Garden Update – Moving a Path

Path Before moss growing

I have not been posting much this month because I’ve been spending a lot of my time outside in the garden. I love it so much!

As Spring kicked into high gear, I started looking at the garden for areas that need attention. One area that I knew I needed to address was this little path that goes from the back yard, past the raised vegetable bed, to the compost bin. Here’s how the path looked late last July/ early August during inspection.

Path Before inspection day

Path Before – inspection day

By the time we moved in late September, even more of the path was obstructed from Grapevine and the hydrangeas. Yet, there was still plenty of space on the other side, but just a bunch of slate stones just sitting there.

Overgrown Path

Overgrown Path

Nothing was even close to level, and as the fall turned into winter, I noticed more difficulty in taking this path. It felt slippery, lopsided, uneven, and a little dangerous. In this next shot, you can really see how uneven the stones were too.

Path Before Late March

Path Before Late March

So this Spring, I decided to move the stones as best I could, without making a huge to-do about it.

Path Before

Path Before

Path After stones moved

Path After stones moved

I didn’t want to over think it, and I had no money to spend, so I just did very little to move each stone. All told the project probably took me about 3-4 hours over 3-4 days. I picked up each piece of slate, Figured out where I wanted it, and dug the area I wanted to place it. I tried to make it more level, but with still just a little lean for water to run off. I used a larger shovel to start, and then used a hand trowel to make the area smooth and as level as I wanted it. I then placed the step and made sure it felt somewhat secure, and then pushed up the extra dirt and stones around it.

Path After towards house

Path After towards house

You can see some areas are lighter colored- and that’s where there was more gravel. I think originally it was probably more of a gravel path, and then over time they decided to move slate here. The soil is rich and organic, and I came across many worms, termites, and other critters living in the dirt. This picture was taken in early May, when the azaleas were going wild.

Path Looking Towards House

Path Looking Towards House

A couple weeks later, I bought some Iris Moss (Sangina) to plant in between the stones. I wanted something to grow to give the stones a little more stability, but I also love the look. I do think I’ll need to get some more scotch moss – I got one 6″ pot and divided it up and planted it in 5 different spots. But I think if I want it to fill in faster, I’ll probably need to get some more.

Scotch Moss in Path

Irish Moss in Path

I’d love to have more moss growing back here, and maybe some other kind of in between stone filler – like sedum or creeping jenny (moneywort). I have both of these growing in the veggie bed, and I did try to transplant some creeping jenny. I don’t know for sure that I want it down there though (it kinda wants to take over the ground). And I don’t know how well these do in a lot of shade.

Creeping Jenny and Sedum

Creeping Jenny and Sedum

In this picture from last year, you can see a bunch of moss growing (under the gorgeous hydrangea), but I think a lot of it died over the winter. I tried digging up some of it and transplanting it when I relaid the stones.

Path Before moss growing

Path Before – moss growing

And here’s the scotch moss today, still alive! Maybe it has even grown a little… but you can also see that there are lots of little weeds… which is why I’d love to have scotch moss over the entire thing.

Scotch Moss still alive

Iris Moss still alive

And here’s the path today, late May. Those are roses growing up a trellis in the back, to the right.

Path Late May

Path Late May

My goal for the garden paths are to be functional and pretty as much as possible. If there’s any way to lessen the overall maintenance as well, I will try!

 

 

Linking up to these parties:  Remodelaholic; Nifty Thrifty Things, Thrifty Decor Chick

A Woodland Baby Shower for Charlie

The Cake

In early April I attended a baby shower for my Step-Daughter-in-law at her mother’s house. It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful setting with the new mom surrounded by loving family and friends!

Dining Room

Dining Room

I was able to help a very little bit by bringing a burlap table runner, lots of fresh flowers from my garden, and just a few little extras to add to the theme- a Woodland Baby Shower. The theme is based on the nursery theme– full of cute woodland creatures, and the beauty and bounty of nature.

Dark Hellebores

Dark Hellebores in a green glass vase

Our gracious host, Linda, provided her home as the location for the shower, which itself is set out in the countryside, surrounded by woods, farmland, and horse country. Spring is the perfect time of year to have a baby because everything seems so fresh and new! Linda made these cute cards to hang from her chandelier in the dining room- one side with a letter, and the other with a cute animal.

Charlie Letters Chandelier

Charlie Letters Chandelier

She was nice to let me share these pictures of her home and drawings on my blog!

CHARLIE

Her inspiration was the theme of the nursery. Aren’t they so cute!

charlie Animals

She also had a delicious spread of deviled eggs, olives, fresh vegetables, grapes, chocolate dipped strawberries, cheese and crackers, and trail mix. I brought the embroidered tablecloth, which has pretty little Irish native plants on it.

Yummy Foods

Yummy Foods

And the cake! Delicious and made in house as well! The cake was modeled after other Woodland themed cakes we found online. I think it came out so nicely.

The Cake

The Cake

Lots of fresh spring blooms.

Hellebores and Daffodils

Hellebores and Daffodils

Little details, like this toy fox, made a difference. I’m so glad I’ve been able to use the burlap table runner again!

We also played a couple of games, of which the winners got to choose from the Party Gifts table.

Party Gifts

Party Gifts

Little Charlie made his debut just less than a month later. Isn’t he a cutie pie?

