Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Most Time Intensive and the Most Rewarding

This is a long post (consider yourself warned!).  Browsing the pictures will give all of the info you need if you don't want to bother with the words. Let's start with the best part (it's like eating dessert before dinner!!)

What's that?  Some mosaic tile?

In a niche?

And there are three of them?
In this wonderful, new shower? (PS -- I think I might sleep in the tub tonight considering it's now my favorite part of the house)

Let's go back to the beginning.  
We borrowed a tile saw from Kyle Wise becuase this project required some very detailed cuts and the pencil tiles had to be mitered around the edges of the niches.  This thing is a beast!

Andy installed temporary boards around the tub, just below the first full tile so that we had a level edge to install the tiles along.

We taped up the first row to make sure everything lined up the way we wanted it to.

There were a lot of cuts...

Andy had to install the tile around the edges of the niches before he finished the tile on the back wall.

Installing the mosaic tile and pencil tile was tedious and at times uncomfortable...

All of the tiles in place and waiting for grout.

All grouted!  We just need to seal the grout and then it will be ready to go!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


After the last post the front flower bed looked like this...

Last weekend I spent most of the day on Saturday ripping out all of the lesser celandine by hand.  I know I didn't get all of the roots so I applied some weed killer in an effort to reduce the amount that comes back next year.  I don't love the idea of applying more chemicals, but Kodak doesn't spend time out here and I felt it was my last resort.   This is what it looked like after I pulled most of the weeds out by hand.

A new layer of mulch and things are looking much better (at least for now!)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Warm Weather Weeds and a Few Plants

Lots of weeds, little grass.  I guess these plants with the little yellow flowers aren't really weeds.  It's called Lesser Celandine and it was brought to the Untied States to be used as a ground cover.  FYI -- I didn't buy any of this stuff and we don't remember having it last year either.  It is now listed as an invasive plant and takes over everything!  It's not ugly, but I hate it!

Some iris that we moved from the front of the house.  I don't think this will be a permanent location (Kodak has already broken off a few of them), but they already look healthier than they did out front.

Daffodils by the driveway.  Not a ton of blooms this year, but I'm just happy to see that they are actually growing.

A clematis that I bought last year and planted by the lamppost.  

Lamppost bed with more daffodils and hellebores.

The hellebores are my favorite.  They have been blooming since February!

A typical occurrence -- weeds and red maple seedlings (they are everywhere!)  I thought I dug most of them out last year but we seem to have twice as many this year.

Three Weigela by the front family room windows.  I think these look great considering that I got them on the Lowe's clearance rack for $2 each and was convinced that they were dead before I even planted them.

Oak leak hydrangea in the front yard.

Bakeri Spruce looks like it survived the winter.

Hinoki Cypress.  This one isn't doing too well.  It was already having problems when it was planted because it was secretly balled and burlapped inside the pot. I trimmed off a few branches that were completely dead.  Some of the remaining branches have brown tips, so we'll have to see if its condition improves over the summer.

Little Henry Iteas.  There are five planted around the mailbox.  I bought three of them on the same clearance rack at the Weigelas (these were a bit more expensive at $5 each!). 

This is one sad looking dogwood tree at the corner of the house.  It's hard to see in this picture, but if you follow up the main trunk you can see the limb wrapped with duct tape where the branch turns to the left.  We eventually plan to remove this tree, but when the large center branch broke in one of the hurricane/ice/winds storms last fall we couldn't just remove the branch (the tree would have looked like a giant Y) and we weren't ready to cut it down. We decided to trim some of the weight off of the upper branches and duct tape it back together.  It worked! The broken branch actually has blooms.

Documenting daylilies.  I have been spraying them with liquid deer fence but I check them every day because I'm convinced that the deer or rabbits are going to eat them.

I almost couldn't even post this picture.  The Lesser Celandine made it's way to one of the new front flower beds.  It has surrounded almost all of the new plants.  I tried to kill some (the brown area) with weed killer.  It worked, but I can't use it everywhere because of all of the plants that are actually supposed to be there.  I am slowly (very slowly) ripping it all out by hand.  The newspaper and leaf combo that we put under the mulch worked in all of the other beds so I'm convinced that this stuff seeded in the mulch over the winter.

Remember when it looked like this? So very sad!

My favorite - peach daffodils.

Red Lady Hydrangeas are doing well.

And a few new pansies for the front door (thanks Mom!)