Monday, March 26, 2012


A customer brought this by our office today, just to say thank you.  It is absolutely wonderful to see people taking time out to be nice, just because.  It completely made my day...and now we have cake!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I went into Fresh Market for bruschetta, and came out with these (and the bruschetta). I might have a problem.

But I've always wanted  to grow four o'clocks!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

one sentence saturday: march 17th

Happy St. Patty's Day! - go there, it's awesome

Thursday, March 15, 2012

march bloom day

I feel like I'm bragging by showing off this photo.  But Carol's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is all about sharing what is blooming in your yard, and this picture is too good not to share.  It was taken with my iPhone on Tuesday and then filtered with "low-fi" on instagram. Nothing fancy, but it makes me happy, and I love it!  I'm thinking I will even have this picture printed on coasters.

It seems like every evening when I walk in my yard, I find something new! (If you are visiting my blog for the first time, this is my first year in my great grandmother's cottage house.)  This is great, because I'm on a tight budget with not much room for new plants.  My plan for this year is, with my grandmother's help, to document what is growing where, and see how much little sun I have once the trees fill out.  Then I can divide plants this fall, and start planning for next year.  I'm also trying to nurse a few plants back to health, and clear the very old and settled in ivy from around the house.

Now on to the surprises!!

The first surprise this month has been the blooming ground cover.  I have these wonderful wildflowers all in the moss and in the front yard, and it's just beautiful.  I also have vinca minor near the house and in the back yard.  I think it's so pretty near the trees, and I love the fact that it doesn't climb up them! My goal is for the yard to be as maintenance free as possible, and since there is little sun, I don't think that will be too hard.  I'm encouraging the moss to grow and spread, and I'm letting the vinca minor run free.  If I don't have to mow anything I will be one happy girl.

The other fun surprise this month has been how 'helpful' and friendly my neighbor's golden retriever, Brady, has been.  He thinks that my yard is his yard, and now that he knows I belong, he always comes to keep me company when I'm working in the yard, and even greets me when I come home.  All the benefits of a dog without the vet and dog food bills!!  In these pictures he's standing in the garden between our houses.  My forsythia is in the shade, so the blooms are a little behind the rest of the area.  Also, next to the forsythia is a similar drapey shrub, with white blossoms on the end.  It's on my list of things to look up soon :)

Since it has been so unseasonably warm, my dogwoods have started blooming and the first hostas are coming up!!  I feel like this means that spring is really here, and there is no chance that we'll see snow or even have another hard frost.  This is fine with me, bring on the sunshine and warm weather. :)

I have found violets in my yard, and also these silver leaved flowers starting to spread and bloom.  Another groundcover maybe?

 Even this morning on my way to work I found a new bloom, and had to snap a picture.  I believe this is a type of woodland iris.  If so, this is a kind of iris I can learn to love.  The foliage is a lot softer than the traditional, stiff leafed irises.  Edit: My mom has informed me this is a spiderwort.  I like it and it grows in the shade.  Perfect! My daffodils, or jonquils as my grandmother calls them, are still blooming too.  I like how someone planted the different varieties together.  Just as a few start to fade, new blooms appear. 

 And the best surprise I saved for last.  Tulips!  They are some of my favorite cut flowers to have in the house, and I've always wanted to have some.  I was THRILLED this Tuesday when two shots of red appeared in one of the gardens.  There is one more spot where I think more will appear, and I can't wait to see what color they are.

And that's it so far, I can't wait to see what comes up tomorrow!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

emily vs ivy

Since I've moved into my new house, I've posted a few pictures of my yard, but nothing that gives you a really great idea of how wonderful it is -- and how much work I have to do. This is where you say "But I thought you weren't going to do any planting the first year, just see what comes up?"  True.  Aside from planting veggies in an existing raised bed, I'm not doing much 'planting'.  OK, maybe a little in the rock garden I'm sure is bare, and a few containers, but that's it.

BUT, that doesn't mean there isn't work to do.  I have yellow boxwoods that are in desperate need of TLC.  I have a tree that needs to come down, and numerous bushes that need to be trimmed. And I have ivy.  Lots and lots of ivy. I have ivy on trees, I have ivy in the foundation of the house, I have ivy in the yard, I have ivy in the kitchen garden, I have had ivy in the rock garden.  I may not know what I want/will be able to plant yet, but I know the ivy has to go.

Invasive plants are a pain.  The thing about this ivy is that I'm convinced that some of it is older than I am - and since my great grandparents built the original house (well fishing cottage) in the 1920's, this is entirely possibly.  As I've worked my way around the back of the house into the sideyard and towards the woods (which are solidly covered in ivy) the vines have turned into chords, and I've discovered large nodes.  The chords are dense in this part of the yard, criss-crossing over each other like a game of pickup sticks, just  underground so you can't see the sticks to know which is on top.

