Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Plants and Porch

I started gathering plants for my pots several weeks ago.  I planted most of the pots two weeks ago and they are looking great. 

I have a lot of green plants that stay outside year-round.
 But, when the weather begins to warm up, I am ready
to plant my pots with flowers that I will enjoy until late fall

Here's the planter that I have on my front porch. 

Here's what most of my pots looked like a few weeks ago.
The pansies worked hard this winter, but it was time for them to go.

Here are some pictures of my back porch and side patio.

I often use the plants (above) in larger pots, but I'm going to try them
on a small table pot and try to keep them pinched back.  I am
also trying some flat leaf parsley in this pot.  If it does well,
I'll try it in some other pots next year.

Lately, gardeners around here have
been using a  "recipe" for their planted pots.

The recipe is pretty easy.
You need:

1. A thrill (a showy plant)
2. A spill (a plant that trails down)
3. A fill  (the other plants that fill up the rest of the pot).

In this pot (above), you might be able to spot my three "ingredients."
1.  A larger coleus named "Kong
 It's a little small now, but it will get bigger and
 really look nice.  It is in the back right with the
green and red leaves.
2. I love creeping jenny and I love to use it in my pots. 
It is the plant that is trailing out of this pot.
 I love the color and it holds up well in our Alabama heat.

3.  I have some splash and begonias as my fill plants.

I have found that these plants work well on my porch and in our long hot summers.

The little white purplish flowers in the bottom
 of this pot is alyssum (Easter basket variety).

My baker's rack looks like this almost year round. 

I use a lot of pinks in my pots as a general rule. 
But there was something appealing about making this
pot with lots of green foliage and little flowers in white and purple.

This pot has some variety in it.  Verbena (pink blooms), the darker purple below the
verbena is Joseph's Coat (it comes in a bright green, too).  It stays low and doesn't
 flower.  The bright green in the front is sedum and it can take the summer heat. 
I save the little identification tags for the plants that I am least familiar with.
 That way, I'll learn their names and also, so I'll remember them next year
 and if I want to use them again.

I still have a few plants left over and I will make a couple more pots to enjoy.

 Here's a sneak preview of our next outdoor project!!

Have you done any spring planting?  I'd love to know!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vintage Find

A few weeks ago, we visited Franklin, Tennessee.  We enjoyed the trip.  There were lots of fun shops, spring flowers,  beautiful homes and interesting Civil War history filling this beautiful southern town.  I enjoyed everything we did while in Franklin.

I especially enjoyed visiting several antique stores while in
Franklin and I shared several pictures of the vintage
goodies that I saw while I was there in an earlier post. 

Remember me telling you that I purchased an item? 
 Well, here it is.

You might not be able to identify what I purchased from
 this one picture, so I'll show you a one more.

Yes, I purchased the vintage olive gathering basket.
  I had been looking at them on line (for some unknown reason)
 and I was thrilled to see one in person.  The price was much
 better than the ones that I had seen on line, as well.

It has a little bit of rust in all the right places and nice patina. 
 The handles are perfectly rusty.  The sides are very clean
 and surprisingly very smooth. 

Right now, its first home is in our family room.
I think this is one piece that will enjoy being moved around
and serving different uses as it settles into our home.

If you'd like to see the other temping goodies we saw
while on our trip, you can see the post here:

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southern hospitality

Monday, April 9, 2012

Galvanized Tray-PB Knock-Off

I saw a tray the other day in a Pottery Barn ad.  I was visiting looking at the 3-tier galvanized stand when I noticed that they were also showing a round tray.  I thought to myself, "I can make a tray like that."  I moved on with my day and then at sometime thought...hummmm....I bet they have something galvanized at my local hardware store I could use to make a tray.   Never once did I think....hummmm....do I need a galvanized tray???   The hardware store is an old-fashioned store where you can go in and buy one sheet of sandpaper or one nut or bolt.  So I stopped at the store the next day and began my hunt.  I like to walk up and down the aisles and look at all the items they have there.  Some are familiar and some are not.  I always try to decide if I can make something from the items I find there.  It is a really good way to keep your imagination sharp!
So here's my version of a galvanized tray.

Here's how I made the tray.

I got this round (whatever-you-call-this) at the hardware store.  It cost $4.95 and it was a little dusty.  I marked it in quarters with tape (since I couldn't see pencil marks). 

I got out the drill and the bits.  I had purchased handles at another store and I checked to see if the bit I chose would fit in the hole where the screw would go.  I decided to use a bit that was a little on the small size knowing I could make the hole larger later if I needed to.

These are the handles I bought.  I couldn't decide, so I bought these that weren't too shiny. 

Now you don't know me, but I don't always measure the way some people do.  I got an index card to mark the distance between the screw holes.

I then folded the card so it would be the distance I needed between the two holes I would drill.  I thought that the card would conform to the side of the tray better than it would be for me to try to measure with a ruler.

I drew these arrows for you. You can see where I'm going to drill the holes. I also folded the card down the distance down from the top where I needed to drill the holes.  The arrow pointing up is lined-up with one of the quarter tape marks I did at the beginning. 

I took it slow and easy (and I wore protective eye ware).  I didn't want the drill bit to dance across the surface of my tray.  It did great!  I substituted the screws that came with the handles for some that were a little shorter.  The substituted screw fit through the hole and into the handle perfectly!  I drilled the next hole and attached the first handle.  On the other side, before I drilled, I measured again and tried to make sure the second handle was directly across from the first handle.  I also decided to apply one piece of clear tape on each of my marks.  It was perfect to help keep the end of the drill bit in place so it wouldn't skim across the side of the tray as I began to drill.

I found these little "collars" in with the nuts, bolts and screws.  I decided to try them with the project.

They looked nice when they were used with the screws. 
I think they gave the tray a more "finished" look.

Well, what do you think?  I'm pretty happy with the results!

One of the neatest things I discovered was that the round place mats that I have (standard size) fit perfectly into the tray.  I have several colors already and can change up the look of the tray in a flash.

And since I already had an extra set of handles, I went ahead and got another (whatever-it-is-called) and made a second tray in just a few minutes.

Pottery Barn $29.95 for round galvanized tray.

Marsha's under $10.00 for round galvanized tray.

 Hello Summer!

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