Spring Planter Arrangement

Spring Planter Arrangements aren’t hard to make with some purchased spring bulbs. Here’s how to make a stunning display for your tabletop.

Spring Planter Arrangement is easy to make for your tabletop.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Spring Planter

Spring bulbs are here! They have finally arrived in the garden centers and it won’t be long before things are blooming outside! This pretty planter was put together with some purchase bulbs (in ugly pots) and a few items from the craft store.

Be sure to buy bulbs that are already growing and almost blooming rather than bulbs that have never been planted. Most spring bulbs require a period of cold weather in order to get them to bloom. Sometimes you can purchase pre-chilled, unplanted bulbs in your local garden center that are ready to plant and bloom.

Spring Planter Arrangement is perfect for your table top.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Supplies Needed:

•Metal urn or other waterproof container with a wide top (mine came from the thrift store)

•aquarium gravel or small stones for drainage

•Miracle Grow Potting Soil with slow release fertilizer

•Purchased spring bulbs that are close to blooming such as crocus, daffodils, tulips or paper whites

•Reindeer moss (from the craft store or garden center)

•Faux butterfly (craft store or dollar store)

•Fairy garden sized rabbits or other seasonal ornaments

 Spring Planter Arrangement with faux moss and butterfly.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Directions:

1.  Place a layer of gravel in the bottom of the container, about 1″ thick for drainage.

2. Add a layer of soil to cover the gravel.

3. Remove the bulbs from their original pots being careful not to break the roots. You can separate the bulbs if they are clumped together. The roots will regrow and stabilize after replanting. Place the bulbs in the container, with the tallest plants in the center or towards the back of the container.

4. Cover the bulbs with more soil being careful to leave any growth uncovered.

5. Add reindeer moss on top of the soil to retain moisture and give the bulbs more protection.

6. Place decorative butterfly in the moss, as well as a fairy garden rabbit or other animal statue.

7. Water about once per week. Keep your planter near a sunny window. After the bulbs have bloomed they may be pulled out and planted outside. You can then plant other plants in the planter such as succulents or houseplants.

Don’t forget to Pin this post! Spring Planter Arrangement is easy to make for your tabletop.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Here are some more fun spring projects:

Butterfly Cloche with forced flowering branches.|Designers sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Butterfly ClocheSpring Porch decor with chickenwire sign and banner.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Spring Porch Decor

Succulent Cross is an easy garden project.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Succulent Cross

Red Roses and Old Letters

Red Roses at @designerssweetspot.com

I have been reminiscing this week. We have had weddings, graduations and parties, which are fun but emotionally draining. I have taken some time off from my regular creative projects to work on things that I have let slide for a long time. One of the projects is a book I am working on.

Roses and letter

I am not ready to disclose the project just yet, but here’s a clue.

It is a real process and a real struggle. The distractions are everywhere. I have kids that come and go in and out, a hubby who works from home, my Mother lives here, even the cat wants attention. I want time to stroll in the park and think about what I am working on. Focus is elusive when you are working from a chaotic home.

Bass with roses in a vase

There doesn’t seem to be enough time to write. There are things weighing me down and I am not sure at all how things will come out. I have given myself a due date, but I might miss it. I fear would rather go to one of the free concerts in the park and hear the classical music for inspiration. I am a romantic at heart you know.

Roses on wooden table

I am getting ready to send out my next newsletter, if you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to do that so you can receive special offers and free items that no one else will get.

By the way, our rose bushes are blooming. I couldn’t resist taking pictures of them. They are so captivating! I almost cut them all down before I knew what they looked like. I am in love with their rich color and fresh scent. Guess I won’t be removing them anymore. I couldn’t possibly cut them down now that I know how beautiful they are.

Have a lovely day!

 

The Brick Pathway

Brick pathway @designerssweetspot.com

It’s been a crazy week around here. I am behind in everything. We have been working on our front yard garden. Our brick walkway is now complete. Do you see the bricks? That was our first project.

heavy equipment and broken sidewalk @designerssweetspot.com

Actually, the bricks were our second project. The first project was to dig out all of the old rose bushes that grew in the border along the front walk. They were HUGE and THORNY. I left one along the metal archway, but it may need to be removed at a later time if it gets too big. It felt like the former owners were trying to keep people out of the yard with all of the thorny bushes all over the place. They even had them right along the driveway so that when you stepped out of your car, you stepped into them. Not sure why anyone would do that?