Baby Charlie

Baby Charlie

I think he’s a lucky little guy because he has so many grandparents who love him.

 

Dining Room Curtains

New Curtain Rod

I put the curtains up several weeks ago, but I still can’t seem to capture a good picture in decent lighting. The curtains look awesome against the new wall color, I just wish I had magazine ready photos to show you. Instead these will have to do:

Better Homes and Gardens Wicklow Indigo

Better Homes and Gardens Wicklow Indigo

I made these curtains about three years ago with a pair of old thermal curtains and Wicklow Indigo fabric by Better Homes and Gardens. I bought a new curtain rod from Lowe’s because the older curtain rod, which would have looked cool in here with a brassy finish, was too short. I specifically wanted the curtain rod to end at a certain point, so that when pulled back, the entire window could be exposed for maximum light.

Dark Dining Room

Dark Dining Room

It’s pretty dark in the dining room, mostly because the window faces westernly. So generally, the only time I have light pouring in, it’s coming in directly and is blinding. It is just so difficult to find a good time to take photographs, and the light fixture doesn’t help (and sets everything in an orange cast). And I will admit I’ve been too lazy to bring up the lights and set up the tripod. So here is the same picture but with (GASP) flash!

Dining Room Curtains

Dining Room Curtains

At least it shows the actual colors better. The only thing I don’t like about the curtain rod is how dark it is. In the store, and on the box, it says it has an antique brass finish but it really just comes across as black. I’m considering spray painting it in the future- or maybe just touching up the birds with some rub-n-buff or a wash of paint.

New Curtain Rod

New Curtain Rod

I’m very happy with how this room came together, and I pulled out the pink tablecloth for Easter. I wasn’t sure how the pink would look in here, but I actually dig how it looks with the dark teal walls. My grandmother painted this tea set, which I think is so sweet and brings in the feeling of Spring.

Painted China

Grandmothers Painted China

To recap, here’s my moody midcentury dining room mood board

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

To check out the dining room transformation, click here!

Larking Chest with Triptych

Larking Chest with Triptych

 

Linking up to these parties:  Remodelaholic

Dining Room Before and After

Larking Chest with Triptych

So the first room in the new house that I have made-over is 95% complete! All that remains is hanging the curtain rod and curtains. I have the brackets up where I want them to be, but I need a longer rod than I have. I did get a Lowe’s gift card for my birthday though, and will probably spend some of it on that!

So here is the before- before we moved in. The feature wall of mirrors and 1960’s panels.

Dining Room Feature Wall

Dining Room Feature Wall

From the other direction, looking at the curtain they left for us.

Dining Room Before

Dining Room Before

Here is the inspiration/mood board I created for this room:

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

Moody Midcentury Dining Room

And here it is today:

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

Mr. Lucky and I are so pleased at how this has turned out so far! He is anxious to replace the light fixture- but I think that will have to wait for now. Same thing with getting new chairs- but we did find a mid-century modern dining room table that fits the size of this room perfectly! I scored it at a local online auction, and paid about $200 for a 60″ table, with two 24″ leaves, and custom table pads to fit. The table is by Walter of Wabash (just run of the mill American furniture).

Walter of Wabash Midcentury Modern Table

Walter of Wabash Midcentury Modern Table

I think it’s pretty cool if I do say so myself. I like that it has a slightly different shape to the top. It needs a little TLC as some of the veneer is coming up, but with the table pads to protect it, I should have no problem using it for a very long time!

As I was putting the room back together, I photographed the Larkin chest first. I stole one of the arrangements on the mantle for the picture. The painting is of the Butterfly Garden at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I painted it for a class I took in 2007.

Larking Chest with Triptych

Larkin Chest with Triptych

The different hues of green in the paintings really help the color come across as teal instead of a more green color. And surprisingly (meaning I didn’t even think to check it first), the other big painting I have hanging in here also plays off the color of the wall nicely.

Cloud Painting with messy kitchen

Cloud Painting with messy kitchen

You can see my messy kitchen there too– I decided not to crop it out because I like how it shows the big contrast between the two rooms. The kitchen and living room stays bright and airy most of the time, and stepping into the dark dining room is like being enveloped in a warm cocoon.

Frame on Mirrored Wall

Frame on Mirrored Wall

The frame hanging on the mirrored wall came out nicely too. And I rehung the other gilt mirror where it was before as well.

Gilt Mirror

Gilt Mirror

I think the real gold looks so beautiful against the wall color. I’ve come across many blogs that talk about gilt pieces, or painting on gold, or even doing your own gold leafing, however nearly none of what I’ve seen being done in the DIY sphere is with actual, real gold. They are using something called dutch metal, or amalgam, or composition gold leaf. Some of these may actually have some gold in them, but for the most part they are made with brass or copper and a variety of other metals. Over time, that color will turn darker, maybe even brown of green. If you look carefully at the frame on the mirrored wall, you can see darker spots on it. This is from someone in the past trying to “fix” it by putting on gold paint. Real gold stay bright and beautiful and does not oxidize. How can you tell the difference? Usually it says what it is on the package, but if not, check the price. Real gold is pretty pricey.

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

Mmm, I just love my “new” dining room! :)

 

Linking up to these parties:  Remodelaholic , Thrifty Decor Chic