Decorating · Embroidery · Gardening · Misc. DIY · Paint jobs

Back to the kitchen, plus the side shade garden and more

So, I finally got the kitchen painted with some help from Dad in the corners I couldn’t reach even from the top of the step ladder.

First, the before:

And now the after (including after Dad swapped the light fixture):

The aqua from the kitchen also wraps around to the short hall between the kitchen and the dining room/back foyer (so far I’ve only given it the first coat):

And it’s the top color in the upstairs hallway:

I’d been going to use the lighter aqua left over from the downstairs bathroom, but the kitchen aqua is punchier.

Both hallways need a second coat, and then of course there’s the matter of the trim, which needs to be painted white.

In the dining room, I realized it’s been over a month since I painted, so I was able to stick up some Command hooks to hang one of my quilts in the corner:

I also got a couple more things hung up in the back foyer, though most will wait until I have the china cabinet and CD cabinet in place so I can work around those.

Moving from the foyer to the family room, I mentioned a couple posts ago about having tried that greenish yellow shade and not feeling it. I felt drawn to a peach sort of color and picked a shade by Behr called “Peach Mimosa”:

Of course, that’s bad lighting. In daylight, the shade is a little softer and more Miami Vice:

The family room is still full of clutter with all the things that belong in the rest of the house, but I’m slowly getting things moved out. In the meantime, I’m doing the family room wall by wall and moving the junk around accordingly.

Before moving outside, let’s look at the bit of stitching I got done:

Starting to make headway on Blackbird Designs’ “Yellow Submarine.” I’m also getting a bit done on a canvaswork piece called “Hot Stuff” by DebBee’s Designs.

I also spray painted some ceiling medallions silver, one of which is now up in the kitchen as seen above and the other two are for the upstairs hallway:

Now, for outside stuff. I had some strawberry pips and 4 hostas leftover, and my brother is just getting into doing some planting in his yard, so I potted those up and sent them over to his place when my dad was going over to the mainland for a few days:

So, the front yard.

I planted the weigela that’s been languishing in its nursery pot for 3 months:

Doesn’t look like much now, but it should have some nice spring blooms, just maybe not this spring.

I also have a Euryops and tree heath going on either side along the front fence, but only got one side’s pair in the ground so far.

Both will give some winter interest and both are already proving popular with the local bees, and mirroring the plantings on either side of the front path gives a touch of formality to the front yard.

I also got a couple mints potted up on my front steps:

But the big job in the front was finishing the hellebore bed along the fence. I already had 6 hellebores (‘Merlin’) in there, but I had 7 more to go in (3x ‘Ice and Roses White,’ 3x ‘Ruse Black,’ 1x ‘Sun Flare’). I filled in the gaps with a bunch of grape hyacinth clumps I bought as 4″ pots, plus assorted other spring perennials I had kicking around on my back deck including fritillarias, violas, and a couple other things I forget offhand.

Of course, that means the bed will be a bit dull in the summer, but I tossed in some Bells of Ireland annual seeds and maybe in the fall I’ll shake in some snapdragon seeds. We’ll see.

Not that it really matters – the front will be full of all sorts of other summer-flowering things, and the rhododendrons around there will be a green backdrop. Plus I did a little fairy garden after finishing the plantings, but I forgot to take pics of that.

And the one rhodo got some shiny peacocks added to it, and a string with 4 small gazing balls:

Now, onto the driveway containers.

I put a perennial grass in a fish container I found at Art Knapp’s. Then on a separate trip to Art Knapp’s, I found the pink pampas grass I wanted, so I decided to move the blue pots slated for my dahlias to the south side and instead I have the pampas grass in the corner flanked by two white pots, empty in these pics but later potted up with a pair of Dallas Blues grass which will be almost as huge as the pampas grass:

From there, let’s go to where the dahlia pots went. I just got those planted up today:

I may well have put too much stuff in those pots with the dahlia tubers, but I guess we’ll see how things go.

I also got a Szechuan peppercorn plant on impulse the other day, and got that potted up in a sunny spot next to the fig:

On a related note, look what I got today:

And I started 2 pots of each:

Now, let’s see how the north side shade container garden is shaping up:

I got my winter jasmine potted up and against the netting.

Not in the ground, but I got suckered in by the perfume on the skimmias at the nursery earlier this week and fortunately found a couple dwarf ones. They’ll end up in the Japanese garden that will be going in later this year, but in the meantime they’re on the side steps so I can smell them as I go in and out of the house:

They look kinda boring when not in bloom, but the whole point of a Japanese garden is that it’s about texture and shades of green, not about showy flowers. There’s enough of that sort of thing up front and even elsewhere in the back yard anyway.

Anyway, here’s what the side yard looks like in late afternoon:

And closeups of the different pot groupings:

A couple of the decorations:

Just realized I forgot to get pics of the wind spinners I hung up by the side door. Oh well.

And now for the back yard. I got this little greenhouse set up for some of my seedlings:

I got a bunch of containers potted up by the laundry room door:

On the patio, I got a hanging basket made up with some petunias and other trailers:

And now that I think we’re past the last frost, or at least the last hard frost, I brought out the cannas that I potted up in the pink plastic pots. I also potted up a couple more Eucomis bulbs I found and some elephant ear corms as well, none of which look like much right now, lol…

Oh, and I got and potted a star magnolia:

I don’t actually have room for a star magnolia… unless I make it a bonsai.

And I just took the first part of a 3 part bonsai class down in Victoria. Here’s a few I’m working on, with the one I worked on in class being second from the left:

I have a couple other guinea pigs I didn’t get to today as well.

Now, the bed behind the bonsai is the one with the fruit trees. It will be filled with the red of my dahlias some time this week along with a row of calla lilies, but I already got 3 roses planted and some white glass gazing balls put in as well.

It’s been quite windy lately and for now I’m just leaving the metal flamingos on the ground rather than constantly setting them up and letting them get blown over every day.

I also planted one more rose, Grandiflora ‘Rock and Roll,’ over in the rose bed by the pollinator garden.

Speaking of pollinators, I’ve been seeing my mason bees going in and out of tubes in the insect houses and so far I spotted one finished tube (the one with the mud plugging the end of it):

I’ve also seen wasps going in and out, which is concerning. Certain wasps will simply lay their own eggs and that’s fine, but there’s other wasps that I think prey upon mason bees and their eggs.

Not much I can do about it, just hope the bees get by regardless.

Lastly, I give you Pothenge:

I realized the side area I had planned for my veggies will get shaded by the greenhouse I want to put in and any other plantings I would do in the middle of the yard (the square of pots).

Instead, I decided to build the greenhouse on the side of the yard and build a raised bed veggie garden in the middle.

It will also have some shade issues on one side due to big trees on the neighbor’s yard, but that’s only going to be in the afternoon. In the morning the house’s shade doesn’t quite reach that far, and in the summer during the middle of the day the shade of the big trees won’t reach the veggie beds.

All over the grass is getting way too long, but it’s been raining. Hopefully the grass dries out enough to mow it this week because I’m sure it’s starting to piss the neighbor off.

We also have to strip the grass up front so I can plant everything. I might even have to cave in and rototill it.