Whether they were keeping people out of the yard, or perhaps keep children in the yard? I don’t know, but anyway we got rid of the roses. The neighbors were aghast as to why we would do such a thing. I don’t mind roses, but we still have 4 bushes in the front yard, that is plenty for me.

The next project was to repair the front side walk. You can see how broken the concrete is in the above photo. We knew when we bought the house that this repair was required by our mortgage company. They were concerned it was a tripping hazard, so it had to be done.

We hired a contractor for the brick work, because we had never done it before and they guaranteed their work for five years. With our harsh climate, the frost can force bricks up out of the ground if they aren’t installed correctly.  The contractor arrived on the same day that the city decided to replace some gas mains out in the street. It was rather chaotic for a few days with all the heavy construction going on. I tried to get a few pictures while looking inconspicuous on our front porch.

heavy equipment2

You can see the bed where all of the roses were. There are still a few bushes off to the left side. We will keep them for now, but they are on my radar as “may need to go” in the future to make way for more desirable perennials. I am glad we didn’t begin planting until this was all over. The workmen were in the yard digging things up for quite some time. They had to remove parts of the fence and work all around it. It would have be very discouraging if we had planted anything before they started.

side garden

We had lots of bricks laying around the house, the past owners tried to make a boarder out of them for the fern and flower beds. You can see how it wasn’t done properly and they are falling down and flopping all over the place. We had the brick contractor reuse a lot of these bricks in the new pathway. We still have some left over, we may even extend this pathway, but the porch needs to be rebuilt first, as it is also in need of repair. Another project for another time.

Brick pathway herringbone pattern

For now, we just replaced the section required by the mortgage company. The contractor removed the old broken cement and straightened the cuts with a huge cement saw. We could not have done this project ourselves!

Then they dug down 12″, packed in gravel, sand and finally cemented the bricks into place. I love the herringbone pattern they chose to use! The finished path is very solid and won’t be moving anytime soon. The bricks add a bit of color and interest to the front yard. We are very pleased at how it all turned out.

Brick pathway

Glad that the first part of our construction is over! I can now plant our vegetable garden and perennial flowers in the front border. I can’t wait for everything to bloom! We will be working on more updates to the front of the house as time goes by. There is much to do!

All for now!

 

The Secret of the Garden

 

Wooden bridge with cherry blossoms

I have been meaning to visit the local botanical garden for the last several weeks. We usually go there once a year in the middle of the summer. For some reason,  I kept putting it off.

I was too busy. It would take too much time.

It cost too much. I didn’t have time.

Pink blossoms on white ground

There would be nothing worthwhile seeing this early in the season. I had seen it all before.

I wouldn’t get anything out of it. It would be a waste of time.

I needed to stay home and get things done. The blog world needed me.

The other day those little voices in my head finally got the better of me. Mom and I dropped everything and made our way to the garden. She had never been there before even though she lived in our area for more than 40 years.

We took off and left dishes in the sink. We left wet laundry in the washer. We left no cooked food or directions for making lunch (I know! GASP!).

Pond with wood duck

What we saw, shocked me. I was completely amazed at how beautiful the garden was in the spring. Picture perfect. This wooden bridge melted me. Monet’s famous garden in Giverney, France can’t be more beautiful than this.

Silly me, why did I think it would not be beautiful??

Secret pathway

The pathways were lush and green. The garden was full of birds and wildlife.

Pathway with blossoms

The trees were still in bloom. Even though they were beginning to loose their petals, they were amazing and beautiful.

Bench with petals on the ground

The fallen petals reminded me of snow on the ground. Such a fairyland this is! I could have sat on this bench for hours in contentment.

Calendula

Hard to believe we almost didn’t come to visit. We could have missed it all.

