stuck in the house. We’ve been running here and there first thing in the morning for a few weeks and I really like it because it makes our days run more smoothly. It makes it difficult to blog but the time I’m investing in my kids is priceless. Since we’re stuck in the house though I thought that I’d share some of my favorites from around the web today. You can find all of my favorites by following The Button Casa on Pinterest.

I like this built-in eating area. I’ve always envisioned one for our house since we’ve got a small kitchen. I thought it would be nice to have the benches and use them for storing linens and things. Mine would be less modern, more cottagey and I’d replace the map with some fun art but I like the concept.

Houzz.com

And for the gardening geek in me…a carryall for garden tools using an vintage milk bottle carrier. Seriously, if I ever find one of these things for a reasonable price I will be one happy camper.

Along the lines of simple and brilliant ideas, I present the toilet paper/twine holder.

BHG.com

Twine is one of things that we have “somewhere”. You know that vague “somewhere” that means you’ll never find it again so you just buy more. Yeah, that’s how we roll. Ahem.

I found these chalkboard labels at The Messy Roost and I just love them! I’m thinking of using something like this to label food for a dinner party.

I’m also loving this pretty ottoman. I bought an ottoman for $2 at a garage sale many moons ago that is in need of some serious love. I don’t usually sew but I think I could get away with just stapling the fabric and reusing the liner that’s already in the ottoman because it’s in fine shape.  A fabric like the one covering this one would be fabulous.

BHG.com

I’m also feeling the love for these pretty blue chairs.

Houzz.com

And I love this mudroom. Apparently, the homeowners turned a little used entryway into a makeshift mudroom.

BHG.com

I love the idea of a mudroom especially since we get so much rain and some snow in the fall and winter. The kitchen floor gets *so* gross.  I’ll just have to chalk it up to my “someday” dream file since there’s definitely no room for it here.

I hope you enjoyed my little post of things I love.

Have a great day!

Amy

 

 

 

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Garden Goodness

I can’t even believe how long it’s been since I’ve known where my cable to upload pictures was. Really. I found it a couple of days ago and it’s very sad that I’d taken 97 photos- all intended for blogging- and I’ve posted none of them. So here you go…garden goodness.

It takes a lot of determination and sweat to dig a garden spot. I knew this and yet I decided to do it again. On the upside my back has never been stronger.

 

My goal was to plant the sunflowers that I’d started in pots and I envisioned having a veritable forest of different varieties. Unfortunately, I waited a bit too long to plant them and the drought didn’t help any so I’ve got a lot of really small sunflowers.

 

See?

My usual sunflowers are faring better although they’re a few feet smaller than normal.

I’ve got a truckload of basil so I see pesto on the horizon for us. Plus I found a recipe for pork chops with basil, garlic, and lime that sounds promising.

I was going to plant my hydrangeas here:

But as I dug I found a lot of bricks and rocks and just didn’t feel like dealing with it so I need to find some pots for them.

Halle and I were lucky to each have a blueberry before some neighborhood deer snagged the rest- I was disappointed. Someday I plan on having about a dozen plants so maybe there will be some for the Buttons and also for the deer…unless I can talk Travis into getting a fence :) I really don’t like sharing my garden even though I like deer.

I wouldn’t call this summer a huge win for me but honestly, I can never call any growing season a huge win. A few small wins are enough to keep me going though. Now I’m dreaming of what I’ll plant in the fall. Anybody else dreaming of what you’ll grow in the fall?

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Garden Goodness

I posted over two months ago about the things that I’d be growing or possibly growing so I thought I’d give you a little update.

First up we have hydrangeas! The hydrangeas I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked. I decided I do. Travis bought a Forever and Ever pink hydrangea for me because he knows I’d rather have a plant that lasts for years than a bouquet that lasts a week or two. A couple of days later, I was at Costco and they had  Blue Nikko hydrangeas for $10.98, which is practically a steal, so I bought two.

When I first bought them the buds looked like this.

It’s not terribly impressive. And, honestly, if I hadn’t been purchasing them at Costco I probably wouldn’t have bought them. They have a reputation for quality plus a generous return policy. Thankfully I didn’t have to take them back because look at them now!

I love them very much. I wish they’d stay this light blue color but Nikko Blue gets pretty bright I think. Christy pointed out in the comments section of my “Spring” post that it depends on the ph of your soil and she’s right. So I did some digging and found that blueberries and blue hydrangeas like more acidic soil which can be adjusted by using coffee grounds. That same night I dreamed of coffee, coffee grounds, blueberries and hydrangeas over and over and over, all night long. By morning I was very grumpy and couldn’t have cared less about the whole thing. Thankfully the dreams subsided and I now like coffee, blueberries and hydrangeas again. Mmmmm…coffee.