I have declared war on the ivy, and I have a strategy to get rid of it. Working from the outside (the youngest vines with the smallest leaves) towards the center, has been the most thorough approach with respect to leaving no vine left behind.  I may have bled a little bit, and I might be sore, but I am making steady progress.  While I'm sure I'll be pulling ivy for many springs to come, I'm hoping that it will be less intense than this year, because the ivy is putting up a good fight.  This was expected though, after all, it's been living here since before I was born!

So far, I've cleared the rock garden, the most desperate of the boxwoods, the patio garden, and I'm working on the sideyard.  I have at least one, if not two more full weekends worth of work to do to get all of the ivy cleared from around the house.

That deserves a reward right?  A Julie Darling Donut Breakfast Sandwich at Foodworks perhaps?  I'll take that and a mimosa. WHO KNEW scrambled eggs and donuts are a match made in heaven!

Monday, March 5, 2012

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Julie Darling Donuts

Julie Darling Donuts is somewhat famous in Chattanooga.  They opened just over 2 years ago (before the cupcake craze reached Chattanooga) on the North Shore, and have made a name for themselves with their gourmet donuts & bite size after school snacks.

They have a huge (and beautiful) selection of cake, yeast, & filled doughnuts, along with the 'Little Darling' donut holes.

I stopped by recently to see what all the fuss was about, and promptly oogled over the counter trying to make a decision.  I stopped at "Banana Pudding Filled Donut" and never looked back.

I wish I was a better writer and photographer so I could explain how good this donut was.  It was wonderfully rich, so I took my time and sat outside at a picnic table to enjoy it.  And I enjoyed every. last. bite.  Yes, it was a lot of calories, but the Walnut Street Bridge & Coolidge Park are across the street, so you've got a perfect opportunity to walk it off and enjoy the day.

Julie Darling Donuts:
Phone: 423.591.3737
Hours: Monday - Thursday 7am-7pm, Friday & Saturday 7am-9pm
Julie Darling Donuts on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 3, 2012

one sentence saturday

I think it's fitting that in the wake of nature's destructive storms my plans for today are to plant some seeds.

Friday, March 2, 2012

tornado tips - what I learned last year

As I'm watching the news, and we have a potential for tornadoes tonight, I thought I'd share my mental be prepared list.

1. Charge your cell phone. It's best to have a full battery going into storms.
2. If you do loose power turn off your GPS features and any unnecessary push notifications on your phone. This will help you conserve your battery.
3. Have your emergency kit in the place *where you will seek shelter* in case of a tornado.
4. Make sure your emergency kit it stocked. Working flashlight/candles and matches. First aid kit. Home insurance information/important paperwork.
5. Make sure your emergency kit is waterproof or at least has a lid.
6. If you don't have a weather radio, go ahead and download a radio app or bookmark a 'stream live' webpage for a local radio station.
7. Cook a dinner that won't go bad :) Something that's not bad cold, and won't spoil in a day never hurts to have around.
8. Keep your (closed toed) shoes on. Now this is for when the weather man says you've got X number of minutes before a tornado hits your neighborhood. But how awful would it be to barefoot after a tornado hit your house.
9. Put your wallet in your pocket. Again, not something you want to have to hunt down last minute or after a tornado.

This is by no means an official list of any sorts, just what I'm thinking about. If you have anything to add please let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garden Update - March 1st

Since this is my first year in my new house, I'm going to try and take extra pictures as time goes by so I will have record of what comes up when - and also where. Since it has been so unseasonably warm I'm not sure how helpful the exact timing will be, but the order that things start to sprout should at least stay the same.

The Daffodils and Hyacinths started blooming around the circular drive Feb 1st.  I must have some mid & late season bloomers in the mix, because the Daffodils keep coming up.  The one's on the right are too close to the driveway and will need to be moved after they finish blooming. 

At the front walkway it looks like I have a line of day-lilies coming up.  There is no formal bed or edging, but I think this is going to be very pretty!

I have a rhododendronon on the north corner of the house that already has buds! 

I have some wonderful little purple flowers coming up in different spots all around the house.  I'm not sure exactly what kind of ground cover they are yet, but they're starting to make a very pretty carpet.

I also have a few yet to be determined flowers coming up.  I think the larger bulbs are tulips, but I'm not sure what the grassier looking plant is.  We'll find out soon though :)

That's quite a bit going on for the first of March!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...