Mom in the garden

Mom loved it. She is 85 years young, and her memory is failing her. She asked me what every plant was as we walked along. I pointed out the plants that I knew, but she couldn’t remember them, and I would have to tell her again what they were the next time we came across them. It was a long, long walk.

It’s a walk I will always remember, although I am sure she will not.

Pot with curly willow branches

The garden was all but deserted. Very few visitors were there.

They were too busy.

They thought it would cost too much, even though it’s actually free to visit.

They didn’t think there would be much to see, even thought there is plenty to see.

They didn’t have time, although they could have made the time.

They needed to stay home and get things done, but they probably weren’t really accomplishing very much anyway.

The Secret of the Garden is in the big reveal. Every time I go there, it reveals something new to me and I learn something new about myself. Each time I come home refreshed and inspired.

I wonder how many other beautiful things I have missed because of those negative thoughts in my mind? I have decided I don’t want to miss them anymore. I will be listening for them and working to make them go away.

You never know where or when inspiration will find you. You may even find it where you are sure it won’t exist. That’s the Secret for today.

I hope you have been inspired!

 

Lessons from the Arborist

Backyard photo with a Pin Oak tree

Buying a home in an established neighborhood is great because of the mature trees. There are a number of them in the yard and we knew right from the start that they hadn’t been properly maintained in many years.

The various sucker branches growing every which way was our first clue to their lack of maintainence. We decided to call in an arborist for a professional opinion on what to do with the trees. We are so glad we did, little did we know what was growing in our yard!

When we bought the house, we decided to take down a couple of trees in the back yard. Not only were they over grown but they took up the entire space leaving us with a full shade property.
Our lone maple tree would be the first to go (in the back corner of the lot), it was on the property line too close to the neighbors garage and killing all the lawn in its shadows. The biggest problem with this tree, is that is was inhibiting the growth of the other tree in the back yard. We hate the idea of chopping down trees, but with a small yard and awkward location of the tree, it just wasn’t practical to keep it.

The other tree in the back yard which you can see in the photo was some type of maple, however it surprised us the most. It turned out to be a Pin Oak, a rare find in Wisconsin. In addition, this tree is protected by law. We can only trim it at certain times of the year, and removing it is out of the question since it’s a protected species. Who knew? We had no idea. So glad that the arborist really knows his stuff! We will trim the tree in the fall according to law, and hope that it will continue to grow to it’s full potential.cherry blossoms

The other problem was what do with the fruit trees. We have both a cherry and an apple tree in the yard. Unfortunately, they both have been unattended for a long time and reach far, far to close to the neighbors house. They should have been trimmed back long ago, but if we do it now, they should still produce some fruit, we hope! The cherry tree is almost as tall as the house, that’s a long stretch to do some fruit picking! The arborist can reshape the tree so we can still get future growth and fruit from it. Not sure what sort of cherry it is, I sure hope it’s a sweet variety!

North facing apple tree and cherry trees

The apple tree has many dead limbs among it’s blossoms. It also has a “sucker” tree growing up inside it’s trunk. Usually sucker trees are expendable. They grow from the roots of the tree and should be trimmed back to keep the tree growing well. We contemplated cutting it out our selves, but soon thought better of it for fear that it would kill both trees instead. The sucker however, was apparently another apple tree grafted into the middle of the first, so it would produce two different varieties of apples. Apparently this was a popular thing to do in the 1950’s, little did we know!

Unfortunately, the arborist fears the apple tree is already dying, that it’s hollow inside and will not last much longer. It poses a huge liability to us, being between two houses, and we need to remove it. I am dreading cutting it down.

cherry blossoms indoors

The trees are now in full bloom. It breaks my heart to know that we have to trim them, and cut down the apple tree completely. I refused to let the arborist come and trim the trees until we had been able to experience the blossoms at least once. They are so perfect and lovely. I will miss having them outside my living room window.

It was well worth our time and money to hire a professional for this job. Had we tried to do some of this work ourselves, we would have made all sorts of wrong choices. We plan to be here for a long time, so it is worth the investment in hiring a pro. I will post more before and after pics, as he is coming back to begin the trimming this week.

More to come!