And I also bought a blueberry bush. Well, she’ll be a bush when she grows up. Meet, Brigitta. I didn’t name her, that’s her variety. But it seems to suit her well.

I still need a Bluecrop for pollination purposes. I have another blueberry in my garden but I don’t know what variety it is. In fact, I wasn’t even completely sure that it was a blueberry until it bloomed this year,  I might have gotten a few berries but we had a freeze that killed the blooms. I think all-in-all we’ll have enough blueberries from this bush for each of the Buttons to have 2-3 berries each. If I’ve learned anything from gardening it’s patience…from lots and lots of waiting.

This will also be the first summer since our very first in this house that I’m planting sunflowers. Sunflowers grow here every year but that’s from the seeds that birds drop. This season I’m cleaning out all the sunflowers from my garden bed so that I can grow herbs and whatnot.

So, I’ve weeded and added composted manure so that I can add the herbs. And I’m in the process of digging out an area in the yard to plant the sunflowers. I’ll still get a privacy screen for summer and I’ve started seeds for several different varieties.

Before I started digging I wet the area using a sprinkler. Here in TN we have clay that’s rock hard when it’s dry. Here’s a little tip if you try this- don’t get the area too wet. If you do you’ll be sloshing around in mud that sticks to everything. Shoes, shovel, hands, clothes…it’s a big mess.

Here’s progress.

It may not look like a lot but it takes time to do that much digging. And I found a rock! As soon as I hit it with my shovel I was disappointed. My next thought was, “That’s going to be an amazing feature!” I get excited about big rocks I guess. I grew up in Florida and all we had was sand. No rocks. No hills. Just sand. The girls and I swept and washed and tried to uncover more of it and I think it will be pretty in my sunflower garden. I still have *far* to go. I also have to dig out the area where I’ll be planting the hydrangeas. Which means I will be a sweaty, hot, dirty mess on Saturday. I’m totally looking forward to it!

The seeds I’m planting couldn’t wait until I’m done digging and amending the planting area though so I bought a seed starter kit.

They have “super growing pellets” which I’ve had some experience with but wasn’t super impressed. I really just wanted a divided off area that I could easily see all the seedlings and easily transplant them. I decided to use the pellets since I bought them and my skepticism was well founded. I added warm water like I was supposed to and this was the result.

Some of them absorbed very little water, some slipped sideways and some did what they were supposed to. It was a lot more work than just scooping some soil into the cells, which is how I topped these off. I like the cells because I needed to start the seeds now but the “super growing pellets” are a waste of time. Today though, I woke up to this.

I started some other seeds in different containers and they’ve sprouted too.

They’re a purplish color and I can’t wait to see how they grow up! I’ve planted a hybrid mix, Citrus, Mammoth and Chianti. I’ve also got some seeds that I harvested from the first ones I ever planted but I can’t remember the variety.

I also wrote the type of flower and how tall they get on the outside of the container in hopes that I can plant them in a decent order height wise.

And that will do it for today. I realize that not everybody is as fascinated with growing things as I am so thank you for humoring me. My Mom says I get it from her Mom. I didn’t know her very well but I’ve heard enough stories to know that taking after her is a good thing. So how about you? What are you growing this summer?

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Spring!

Raise your hand if you hate springing forward! I felt like a truck hit me this morning but after two cups of coffee I think I might have beaten the Daylight Savings Time hangover I’ve had for a couple of days. And as much as I hate my schedule getting thrown off twice a year, I’m always thankful for the extra sunlight and warmth. Those two things combined can only mean one thing- it’s time to start growing things! Whether you prefer square foot gardening, planters or flower beds there’s no better way to celebrate spring than to grow things.

As usual, I’ll be growing these:

I love the yellow pops of color against the blue sky. I also love that they’re so tall they act as a bit of a privacy screen between my neighbor’s yard and ours. I like my neighbors just fine but our houses are pretty close together and I like to have some privacy.

This year, I will grow blueberries!

I may also try blue hydrangeas. You can’t hold me to that one because I still haven’t decided if I really like blue hydrangeas.

I know I like white ones.

I guess it depends on which one looks best against the orange-ish color of the brick on our house.

There’s french lavender and a white rose bush growing in the garden now and I’m looking at edibles too; basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, and possibly tomatoes. It seems like a lot for a really small space. I’d like to grow strawberries too…and raspberries…and a peach tree. I should probably get started.

So what about you? Are you growing anything? Do you have any favorites? I’d love to hear about it.